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. The Fake Plumber

    Listen Mr.McCain and Your Mate. if you know so much how come we are at this position? do you really like this country, who has given you already the power? you just keep on talking about your POW. as far as im concerned i lost a respect that i had for you. one more thing The white house is not a nursing home.

    October 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. Wendy NC

    I urge everyone to go to the Anchorage Daily News site and read the opinion article written by Professor Alan Boraas entitled "Palin Blessing Echoes Extreme..."

    It is an eye opener and will make you think as you recall all the many remarks in Palin's speeches.

    October 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Dave in Albuquerque

    According to the AP, the crowd at McCain's Albuquerque rally numbered about 1,500. When I was briefly on the University of New Mexico campus at 1:00 local time, the parking lots were close to full for the Obama rally that would not happen until six hours later.

    October 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. JS ...... santee

    I know
    I have
    I will
    I am
    vision I have
    I want
    I understand

    I I I I.......You are going to do it all. All by yourself. What about WE, US the American people....It really is all about you My Friend John.
    And how can you be tested and not tested in the same sentence?

    October 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. pat C.

    all mccain can talk about is himself! we are sick of hearing him say nothing positive and all that comes out of his mouth is about obama. he is DONE..FINISHED...OVER...HE NEEDS TO GO BACK TO ARIZONIA AND RETIRE WITH THE OTHER OLD GRUMPY GUYS!

    October 25, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. robert

    yeah mcclame, you're so full of BS, you squeak when you walk...Go home face it it's over...You have lost all dignity and honor.....

    October 25, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. The Bluest Skies are in Seattle

    McCain says he is tested thats wrong wrong it is McCain that has been doing the testing and its on woman withhis life long patten of a cheater while being married and buying a marriage license to marry Cindy while still married to Carol .
    Did he think he was testing when he picked unvetted Sarah ? John you don't know what the word tested means all the voters know is you are a tested liar,tested to lie to coverup another lie and full of hate ,love war.

    October 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    YOU ARE A FELLOW TEXAN.

    YOU ARE A FELLOW DESTROYER OF OUR ECONOMY.

    YOU ARE A FELLOW WARMONGER & DIVIDER OF OUR NATION.

    IN ESSENCE, YOU'RE A SHADY, NASTY, ANGRY, IGNORANT PERSON.

    October 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Bulldog

    McCain is grasping for anything and everything. John McCain has no clue what most people are going through since he and his wife are worth over $100 million dollars, own 7-8 houses, own 13 cars and on an on. McCain is a fraud. He doesn't understand anything. He want's to give himself and Cindy a taxbreak while Obama says that he needs to pay a few more taxes like they did under Ronald Reagan.

    October 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. DG

    John MCCain doen't know where all Obama has been. I am sick of John saying Obama needs to go South. John is the one who needs to go South or anywhere but here and take her Ugliness with him...DG in Tx

    October 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Palin will be the scapegoat.

    Amazing....Get ready all you republicans AND disgruntled Clinton supporters.

    You thought that ole' Johnny was doing something big and different having a woman in the number two slot huh?

    Well again....GET READY!

    Cause now you are going to see McCain treat her like Number Two....
    Everything regarding his loss will be and is starting to be blamed on her. The typical scenario. Blame the woman. How is that for change? John McCain isn't going to accept this loss, but he will make sure Palin does. That is the reason for the "Rogue" story leaking out. The foundation has already been laid.

    October 25, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Texas Trail Kitty

    My friends, Senator McCainhas been tested. Now he is testing the patience of the rest of us. He has never been president, so he would be starting from scratch just like every other first-term president. The difference is that he would be CONTINUING the same disasterous policies of the past 8 years. So Senator McCain, please go somewhere and sit down and be quiet. I

    n truth, I don't feel safer and I won't feel any safer with you as president. In fact, with all your blabbing about being 'tested' some of our more mischievious enemies may be tempted to test you further, and I KNOW you have no idea what diplomacy is. So retire already. If you were any good, you would have a higer rank in the military.

    October 25, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. blaising

    Is that like Mrs. Pilan never, or rarely, having been outside of Alaska?

    Opps...forgot! She's off limits, right?

