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. bob

    I got a McCain mailer today...calling Obama a rookie, an apprentice, a freshman, etc.

    Note to McCain campaign, you're argument that Obama has less than ideal experience would be an effective argument if our alternative weren't John McCain and Sarah Palin.

    If given the choice between inexperienced and promising (Obama) or someone who has proven that they are wrong and erratic over a period over many years (McCain) especially when his understudy is inexperienced AND lacks knowledge or even the curiousity to gain knowledge....and say hello to President Obama.

    October 25, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. John

    If you think things are bad now, they'll be alot worse if Obama wins.
    We will see a nother great depression!

    Go McCain

    October 25, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. David Peter

    John McCain was born in Panama. He is not a real American.

    October 25, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Cherie

    Senator McCain is an honest man that truely cares about his country. If the media had not been so biased, they would know the truth in this race. Save the USA, vote McCain / Palin.

    October 25, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Steve

    Uhhh, I'm almost sure McCain grew up on the East Coast. Correct me if I'm wrong. He's as much a Westerner as Bush is a Texan (Bush DID grow up on the East Coast).

    October 25, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. FreeNLovIt

    Obama is from the MIDWEST. He undersands all four corners of America :)

    October 25, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Melanie000 West Palm Beach, FL

    McSame & Failin’……..man what a random duo. He should have shot the moose killer a long time ago. McSame could kick the bucket at any moment and Failin’ is dumb as a brick. I definitely do not trust Failin’ to run the country. She would be worse than Bush.

    Its a shame because I am a die hard conservative but I am not blinded by ignorance, stupidity and unstability….I see it.

    If McSame was asked, “If you shoot your mother right now, we will make you president.” He would probably think about for a few minutes and then blow her head clean off. Thats how bad he wants it. I am from a family of conservatives but we are all voting OBAMA !!!

    October 25, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. Bill

    McCain is paying for making Palin his vp candidate. She is as self-serving as they come. All you have to do is actually read all of the things she has pulled as Gov. The hockey rink is just one of many. Read about the pipeline. So much for taking on the lobbyists. I guess you take them on except when they benifit you. She is a loose cannon who knows very little about life outside of Alaska. Nice comment about the study of fruit flys. Open mouth and insert foot. If McCain really wanted to win, I would knock off the insults at Obama, get rid of the ****** of the north, and be the real John McCAin. The one everyone knew years ago. He has lost my vote more than Obama has gained it.
    What you sow, so shall you reap. Oh, mention Wright, and out comes a spreader full agains McCain and Palin. I suppose if she was to become VP, she would have hands laid on everyone. Yes, Gods will will be done on the 4th. Palin will be heading back to Alaska.

    October 25, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    He's lived in Kansas. He's lived in Hawaii. He's lived in the East while attending Harvard. He's been everywhere..

    October 25, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Mike in Ohio

    Our enemies most certainly WOULD test McCain. Anyone who behaves as erratically as he has shown himself to be would be a prime candidate for repeated tests by our adversaries. And more to the point, the testing is not what would be dangerous for the U.S., it would be how he responds.

    I much prefer trusting our security and our standing in the world community to Obama and his cool, steady temperament, his analytical mind, and his top notch advisors.

    October 25, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. Darrell

    Yeah and most of us know ,you are a liar John McCain. You know this and you know that, but you looked infantile during the economic crisi and you took a teenager approach to your VP pick.What you should know ,is you will go down in history as the worst run campaign and the very worst VP pick ever.You were once an honourable man that sold his soul for all the wrong reasons.

    October 25, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. M. WINNERS

    WARNING – WARNING – WARNING
    Hey Florida and Indiana – Watch your voting places carefully.
    The neocon repugs are already doing everything to discourage and corrupt the voting and it isn't even election day.
    Once at the polls be patient, pay attention, bring a video recorder and DEMAND your right to vote if challanged.
    Don't let the repugs steal another one – we've been working to hard.

    October 25, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Candia

    So he understands about water issues? Is that why he wanted to re- open negociations about the water rights between the Western states?

    October 25, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. tlcon, PA

    yes, a fellow Georgian too!

    October 25, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. adam, Colorado

    Well I wouldn't say that McCain knows Colorado very well. He came out here in April and stated that the water compact that Colorado and other upper basin states have with California and Arizona should be renegotiated. Making sure Arizona has water for green yards and golf courses doesn't sit well with Coloradoans.

    He later apologized after realizing that he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

    October 25, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. Pua, HI

    There is this one terrible mistake that Senator McCain made... picking Governor Palin as his running mate and VP candidate. I don't understand how anyone can vote for this pair because of that important "first" decision.

    Obama/Biden 08... can't wait!

    October 25, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. BJ in NC

    Uh-Is Senator Obama not in Mexico now, didn't he go during the primary? What is McCain talking about. He is demonstrating the "I have nothing else" syndrome every day. Nine more days,a few hours, and a few minutes and we will not have to hear anything from McCain except a concession speech.

    October 25, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. Free the Truth

    Too bad McCain can't do any better than that.

    What good is McCain if he can't tell who the real terrorists are?

    Name Calling McCain Unsteady Irrate and Irrational.

    His Economic Plan is Welfare for the Rich

    October 25, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Abe

    DID YOU HEAR McBUSH SAY THAT IF HE IS PRESIDENT,HE WILL TEST ALL OUR ENERMIES?

    ALL I WANT TO KNOW IS TEST THEM HOW? IS HE GOING TO TEST THEM LIKE BOMB BOMB BOMB IRAN?

    IF HE IS ELECTED THERE WOULD BE NO FUTURE FOR OUR KIDS.
    McBUSH THINKS HE IS STILL IN VIETNAM. DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN HE SAID MY FELLOW POW IN PENNSYLVANIA?

    October 25, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. Jack

    Sorry you are not yet tested. You need to take a blow out punch from my hands – old man and cear the test.

    October 25, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. Jim Colorado

    Atta boy Mcain, Less than a thousand people showed up to hear your same ol nonsense. Looks like they really love you in (Albuquerque)New Mexico. Better try to get your own campaign back in order.Palin is off thinking on her own. What would your administration look like?Bet you wouldn't be able to fire them fast enough.

    October 25, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. Justin from New Haven, CT

    McCain's been south of the border hanging out with Pinochet.

    October 25, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  23. chad in avery, ca.

    its over john.
    go take a nap, you look tired.
    we westerners dont like you.
    you will be lucky to win your own state.

    October 25, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  24. Sidney Crosby

    Did anyone else notice the stupid jacket that McCain was wearing today?

    October 25, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. ATL LLL

    He should have brought Ellie May with him, she'e eaten Taco Bell before, that makes her knowledgeable of issues south of the border!

    October 25, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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