October 25th, 2008
07:51 PM ET
10 years ago

'Finish the race before starting the victory lap,' McCain says

Sen. McCain warned Sen. Obama not to get too far ahead of himself during a campaign event Saturday.

Sen. McCain warned Sen. Obama not to get too far ahead of himself during a campaign event Saturday.

(CNN) - Senator John McCain attacked Sen. Barack Obama for having his inaugural address ready to go and said that Obama’s presidential preparations will be proven premature at a rally in Mesilla, Arizona on Saturday.

“We just learned from a newspaper today that Senator Obama’s inaugural address is already written.”

“You know? I’m not making it up. I’m not making it up. I’m not making it up. An awful lot of voters are still undecided, but he’s decided for them that well, why wait? It’s time to move forward with his first inaugural address,” McCain said.

“My friends, when I pull this thing, I have a request for my opponent. I want him to save that manuscript of his inaugural address, and donate it to the Smithsonian. And they can put it right next to the Chicago paper that said Dewey Defeats Truman,” he said in reference to the 1948 Chicago Tribune headline incorrectly proclaiming Dewey the winner of that presidential election.

“There’s 10 days left in this election, maybe Barack Obama will have his first state of the union address ready before you head to the polls. You know, I guess I’m just a little old fashioned about these things. I prefer to let the voters weigh in before presuming the outcome. What America needs now is someone who will finish the race before starting the victory lap.”

McCain was referring to a New York Times article published Saturday that said John Podesta (who leads Senator Obama's transition team) "has been mapping out the transition so systematically that he has already written a draft Inaugural Address for Mr. Obama, which he published this summer in a book called ‘The Power of Progress’.”

Minutes after the Republican presidential candidate finished his speech, an Obama aide clarified that the address was in a book John Podesta wrote before Obama was the nominee and was written for a generic Democratic president.

In another response, Obama-Biden spokesman Bill Burton denied McCain's claim and linked him to a very unpopular Republican president.

“While this charge is completely false and there is no draft of an inaugural address for Senator Obama, the last thing we need is a candidate like John McCain who just plans on re-reading George Bush’s,” Burton said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (521 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    I have already voted Obama/Biden. Everybody needs to get out and vote for Obama and show these people that hatred for your fellow American's is not going to work. We are not unamerican cowards and traitors like McCain and Palin keep saying. I served this country and am doing everything in my power to see these two go down. Obama loves this country and all it's people even the right wingers that hate him and all his supporters.

    October 25, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. calvin

    sir McCain.... with all due respect .... you are 72 and it's time to retire

    October 25, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  3. Shawn

    Bush the Second? More like Bush Light. Remember, he only voted with Bush 90% of the time. That's right Cindy McCain, you are heir to a fortune made on Busch Light and you are married to Bush Light. Just don't drink and drive your Lexus. You might hit one of your other 10 cars in the driveway of one of your 7 houses.

    October 25, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  4. Betty the maid

    Obama is brilliant....he is calm, smart , prepared and urbane........that just drives McCain insane. And, I love it!!!......McCain and his bimbo side kick have spent the last 3 weeks spewing hate and lies like a nasty dying dragon...well, I guess they are dying dragons....all the republicans are...it's the end of a nasty 8 year old nightmare and they just can't stand it. Maybe McCain needs to write his concession speech.....

    October 25, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  5. Kris K in RM,CA

    Palin has stabbed McCain in the back. She is an ungratedul brat that never grew up. I wonder what Cindy McCain would like to say to her.Palin is not our GOP future.She is done. McCain is done. They made every mistaikes with their campaign they could and now it is over.
    They need to runout the clock as gracefully as they can and go home. McCain is a sorry figure and Palin is just plan mad,or is it bad?

    October 25, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. Fred

    John McCain doesn't realize 1948 was a very long time ago?

    That's right he's very OLD!!!

    October 25, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. Amelia from Georgia

    My only concern was when McCain picked Palin – I listened, I observed and I decided to vote for the Democratic ticket for the first time EVER. I liked McCain in the beginning and then it went down hill from there. This is not the man who ran against Bush 8 years ago! My decision is that Obama would be best for this country. Palin does not need to be in Washington!!!

