August 8th, 2008
02:35 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain visits the Iowa State Fair

McCain visited this giant hog, 'Freight Train', while touring the Iowa State Fair Swine Barn.
McCain visited this giant hog, 'Freight Train', while touring the Iowa State Fair Swine Barn.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – There were the familiar deep-fried candy bars, the colorful booths selling meats-on-sticks, and two hogs that weighed in at more than half a ton. But unlike the 2007 Iowa State Fair, which featured a posse of presidential hopefuls hunting for votes around nearly every corner, this year's event only saw one: John McCain.

The soon-to-be GOP nominee arrived in at the fair late Friday morning and first marched to one of his "favorite spots to visit in this whole fair," the vast and malodorous Swine Barn, where he observed "Freight Train," a champion Yorkshire boar from Webster City that weighs 1,259 pounds. The hog slept through McCain's visit.

McCain shook hands with Iowans and moved on to the fabled soapbox area of the fair grounds, a humble patch of grass surrounded by hay bales that's reserved for politicians, but which didn't actually feature a soapbox.

"This is what America is all about," he said. "This is the people I want to know and meet. And when the rigors of a presidential campaign, people talk about it, I get a chance to come here and meet and greet the real America. The people that are providing products all over this world, all over the world."

McCain's week has been built around similarly picturesque events that conjure Americana: he spoke at a massive biker rally in South Dakota on Monday, attended college football practice in West Virginia on Wednesday, and held a town hall meeting in Ohio on Thursday, during which he repeatedly praised the fortitude and optimism of the nation's heartland.

At the state fair, where corn takes center stage, McCain re-iterated his long-standing opposition to ethanol subsidies. But he did promise to "make sure that every market in the world is open to your products," taking time to heap praise on the state's pork industry.

"This agricultural products in the state of Iowa can feed the world and we're not afraid to compete with anybody in the world, my friends," he said.

McCain said we are facing an "energy crisis" and touted his plans for expanding nuclear energy and allowing offshore oil drilling, a pair of proposals that earned him loud applause from onlookers.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Even the Pig thinks McBush is boring.

    August 8, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. s

    Even hogs don't get excited by McCain!

    August 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Jeff Brown

    Stay there John!

    August 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Great picture of McBush.... he finally took off the stupid baseball cap!

    August 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Rocky

    Looks like McCain even made the pig fall asleep.

    August 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Ratgurl

    'McCain said we are facing an "energy crisis" and touted his plans for expanding nuclear energy and allowing offshore oil drilling, a pair of proposals that earned him loud applause from onlookers.'

    I'm sure all of the applause came from NIMBY's (Not In My Back Yard) who are plenty okay with nuclear energy & oil drilling, as long as it's nowhere near where they live.

    Ahhh, the American dream!

    August 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Connie, Tennessee

    What a hypocrite!!

    August 8, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Ok

    Has anyone noticed that while Obama schedules events and record numbers of people come to see just him, McSame just goes to places that people aren't expecting to see him like Sturgis and now the fair. Wow McBush just steals other people's and group's thunder. O and its ironic that they show a pig in the picture

    August 8, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. John

    yes but we here in Iowa don't want you John McCain. I'm a family farmer and have to work a second job to make ends meet we never used to have to do that, and its because of the failed policies of the GOP and John McCain you were part of that so don't come here to Iowa expecting us to vote for you. We want change, Barack will help us you won't. Obama 08

    August 8, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Ken

    I know McCain is ugly, but that picture doesn't do him any justice.

    August 8, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. MLH

    Okay, the title of the piece and the picture are pretty funny, taken together.

    August 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. Amber

    Aweee...look at the pig. He's too cute.

    August 8, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Mark Webb

    A pig takes a nap at the Iowa State Fair Friday!!!
    How about McFossill, did he take any break????

    August 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Truely a Democrat

    I'll take the pig over McSame anyday!!!

    August 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Old Mc Cain had a farm, eieio......

    August 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Ben

    I'm interested in the choice of photo for the headline about McCain visiting the Iowa Fair. While the two headlines about Obama have pictures of Obama, and the Cheney headline has a picture of Cheney, the McCain headline has a picture of a sleeping pig. Hilarious! Love it!

    August 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Charlie

    All who talk about failed economic policies should look back to the year 2001 thru 2006 and then look at 2006 thru 2008. You might be surprised with the differences once Congress changed hands.

    August 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Debby

    Perfect picture of what an Obama Presidency will be like. LOL

    August 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Think about it

    "The real America", as opposed to the rest of us faux-Americans. Thanks for the insult, Mcjerk

    August 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. cph9680

    How appropriate...
    There's an article about John McCain with a picture of a sleeping pig!
    Just about sums that man up. Way to go CNN

    August 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Andy in Charlotte, NC

    Hilarious!! I love the title and picture combo. Another image an old, white-haired dude for Paris's ad?

    August 8, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. Dean in Florida

    I didn't know Bill Clinton was in Iowa?

    August 8, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Darren

    This is interesting, because I just saw a McCain ad criticizing that 3 million in tax dollars went toward studying the DNA of bears. Correct me if I'm wrong, but DNA research is beneficial to agri-business, at least indirectly.

    August 8, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. seeing the truth

    wow toooo easy.. who is really running the McCain camp?EXXON/MCCAIN...how many lobbyist have their hands in the puppet?

    August 8, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. jason

    looks like mccain!!!

    August 8, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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