August 8th, 2008
02:35 PM ET
10 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. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    It sad when you can put a HOG to sleep, the Hog look like he is saying "I can't listen to this anymore.

    August 8, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. john

    What is the difference between a McCain and Edwards, they all cheated on their wifes...but one is running for president whilst the other is not.

    August 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. America for Obama

    ... he's in good company with the swine.

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

    That pig reminds me of the pork barrel Democratic congress. McCain needs to do what Harry Truman did in 1948 and run against an obstructive congress. Nancy Pelosi is making it easy for him with her unwillingness to let any energy vote come to the floor while people are hurting at the pump.

    August 8, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Debbie, Illinois

    Having yet to post any of my posts concerning Edwards.

    I there ANY candidate, running for President now who hasn't had an affair on his wife?

    What a bunch of honorable, family value, moral men we have running.

    August 8, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Brian

    Biker Rally, Iowa State Fair, what's next a Punk Rock concert? I guess we're all McCain's "friends", too bad he won't find friends in Iowa in this election. We've grown tired of the GOP in Iowa.

    Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    August 8, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Rebublican for Obama!

    I bet the pig can lead better than McCrap!!

    August 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Buckeye12

    Wow is this an article on McCain!!? The liberal media is always so busy covering Obama, and not because he's more news worthy as you democrats claim, but because they want him in office like all other dems. The media makes everything that Obama touches seem like gold, and everything McCain touches seem outrageous (and not in a good way).

    August 8, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Ken Pittsburgh

    John McCain next to a picture of a resting pig think of the caption possiblies

    August 8, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Ross in MD

    Ha, even the hog slept through McCain's speech.

    Q: How do you know you're boring?
    A: Barn animals fall asleep during your speeches.

    August 8, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Ben - Portland, Or

    This guy's a looser, plain & simple. The republican's offered him up just like they offered up Dole when Clinton ran for re-election. However, McCain has allowed his people to stoop far lower than even Rove and Bush did. Instead of saying the "right" thing "Barack Obama is not the ANTI CHRIST", they've put out an ad encouraging it.

    Obama continues to stay on message. His ads and speaches focus on his plans for the future. His crowds turn out in record numbers. McCain, on the other hand, shows up where a crowd has already been manufactured and he slams his opponent. This reveals his desperation and lack of integrety. I'm glat the good people of Iowa are smarter than he thinks they are.

    August 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Laughter!

    And the hog says, 'Oh John, it's you. I'll sleep this one out". From one "bore" to another.

    August 8, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Shari, NY

    "Barack Obama does nothing but hide from the American people and from the media as much as possible" says one poster. So why are so many people suppposedly sick of seeing or hearing him? By the way, you can't be everywhere all the time.

    August 8, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. PG


    August 8, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. McCain:SmallWeakCowardlyMan OffersMoreOfTheSame TearsOthersDownToBuildHimselfUp

    Thanks for the best picture of McCain napping yet! Now with Mr. Obama off the pages we can focus on more of the slop and grunt Grampy and his pig sty have to offer the nation.

    August 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. matt

    mccsame was in a cage in the sideshow growling and barking like in nam

    August 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. anonymous

    This is the kind of thing that a president should be doing, addressing the backbone of the country. Obama is so far out of touch with reality it's not even funny.

    August 8, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Internet Argument Winner


    Move the pic off of photobucket pls, I can't see it at work grrr.

    August 8, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. A CANUCK


    August 8, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Not sleeping at the switch

    Someone needs to tell McCain that WE have moved onto the INTERNET (S) and THAT is what it is all about. Not the County fair soap box. Now wonder he is so stuck in the past. then again... The MSM keep trumpeting EVERY thing he does everyday EXCEPT his Daily Gaffs

    August 8, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. kcmookie

    I am surprised McCain didn't start talking about how much he enjoy s beef, you know, pandering for the pig vote....

    August 8, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Frank

    McCain in the Swine Barn.

    Makes sense, given the kind of campaign he is running.

    August 8, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. jAY

    McCain is so jealous that he Must hunt around for crowds like here & Harley affair. Keep focusing the gaffs are coming

    August 8, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. Marnie, ME

    John McCain going to the fair is pretty appropriate since McCain is acting like a pig. The only difference is, the pig smells better.

    August 8, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Claudia, NM

    The Farmer in the Dell:

    First we had the cheese, now we have the ham.


    August 8, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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