October 25th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain: 'I'm a fellow Westerner'

Sen. McCain got off his plane Saturday with the hills of Mexico in the background on his way to a campaign stop in New Mexico.
Sen. McCain got off his plane Saturday with the hills of Mexico in the background on his way to a campaign stop in New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CNN) - At a rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico Saturday, Senator John McCain told the crowd that he was a neighboring Western senator who understood the Southwest and Hispanic culture and his opponent didn’t.

“My friends I’m a fellow Westerner, I understand these issues, I understand land and water and Native American issues and border issues and I understand the challenges that a great, great western states face with our growth and our needs and our challenges,” said the Arizona Senator as he courted voters key to the state’s five electoral votes.

“My friends, Senator Obama has never been south of our border, you know that? And he doesn’t know these issues. I know them, I know what the Southwest is, I know strength and the culture and our Hispanic culture and the strength of our great states."

While McCain has been dealing with southwestern issues for over 20 years as an Arizona legislator, an Obama spokesman said that in fact the Illinois Senator did visit Mexico when he was in college.

McCain added a new line to his comments about Congressman Barney Frank’s plans to cut the defense budget, echoing the lines of GOP presidential candidates in elections past.

“The Democrats answer to the challenges we face is to lower our defenses and raise our taxes. That is not the vision I have for America. I want to strengthen our defenses and lower our taxes.”

And the Arizona Senator emphasized that while Senator Biden told donors at a Seattle fundraiser that his running mate would be tested by America’s enemies in office, McCain would test them back.

“My friends, I have been tested,” said McCain. "They may want to test Senator Obama. I’ve been tested and I'm going to test them. They’re not going to test me.”

Obama also has events in New Mexico and Nevada Saturday. These are battleground states that Bush won in 2004 but have been favoring Senator Obama in recent polling.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • New Mexico
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Lola

    Oh senator McCain what has become of you? Obama is going to win but please try and lose the election with some dignity.

    October 25, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. James

    McCain doesn't understand anything! Just go away and take your moron hockey mom with you!

    October 25, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. vic

    Being from a "border state" what did John McCain ever do about illegal immigration?

    October 25, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. margie(alabama)

    another lie , mccain do not know anything about obama and what places he has visited

    October 25, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. HP

    You show em John You are the "MAVERICK" Don't let the Demwitts
    hold you down. You are a man of true grit and courage.

    October 25, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. ran

    No Mccain you are not. We tell the truth not lies or play on fear/hate here in the west.

    October 25, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. carol

    I can't believe Dana just used the phrase "off the reservation" maybe she's been around Palin too long

    October 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Brad

    What is McCain going to say to Asian Americans / Europeans?
    Answer: I've been to Asia / Europe. I know their Culture. I am a fellow Asian / European and I understand the issues.

    Oh! Come on....Gimme a break...Sen.McCain, if this is your plan to woo the voters...I think you need to come up with new ideas or change the whole of your Campaign team. Oops! I forgot, its already late for you to turn this election whatever you do.

    October 25, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. ml - California

    McCain may have background with war strategy, but he is clueless when it comes to the economy and taxes. This country needs a leader that can work with the critical ecomony and bring his ideas into the century that we exist and not "reganomics"!

    October 25, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. weneedstrongleadership

    oh, here we go, now there playing the blame game.

    1. McCain tried the scare card
    2. McCain tried the anti-american card
    3. McCain tried the sympathy card
    4.McCain now trying the blame card.

    Just shut up already McCain and go away.

    You can't control your caribou-barbie while campaigning how are you going to be able to control her once you are President. I am an independent voter I tried to give you every chance to try and show me why I should vote for you. Yes, I will support Obama now, there team seems to be working pretty well together, yes there have been gaffes on Biden side but all in all they have been there pretty much together.

    October 25, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    CNN

    BIG Question!

    Can McCain throw Palin out as his VP candidate and pick someone else between now and November 4 (election day)?

    October 25, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Shy

    McCain you are a trip. Go back to AZ please. You are using these people there.

    October 25, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Will from Kyrgyzstan

    Thank the Lord that we only have to listen to 10 more days of this nonsense.

    "My (millionaire) friends, Sen. Obama wants to raise your taxes. You know what I want? I want to lower yours and make those pathetic poor teachers, custodians, social workers, policemen, militarymen, construction workers, PLUMBERS, and all those other poor saps pay 'em for you! Country first! William Ayers! Please vote for me! I'm really old and this is my last chance!"

    October 25, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Mommy

    When this man says he has been tested, what does he mean? Does he mean being shot down by the Vietcong? Why is this man lying to us in broad daylight and we are letting him do this? This is "nonsense" .. let me borrow borrow a word from Gen. Colin Powell.

    October 25, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    John McSenile needs to stop with the labels, Joe the plumber, I am a fellow Western, maverick, you know Sarah said she does not believe in labels, as she told Brian Williams about the label feminist . Please pray for Jennifer Hudson and her family and the safe return of her nephew.VOTE EARLY, VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN
    Connie from "BLUE" Indiana

    October 25, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. mitch

    john mccain! you are a washington insider for 26 years. you are an east-coaster now .youv'e told so many fibs, even westerners disbelieve you now.

    October 25, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. YES WE WILL - TEXAS

    McCain ask Palin about the illegible bidding that went on with Palin in the middle Alaska over the pipe line that may never get built. It is criminal to interfer with the bidding process. It's all on the Huffington Post.

    This should call for another investigation. Palin the gift that keeps on giving!

    October 25, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. conny

    Bless his heart, McCain and his entire camp is falling apart. McCain, is saying anything and Palin, don't know which way to go, somebody, anything throw her a rope or something

    October 25, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. AB

    Sure – McCain may "understand" but in all the time he's been in Arizona he's done nothing about them!

    October 25, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. catmom

    Okay, can someone tell me how John McCain has been tested in regards to a foreign affairs crisis? I believe he told the story about him sitting on the run way during the Bay of Pigs episode under President Kennedy but I don't understand how that tested him. Was he going to wage an attack on his own or was he sitting there waiting for commands?

    And, why would he talk about Obama never visiting south of the border? What difference does that make? Am I not supposed to vote for him because he has never been to Mexico? If that is the case, then we shouldn't vote for McCain/Palin since I don't believe she has been south of the border either.

    October 25, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Charles from Atlanta

    My friends, I'll say anything to get you vote for me..

    October 25, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Dana, NY

    Oh McCain, please stop.... Obma did not go to Mexico, therefore he does not understand about that culture, he did not go to Iraq, he does not understand war.... McSenile, how did you learn about the Civil War, have you been there? What are you trying to say, that just because you go to a certain place makes you an expert? Like arah Failin says, she can see Russia from her house, hence....foreign policy experience. Hey McFailin, I have a cat, therefore I am a veterinarian. So there!!

    October 25, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Brian from NYC

    I don't think he's said anything this whole campaign except "trust me I know" "I'll fight for you." We aren't fooled we'll be moving forward with people who actually put some thought into the next 4 years; instead of those who just hit the copy button on the Bush Agenda!

    October 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. Rodger

    So was Barry Goldwater...McCain will lose just as bad!

    October 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. barnabas kiprotich

    it is not about being tested it is all about what you will do to the people of this great nation.on problem with u sir is that u talked too much about obama instead of talking about what is in the heart of people,economy and health care.you didn't remember that obama has never been investigated by any court of law at any time,

    October 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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