September 4th, 2008
11:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Schneider: McCain makes a bid to appeal to all sides

ST. PAUL (CNN) - When McCain talks about change, he talks about changing Washington – when the Democrats talk about change, they’re talking about changing the way things are going in the country.

It’s amazing how much animus there is against public education in this audience. That’s a controversial position – popular with this crowd, but not necessarily the country at large.

He follows that with a universally popular theme: stop giving money to countries that don’t like us. This is something that goes way beyond partisanship.

Finally, an oblique reference to his stand on an issue that’s popular outside the convention hall: global warming, where he parts ways with his party.

One thing interesting about this speech – he’s not talking much at all about social issues – a brief reference to his support for life, no talk of gay issues, a brief reference to judges that don’t legislate from the bench, but no extended focus on social issues. It’s not the core of his agenda.

McCain’s very aggressive response to the war in Georgia worried a lot of people; now he’s going out of his way to say he doesn’t want another Cold War. The worry: McCain is a neocon, with neocon advisers. He’s trying to address that now.

There’s a debate in the foreign policy community about whether he’s a realist, a neocon – or a bit of both.

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Gracie






    September 5, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  2. Liza

    How can people on this post condemn others with different views to "hell"
    "HELL" is a concept and some people are suffering and living through it daily.
    perhaps with better health care, jobs, prosperity and YES-HOPE- we can get through this TOGETHER...
    what I LOVE about Obama is the refusal to use name calling and scare tactics to win , he is offering an option and a solution. WAKE UP.
    the big money does not care about you. You are seeing the facade.
    To attack his wife and his place of faith is ridiculous and an obvious outcome of reading too much of the "left wing media" as you so call it.
    I just wish we could do as Obama says and see ourselves as one country with common goals and with talent and combined effort we can all prosper and yes remain safe!!
    GO for the higher ground, if you really are a Christian

    September 5, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  3. Chris

    I can never vote for Obama because of his support of abortion, gay marriage, and socialistic (communistic) governing.

    McCain / Palin '08!!!......All the way!!! Buya...!!!!

    September 5, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  4. Jennifer

    Funny that the Dems are campaigning for peace, however they can't even let the Republicans have their night without causing trouble, just shows you that all you care about is winning this election & contridicting yourselves in the process, sad you have let the media & press dictate who your voting for, you have to ask why is the press push so hard for Obama what is in it for them & how are we going to pay.

    September 5, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  5. dmarie

    Liberalism is a Mental Disorder – Michael Savage

    Check it out, you'll understand!

    McCain – Palin '08!!!!!!!!


    September 5, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  6. Nina-Florida

    I saw nothing about the RNC that would make me believe that Johm McCain-Palin will be reaching out to anyone other than people who look just like them. All I saw was a lot of white people. Speakers, those in attendance! It was really unnerveing. If McCain is elected, it will be the first time that I am NO PROUD OF MY COUNTRY!

    September 5, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  7. J-F Tremblay, Alma, Qc,Canada

    McCain has said, and I quote: Obama's plan will '... force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor."
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I am a 41 years old Canadian and I can swear that I have NEVER EVER seen a bureaucrat between me and my doctor (or any doctor that I have consulted). This is another exemple of an outrageous LIE by John McCain and typical of republicain fearmongering. The Republicans will take your country into the ground. GET RID of them!!!

    French Canadian Observer

    September 5, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  8. Michael; Michigan

    As a neolib that is a moderate I can look at both sides without bias that some of my fellow Libs clearly have. Obama has promised me everything under the sun but fails to explain exactly how he is going to pay for it. McCain promises only what he can deliver, some of which I've found lacking.

    I guess the meat of the question is are we going to stand aside and let Russia retake territory that succeeded from them after the cold war. Do we abandon countries that are helping the fight on terror or do we commit to help those would be crushed under tyranny?

    In a world where it would seem that we have few friends we would be stupid to deny them help.

    September 5, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  9. anylove, Ron Anderson

    I think john mccain has lost his mind he said obama was not able to lead but sarah palin is Wow. now that we have seen both guys it is clear to me that john mccain is not the one to lead this country. he said a month ago that he doesnt even know how to use a computer, now that is ensane to me. his running mate is only attacking not talking about the issues and thats really sad. oh yeah fox news fair and balance Wow to that just call them bushes right hands.

