August 6th, 2008
02:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama: McCain v. McCain debate will be interesting

Potential VP nominee Sen. Evan Bayh introduced Sen. Obama in Indiana Wednesday.

Potential VP nominee Sen. Evan Bayh introduced Sen. Obama in Indiana Wednesday.

ELKHART, Indiana (CNN) – At an energy-themed townhall on Wednesday, Barack Obama called John McCain’s energy plan “ an early Christmas list for oil and gas lobbyists” and said McCain’s reputation of being a maverick – recently touted in one of his ads – no longer applies because of repeated position changes and falling in line with White House policies.

“I know that Senator McCain likes to call himself a maverick, and the fact is, there have been times where in the past he did show independence from his party,” said Obama. “But the price he paid for his party’s nomination has been to reverse himself on position after position, and now he embraces the failed Bush policies of the last eight years.”

“You can’t be a maverick when politically it’s working for you and then not a maverick when it doesn’t work for you, when you’re seeking your party’s nomination.”

After being mocked incessantly by the McCain campaign for a week for his suggestion to voters that one way to help save gas is to inflate their tires, Obama pounced McCain’s Monday comments when he said he didn’t disagree with encouraging drivers to inflate their tires, “but I also don't think that that's a way to become energy independent.”

“Last night, after all that, Senator McCain actually said he agreed that keeping our tires inflated was a good idea,” Obama said, to laughter from the crowd. “So in the coming days it’s going to be interesting to watch this debate between John McCain and John McCain.”

A McCain spokesman responded that simply inflating car tires won’t save as much money on gas as drilling would, the starkest disagreement in the candidates’ two energy plans.

“True energy independence requires John McCain’s ‘all of the above’ approach which includes alternative energy, additional offshore oil drilling, and safe nuclear power,” wrote spokesman Tucker Bounds.

Evan Bayh, the native son widely considered to be a frontrunner to join Obama on the ticket, introduced the Illinois senator at the town hall. But besides Bayh’s presence, Obama gave no indication that he’s leaning towards picking the former Hillary Clinton supporter.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Sacto Joe

    Somebody needs to check Senator McCain's pressure. I think he's getting low on hot air....

    August 6, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Scott

    Mc Cain and his lies, Obama and his disingenous statements. One utters lies every 100 words, and the other tells what he thinks each audience wants to hear.

    Sen. Mc Cain will say or do anything to get to the post he thinks he is "entitled" to. The other one goes to Europe and acts as though he was already elected.

    Am I the only one listening to these two? They are two sides of the same coin, just like the other 537 pols. in Washington....

    August 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Tom in VA

    Why are we hearing way more from Tucker Bounds than from John McCain? And what kind of name is "Tucker Bounds"?

    August 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Mark

    MCain's campaign thought they were so clever when they had tire guages made that said "Obama's Energy Plan" on them. They probably had a good laugh over that one. Unfortunately, the jokes on you, McCain. Check out these numbers-

    The Bush Administration estimates that offshore drilling could produce up to 200,000 barrels of oil a day by about 2030. The problem is, we use over 20 million barrels of oil per day. That means that offshore drilling could eventually offset 1% of our total oil usage, and not until decades from now.

    On the other hand, experts estimate that properly inflating your tires could increase fuel economy by an average of 3%. They say that getting a regular tune-up could increase fuel aconomy another 4%. So laugh it up, Johnny. Your unwise drill-happy plan only helps offset 1% of our usage. Obama's simple comment about inflating tires, which you got such a good laugh out of, was seven times more effective…

    Of course you will backtrack now, and spin this to say that inflating your tires is a good idea. Hindsight is 20/20 buddy… But I bet you wish you hadn't had all of those tire guages made… makes you look pretty dumb right about now.

    August 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. jf

    Has anyone else noticed that Obama is taking McCain's policies and paraphasing them so they "sound better" just like he did to Hillary?

    Hey 110th congress, I want a vote!!!

    August 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Mark

    fella from Chicago-

    There are statistics available which show how much money Republicans have received from Big Oil vs. how much Dems have received. Republicans have received 74% of the Big Oil contribution money, while Dems received 26%. They both are accepting Big Oil money, but you tell me who is more beholden to the oil companies?

    August 6, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Bob

    The real difference between the two energy policies is that Obama's is consistent with his plan to reduce greenhouse emissions, whereas McCain's works against his plan to reduce greenhouse emissions. McCain separated himself from most republicans by listening to science and working to flight global climate change, but now it seems that he has made another flip-flop. Obama needs to point this out.

