October 25th, 2008
07:51 PM ET
6 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. robrubin

    Does McCain realize that the reason he is behind in the polls is because most people want to hear about the issues and not silly mudslinging?

    McCain says he knows how to fix the economy....knows how to find bin Laden,etc...yet he apparently doesn't even know how to control his own running mate!

    Just 10 days to go. 10 long days of McCain's insanity.

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

    Mesilla, NEW MEXICO

    October 25, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  3. Unknown

    Why u making this an issue, sen McCain? We want to hear how u gonna solve this financial crisis!

    October 25, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. morefromLA

    Once again the vet doesn't understand the concept of vetting. Why employ intelligent deliberation when the dice are ready to roll?

    October 25, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Brandon from Ohio

    Let it go guys. In 10 more days we won't have to listen to McLiar or Daily Scandal Palin anymore.

    October 25, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. Dweh- Durham, NC

    Remember the story about the RMS Titanic, the band was playing while the ship was sinking. When they realised that the ship was actually sinking, the band started to play "Nearer my God to thee". On November 4th, th McCain campaign will come to similar realization.

    October 25, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. Lee

    I will say its nice to know that SOMEONE in the Palin/McCain camp is reading the papers. Although, not soon after they taught us to read, my teachers started to stress the importance of reading the WHOLE story, not just the first sentence...that way you know all of the relevant facts...

    McCain excising that one nugget from a whole great big piece reminds me of Toht, that movie Nazi from Raiders of the Lost Ark...he burned part of the necessary information from the medallion onto his hand, but missed the important parts on the backside...thus making his attempt to find the ark only half@$$ed.

    Someone needs to instruct this campaign to start talking about why people should vote for them and not why people shouldn't vote for the other guy...

    Obama/Biden...08 and 12...

    October 25, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  8. Trasa, Texas

    I can't wait until this election is over and Obama wipes the smirk off your face and your supporters. I hope he takes Arizona out of spite. We just have to listen to him for another week and it will be it.

    Go Obama!

    October 25, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. Get Real

    If you Liberals would look at the facts, Bill Clinton signed a bill in 1998 the became the beginning of the economic crisis. Don't listen to the biased networls like MSNBC withe creep Obberman. He is a jerk!!!!

    October 25, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  10. Kofi

    McSame doesn't get it, does he? Obama is implying that Palin and McSame should start preparing their concession speech. Hope McSame's surrogates send this message to him ASAP.

    October 25, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. Winnie Hussein.... in Montana

    I know, you shouldn't pick on those of low intelligence, but I must add one more comment to "Willy Brown":

    A federal judge has tossed out a complaint that Barack Obama's name should be taken off the ballot because he is ineligible to be president because he is a citizen of Indonesia rather than the United States.

    This is from newsmax.com, a conservative "news" site. The lawsuit had NO MERIT, Sen. Obama WAS born in Hawaii and IS a citizen.

    October 25, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. Dave in Albuquerque

    Whining already? McCain, finish the election then you can whine.

    October 25, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  13. Jeremy Crittenden

    "the last thing we need is a candidate like John McCain who just plans on re-reading George Bush’s,”

    Burn.

    October 25, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  14. Cory

    Obama has probably written both his victory and concession speech...He thinks about his next step and prepares without overreacting. Strategic thinking is something I want in people I vote for, republican or democrat.

    October 25, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. Michigan Dem

    McCain has lost sight of his campaign and continues to head down the immature, negativity trail...I feel sorry for him. I'm waiting for the day when he completely loses it and blows up in public...

    October 25, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. chippyarm

    Griff, what's with the fancy lower case, upper case thing? Obama has stood, poised to carry our country through the next few years. His plan will tell us middle America folk that we do matter. I hope that those who fear the lies being told by McCain and Palin, including the "S" word, those about taxes, and even those who believe he is an Arab think through the issues. By the way, an Arab is someone who maintains ethnicity from the Arabian Peninsula. I know, it's a week old story, but I still laugh.

    October 25, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. Troy

    McCain- you also did not have an economic plan prepared until one of your staffers said you were going to unveil it in the following week. You don't prepare for anything, you just wing it. Exactly what we need in a President.

    October 25, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  18. Eugene

    Yunno gosh darnit, Senator M, you are making it up.

    October 25, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. Perusing-Through

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

    That is a lie. If a newspaper made such a report, then which paper is it? And can that newspaper confirm whether such a speech has been written?

    McCain & Palin are liars.

    GOD Bless the United States of America!
    GOD Bless the Obama-Biden Leadership Team!

    October 25, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  20. Speider

    What has always frightened me about Senator McCain, is that he has always referred to the Presidency in military terms. "Commander-In-Chief." "Test our enemies!"

    It seems he's just spoiling for a fight and ready to make military commitments anywhere and everywhere. Not with my children!

    October 25, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  21. MD

    Every minute McCain wastes talking about non-issues, gets the Democrats a mile closer to the White House.

    Thanks you senator McCain for concentrating on Obama to the point that your suppoters hear his name more often than anything else at your rallies. You are free advertisement for Obama.

    October 25, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  22. Independent in NC

    Um, reading comprehension here, people. McCain was referring to an NYT article that said Obama had a draft speech, so if that is false, then the NYT screwed up, not McCain.

    And since Obama's spokesperson has said there is no draft speech, why are you all lauding him for being prepared? It doesn't exist, he hasn't prepared for anything.

    October 25, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  23. maxine

    Is it me or Mccain seem very angry at these rally that he cannot even give his creepy smile. And why does Sarah Palin keeps saying YES, each time she thinks that crowd had connected with her statement. Did anyone notice how tired she was looking today.

    October 25, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  24. shapour

    no mccain no obama will win but g-od almighty will win and do not blame anybody by now

    October 25, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. Annie, Atlanta

    Don't count this guy out yet. He has Rove's protegee manning the controls. I have a feeling this "Sarah Palin going rogue" story is a ploy. McCain dumps her in the last week, picks up someone with more creds, like Romney, and tries to win back some of those that have abandoned ship already. It's not out of the realm of possibilities, and I wouldn't put it past them.

    October 25, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
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