August 5th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain: Obama 'confused' on energy positions

Sen. McCain slammed Sen. Obama at a press conference held in the shadow of a nuclear energy plant.

Sen. McCain slammed Sen. Obama at a press conference held in the shadow of a nuclear energy plant.

NEWPORT, Michigan (CNN) – A day after Barack Obama released a television ad that accuses John McCain of seeking tax breaks for big oil, McCain struck back Tuesday, calling Obama “a little bit confused” because of their divergent votes on the 2005 energy bill, which contained tax breaks for oil companies.

Watch: McCain slams Obama on energy policy

McCain made the remarks to reporters after touring the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant, a facility that provides power to 2.3 million customers in southeastern Michigan. McCain is an ardent supporter of nuclear power.

“I saw that Senator Obama's latest attack has got to do with oil and campaign contributions,” McCain said, referring to Obama’s new TV spot. “I think he might be a little bit confused because when the energy bill came to the floor of the senate, full of goodies and breaks for the oil companies, I voted against it. Sen. Obama voted for it. People care, not only what you say but how you vote.”

Obama was one of 25 Senate Democrats to support that energy bill, which the Illinois senator has said represented a compromise that removed several of the Bush administration’s original proposals.

McCain also tweaked Obama for his newfound openness to offshore oil drilling.

“I noticed that there’s confusing now information from Sen. Obama as to whether he actually supports offshore drilling or not,” he said. “The fact is we have to drill here and we have to drill now and we have to drill immediately.”

Related: Obama teases McCain on drilling

McCain acknowledges that “nuclear power isn't enough and drilling isn't enough,” reiterating his regular proposals for a comprehensive approach to energy reform that includes wind, solar and tide production.

Flanked by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, McCain chided Congress for taking their annual summer recess without focusing on fuel prices.

“People are paying four dollars a gallon for gas, are sick and tired of a Congress that won't act in their behalf,” he said. “So I'm urging Senator Obama to urge the Democratic leaders of Congress to call Congress back into session.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Jeffrey Brown

    Poor John... In a few months you can climb back on your Rascal Scooter and fade into the sunset!

    August 5, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. John

    The drilling debate is retarded. And it is helped along by a media that is as complacent (complicit?) as they were in the build up to the Iraq War.

    Again, the few people that have the time and dedication to pay attention, know that drilling will never reduce the cost of oil or lead to significant improvements in our energy independence. Yet, as per usual, and at no fault of the general public, those that follow the issue are in the vast minority. The media has a job to do here. Not play favorites, but simply to report the facts. Unless we are going to legitimize debates about the color of the sky, or the rotation of the earth around the sun, this argument needs to be appropriately refereed.

    August 5, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Annette, Washington, DC

    No disrepect Sen. McCain, but I 've been listening to you and Obama, you are the one confused McCain. If those folks who follow Obama are blind, then, I guess those who follow McCain must be deaf. Sorry, but that person ask for that.

    August 5, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. ShirleyY - Seattle


    August 5, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. Patrick

    How can any Obama supporter accuse McCain of being in bed with big oil when McCain voted against it and Obama voted for it?

    August 5, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. GOP Terrorists have destroyed America

    If anyone knows about 'confused' stances, it's that doddering old fossil, McCain. He's also 'confused' about how he ended up crash landing four jets prior to his screw up bailout over Viet Nam. Definitely NOT presidential material.

    August 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. John

    Hey Jerry ... McCain can't be bought as easily as Obama. Jerry the Obama supporter acknowledges that if you donate money to Obama, Obama will vote for whatever you want. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    August 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. dksig226

    Obama didn't want to temporarily stop the gasoline tax because that would only save a "few pennies". He is now saying we should open the Strategic Reserve!? That would only save a few pennies per gallon of gas (the federal gasoline tax is 0.18 per gallon). The US at current consumption would drain the reserve in less than 2 months. The Strategic Reserve is for emergencies, not to save a "few pennies". Anyway why would he want to help the disgruntled blue collar worker that he singled out during his campaign.

    August 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  9. ellen

    Our young "not quite dry behind the ears" voters seem to think this
    election if just another ballgame. It's serious, and we should select
    a President that has the experience to handle the job. Since Clinton
    is out that only leaves McCain. Obama is just not the right man for
    the job no matter how much you may like him. Personality is nice, bit
    that doesn't mean he has the experience that is needed. Vote like
    an adult. Check out the facts!

    August 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. Ted

    Indeed, Time magazine writes that Obama is correct here. "But who's really out of touch? The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points. In other words: Obama is right."

    August 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. keepitreal50

    You'd have to be blind to follow McCain. Everything about this guy is wrong including his ADVANCED AGE. Can anybody say Vice President Romney????????????????????????????? Oh, buy the way,

    August 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. keepitreal50

    I'm your new President!

    August 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. keepitreal50

    Wow CNN. I don't see my first post. I know; the truth is again surpressed. Typicaloperatingproceedure.

    August 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. Gary

    You know, Ralph, I never thought about it, but I believe you are right. I need to take another look at these guys and quit listening to my 17 yo girl who wants me to vote for Obama because he is cute.. and stands for change.. But she has no idea what he stands for..
    Nice analysis..

    August 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. Cheater-bama

    Obama seems to be a liar instead of flip-flopper !

    How dare he says in the ad that he is against the Bill that he actually voted for..... cheapster !

    August 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Fareed H. Ansari

    McCain the Wandering Candidate is clear that whenever he says anything it will be confusing and insulting.

    August 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. Tim

    McSenile, you're confused about everything. Also, what's the deal with McOlds left arm. I think there is something wrong that we are not being told!!!

    August 5, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. Jenna

    Senator Obama seems to be quite confused on many things or maybe it's deliberate and he thinks that the American public is ignorant.

    August 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. keepitreal50

    Yeah! Why is it that McCain has a babysitter or two all up under his armpits all of the time? I guess since the Suni – Shiite GAFFE, McCain needs to have someone by his side to whisper in his ear that it's the sun that comes out during the day – not the moon.

    August 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Jason

    Once Obama decides which way he wants to stand on something without bashing someone with an outright lie I might listen. How can he bash McCain on energy when he is lying about his position according to how he has voted. He jokes McCain is for drilling only which is a blatant lie then bashes him about tax breaks for the oil companies that HE voted for and not McCain.

    August 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. Canadian black & white man for Obama.

    McCain, doesn't know what is going on. Well that is okay, we deserve what we get.

    August 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. Jon

    Does anyone but me remember McCain saying during the debate that America is better off them 7 years ago and that Bush has done a good job. In April of he said no neg. ads and Cindy went on TV and said that is something that would never come fron JOHN. How about the voting record against "VETS". How about his voting record against alt. engergy. over the last 26 years. Factcheck stated that 89% of the things he has said about Obama are untrue. Is this even a question of who to vote for.

    August 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. Jenna

    Senator Obama seems to be quite confused on many things or maybe it's deliberate and he thinks that the American public is ignorant too his antics.

    August 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  24. dr. yes we can

    barack didnt move the iraqi border to pakistan.

    August 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. dr. yes we can

    am i seeing things?what is that strange green aura surrounding those mutants, in the picture?

    August 5, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10