    August 6, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Big Fee

    I wonder if all these McCain and Hillary supporters watch Free Speech TV or just watch mainstream news networks? Both candidates make good points but niether of the two could describe in laymans terms how they would come to any conclusions on important issues, but Obama speaks plain english and a 5yr old can understand where he is coming from and how we can do better as Americans. last of all almost every candidate has supported maybe 75% of the resolution and disagreed with the last 25% its called politics and thats why it takes more than 1 person to do the job.

    August 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Mike

    "The Obama camp acknowledges there's still work to do. Campaign officials say introducing Obama is the key idea in making voters feel comfortable with him."
    Why after intriduction, re-intriduction, re-re-itriduction by Obama's camp, American people still feel not comfortable with him? May be he is the wrong guy to begin with.

    August 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Steve/Houston,TX for Obama

    vb August 6th, 2008 5:08 pm ET

    John McCain has received 2 million Dollars from Oil Lobbyists in the past. No wonder he supports off shore drilling, more profits for the oil companies
    Kinda reminds me of Cheney. Supporting causes that would put more money in their pockets! More of the same politics with John McCain!!! No thank you!

    August 6, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Dan

    There is no such things as SAFE NUCLEAR POWER. i live in the Pac NW near the Hanford "Cleanup Site" Don't let your homes be contaminated by nuclear waste! please start conserving! we would need less oil if we conserved it and used it less!

    August 6, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. elizabeth martin

    the future debate will be intere4sting to watch

    August 6, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. Peter E

    Indeed it will be McCain vs. McCain debate... Obama has compromised so much on his positions that there really isn't any difference between the two men anymore.

    August 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. Peter E

    Well, considering we've started growing weary of the Obama vs. Obama debates it is time hear something else...

    August 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Peter E

    Yes, we're all looking forward to McCain disagreeing with himself... I mean Obama's reversal on every issue and his arguments against himself have become a little bit too common, too every-day.

    August 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. annie

    It will be just like the debates with Hillary. They will ask her the tough questions first. Then ask obaama and he will say "I agree with what she (now it will be he) said." The thing obama is a puppet on a string with no thoughts or plans of his own. Only thing he knows is what is campaign tells him. How can he debate without a telepromter? By the time he stutters and stammers for ever, the debate will be over.

    August 6, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Ron democrat turned independent

    you want to hear something really funny. obama wants to spend billions of dollars to do what t boone pickens and other private sector investors are already doing. he wants to do the same thing with the auto industry, spend billions of dollars to produce a alternate fuel vehicle, while the industry is breaking their behinds to accomplish the same thing at no cost to the public. real good economic strategy. for profit colleges and universities are registering record profits, sen. obama's answer to that is not ask them to lower tuition's, but to give them more profits by paying the students tuition. good sound economics right

    August 6, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  18. gary


    August 6, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. MCain vs Mcain

    Obama Camp listen:

    Start a commecial campaign showing clips of the flip flops of Mccain and then end it with. " If Mccain wants a debate with Barack, he should stop debating with himself" how can you trust a leader who cannot make a decision.

    I hope this is where they are going with this.......Go get 'emObama-08

    August 6, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  20. Rebate from Obama?

    No, I don't like the idea of high gasoline prices, but am not sure that increasing taxes or giving people rebates from the oil companies is the solution. How can we "cherry pick" which enterprise is going to be taxed just because they have huge profits. Will the government then give those big money making corporations money back when they have bad years too? I say let's take Obama's big "cash cow" fundraising campaign bank account and give a rebate to ALL of us rather than giving that money to advertisers to pay for very expensive prime time tv, radio, newspaper, flyers, etc.

    August 6, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. Jim

    Obama accepts oil company money. It comes from the CEO's and the Unions. Oh yah, and the Democratic Party which accepts it, then funnels it to Obama. He want to call himself the party leader. The jokes on him, or rather the joke is him.

    August 6, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. DS

    The biggest reason I might not vote for Obama is the sheer hubris and obnoxiousness of Obama supporters. CHILL YOU IDIOTS. God you people are clueless clowns serving only to damage the message of Obama.

    August 6, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    mcWAR is preparing another surge this time on the economy. But unfortunately it needs a totally new generation of h-tech fighter planes
    and since mcSAME is computer illiterate the task will be too difficult if not impossible for him. As if this is not enough he admits he knows nothing in economics.

    August 6, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Dave, Illinois

    The Obamites continue to lie about McCain's oil related contributors. The real figure is $1.3 million. What about the near $500,000 the Obama campaign received? Oh yeah, thats a technicality. Obama is a dirty Chicago politician and his followers sheep!

    August 6, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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