    October 25, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. Donald

    It's evident that McCain and Palin dont read the blogs, if they did they would know that all this attackin isnt paying off, so why keep doin it. Obama you the man and i know you and Biden will do your best to get this country back on the right road for ALL people.

    October 25, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. Reason

    Senator McCain start sounding like Palin

    October 25, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. Captain Caveman

    Polly, you claim that there's way too much arrogance going on in the Obama campaign, but the McCain campaign is stocked full of ignorance. McCain and his supporters are putting forward a platform based upon lies and fear-mongering instead of dealing with the issues our country is facing. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 25, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. Bennie

    John check your running mate, because she seem to be running around you doing her own thing.

    October 25, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. Roger from Ohio

    Looks like all the Obama folks have to do with their time is sit around and wait for blogs to appear so they can comment on them in support of their messiah. The large crowds at Obama speeches only come to see the free concerts from popular artists and will tolerate a few minutes of Obama. At least McCain is not ashamed of his country and he doesn't need rock bands to draw people to his speeches. Also, he is the ONLY one with the experience to lead our great nation.

    October 25, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. lovable liberal

    Hey, McCain's an environmentalist! He recycles tired old Republican BS that we've already heard from his vacuous and dirty campaign.

    October 25, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. jackmack

    Hahahaha... seriously... SERIOUSLY... McCain is just jealous and bitter and that is it.

    KEEP THE PRESSURE ON, OBAMA SUPPORTERS... Let's flush this codger and his evil barbie vp ONCE AND FOR ALL

    Obama/Biden 08!!!

    October 25, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  15. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    John McCain is a joke with no punch line.

    October 25, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. linda from South Dakota

    omg, mccains at it again,,, lies lies,, and he wants to be voted in?? lol,, hes such a joke,, and he thinks americans dont know this,, that he lies??? mr mccain,, we arent that stupid,,,, its just goes to show , that you and plain will do anything,, i mean anything to get votes,, but what you dont realize is ,, WE ARENT STUPID,, WE SEE THROUGH YOUR LIES,, AND I WOULDNT VOTE FOR YOU IF YOU WERE THE ONLY CANIDATE,,, ITS TIME YOU AND PLAIN GROW UP AND REALIZE AMERICANS ARENT THAT DUMB

    October 25, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    This is only something that a poor public speaker would have a problem with. And McCain almost wrote the book on POOR PUBLIC SPEAKING.

    October 25, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. R. Squibbs

    It's official: John McCain is the most pathetic man in US politics.

    October 25, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  19. FEAR...

    Guys.. don't worry about Griff. he is a paid RNC'er.... I remember his posts when he was working Operation Chaos during the primary.

    October 25, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  20. Poore Alaska ...

    That narcissistic maniac woman coming back/

    October 25, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  21. Landon Hefner

    I hear McCains camp has removed the l from Palin for becoming such a pain in the you know where during his campaign

    October 25, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. MsRotten

    Aww....Poor McShame....he's getting POed. How's your "rogue" running mate doing? Bet you're kicking yourself in the arse right about now?!

    "She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," said this McCain adviser. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.

    "Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom."

    She is dangerous an dangerous for America. There are a lot of Repubs jumping ship; they aren't stupid. You've committed Political Suicide McShame. Now....send McLipstick back to Alaska so the fine Citizens can IMPEACH her!!

    October 25, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. kuriya

    why is McCain so angry? I watch him today on TV on one of his campaign in Nevada he looks so angry, old you can see the veins on his forehead and some part of his face. Does he have to be angry to express himself I wish he can talk a look at himself in the mirror narrate the campaign speeches then he will see how angry he looks. There is saying anger will not get you any where except self destruct.

    October 25, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. observer

    What joke McCain has become. What policies are you proposing Senator McCain?

    October 25, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. Charlie Bradley

    Polly you are sick!! It's PALIN who thinks she can say and do whatever the hell she wants. Arrogance and attacks are ALL we have seen from their campaign ads and debate and rally speeches. DEVISIVE attacks which are DETRIMENTAL and VERY CONTRADICTORY TO THE UNITED STATES


    October 25, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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