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. Ghost

    Can McCain do anything other then lie?

    October 25, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. Go Take a Nap, Man!!

    Put your jammies on and go take a long long nap you tired tired man.

    And when you wake up it will be November 5th and you will have lost and then you can go back and sleep some more. And you will be relieved that you don't have that job.

    October 25, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  3. Jodi K

    wow, I wonder what all of you Repubs that are delusional enough to think McCain has a prayer of winning are going to election night when President Obama is the victor. Oh wait, let me guess... you will whine and say Obama rigged the election despite reports already of VOTER FRAUD PERPETRATED by the REPUBLICANS

    October 25, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. Don

    John McSame and McFalin is like a ship run a shore with no way to get out to sea. They are just lost with no direction and self destruction of the whole Repub party in eminent. So also in looking at the Biden so called possible FP attack gaff ...it was bait and they took it all the way now they are off message, erratic, and lost 3-4 days. It was all planned to get them off stride and it worked. So all Obama supporters lets GET OUT THE VOTE the MOVEMENT and send Mcsame and McFalin back to Moose land.

    October 25, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. sky

    it's over old man...... it's over. Take a vacation to Alaska

    Obama is the President.

    October 25, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  6. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    Gee. McCain is lying.

    What a surprise.

    October 25, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  7. A Senior Southern Lady - NC

    John McCain is a good and decent man but he has run a terrible campaign. Instead of telling us what he would do for us, if elected, he spent most of the time tearing down Obama. Whoever is advising him is far, far off the mark. To regain his reputation, McCain, for the last days of the campaign, needs to ge back to being the McCain of 2000 and be the good man that he is. Send his political advisors packing.

    October 25, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. GeorgiaPeachforObama

    Once again, John McCain gets it wrong.

    October 25, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  9. Trasa, Texas

    @ Polly

    God doesn't like ugly and SugarDaddy McCain and his rogue VP have been ugly and divisive. Us supporters don't think were arrogant, but we are tired of this mess. Your right, God is bigger, that's why McCain is being crushed with the shear force of "CHANGE". Maybe it's about time you join in or just shut up and move out the way.

    October 25, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  10. Joe Green

    John, I am looking at an autographed picture of you on my Office wall and wondering "What the HECK happened?"

    I'll tell you.

    You stopped being John McCain and started being whatever your advisors and pollsters said would get votes.

    Obama is beating you at your own game by being himself. He is marketing proposals that are UNPOPULAR (raising taxes, for example) and then defending them as necessary, not politcally expediant.

    John McCain tells us that we are kids in the candy store and we can all eat candy until we are sick.

    Americans want LEADERSHIP not PANDERING.

    October 25, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. NObama

    hmm...doesn't sound like an arrogant liberal at all....

    October 25, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. mike

    I couldnt help it but laugh so loud reading this article. McCain told his supporters he wont attend is presidential party.....6 hrs later he said he will vis remote video....24 hrs after that he claimed there might not be enough room inside.
    Sen Obama didnt comment on your preparation why do you care about him? I know you love the election to be about Sen Obama ...but like the rest of the issues "YOU DONT GET IT" Americans care about economy more than they do about 10yrs, 30yrs ago.
    Talk about the issues ...i hope you know your" Joe is making a book about you" lol

    October 25, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  13. Paul In Chicago

    Where's the hubris here? Why wouldn't Obama not plan that far ahead? Why run if you don't think that you're going to win? Please let's send McCain back to where he can do no more harm. I've never thought that he was honorable or heroic, and while I've crossed party lines to vote for both parties, I would never vote for McCain, and I'm proud that none of my children (uninfluenced) will either.

    October 25, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  14. Sue

    Does McCain vet anything? Not his VP choice, not his 'facts', not his ideas (300 billion from the taxpayers to buy up bad mortgages). Lies, Senator McCain are not honorable or high road. What happened to that campaign you said you were going to run? You've turned into a cartoon of yourself.

    October 25, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  15. max

    when you have a republican party known for dirty politics and stealing elections ... nothing is in the bag ... nothing but a historic landslide will shut the red sheep bushbots up .... drive them into the ocean ....

    October 25, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  16. Holly B

    Hey Gee Wiz! You may not be stupid but you certainly are ignorant! Obama is desparately wanted on the World Stage today. I'm an American currently living overseas and I can tell you that he is respected overseas as the world's great hope for a real leader in America and the world. Sod the spelling pal and get to the substance!!

    October 25, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  17. bo

    What is the average age of the bloggers here? Do you honestly know that if it were not for these two men who will be serving you even after the election, we would not be getting into over due debates about the division of our country. You should be all be hanging up your hate hats, and begin to heal our country. We should be so fortunate that our country has come so far in that we can nominate these two remarkable men and woman for the very things that divide us as one country. Let's begin by stopping all the hateful things you are blogging about. In less than 10 days, Americans need to come together not further apart. STOP the hate.

    October 25, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. Tiff of lithia springs

    I'm afraid we can't believe anything you say John. Do they actually have a copy of this speech and did he give it to them personally. I don't see how he could since he put is campaigning on hold for a real reason like the illness of a love one BUDDY!

    October 25, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  19. a well educated woman

    Just a heads up. Before you vote, make double sure you know your own polling place and times. Please do not wait until the day you go vote. I saw an interview with a guy who went to Prison for swarmy stuff in an election just a few years ago. The Repubs have some very dirty tricks up their sleeves, and do not be fooled into thinking everything will be ok. Without giving away what the guy did, it had something to do with jamming phone line, so voters could not call to get information. And also check your vote if done electronically, somehow the pick you made can jump to the other guy.

    October 25, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  20. Tisha ATL

    lies lies and more lie
    OBAMA-BIDEN 08/12

    October 25, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  21. robert

    George W...I Mean John McCain should throw in the towel. It seems that John cant make up his mind on what he believes. He'll do anything to win against our great FUTURE leader, Barack Obama. One of McCain's campaign slogans says *change* We all know that has been Obama's motto since the start of his campaign. After being successful with this motto, McCain decides to use it. After Obama defeated Hillary in the primaries, McCain decides to pick a woman as his running mate in hopes of getting more votes from Hillary's suppoRters. Too bad his choice was a worse candidate than hinself. Quit attacking Obama McCain, and inform AMerica on why your worthy of running this country.

    October 25, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  22. Beverley, from PA

    We love you CNN and we love Obama too, thanks for giving him to us, we need a great man, and he is like a great king, and you CNN are a great Network, the most trusted name in news. America love you, and Obama too.


    October 25, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  23. Florida for Obama

    It never ceases to amaze me to watch the Republicans disgrace themselves time and time again! The way the Republicans have managed or rather mismanaged their campaign only reinforces my support for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Senator Obama has managed his campaign right from the beginning with skill, organization and diplomacy.

    October 25, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  24. Adam

    McCain, think of some program instead of whining! Down in the polls for a month and still no plan on the economy, sheesh.

    October 25, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  25. Independent

    What is wrong with McCain? Can he not tell the truth about anything? Why does he keep making things up? I don't get it, the election is 10 days out and he still focuing on lying and negative comments. McCain you should try to make good use of the last few days and state your policy.

    October 25, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
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