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. MEDIA - DO YOUR JOB

    C'mmon CNN , I JUST SAW TEH MCCAIN ADD ON YOUR WEB PAGE AND IM SURE WHEN YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT IT IN YOUR NIGHT SHOWS, U;RE GONNA OFFER THE SAME OL' "HEAR D CANDIDATES IN THEIR WORDS , YOU JUDGE FOR YOURSELF" OK, WE DO THAT ALREADY BUT CAN YOU CALL THE CANDIDATES OUT WHEN THEY'RE LYING, SERIOSULY, THAT IS YOUR JOB...DO IT INSTEAD OF JUST "PRETENDING" TO BE UNBIASED AND STAYING ON THE SIDELINES. EVEN IF ITS OBAMA, CALL HIM OUT, AS LONG AS ITS EQUAL AND TO BE HONEST. THIS MCCAIN'S AD IS ALL BULL AND ITS ALL BIAS IF YOU DONT CALL HIM OUT..."OBAMA RAISING TAXES ON PEOPLE WITH $42000 INCOME...COMMON THAT IS JUST AN OUTRIGHT LIE. MCCAIN HAS BEEN A GETTING A FREE RIDE FOR TOO LONG..COMMON MEDIA...DO YOUR JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Funny McCain doesn't mention the "beer" provided "all over the world". Oh I forgot, that's an exemption.

    August 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Aaron

    McCain loves pigs. Elect him, and all the big business hogs will be invited to White House sty to roll around in your tax dollars. Now if we can get a photo of McCain with that "fat cat" that was in the news recently, we'll have the total picture of a McCain presidency.

    August 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. cmoore

    Obama in the clown dunking booth would have been much more exciting!

    August 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Ll

    So, folks who do not attend town fairs and bike rides are not the 'real americans'? Those who are too busy working, planing, trying to help others find a better way... you are not reaching out to them. Guess you can't keep up with the real 'real Americans'.

    August 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Didn't this "my friends" crap go away with used car salesmen in the 1940s?

    August 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. RJ

    Obama on vacation?

    August 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. LYNETTE IN CA

    If he can't bring the crowds to where he is, he'll go find one!!! LOL

    OBAMA '08

    August 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. DR. YES

    after sturgis,i think john should quit crashing other people's parties.they are trying to celebrate ,in iowa.why politicize it?obama is winning there ,anyway.

    August 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. ben

    Have any of you hate and name calling bloggers ever met McCain? Have you ever so mush as touched his hand in a freindly handshake?
    The same goes for you angry people who write terrible things about Obama. You have no idea what the person you hate so much is really like. As a qualified physcologist (I am not really but it sounds important) I say your anger and hate springs from a total lack of your ability to compete on an intelectual level so you scream out this hate nonsense to see your name in print. If it is stupid enough and off the wall, CNN will probaly print it.

    August 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. faye, NV

    The pig tells the whole story, auk auk oooooooooooooo good night.
    To boring for me.

    August 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. Dan , TX

    The Russians are reestablishing the Soviet Union while we are focused on the Olympics and John Edwards. Give me a break! We need to get out of Iraq now. We need to get Ukraine into NATO ASAP.

    Germans invaded Poland and the world just watched it happen. Now the Russians invade Georgia. This can not stand!

    August 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. NotFallingInLine.org

    Call John McCain whatever you like, but he is meeting real Americans on a daily basis.

    Barack Obama does nothing but hide from the American people and from the media as much as possible.

    Had it not been for the invention of the teleprompter, Barack Obama would have nothing coherent to say... "uh, uh, uh... ah. uh, uh..."

    Give me a break.

    Knoxville

    August 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Mr Republican

    McCain may need those farm animals to get him elected

    August 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Got out of Ohio just in time, before he was exposed by the Obama campaign for his complicity in the whole DHL thing. Better keep moving McCain.......the minute you slow down, people might start taking a serious look at that record of yours.

    August 8, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    John McCain does well among bikers and carnies.

    August 8, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Puffin

    "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.
    _____

    Why would we be AFRAID to compete with corn? What is McCain talking about?

    August 8, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. mayahh

    Mcshame will need a ride back on this FRIEGHT TRAIN after nov. OBAMA 08

    August 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. anonymous

    WAY TO GO MCCAIN YOU MAKE THE PIGS SLEEP. I THINK ITS GREAT. THEY EVEN FEEL COMFTABLE WITH YOU. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

    August 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. demwit

    Boy!! Al Gore is really starting to pork out now...

    August 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Cheryl

    Hey quit dissing McCain! 200,000 pigs showed up to hear his speech at the Iowa State fair.

    August 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. gene

    Wow... what a great picture of McCain.. he's looking much healthier. Oh wait! That's the hog at the state fair :)

    August 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Go John–keep to the issues and facts. After all most of those are a matter of public record.
    Oh..and don't let the DHL thing get you down–most of us realize that the biz world has changed a lot since 2003 when you promoted this deal–rising fuel costs, natural industry consolidation–and now actual contraction–could not be predicted. We all know that despite Obama's jibes.

    A lot of us–including Freight train--are with you buddy!!

    August 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. JW

    I am certainly not voting for McCain, but not subsidizing corn-based ethanol is one issue on which we agree.

    Corn is probably the WORST source for ethonol and biofuel. It requires large amounts of energy, water, pesticides and fertilizers to produce.

    Shifting government subsidies from oil corporations to agri-corporations will simply create new problems and put our independence in the hands of other corporations.

    We are not truly free until our government ends corporate welfare.

    August 8, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Tim E

    McCain " marched to one of "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."
    *********
    Somehow neither surprises me.

    August 8, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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