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. Right John anything you say!

    Gee..I guess Hawaii isn't south enough for him?? What a maroon!

    October 25, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. mccain/palin = bush/cheney

    I heard this event was not even full to capacity, they had to go round up people off the streets to attend so it would look full.

    mccain seems to be the new "pander bear," at this point he will be whatever he thinks he needs to be. He can be joe-sixpack, or a wealthy shopper who spends 150,000 on hair, make-up and accessories for his running mate.

    October 25, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Doris,Memphis,TN

    John we don't want you to test them! We want peace and prosperity!

    October 25, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. JVigil

    I seriously doubt McCain knows "Hispanic" Culture, if he did he would not have used the term "Hispanic"... look up the taxonomy. And, with what, 7 houses, mr. Elite does'nt know Jack (or maybe Joe " the crack stops here" plumber?) about Latino/as, Chicano/as, etc etc. The Congressman from the "Snowbird" State eh?

    October 25, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. ruty

    I heard the speech in N.M. Nothing but lies. The only thing McCain spoke about was Obama. I am sick of hearing him whine. If you can't take the heat go back to Arizona. PLEASE.

    October 25, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. Pepou

    My friends, I can't wait to vote for Obama on Nov, 4th.

    October 25, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. Granny

    McCain is not my fellow anything except old and white. That's not enough. Obama/Biden!

    October 25, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. don

    They have called Dem who are liberal AntiAmerican, America haters and this fool thinks anyone from the dem party is going to support much less vote for him. McCain has no plan other than what his daddy W gave him, And after the campaign he has conducted he has shown himself to be a foul, odious old man.

    October 25, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. stsystems

    I would ask Senator McCain if Sarah Palin has visited Mexico or for that matter has she visited Arizona? Could we stay on task and simply ponder the economy and how we as a people can approach mutual goals with dignity and mutual respect as Christians and Americans!

    October 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Vandeer

    There goes Mcsame again dividing the people...

    October 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |

    Those who voted BUSH out there please stand up!!! SEE WHAT YOU DID? Politics is not a joke;it's serious busisness and I hope you have learnt lessons
    LESSON ONE: Never change a winning formulae!!!!! Clinton years were certainly one of the best,but you decided to change it. You voted personality instead of substance.Then ofcourse you are obsessed with dynasties and historic names ie BUSH. Most got distracted by minor and insignificant things such as the MONICA LEWINSKI affair. If it was Al GORE OR JOHN KERRY would we be having this mess. Is it coincidence then that this BAILOUT is nearly = WAR EXPENDITURE in Iraq. REPUBLICANS=BUST ECONOMY=HATE=WAR=HATE OF FOREIGNERS=SPIN DOCTORS=NASTY CAMPAIGNS.

    LESSON TWO:NEVER SAY 'I VOTE REPUBLICAN/DEMOCRAT no matter what'. Vote best best CANDIDATE for the day. If you party changes its beliefs and philosophy then why vote for it?

    Open your mind beyond race,charisma,personality,region etc and definitely consider OUTSIDE view. Why on earth would any President say he wont talk to Rogue nations??? why.why,why? You cannot negotiate with Zimbabwe,Iran,Venezuela,North Korea etc(small insignificant states) yet you negotiate with China(despite the legacy they have on human rights). I quite like the open-minded nature of Obama. Talk to anyone as long as conditions are right. DOES TALKING WITH THEM INCREASE OR DECREASE RISK OF 'ROGUENESS' OR TERRORISM? Think about it!!!!!!!!!

    American and British foundations have been based on Christian values. Is it a coincidence then than CHRISTIAN VALUES ARE MORE UNDER ATTACK THAN EVER and this CRISIS happens? Answers anyone? Wall street? Bush?

    Obama is the man for the future. Embrace him. Vote OBAMA 08.

    October 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. Kevin

    McCain, you are not my friend. STOP CALLIN ME YOUR FRIEND!!!! I DON'T EVEN SUPPORT YOU!!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. Peachbird

    Yes, indeed Senator McCain will test them.... the same way Bush has tested Osama Bin Laden WITH the approval of McCain! If there's oil there, McCain just might test them. He has proven that he will run head long into war! And that he will stay until we win... whatever that is!

    McCain is the past, I don't think he understands the world of today. "my fellow prisoners" Bless his heart, he is still a prisoner of war... he's the past and old ideas that have not worked, but he does not want to give up on them.

    Obama is cool headed and highly intelligent. If he does not have strength in an area, he will get it.... or get someone to help out while he does educate himself. But as a college professor of Constitutional Law, I doubt if he will have to do much to educate himself!

    October 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. Simmy

    He's a fool with poor judgment!
    Don't be cruel , just post the comments CNN!

    October 25, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Andrea

    What's that sound? Is that the band warming up on the deck of the McPain Titanic?

    October 25, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. SANDRA


    October 25, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. reggie

    mccain has done nothing for the state of arizona. he knows nothing of the south west

    October 25, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. BM

    Senator McSame, you are a fake, a liar and you don't understand that you are indeed a warmonger and noone wants war. We prefer peace. Every word you utter is "fight" Between you and Palin, one likes to shoot moose and wolves, you like to bomb, bomb, bomb.

    October 25, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. Mike

    Obama visited Mexico when in college? I bet he was scoring the Mexican brown weed. After all, he's the man that has admitted smoking pot and snorting cocaine. Please wake up, America!

    A socialist with no experience or a moderate with years of experience?

    NOBama, NO Way!

    October 25, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Kin (Anaheim, Ca.)

    JOHN McCAIN you could be better off if you stop saying these two words... ***************** MY FRIENDS ****************

    YOU are not my friend. You have great appeal and could be more successful if you say.... ****** MY FELLOW AMERICANS *******

    Your friend " Mr. Keating " was no good. and there are more people that hangout with you that should not be your friend...

    DAVIS ************** ROVE****************BUSH JR.**************

    October 25, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. Pat in IL

    Where in here is any kind of policy statement? I'm so tired of hearing nothing from McCain and Palin except lies and slams against Obama and Biden. It's so 7th grade, and getting very, very old.

    October 25, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. no way, no how no mccain, no palin

    Confused! You are an American, stop divisiness!!!

    October 25, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. john ny

    Oh, give me a break Mccain. You are so out of touch along with Palin.
    What a Joke.

    October 25, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. JD in Moraga

    Yeah, Obama's never been south of the border...unless you count Kenya, Indonesia, and Hawaii. Obama's also never cheated on his wife or been cited for ethics violations by the Senate. Guess there are some real differences between the candidates.

    October 25, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. Melissa

    lol, how amusing that he actually thinks anyone would care.

    October 25, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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