October 25th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
10 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. Colin

    I honestly can't handle the phrase "my friends" anymore it drives me nuts!!!! It's listed 3 times in this article alone. McCain you sound desperate and now the news is out that there is a battle between Palin and your campaign staff....just imagine how it would be if they were elected.

    Obama/Biden '08 our only hope for real change in America!!!!

    October 25, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. Ted

    Howard Dean!

    October 25, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. No Country For Old Men

    McCain stated I’ve been tested, I’ve been tested!
    He is right; the Doctors have check and double check
    McCain’s head and found nothing in it!
    Obama & Biden '08

    October 25, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. "Joe the Vice President"

    How do "they" test senators? Neither McCain nor Obama have been tested in the role of President. The only test of these two that I've seen is the "test of honor" in campaigning, and Obama has won by a landslide. So McCain has been to Mexico and Palin can see Russia – we are set!

    October 25, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. nelda

    Ha,.. thats all he can say?

    He is so lost and cannot come up with a plan,.. and its 10 days away from the election!

    October 25, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. nelda

    He thinks because he lives in a neighboring state, it entitles him their votes? Ha !

    October 25, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. ED FL

    John you state that you are a fellow westerner. As a once big retired navy admirer of you I can not stand to see or hear you anymore. Your choice of a Running mate was atrocious.Yor ranting and raving about everthing made me consider your mental capacity. You have fallen a long way from a once admired and brave man to a man of questionable acts and certainably hateful rethoric. Most Americans do not believe you could handle the Presidency in a safe and competent manner. No way will you get enough votes and you are to blame for your demise. Go home and rest you have earned that but do not justify a position high in this government. You were a big part of the demise that is upon us. My 22 years in the Navy was to ensure my sons and their familieswould have a better life than me .You and this admin screwed that up. Live with it ,I have to.

    October 25, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Aisha

    Why does this old white man who is married to a beer heiress continue to proclaim he understands "us" brown folk? His message is just as old and tired as he looks. Go home already, John. Turn the lights out, the party is over!

    Obama/Biden '08
    "McCain said he'd follow Bin Laden to the Gates of Hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave he lives in!" (Obama @ DNC 2008)

    October 25, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. CE

    He UNDERSTANDS EVERYTHING.....can't explain it but clearly understands. I am waiting for him to explain HOW he has been tested.

    October 25, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Hello!!

    One JOE told us Obama can't handle the economy....
    The second JOE the VP told us Obama can't handle the world 🙂
    You guys are SOOOOO afraid of Sarah!!!!!!! TOOOOO Funny!!!!

    October 25, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Rob

    who is he kidding. He's lucky if he can change his own depends.

    October 25, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. robrubin

    Ugh another "I know how to..." from McCain. Just 10 days left of this crap.


    October 25, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. No Hillary = No Obama

    All the help Obama has been given by the media and the millions he has raked in after reneging on his word to take public financing has left me with an internal sense of disgust. McCain's getting my vote.

    October 25, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. A Canuck

    The world is waiting for a man of substance.....and it's not McCain !!! He used to be an honorable man.....but now he is a desperate liar. The things he is saying about Obama are unforgiveable.

    October 25, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. SD

    Are you joking me, John????

    You understand Hispanic culture???

    Hold on while I stop laughing at that!

    PS, I hear Palin's planning mutiny!

    Can't wait for 11/4!

    October 25, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Vote for That One and Joe the Vice President!!!

    And America is happy you will be spending more of your time there on 11/5!

    October 25, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Brenda C

    You got to go to drudgereport.com and check out a real newsperson asking REAL questions of Biden. Now Obama has refused to let Biden's wife or anyone in his campaign be questioned by this station. Boy he's for real change uh? I guess you will be punished if he gets elected if you have any views of your own. God help us.

    October 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. now voting AGAINST McCain

    First, I am not Senator McCain's friend. He can claim friendship with everyone within earshot a million times...and he has. It still won't make it true.

    Second, why is it that Senator McCain says "I" so much? "I know...," "I've been....,""I'm this"...,"I'm that...," "I know where BinLaden is...," "I'll track him to the gates of hell...,"."I blah blah blah..."

    Didn't anyone ever tell him that it's only the egocentric that talks about himself all the time? No wonder the average voter has a hard time relating to him.

    October 25, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Paul in FL

    What a versatile fellow! Not too long ago he was a Georgian.
    Truly able to change his spots to suit the envonment.

    October 25, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Baccountable

    "My friend" you are being tested right now in this political campaign. You have had the opportunity to show the world what kind of President you will be, and you are failing miserably. I started out believing that you are an honorable man, but what I see from you is anything but honorable, much less Presidential. You have been in the Senate for many years, including the past eight years. You have been part and parcel of the Republican regime whose policies have led to the economic meltdown. You cannot duck your responsibility for what you have done and for what you have failed to do. In distancing yourself from President Bush you sound more like a rat deserting a sinking ship than the "maverick" you purport to be. Your bravado about not being tested by "them" sounds more like a schoolyard challenge, or a bully looking for a fight, than the word of the man who wishes to be the leader of the free world.

    October 25, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Joel

    John McCain and other corrupt Republicans caused the savings and loan crash in the early 1990's and now McCain is part of the Republican Culture of Corruption responsible for the current crash. They are now running a disgustingly negative campaign throwing all the mud they can. This is dangerous for our country because it brings out the crazy people seen at recent McCain-Palin rallies.

    John McCain is confused, erratic, showing signs of dementia, is not looking healthy, likely to have his melanoma cancer return and is mindlessly spouting lies from his sleazy, dishonest campaign. John McCain has been in lockstep with George W Bush over 90% of the time. Another four years of Bush policies would totally destroy our country and that is what we would get with John McCain. If you believe John McCain's recent campaign lies that suddenly he would be different, then I have a Bridge to Nowhere to sell you.

    Sarah Palin is clearly unqualified to be President, is a religious fundamentalist extremist who would take away a women's right to choose and would create an American Taliban reversing all the gains in civil rights. For the sake of our country, we must make sure that Barack Obama is elected President.

    Having said that, Obama as President would be smart to have some moderate Republicans on his team because we are all Americans and need to work together in bipartisan fashion to solve our problems.

    See http://Democracy-Now.us

    October 25, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Brian

    So if you believe McCain you believe he understands everything......

    Makes you wonder why he changed his positions on sooo many things then.

    October 25, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |

    The only thing you know mcsame is WAR,WAR,WAR AND MORE WAR, just like bush. that is why you and your kind are on your way OUT. BYE-BYE. since you know the west so well ride off into the sunset.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008/2012

    October 25, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. carson


    yes right you've been test for the last 8 years along with bush ..... enough is enough....

    October 25, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |


    October 25, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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