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. Republican for Obama - TX

    Come on New Mexico and Nevada. Its ok to turn your state blue. I am working on turning my state blue as well. Hope is on the way!!!


    October 25, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Amy

    McCain, quit saying you've been tested!. No one has been tested the way the a president is tested until they have the honor of being elected president.

    Westerners, McCain's home state may be out west, but Obama has the capacity to evaluate the situation and act in our best interest – NOT impulsively as McCain has (as shown by his campaign being suspended, but not really suspended since ads were still running in my state).

    October 25, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Wise White Guy

    From the tactics Hillary used. When you own as many houses as him you can claim you are from many places. So when they are out of work they can ride their bikes past your enormous ranch and wonder what went wrong. Doesn't matter where your from John because you are so out of touch with whats going on it is a joke. Remember how the economy was fundamentally strong about 9 days before you had to fake suspend your campaign to go solve the economic crisis? Remember how you said that great strides were made on the economy under the Bush Presidency? Do you even remember what you had for lunch today?

    October 25, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. pawstiv1

    So were many others.....Ted Bundy, Unibomber, Charles Manson.....you get my drift

    October 25, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Chuck

    It is apparent now that McCain's final week on the campaign trail will be to perpetually attack, attack and attack Obama and not talk seriously about the issues.

    What a disastrous way to end a campaign. McCain will be living with this for the rest of his life. He will go down as having run the dirtiest campaign in history. Where's his dignity? I believe he flushed it down the toilet a long time ago. What a dishonor it will be for him to end it this way.

    October 25, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. mom for obama

    "I'm going to test them." I heard this part of his speech and it frightened me. It's just the sort of arrogant, unilateral attitude that has brought our nation's reputation down under Bush and Cheney. Lieberman also said the new President would be tested as did the Pentagon which has a transition plan in place. America needs the cool, calm presence of Obama at a time like this, not a hot-headed man like John McCain. My ballot has already been cast for Obama/Biden.

    October 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. rob

    He should bury it in his head!

    October 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Jack

    My friends, my friends, with friend like me, who needs honesty?

    October 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. aware

    McCain/Palin 08! They are our only hope! 🙂

    We need a POTUS who will strengthen our defenses and lower our taxes not a POTUS who will do the opposite!

    October 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. independent 2008

    McBush wants to steal Colorado water and no nuclear waste in Arizona in his backyard.
    So much for the Westerner,
    No way, No how No McCain

    October 25, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. AG

    So, Mr. McCain, does that mean also that you don't understand the real issues of Ohio, Florida, Penn, N. Carolina, Virginia b/se you're not a neighbor of either Ohio, Florida, Penn, North Carolina, Virginia? I will take your words!

    October 25, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. kenny cole

    Maccain say anything do anything politics,is this gonna put food on the table?tell old maccain?

    October 25, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. voter

    the people in AZ don't like you McCain because you have done nothing for the state.

    October 25, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. k

    How could our defense possibly be strong at home when we are currently engaged in two wars?

    October 25, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Iona

    John McCain: The United States' next Panderer-in-Chief

    October 25, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Nancy from NC

    This is part of Sen. McCain's problem - he sees lines, divisions...us...them. Rather than seeing a country in dire need of healing and unity, he continues to play starring role in the Hatfields and the McCoys. It's time for Sen. McCain to wake up and realize that the United States wants its sense of unity back and wants this to be welcome and respected across the globe.

    October 25, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. angie

    A westerner who based his campaign in Virgina and who really lives in Virginia.

    October 25, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. Real Joe

    I understand the west. I understand Indians and cowboys and know how to fix them. I understand the economy . I understand war. I understand Hispanics. What? Latino's, whats that? I know how to do it and fix it and win it my freinds. Broken record understands everything but has no answers. Oh thats right. He said you have to elect him first and then he will show you.

    October 25, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. Ken - CA

    Well, it's not really about who understands this or that, it's about who has the better judgement, and clearly that's not McCain!

    October 25, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. Independant for Obama

    My friend, my friends, my friends.

    Who lies to friends?? McCain has no friends!

    October 25, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Jim Doyle

    In case you've forgotten, Senator, Hawaii is also part of the west. Geez, this is about the stupidest campaign I've ever seen. Pack it in, pardner. Go Obama!!! Jim from Honolulu

    October 25, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. kent

    And I know how to fix it, win it, test it..........................................etc, etc, etc.

    October 25, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. Tim

    I think that McCain is a fellow Westerner.

    I also think he needs to remain in Arizona, nearby Nevada, for the remainder of his political career.

    October 25, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Lou from CT

    There goes McCain again – telling half-truths. How many more people are just turned off by the way the Republicans lie, lie, lie.

    Talk about the REAL issues, Mr. McCain. There's still 10 days to go – if you dare... TICK TOCK

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 25, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. Flex

    Mr. McCain, if you were tested, we know what you would do without a thought. Look for the "nuculer" codes.

    October 25, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13