    October 25, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Susan

    I watched McSame's message from New Mexico today and the part I found most humorous was his taunt that he knows "___________" (fill in the blank) - he know about Western land, water, and on and on and on. Kinda like him saying in the debates that he know how to fix "_________" (again, fill in the blank). Seems he knows everything and how to 'fix' everything - the only problem is he never says how......?? The only 'how' he mentions is how to hate Obama.

    No Way, No How, No McCain, and most certainly No Palin!

    October 25, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. Texas Trail Kitty

    My friends, Senator McCain has been tested. Now he is testing the patience of the rest of us. He has never been president, so he would be starting from scratch just like every other first-term president. The difference is that he would be CONTINUING the same disasterous policies of the past 8 years. So Senator McCain, please go somewhere and sit down and be quiet.

    In truth, I don't feel safer and I won't feel any safer with you as president. In fact, with all your blabbing about being 'tested' some of our more mischievious enemies may be tempted to test you further, and I KNOW you have no idea what diplomacy is. So retire already. If you were any good, you would have a higer rank in the military.

    October 25, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. CONCERNED INDEPENDENT

    Cant see HOW McCain has been tested..He has never been president either ! only a vet victim, just like my husband..for that matter, my husband is far more intelligent than McCain even..McCain wants to be commander in Chief, only..make more war, anger more countries..divide our great nation even more..
    NO THANKS
    TEXANS for OBAMA

    October 25, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. penny

    here we go again, why doesn't he just his trap. I cannot stand to look at him or hear his voice. Palin ought to be a model since she knows clothes so well. They are going to loose by a landslide!

    October 25, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Troy Krygger

    Mccain seems to know everything while Obama doesn't and Mccain knows how to test anyone while Obama doesn't eigther....
    ITS SIMPLE... He's running out of time and ideas on the campaign trial. If he knows all that he says he knows, WHY DIDN'T HE GUIDE PRESIDENT BUSH IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?

    October 25, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. Carol

    Your speech reminds me of one you gave about a year and a half ago when we were going through the unresolved problems of illegal immigration.

    You know the one where you said that we needed an additional foreign worker program because there weren't any American workers that would work as hard as a Mexican one.

    October 25, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. Jessica

    Going on vacation at a four-star resort in Cancun does not make one an expert on Hispanic culture!

    I am married and have a daughter with a third-generation Mexican. I would say this qualifies me to say that I know what is in the best interests of Mexican-Americans and other Hispanics in this country.

    Obama's policies will favor Hispanics by far.... that is why my entire extended family is voting for Obama in 08

    October 25, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. laurel

    What exactly does this "I've been tested" mantra mean?? He has a military service record? He's been tortured? So have many other servicemen. I respect and honor the service and sacrifice he has made: thank you John McCain. However, I do not feel you are best qualified to lead our country where it needs to go and for that I thank Senator Obama for the hope and vision this country needs at this time. Are we going socialist?? I don't think so. It is very easy to label any new tax reform as socialistic in nature. I don't think many of the critics understand true socialism. Governor Palin also spreads the wealth from oil revenues to all Alaskans and I'm sure she doesn't consider herself a socialist.

    October 25, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Shannon,Dallas,Texas

    Does that mean you're John "W" McCain? John McCain, he's an old westerner and Sarah Palin is his trusty "but not ready" sidekick.

    October 25, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Yea right!!

    Sen. Obama would be an excellent President. Sen. McCain was probably the democrats favorite republican, but Palin and his campaign advisers have ruined him. He is not the same. Sarah Palin is not ready or intelligent enough to understand how the government works. And she is much too close to being the actual president.

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

    McCain,

    Can you talk about the plans you have for these issues instead of saying you 'know how' to fix them?

    Can we get a tangible outline on said 'fixes'?
    OVer the past few weeks all youve been doing it talking about how your opponent does not know, yet he has laid out plans on what he would do that we can READ.

    Can you at least rise to that?

    October 25, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Tracy

    Poor John – can't wait for the book to come out after this debacle of a campaign. Waiting to see whose book comes out first and see all of the finger pointing that is sure to take place. Question for you – can you clarify how you plan on testing America's enemies? A bit concerned since that would mean that we would be the aggressor. Hmmm – sounds like the same approach of Bush and Cheney – you may want to rethink that statement – oh forgot, you are a maverick after all (and nothing like GWB).

    October 25, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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