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. Susan

    For Obama, but feel he is 'too sure of himself' winning, which can cause a lost.

    October 25, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  2. sal

    McCain you have loss, and the person to blaim is the person you see in the as your reflection bush.

    Bush would have been a help to you if he was used better. Stupid move by your campaign.

    Bush could pull a better croud than you.

    Obama Biden have won

    Your arguments are making you look small. You are still a hero to many save some face.

    The Obama win is comming into manifestation, powered by the people.

    October 25, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  3. Chuck

    McCain's "I know, I know, I know, I know" rhetoric during his campaign speeches is getting tiring. He knows everything and his opponent knows nothing. If McCain knows everything, why hasn't he solved all our problems by now. He's had 26 years to solve all his "I know" problems and issues.

    He's become somewhat arrogant and all-knowing for his own good. The electorate doesn't believe him anymore.

    October 25, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  4. MESA

    When will voters hear from Gov. Palin's husband? What's his educational background. Does he work?

    October 25, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. rys, maryland

    i think mccain is gonna secretly vote for obama cause even he can't imagine palin being one heart beat away from the presidency!!!!

    October 25, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  6. CNN.com is a joke

    Hey CNN, can you simply do away with the comments on these stories? This is seriously a joke now.

    October 25, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. Bill

    I live in Mn. We just recieved a flyer from the GOP about Ayers. I could care less, especially if one does some research on who McCain has hung around with and been a party to. It kind of dwarfs Obama link to Ayers. I am 57 and I will tell you that the Republican Party of today is a far cry from the Regan years. Thanks to Rush and others, the party has gone down the toilet. Maybe Joe the plummer can help after all. Providing he pays his taxes. Leave it to the Republicans to back someone who has failed to pay his income taxes. Figures. I will never vote Republican until the party starts to get its act together. You might have won one election based on fear, but not this time. Rush, Fox and the party deserve one another.

    October 25, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. Tim MN.

    Oh! Maybe he can hang it next to his Presidential seal that was created this past summer?

    October 25, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. Alex

    mccain sounds like a loser...lately

    October 25, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. Perusing-Through


    Has any one found the actual newspaper that confirmed Obama has started working on his inaugural speech? – – – NO! – – – I didn't think so!

    So this is just another lie by McSame and nobody bothered to confirm whether the story is true or false? Just how many more times must you people get bamboozled before you learn that McCain and Palin are out of credibility and has resorted to bold face lies?!?

    October 25, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  11. Lauren


    McCain is not lying about Obama already planning his win. He has already spent 2 million dollars to get ready for his acceptnace speech in Chicago.

    This was reported by the media, so it is NOT a McCain lie.
    Obama thinks he has this in the bag,,,,,

    I hope the Chosen One is not too upset when AMaerica does not choose him.

    October 25, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. Ken

    One more inane, silly diversion. Unbelievably pathetic. Even your running mate is leaving your erratic behavior behind.

    October 25, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. Chuma

    I wonder if John 'the whiner' McCain watched Usain Bolt commence his victory lap 15meters before completing the Olympic 100m event and yet he still ended up breaking the world record. Senator McCain, the race is as good as over!

    October 25, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  14. Becky in Vegas

    McCain .....the fat lady is tuning up....the lights are dimming....and soon it will be beddy bye time for you......nighty night my friend!!!!!!

    October 25, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. Joe - Chicago, IL

    Ah yes, planning contingencies is a terrible trait in a perspective president. We need more enlightened wisdom like Bush, lets invade Iraq and then we'll come up with plans for what to do post war as the situations comes up, lets not have a counter insurgency plan ready to go. And, lets not start thinking of what we can do to help the Economy, because we don't know if this bailout is going to work or not yet. The last thing we'd want is our planners figuring out what to do if and when it fails.

    I think this speech just goes to show you how much of a difference there is between McCain and Obama. One's spastic and always in react mode, the other is calm and is proactive. Who would you rather entrust the country's highest office to?

    October 25, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. mms

    talk about being in denial!!

    October 25, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  17. Steve O

    He finally gets to go down with his ship, pity the poor sailor. I actually feel badly, as a veteran his wifes comments about how only 18 and 19 year olds suffer from PTSD and not the officers because they had so much better training to handle war, has just left me cold about him .
    What kind of support will he receive from his spouse once he is diagnosed.
    Then I wonder if the VA will tell him it was genetically caused which is their current medical lie to dismiss claims for PTSD.

    October 25, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  18. Alicia

    I thought that 'both' candidates were always prepared for 'in the event' they got the position. And McCain says he is READY to sit in the chair, what a joke!!!!

    **I wish the old John McCain would come back. He is so uncomfortable with that pig in designer lipstick.

    October 25, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. A chicken sings in Johns yard

    John will say the same thing a week after the election.

    October 25, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  20. Amy from MIchigan

    I have news for you Senator, IT IS THE VOTERS who are deciding this race, not the Obama campaign. WE are answering the poll calls, WE are rejecting your divisive tactics, WE are hanging up on your robocalls, WE are going to the booths in unprecedented numbers.

    WE are changing government from the bottom up, and boy does it feel great!

    October 25, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  21. Bruce

    Early vote if you can. Vote Obama/Biden!!!

    October 25, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  22. craig

    Wow, now McCain is complaining that Obama has prepared for his inaugural address. I quess if he can't beat Obama on the issues, he has to cling to any stupid reason to attack Obama. I thought it was a good quality to be prepared for any situation. I quess I was wrong.

    October 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  23. Tony

    Boy scouts rule "Be Prepared". If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. The reason Mc Same is on the brink of defeat is because he failed to prepare. Even at this eleventh hour he failed to prepare. The Times excerp was about John's Podesta's prognostications as promulgated in the book....... not Obama's inaugural speech. Give credit where credit is due. Obama will "inaugurate" a speech, if you will not settle for known and tested seasoned points. He will be prepared because he planned in advance.

    October 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  24. henriettap

    McCain cannot concentrate on the economy because he and his camp are stuck on seeing what Obama is doing.They are struggling to stay afloat they keep losing there wheels I think they are running on flat tires.

    October 25, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  25. JohnWinNC

    McCain is apparently not appraised of events in the Obama campaign. Barack, Michelle, Joe, the campaign manager, the staff in my state and volunteers all say the same thing: do not take anything for granted; keep working and fighting for every vote until the election is over. That does not sound like a candidate who is "measuring for drapes" or "starting a victory lap." McCain is simply out of touch with reality – Yes – I am questioning his sanity at this point!

    October 25, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
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