October 21st, 2008
02:20 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain: Obama's flip-flopped on the Phillies

Sen. McCain accused Sen. Obama of flip-flopping . . . about baseball at a campaign event in Pennsylvania Tuesday.
Sen. McCain accused Sen. Obama of flip-flopping . . . about baseball at a campaign event in Pennsylvania Tuesday.

(CNN) - Fighting for a Pennsylvania victory his campaign has called critical, John McCain accused Barack Obama of flip-flopping on his support for the hometown Philadelphia Phillies.

“I heard that Senator Obama was showing some love to the Rays down in Tampa Bay yesterday,” McCain told a Bensalem, Pennsylvania crowd Tuesday to a chorus of boos. “Now, I'm not dumb enough to get mixed up in a World Series between swing states, but I think I may have detected a little pattern with Senator Obama. It's pretty simple really. When he's campaigning in Philadelphia, he roots for the Phillies, and when he's campaigning in Tampa Bay, he shows love to the Rays. It's kind of like the way he campaigns on tax cuts, but then votes for tax increases after he's elected. Or the way he says he backs the middle class and then goes and attacks Joe the Plumber after he's asked a tough question. What’s that all about?”

On Monday, half a dozen members of the Tampa Bay Rays - pitchers David Price and Edwin Jackson, outfielders Jonny Gomes, Fernando Perez and Carl Crawford, and designated hitter Cliff Floyd - endorsed Barack Obama at a Florida event. “I want to just make the point I’ve said from the beginning that I am a unity candidate, bringing people together,” Obama told the crowd. “So when you see a White Sox fan showing love to the Rays, and the Rays showing some love back, you know we’re on to something right here.” A spokesman later said he was being polite, “saying nice things about the members of the team that came out to support him.”

Earlier this month, Obama told a Philadelphia radio station with the elimination of his own Chicago White Sox, he was pulling for the Phillies because his campaign manager David Plouffe "is a huge Phillies fan."

McCain, an Arizona Diamondbacks fan, may be remaining neutral this October — but he doesn’t have to look far for another politician whose baseball loyalties may seem a bit murky during playoff season: running mate Sarah Palin has used a variation of the same line to rouse fans in at least three battleground states this month.

Two weeks ago, at appearances in Jacksonville and Clearwater, Florida, the St. Petersburg Times said Sarah Palin “was all about the Tampa Bay Rays.”

"You know what that tells me, it tells me that the people in this area know a little something about turning an underdog into a victor," Palin told the crowd. "And we're counting on you to help us do that November 4." The Times later said she “might as well have pulled on a Rays jersey and sprayed the crowd with champagne and beer.”

But in Salem, New Hampshire one week later, Palin paid tribute to the Rays’ American League foes. “New Hampshire, I gotta tell ya, I am looking forward to the debate tonight right here in Red Sox Nation,” she said. “We’re just 20 days out from the election and it’s gonna come right down to the wire, and we’re counting on you because Red Sox fans know how to turn an underdog into a victor, and that’s exactly what you can help us do on November 4!”

So does that mean Palin’s backing the AL this year? Not necessarily.

Over the weekend, she used the same line in front of a Pennsylvania crowd.

“It's so great to be here in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. Good to be here in the home of the Lancaster Barnstormers,” she said at a Lancaster, Pennsylvania campaign event. “And of course, congratulations on your Phillies on making it to the World Series. First time in 15 years. Ok, Philly fans, you do know all about turning an underdog into a victor. May you please help us do that also on Election Day, please? Pennsylvania, are you ready to carry your state to victory?” Palin has not yet said which team she is rooting for this fall.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • John McCain • Pennsylvania • Sarah Palin
soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. No McCain

    Hey McCain.....I think you are teh Champion of FlipFlop....probably you had lots of lessons on that....

    October 21, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Sick Of The Machine

    @TAINOPOWER "vote for mccain so Hillary will have a chance in 2012"

    That's even dumber than what the gop's been saying. There won't be a USA in 2012 if McCain gets in and finishes of the job W started. especially if he doesn't make it through the four years. WAKE UP LISTEN TO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 21, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Truman

    Poor John McCain... he fought and suffered for his country (and he has the scars to prove it blah blah) and THIS is how he'll be remembered... How sad, he should just collect his dignity and go home.
    Truman, Toronto, Canada
    PS: "Caribou Barbie" will have her own daytime talk show next year, just watch...

