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. Gene

    McCain still doesn't get it. He has experience in doing the wrong things in foreign affairs and in running a campaign. His crowds are angry and he thinks all America is angry. We are not angry, we just want an intelligent president this time. -

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

    McCain is out of touch how could he approve $150,000 worth of clothes and 30,000 worth of make-up what a joke.

    October 25, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Democrat from Arizona

    MCcain is not my friend and I hope he is not yours either. Dont be fooled by the cameleon.

    October 25, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Dennis

    Yeah, and Obama's not moving to steal Colorado's water for Nevada and California either like Mccain is.

    Obama/Biden 08 I voted. have you?

    October 25, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. hometowndemocrat

    It must be so depressing to be a republican right now!

    October 25, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. dft

    Does he know that Obama's tax plan will cost a family with an income of $500,000 only and additional $6727 and that one with income of $1,000,000 an additional $38,200 in taxes. Or that only .4% of households make more than $1,000,000.

    October 25, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Eli -- Milwaukee

    I guess being born and raised in Hawaii, and Indonesia isn't south enough for McCain?
    Man, this guy is a pandering joke.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    October 25, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. Mike

    I stood out at that rally today with my Latinos for Obama sign. I had more honks from Obama voters than the idiots who were at the low-attended rally. Loved knowing that New Mexico is for Obama. Expect 45,000 tonight at Obama's rally at the University of New Mexico. Can't wait.

    October 25, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Matthew

    Yep, McCain's been tested, what he doesn't like to mention is he failed. Anyone notice how many medals he flashes arround from his war career? Not too many because he doesn't have that many. He was a poor example of military officer and had it not been for his capture and his father he would have retired with an amazingly unremarkable career there.

    He's done great things in the senate as well, too bad he's turned his back on it for most of the last 2 -4 years. Heck, his name was on the bill that made it illegal to pay for clothes with campaign funds so he had his party do it. Tried, and failed.

    I would have loved McCain to have won, 8 years ago, but what we see now is a mere shadow of that man.

    And it shows.

    October 25, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Send Palin home

    I heard that and almost choaked on my coffee. What happened, that POW theme wasn't working anymore?

    October 25, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Elizabeth in Texas

    Ok sure, we believe you....... yeah right. McCain you have lost our trust.

    October 25, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Clinton Democrat for Obama

    Hey Senator McCain, if the west is anything like the east, they'll say "thanks but no thanks" to you and your maverick/sidekick

    October 25, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Perusing-Through

    McCAIN: "I'M A FELLOW WESTERNER",

    Now wait a minute . . .

    . . . when Russians rolled into the country of Georgia, did not McSame say " . . . we are all Georgians too".

    Which is it McSame? Are you Georgians, Westerners, Americans, or what?

    As usual, McCain is all over the map. I'll just put my vote on something more stable – - "Obama-Biden".

    - – - – -

    GOD Bless the United States of America!
    GOD Bless the Obama-Biden Leadership Team!

    October 25, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Lynn, CT

    Hmmmm, wasn't it Bush who tested and got us into the war with Iraq? So, who is McCain going to test and just what is it going to cost the American people?

    Isn't Hawaii south of the border? At least it is on my map. As for immigration, it isn't just a southwestern issue. Methinks McCain should quite the rhetoric while he is behind.

    October 25, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. FrankSmith

    The rule here is simple– Go and vote early, if your state allows it. I now confess that I voted proudly for the Obama/Biden ticket this afternoon. It comes with such great feeling to vote, it also helps make up for my last vote for Bush/Chaney. I continue to beg God's forgiveness for contributing to the failure of our nation by voting for Bush/Chaney; never will I vote on moral issues again. That is between the individual and his/her God. As a christian, my command from God is simple: "to love my neighbor as myself." God, and only God alone will fight issues of abortion, morality and so on. I know full well that God always chose leaders with Intelligence, such as King Solomon.

    October 25, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Griff

    The Man with a Job to do. Only Some one with his skills, can save the USA... You Can dobt it... But after the end of this fiscal year, If he is not Elected... You will wonder why!!!

    October 25, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Gina

    McCain seems to be everything to anything yet nothing to what really counts.

    October 25, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. Dave in Indy

    “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.”

    Even more reason not to vote for McWarMonger. If he really thinks that he won't be tested if he is elected then he is more egotistical than I thought possible. Every recent president has been tested by a foreign nation or group.

    October 25, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. tuff Col. Oh

    hi westerners i'm a JOKE, SIGN JOHN MCCAIN

    October 25, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th

    MCCAIN GO BUY YOU A ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR RANCH SOMEWHERE OUT ON THE RANGE AND TAKE YOUR RUNNING MATE WITH YOU, OH BUT SHE'S TURNING AGAINST YOU, WELL JUST SEND HER BACK TO ALASKA, BUT DON'T FOEGET TO GET YOUR CLOTHES.

    October 25, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. military one

    it is very funny how john mccain says he knows everything except how to win

    October 25, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Not buying fears, smears and lies

    Sorry, John, not buying it. You HAVE been tested, and you FAILED horribly. You failed your test when you said the economy had "strong fundamentals." You failed your test when you stopped opposing torture. You failed your test when you went from opposing the Bush tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy to supporting policies that favor the mega-rich and screw the average American. You failed your test when you embraced the neocon agenda. You failed your test when you attacked America's longstanding policy of progressive taxation and mis-labeled it "socialism." You failed your test when you picked an unqualified Palin over qualified candidates. You failed your test when you embraced Karl Rove's "smears, fears and lies" strategy instead of running a respectful campaign focused on issues that matter to the average person. You are currently failing the test to determine if you have a shred of honor and decency left.

    OB '08

    October 25, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Anne

    Mcwar wants to test others. Great deal John why not start a war with every country or threaten to and lower the US standings in those countrys eyes you and Bush havent already.

    October 25, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. linty

    How come McCain is friends with everybody, knows everything, has been tested on everything, yet appears to have very limited good judgement when it comes to running a consistent, well planned campaign? He's everything but stable and his selection of Palin pretty well removes any credability that HE thinks he may possess. There has been two months of running down his opponent and very little policy and direction from this guy. It's ok John, your "friends" will take care of you after the 4th!???

    October 25, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Country first

    When you go out there to vote you better pay good attention and double check your vote before you summit it. In some state if not all the republicans fix the machine up. If you vote straight democratic they fix the machine so your presidential vote go for McCain instead of Barack. So you might think you vote for Barack and the machine was fix and it goes the other way. So pay good attention to make sure your presidential vote goes to your choosing candidate. These are disgusting tactics that the republicans are using right now in some part of Texas and may be nationwide. We need fair and free election so rigging these machines is nothing but disgusting tactics. Also when you go to the polling place no political T-shirt because they will turn you away.

    October 25, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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