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. Steve

    "I am not going to be tested." How in the HELL does he know that? Is he using Nancy Reagan's astrologor?

    October 25, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. carol kesling

    it seems to me i remember a few months back when the housing crisis happened, m MCSAME SAID " WE CANT REWARD STUPITY' talking about the people who got into a bad mortgage!!!! these were just people who wanted a taste of the AMERICAN DREAM, now he wants to help them !!!!!!!!! I SAY A LITTLE TOO LATE !!!!!!!!!!!! THIS MAN IS A TRUE HIPOCRITE !!!!!!!! GO OBAMA, the only way mcsame can win is to STEAL THE ELECTIONS BY THE VOTING FRAUD !!!!!!!

    October 25, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. Mary

    Hey John,

    I've been to your state of Arizona. The people are wonderful and It's a beautiful state, but maybe you should see for yourself that maybe you should have asked for a few earmarks to help your teachers and the people who live there instead of asking to build a boxing ring. Oh I'm sorry that was not an earmark but a add on to a defense spending bill.
    According to the people I talked to you haven't done Jack to help them.
    There the lowest paid teachers and are not helped when they teach in the worst neighborhoods. They live across the street from drug dealers, (I saw this first hand) and the police are so understaffed and don't have enough money to handle all the situations. Though they are doing the best they can and are trying to make a difference. Maybe you should help the people of your own state and not make empty promises to the country.

    October 25, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  4. Donald from SC


    I thought he was Georgian?!

    October 25, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  5. carol kesling


    October 25, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  6. cm

    Senator McCain there is just one America not west, east, south , north, etc – The United States of America one country same problems everywhere.
    Get it please stop the none sense.

    October 25, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. John

    I am just wondering, why is McCain all about war and defense when there are issues like Economy, Health, Educaton, e.t.c to take care of.

    It is good to takecare of defense too but, I think it is better for the global villlage to build a global family of peace and not of war.

    October 25, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. New Democrat in Ohio

    If you read his statement again, he said "I'm going to test them – they will not test me". Doesn't that sound even more like George Bush? Fight – FIght – FIgh!! The ONLY LOGICAL candidate to keep us from engaging in unnecessary fights is Barack Obama!!

    October 25, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. douglas in minnesota

    We can expect to hear the "my friends, I'm more electable" chant before to long.

    October 25, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. Ron L

    Three GREAT things will happen on November 5th.
    we will know Senator Obama has won..
    Governor Palin will return to Alaska, hopefully never to be heard from again...
    And we won't have to hear Senator McCain say "MY FRIEND" 40 times a day...It has become really annoying!!

    October 25, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Jane Sixpack

    Ok, westerner! We easterners don't have to vote for you then!

    October 25, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. Ron L

    NEWS FLASH..the AP just relesed a story stating Governor Sarah Palin manipulated the bidding on the oil or is it gas line from Alaska that she is always bragging about.

    October 25, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  13. Dori in AZ

    McCain is NOT a natural Westerner. He transplanted himself here to marry Cindy in 1980, and to have the wealth of her family to back him for political office.

    And, in all the years that he's been representing Arizona, he hasn't done much to help us. Arizona is a state that has lots of needs. McCain has ignored us. His only priorities seem to revolve around the next election.

    Some of his worst offenses in terms of ignoring us is his lousy voting records as they relate to women, kids, and vets. We have MANY veterans of military service who have been honorably discharged and who have needed McCain's help. He has turned a deaf ear to them. Those vets in Arizona feel abandoned by McCain.

    October 25, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  14. Obama 08: white, female, 60 yr old supporter

    Name one major executive decision McCain has made that would be the equivalent to that of a Commander in Chief?? He has NOT been tested and as Wesley Clarke so aptly stated flying a plane (and crashing a few) and being a POW does not qualify!! Honourable and tragic service but not involving any decisions.

    Where are the rest of McCain's military records. Only 60 out of 600 have been released!!

    October 25, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. Peter (CA)

    Sen. McCain, I grew up in Arizona. We know a carpetbagger when we see one. You came to Arizona to live the lavish life your mistress–oh sorry, new wife–had planned for you.

    You do not know what Westerners go through.

    October 25, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. Delta Cowboy

    Sneaky Pete, one of the requirements for presidency is that you were born on U.S. soil, not just that you are a citizen.

    October 25, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  17. John Smith

    Why do we pay taxes?

    -Not to spread wealth (0 point, if you think it is to spread wealth)

    -Not to give out welfare (0 point, if you think it is to give welfare)

    -Not to support the poor (0 point, if you think it is to feed the poor)

    To make our Government "function". As an example, the Republicans just waged 2 wars because they know the Government has our tax monies, and one of the functions of Government is to "protect us."

    Do you want Government to protect us? If your answer is YES, then vote to pay taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 25, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. Susan

    Sneaky Pete, Sen. Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother was from Kansas and his father was Kenyan.

    October 25, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  19. SC

    I thought you were a Georgian. Did you simply forget who you were due to your senile dementia or did you simply try to say whatever came into your mind to win over those people like Joe the plumber? Remember there are a lot smarter Americans out there.

    October 25, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. dannyCali

    Name it Mr. McBush........what's culture you know? here you go.....you lie again that's why you loose McSame.

    October 25, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  21. John McNuthin'

    Fact Check: Did Obama get second-most money from Freddie and Fannie?

    The Statement: At a presidential debate Tuesday, October 7 in Nashville, Tennessee, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats resisted regulating mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which ultimately collapsed and had to be taken over by the government. "Meanwhile, they were getting all kinds of money in campaign contributions. Sen. Obama was the second-highest recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac money in history — in history," he said.
    Get the facts!
    The Facts: Federal law forbids candidates from receiving money directly from companies. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics tracks donations from employees of various companies. The center's list of contributions from Fannie and Freddie employees places Obama second. Ahead of him is Sen. Chris Dodd, Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
    The total listed for Obama is $126,349 — a tiny fraction of the approximately $390 million his campaign has raised, according to the center. The list shows McCain has received a total of $21,550 from Fannie and Freddie employees. The list includes donations of at least $200 from those who receive paychecks from Fannie and Freddie. It also includes donations from political action committees — pooled contributions from employees.
    The report spans from 1989-2008 — just a portion of the time since Fannie Mae went private in 1968 and Freddie Mac was created in 1970.
    The New York Times has published a separate list looking at contributions from "directors, officers, and lobbyists for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" for the 2008 campaign cycle. That list — using figures from the Federal Election Commission — shows McCain receiving $169,000, while Obama received only $16,000.
    VERDICT: Misleading. No donations actually came from the companies. One method of measuring employee contributions does put Obama second overall, but another, for the current election cycle, shows McCain receiving significantly more.
    Filed under: Fact Check

    October 25, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. georgia for Obama

    If I never hear or read that phony phrase of his ("my freinds" ) ,it will be too soon. I think this guy lies more than Bush & Nixon put together !

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. Charlie Bradley


    Making a statement like "I'm not going to be tested is with great certainty one of mte most quick ways to ensure that just the opposite happens. Has this NUT learned nothing from 9/11 NONE OF US HAD ANY IDEA THAT IT WOULD HAPPEN...we thought we were safe....I guess they showed us???? HOW CAN ANYONE in their RIGHT MIND make a statement like "I will not be tested" in the wake of September 11?

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. John McNuthin'

    sneaky pete , 7:48pm ET


    October 25, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. bill for barack

    McCain also knows where Panama is.
    He was born there .....unlike Obama who was born in America.

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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