    September 5, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  10. Voting Obama



    WOMEN FOR OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  11. El Queso Grande

    I can tell from these comments that it's clearly time to move the voting age from 18 to 35, or maybe even 40.

    You kids have no idea what you're talking about. Get some life experience, a family, a mortgage and have the government steal half of your earnings to redistribute to lazy deadbeats of the government's choosing... do all that and then get back with me about how Obama is going to do "great things." Please tell me... how is stealing what I have worked for and sacrificed for going to make me better off?

    September 5, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  12. ben

    Has anyone noticed than when McCain lowers his arms they drop so fast
    they bounce back off his hips? I am no doctor, and I am not trying to make fun of this good man. But it looks to me like he has lost muscle
    control on both arms.

    September 5, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  13. lito

    how many years in a row are the republicans going to keep saying we are winning in a iraq. it seems like every election year we are some how winning in iraq. I sincerely don't understand how republicans keep trying to deceive the american people just so they can stay in power. it is sad and just plain wrong to keep telling the american people that there is victory and if you elect the other party we will lose the war. im fed up with the bull. someone needs to hand lyndsy a gun and send him to war and see how long he supports it then. WARMONGREL

    September 5, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  14. You know its true

    Please....McCain is only appealing to the same old fear and prejudice crowd. You know the ones who hide behind talk radio fools that spout off about their fears...You may recognize them often as the time fat, puffy, old short know the Glen Becks, Bill Handles and Rush Limbaugh crowd. The ones with closet addictions who by the grace of their pigment have overcome and given opportunity in the great country of ours at the expense of the deserving... Oh yeah, don't forget the bottle blonds with the heavy age defying make-up....LOL

    September 5, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  15. Steve Iowa

    I guess the republican message is only the Republicans can fix the mess that the Republicans made. His speech was like a confessional of how badly the Republicans have weakened this country.

    This just in .. if you don't vote republican, bin laden will blow up your small towns!!! Tell us more about the war grandpa McCain.... How does this help me find a job?

    September 5, 2008 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  16. Lune


    September 5, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  17. Independent99999

    Most boring speech of the season.
    How is he qualified to be commander-in-chief if he cannot even address the nation without putting most of them to SLEEP?

    September 5, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  18. Tom

    wake up people and smell the coffee!!!!!!! Oh but wait a minute go ahead an elect McCain/Palin and maybe you'll have a new tax on that coffee, at the end of 2009 . And you will still be drinking that coffee outside because you can't afford a house or it has been taken away. Things have to change and another 4 is not going to do it use your head when you vote. Then maybe you can drink your coffee on your SOFA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  19. Camille



    September 5, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  20. Griff

    Why do I bother CNN? You have just answered my question

    September 5, 2008 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  21. Hot Rod


    SHE--–IS----A----J--O--K-E !!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  22. Lisa S - St. Louis MO

    I thought the speech was way too long with very little specifics about policies; however, I did find his personal journey compelling (it was more detailed than I had heard before). He is truly an American hero and seemed to tear up at times during his speech which leads me to believe that he really thinks that he would take the country in the right direction (I just happen to disagree).

    I also thought that the last part of his speech where he said that both Repubs & Dems need to change was gutsy in that Bush-loving audience and his "Fight with me!!" mantra was the most stirring part of his speech.

    Overall, I would give it a C- and it did not move me to vote for him, but I will acknowledge that he is an extraordinary man and I thank him for his sacrifice for thsi country.

    September 5, 2008 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  23. Peter (CA)

    John McCain should be thanked for his service to his country BUT he is NOT what this country stands for. We do not stand for aggression around the world, we do not stand for allowing extremists to write policy, and we do not stand for allowing the corporations to run this country and leaving the citizens behind.

    McCain has lost his maverick status and become one of the elitist Republicans. They created most of this mess; they have no idea how to fix it. The Republicans now talk about "change"-what change are you talking about when McCain votes with Bush over 90% of the time?

    Obama has a vision for this country and he is the candidate to lead us there. It is plain to see if you haven't drunk the Kool-Aid. And to keep bringing up the lies about Obama being unpatriotic or a terrorist shows nothing but ignorance.

    September 5, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  24. Carl from MI





    September 5, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  25. Democrates for McCain / Palin

    Palin / McCain go go go !

    McCain really meant to bring CHANGE to Washington. He is doing, not just Talking!

    September 5, 2008 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
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