October 25th, 2008
07:51 PM ET
5 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. Chuck

    Is that all you got left, McCain? Attack, attack, attack and mislead, and misrepresent and go negative, all toward Obama without focusing on any issues whatsoever. You now have a failed campaign and you are too late to remedy it.

    October 25, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. Pepou

    Willie Brown, You should have been drowned at birth.

    October 25, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. MsRotten

    Do you know what is really funny?? MSM are ignoring Alaska. I know that AK has only 3 electoral votes. BUT....the Citizens of AK are SO DISGUSTED with Palin, there are a lot of Repubs and Indys that are voting Obama/Biden. I would not be surprised to see Alaska go BLUE in this election!

    October 25, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. Mark

    McCain....shut up and go back to Arizona..you lost!!

    October 25, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  5. carson

    no more bush ! no more mccain ! no way, no how , no mccain, no palin

    October 25, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. sabuc for Obama

    Who doesnt want a President who is prepared and wont have to wing it should he win. I think McCain is flustered and jealous that he can't afford time to prep for a possible victory.

    October 25, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  7. Tariq

    Even though there is no inaugural speech written like McCain claims....it does seem appropriate now since McCain seems to have drafted his own campaign's eulogy

    October 25, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. republicans hate america

    see this is what I mean this jerk has obviously not been listening to Obama tell his supporters to not get complacent. All McPhony is a bunch of crap jokes and zero substance on what he will do to fix this economy. That is why I voted for Obama last Monday

    October 25, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  9. Jim In Minn

    I'm not making it up! I'm not making it up! I'm not making it up!

    John, your whole campaign has been based on making things up.
    This is called "Crying wolf". People don't believe you anymore.

    You chose a VP candidate that lies as much as you do. She sold a plane on E-bay. Nope! The panel who investigated her firing of the police officer didn't find anything ethically wrong, she says. Wrong again!

    After Obama is inaugurated president, you and Mrs. Lipstick should have a lying contest and see whose nose grows the longest.

    October 25, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. Randy

    Clinton and Obama in flordia mcain is done pack it up and head home and take that fake palin with you.

    October 25, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. TexasGuy

    I think it is fine If Obama is preparing his inaugural speech, it is proactive approach. McCain you can not prepare the inaugural speech because you are still involve in preparing nasty speech. Race is offcourse not over, but thinking about future by a presidential candidate is not a crime.

    October 25, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. Brenda C

    Check out drudgereport.com

    First: government computers do search on poor ole Joe after he ask a simple question of Obama.

    Second: now TV station asks real questions and look what happens.

    YOU'RE PUNISHED: OBAMA CAMPAIGN CUTS OFF TV STATION AFTER TOUGH BIDEN INTERVIEW…

    Third: People you better be ready for Big Brother.

    October 25, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  13. Democrats are funny

    I am amazed i never would think than mccain could go this far Dow(n)

    October 25, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  14. Rose

    John McCain is a great man. I don't have any doubts that he isn't a hero and he has sacrificed a lot in his life for our country. I believe this election has truly just brought out the worst in him. But Obama is the better man for this job and my heart knows that. Please people vote for the change we desperately need! Obama 08!

    October 25, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  15. sandee in Portland

    God, I am so tired of listening to the lies of McCain's campaign. I will be so glad when this is over. He never checks his facts before he spurts out anything – typical knee jerk reactionary.

    Voted for Obama/Biden

    October 25, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  16. John from out West

    Go away John Mcgeezer

    October 25, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  17. Donna

    So why wouldn't Obama have a victory speech prepared? Isn't he running for President? I'm sure he has a concession speech as well..it's called BEING PREPARED...maybe Johnnie Boy should look into that as well...but then again he can't even run an organized campaign...

    October 25, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. Anne

    Sen. McCain...Instead of focusing on Obama's inaugural address, perhaps you should focus on getting your VP choice back on track and in your corner. What does it say when your own party is in shambles around you?? Infighting, "diva" and "rogue" behavior...yes, this is definately the party I want running my country.....NOT!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 25, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  19. hamilton nj

    it over johnmacksame

    October 25, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  20. republicans hate america

    How about this McCain aim first then shoot you idiot!

    October 25, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  21. voted for Obama in FL

    McCain is really becoming a joke. The guy is loosing it. 10 Days before 11/4 and the guy is still talking trash and keep on saying we are down few points, its 9 points dummy and your VP choice is running rouge on you. Wake up and smell the coffee and save whats left of your honor and say something worthy of people's time, maybe you will be remembered in good ways than the guy who went down crying.

    October 25, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. S Callahan

    I hold no grudges on Sen. McCain..he is just playing a part...he KNOWS that Obama is going to take the election.....
    More important things on going on in this world...hungry in Somila; economically distressed in the USA; homeless, or those living in tent cities in China or Mirama; and so on and so on....lets get on track and help our fellow man.
    I wish CNN would start reporting some of the miracles taking place like in Medjugorji Herzegovina (Bosnia)....

    October 25, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. Lisa

    Poor McCain! He can't stand that Obama will win. Remember why McCain decided to run in the first place-to eclipse the success of his father & grandfather. Read the Rolling Stone article about McCain (then research the facts contained in that article). He's been a belligerent bully for most of his life and consistently changes his political opinions to further his career. He talks a lot about crossing the isle, but his divisive conduct speaks for itself.

    Obama & Biden have been attacking McCain's policies not McCain (other that the erratic issue, which had to be said).

    I wouldn't be surprised if Obama is preparing his speech or his plans for the first 6 months in office. Obama is nothing if not thorough and prepared – Thank God! Who needs another Pres. with a knee jerk style!

    October 25, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. John in DC

    McSame campaign's latest charge of Obama: He's TOO ready for the unpredictable and voters don't want that! They want a President who will suspend everything (his campaign, spending on government programs, etc) and respond to each event (or criis) in turn. One at a time, the way they neatly come up in the real world.

    Btw...I voted early on Tuesday and I voted for the Obama/ Biden ticket.

    October 25, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. Perusing-Through

    WHAT NEWSPAPER REPORT IS McCAIN REFERING?

    McCain's quote as reported by CNN:
    "“We just learned from a newspaper today that Senator Obama’s inaugural address is already written.”
    - – - – -

    (1.) Have CNN seen the newspaper account McCain is referencing? – - – NO!

    (2.) Have CNN confirmed the newspaper account McCain is referencing? – - – NO!
    - – - – -

    THEN WHY IS CNN WORKING AS AN AGENT FOR McCAIN BY REPEATING HIS BOLD FACE LIES!!

    October 25, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21