    October 21, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Liz, St. Louis, Mo

    This campaign has become hilarious! What has world series got to do with issues! The McCain campaign is starting to sound really childish. Why waste precious time, when the clock is ticking. Please address issues Senator McCain

    October 21, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. No Hillary = No Obama

    It's a sad commentary about the last 8 years when you have the mythology that has developed around Obama, a person who has done next to nothing heroic, noteworthy or contributory derserving of the grandiose expectations which he himself has marketed. What kind of person indulges their own grandiose fantasies by parading around Europe as if they had actually accomplished anything; who places a Presidential seal on a lecturn and stands behind it as if he has pre-empted the voter's right to chose? Pandering becomes him and his wife.

    October 21, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Karen

    Can Senator McCain say or do ANYTHING that will help with the economy or jobs or will he just continue to bash Senator Obama on superfluous stuff? We have real problems, Senator McCain. We will be voting for Senator Obama, no matter what sports team he cheers for!

    October 21, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. jen

    what is next huh? MCplain leave the world series out of Ur messed up stump speeches. Ur just mad cuz no players endorsed u. I'm a phillies fan and happy that @least rays players knows what's a stake in this election their childrens future. Obama 08

    October 21, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. ANGIE

    Who Cares Mccain you are a moron!

    October 21, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Concerned Citizen

    Does anyone give a hoot about which candidate panders to which sports team?

    We know what the City of Brotherly Love thinks of the McCain/ Palin ticket– not 2 weeks ago, Palin was booed for a full 90 seconds after she dropped the first puck at the opening of the hockey season at the Flyers game.

    Philadelphia - and I pray to god all the rest of the country– has finally turned against this toxic duo.

    October 21, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Wiccan for Obama

    How much MORE ABUSE can the AMERICAN PEOPLE stand from the McCains?

    These people disgust me and my husband so much that we have to change the channel as soon as we hear one of their voices.......and believe me.......they are shrill enough to tell within the first few seconds.

    WE, the AMERICAN PEOPLE, are SICK and TIRED of the LIES, AND HATE MONGERING coming from the PALIN/McCain campaign.

    WE CAN NOT WAIT FOR NOVEMBER 4TH when this will ALL BE OVER.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    October 21, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. dustin

    What? You can't root for one team and respect the other team at the same time, oh wait, you're republican, so no, you can't.

    October 21, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Charlie Bradley

    Sen McCain and Sorceress Palin,

    THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE is no place for these type of High School tactics. Further proof that your well is running dry there buddy boy :D

    Also since I didn't get to comment on the Cindy McCain blog, Cindy, honey, Stand By Your Man sounds a whole lot better when its sung by Tammy Wynette

    October 21, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Chris

    God is McCain becoming stupider by the hour?

    He sure is getting desperate. Anything, no matter how small, is cause for him to say how Obama is bad for the country.

    Well, McCain, I'm from Philadelphia, and you know what? Even if Obama came out full for the Rays, he's still more intelligent, more stabile, more qualified for president than you, you lying desperate old coot.

    I'm a Republican, but a Powell Republican, not a hate fill bitter man playing on peoples fears to tear my country apart, unlike you and the rest of the party has become.

    Palin says she likes going to places that are pro-America?

    Then why is she hanging around your traitorous campaign?

    October 21, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. Tommy

    Maybe McHalfpint should get on some of the blogs to get an idea about how fed up most people are with all his Obama bashing. Oh wait, that's right, I forgot, he doesn't even know how to turn on a computer, much less use it.

    October 21, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Phillip

    When do you know your campaign is in the toilet?

    ...

    Oh, that's how...

    October 21, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. keeth in california

    Baseball?!? This is more important than the economy and security of our nation?!? How out of touch can McCain be? This is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.

    October 21, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Maggie from Virginia

    I have come to the conclusion that McCain is no longer trying to win.

    October 21, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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