October 25th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
9 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. Deb, Allentown,PA

    McCain, you are not "my friend". I wouldn't want you or Palin as a friend.

    October 25, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. Muhammad Shakoor

    I'm a independent voter, I voted yesterday for the first time a straight DEMS ticket. Palin, is negative but more important she is too stupid, how in the Hell they pick this dumb person for VP. Don't know the role of VP, I heard the same answer three times! McCain, is the one who has shown us that he is stupid too, no correction on her answer on the role of VP.

    October 25, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. Jose Geromino

    McCain went south of the border and befriended Pinochet in Chile, the dictator who overthrew a democratically elected government and terrorized Chileans for 2 decades. W/ friends like that...

    October 25, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. flavoter

    Why with all the economic turmoil has Sen. McCain not stopped the International Republican Institutes that he chairs from collecting billions of tax payer dollars that they receive as a "non-profit" ? Nation building can wait while we rebuild our own ....

    What the republicans let administration did is give a small number of americans the key to the bank and did they really think these greedy people would do the right thing, the trickle down effect has not worked and John McCain wants to continue the practice.

    JUST SAY NO!!!!!! Greed is a powerful addiction.

    October 25, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  5. James

    What a joke. "I understand land and water and I understand the challenges that great western states face with our challenges"? That doesn't even make sense!!

    October 25, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Just a little more south there Mr. McCain...a little more...now stay there. No use to come back east. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your making in the comfort of one of your 7 homes while Obama gets to work on fixing Americas problems.

    October 25, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |





    October 25, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  8. theogracias

    John sure is finishing strong. He's a maverick.

    October 25, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. Sue in Florida

    Typical. I'll say whatever I need to get elected. Not working! Time to send Sarah back to Alaska in 10 days, none to soon!

    Florida for OBAMA!

    October 25, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Louise in CA

    Sure you are. And I'm a monkey's uncle.

    October 25, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Victor Flores

    The background is not Mexico, it happens to be the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, Texas. The building in the background is William Beaumont Army Medical Center in Fort Bliss, behind that is McKelligon Canyon.

    October 25, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. Lorna, NY

    McCain/Palin – Liars of GOP.

    October 25, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. republicans hate america

    You dont know Jack!! just because you say you know things McCain doesnt make it so. Just one more week and we do not have to see your pitiful arrogance ever again.

    October 25, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. CL

    McCain has nothing left. He's out of gas and out of ideas. No real issues, no real campaign. His VP pick is already turning on him just like she did in Alaska.

    October 25, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. George Maynard

    Senator John McCain Go for it. I support you and Sarah Palin, I flew missions over North Vietnam and did recon duty at Eielson AFB I have the up most respect and confidence in you team. I am not ready to endure the Muslim Way of Life.
    George Maynard
    Korea, Atomic Vet and Vietnam Vet.
    George Maynard
    SAC Retired

    October 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. Skyview

    McCain says he has been tested....Well, I guess you can say that after having failed every test you have been given....So, maybe what he should tell us is why we should beleive that he will provide anything other than his usual erratic, unsteady and out dated refected solutions.

    October 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. Tom

    There he goes blathering on again about "I know this" and "I understand that," just like in the debates. Empty claims. Meanwhile, Obama steadily goes about the business of showing that he is the one who really understands the issues and has good plans–and the temperament and judgment–to address them effectively, whether it's domestic stuff like the economy and renewable energy or foreign policy like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    October 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. former republican

    McCain is really starting to annoy me.all he does is attack obama, he never comes up with anything new. its just senator obama this.. senator obama that..bla bla bla.

    McCain please just give it up. you lost.

    October 25, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. Rorschach

    What? No mention of Joe "The Plumber" Weaselbacker?

    October 25, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  20. Bill Charlotte,NC

    Yeah, thanks to Cindy's beer money...........

    October 25, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  21. Lorenzo

    Tested in what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 25, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. Mike From Toledo, Ohio

    McCain said, "I’ve been tested and I'm going to test them"
    Do we really want a president that is going to go out there and 'test' the world powers? We don't need another 'cowboy' in the White House.

    Obama/Biden 08/and beyond

    October 25, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. JohnWinNC

    John McCain still does not "get it." This election is not about which candidate is "ready," has experience or is "tested.". The 2008 vote is about change from Republican/Bush/McCain rule to "a new direction." It is about which candidate speaks, acts, and stands for US! McCain continues to to make "Obama" the central issue, but Obama himself has often said that the election not about him. McCain still thinks it is – he just doesn't get it.

    October 25, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. My Friends, let me tell you,

    I knew for years that tons of drugs were coming across my border,but I didnt do a thing to stop it.

    October 25, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  25. v.ananthan

    IT¨S so pathetic that OBAMA needs BUSH so badly that in every speech he has to connect McCain to BUSH and to tell the voters how bad last 8 years were….
    Bush has nothing to do with 9/11 but he has prevented new terrorist actions in american soil…and people should give Bush credit for that..

    October 25, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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