September 26th, 2008
10:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Who played Obama in McCain's debate prep?

Rob Portman played the part of Obama in McCain's debate prep.

Rob Portman played the part of Obama in McCain's debate prep.

OXFORD, Mississippi (CNN) - After days and days of denials that they had anyone playing Obama in debate prep sessions, two McCain campaign aides admitted to CNN they were using a stand-in for the Democratic nominee: former GOP congressman and OMB director Rob Portman.

Portman has been playing Obama in mock debates, including a two-hour session Thursday night in McCain's Virginia apartment, and one at an Oxford high school hours before tonight's debate.

Ironically, in 2000, Portman played Joe Lieberman in mock debates for then VP candidate Dick Cheney.

Now Lieberman is a close friend and supporter of McCain's, and a regular on the road with him.

soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Donald of ORANGE COUNTY

    IT DIDNT HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 27, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  2. White Mother for Obama!!

    McCain was lying up there... I caught him many times!!

    He wants war war war... war in Iraq, war in Iran, War in Afgan, War in Pakistan, War in Georgia... where else?? OH YEAH... now problems with SPAIN??

    Obama has a plan... his plan cannot be done all at once. Just because he has all these issues at hand he wants to put into process that is going to cost money doesnt mean he is going to just jump and put it all in all at once. GET REAL PEOPLE... be LOGIC here!! But his plans are BETTER than McCains

    Financial Advisors have even said... JUST earmark cuts will not help at all... it wont even put a dent. And Earmarks for Obama, it is for the WHOLE state of Illinois which has Chicago a huge City... and I am sure it went to good use. He has said, its itemized and listed for all to see on a website. So its not like it went to nowhere. That is what the Government has set up to help states get EXTRA funding for certain Projects!! BUT there are others in GOVERNMENT that like to have the excess spending for THEMSELVES, for PERSONAL things!!

    I believe we need a tax break!! We make a paycheck for 2 weeks of over a certain amount and taxes take out over HALF of our check!!! Tell me that is right!!! I would like to keep more of my money!!

    Taxing businesses... these business CEOs are pocketing so much money you would not believe it... and then they retire with these HEFTY packages in the MILLIONS of dollars!! I could live the rest of my life without working for a ONE Million!! These guys are already millions rich and get a multi million dollar retirement package... WHILE the workers of their companies get MINIMUM PAY!!

    Liberal doesnt matter to me... CHOICES matter to me... McCains Choices vs Obama has been wrong time and time again. Just like his stupid suspension of his campaign and nominating Palin as his VP running mate LOL

    Lobbyist need to stop and it wont stop with McCain while he is keeping them in his pockets!!

    Did you know on a poll I saw... Majority of those making over 100,000 were more for McCain and those making less for Obama???? WONDER WHY??? because these Lobbyist and Big Spenders and CEOs want McCain to help keep money in their pockets!! While the rest of us little people go broke!! Let the rich prosper and buy more houses now they are cheap because US LITTLE PEOPLE are losing them!!!!

    September 27, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  3. USAF Staff Sergeant

    I wonder if McCain had problems looking at Portman during these mock debates... since he sure was too intimidated to look Obama in the eye at all during the debate.

    September 27, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  4. JASON


    September 27, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  5. McCain is too old

    Who cares? McCain is an OLD MAN. Vote the future of our Obama.

    September 27, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |

    G -–R---E----A---–T------------JO B---

    C O N S I D E R I N G---M C C A I N---–F L E W-----

    F R O M----D C----M I N U T E S---–B 4 --–D E B A T E

    September 27, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  7. Kate Fergus

    Well, does this surprise anyone? More lies.

    He also ran an ad that stated "McCain wins Debate" BEFORE he agreed to come to Mississippi to debate.

    Will he ever stop the lying??? McShame!!

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  8. Tim

    Shouldve practiced more because McCain clearly lost big time on his best subject.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  9. johndavis

    How sad for them to do that.

    September 27, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  10. Mike G

    Is there anything McShame DOESN'T lie about?!?

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  11. David - Va

    Someone forgot to hand McCain a FLAGPIN!

    Prepared to lead! I think NOT!

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  12. meee

    CNN Quick Vote
    Who fared better in the first presidential debate?
    Sen. John McCain 27% 33453
    Sen. Barack Obama 67% 81556
    Neither 6% 6821

    September 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  13. Whats left in your wallet?

    Portman, a pround member of the Reich Wing.

    September 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  14. Whats left in your wallet?

    Portman, a proud member of the Reich Wing.

    September 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  15. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Lieberman would have been a lot better running mate for you than Caribou Barbie, but your stuck now, so along with "suspending your campaign" as a publicity stunt, GREAT DECISION!

    September 27, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  16. Bill

    McCain with his lies could not lokk in obamas eyes.

    He acted like a clown, not presidential at all.

    Obama 1 McCain 0

    Give it to him Obama!

    September 27, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  17. Tracy

    Another lie!

    September 27, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  18. S. Boatman

    Did He Look At You During The Prep?

    September 27, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  19. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Oh, and did anyone notice that the more McCain lied, the faster he blinked his eyes???

    September 27, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  20. dan auger

    I respect McCain as a patriot; however, let's face it...even John agrees that the administration has led the US into the turmoil we are in today; add to the fact that McCain is so focused on continuing the fight in Iraq, it's clear that if he gets elected we are no better than where we are is definately time to see where the other candidate can take us, and hey, let's face it....if he doesn't cut it, we vote him out in 2012.

    Like I said, we can't get much worse.

    September 27, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  21. Lyndon

    The fact that they rehearsed for the debate Thursday night signaled that McCain had probably intended to go to the debate in the first place, and that his decision to "suspend" his campaign as a show of bipartisanship is an absolute farce.

    September 27, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  22. FL4OB

    What–the McCain campaign has been lying again? Sorry to say I'm not surprised.

    Thanks, but no thanks

    September 27, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  23. Marc PDX

    But who did Obama's team use to play McCain? (My guess is it was Joe Biden.)

    September 27, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  24. Baze

    it doesn't matter who played obama, mccain doesn't care. he'll just say that his opponent doesn't get it, he'll go over his time allowed to speak, resort to stump speeches, harp about his experience, and basically put everyone to sleep. McCain is ready to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, not the POTUS.

    September 27, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  25. RM

    McCain scares me.
    Stop wasteful spending, but war war war!

    So lets have some straight talk:..........Talk to Palin about my foreign policy stance.

    September 27, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
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