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. Jeff Brown

    Don't worry John, he will win very soon!

    October 25, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  2. Matt

    DO NOT GLOAT DEMOCRATS! WE STILL HAVE WORK TO DO! As we have seen over the last two elections, we can take nothing for granted. I know Senator Obama isn't taking a single state for granted. GET INVOLVED! Phone bank! Knock on doors if you're in a swing state! Let's make this election the a$$ kicking we want it to be for Obama. Obama/Biden '08!!! Woo hoo!

    October 25, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. Tiff of lithia springs

    GRIFF you are the reason our education system needs a overhaul!
    OMG!!!!!!

    October 25, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  4. TERRI ANN BOARDWAY

    DO YOU ALL HAVE TO BE SO CRUEL AND HEARTLESS? THESE ARE 2 MEN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT WHO BOTH SINCERELY
    CARE ABOUT OUR COUNTRY. ONCE THE ELECTION IS OVER.. NO MATTER WHO WINS.. WE HAVE TO PULL TOGETHER AS A COUNTRY AND MAKE SURE IT IS A SAFE AND HEALTHY PLACE
    TO LIVE AND PAVE THE WAY FOR OUR CHILDREN. THE BEHAVIOR OF EVERYONE LATELY IS DISGRACEFUL. LOOK AT YOUR COMMENTS. IT IS AMAZING THAT ANYONE WOULD WANT TO BE IN PUBLIC OFFICE.. WITH ALL OF THESE COMMENTS.

    October 25, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. John

    Who can believe John McCain or Sarah Palin when they have spent their last 8 weeks lying like the devil himself?

    John McCain – you lost all credibility with your nasty campaign and you went from John the maverick to John the weasel!

    October 25, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  6. aware

    Obama didn't wait in the primaries b4 we heard about his extravagant pillars and plans!

    Obama like to spend $ for his own aggrandizement!

    His pattern is to overreach so don't vote for him if you want sound judgment! :(

    October 25, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  7. Larry

    Why can’t McCain use his vivid imagination to come up with a vision for the country?

    October 25, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  8. jon

    hahaha.....Im still laughting at Burton's comeback!!!

    October 25, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. Gary in Wyoming

    Let's see around 10 days left...that means McCain and team have at least around 50 more cheap shots and low blows to throw; btw. many people in the US and in the US Navy for that matter are of sick of McCain's charade and many in the rest of the cilvilized world must have had there minds blown by seeing politics from the republican's gutter tactics

    October 25, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Tiff of lithia springs

    UH! Larry if McCain had some ideas, I think we would have heard by now.

    October 25, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. Wanda and Lindsay

    Quit crying because he wrote his speech. Can't McCain find anything of more substance to whine about. Hmmmm, A President who prepares ahead of time. Something we are not used I guess.

    October 25, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. carol

    John McCain is so sure of himself and so smug......does he not realize he is the one behind in the polls!!!!!
    This man must be living in cloud cuckoo land.....he baffles me more and more....what planet does he live on!!!!
    We all just wish McCain would just leave the stage now, the show is way past over and the try outs don't start again for another 4 years.

    October 25, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  13. Aaron

    Nice comeback, lol!

    October 25, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  14. Go McCain

    We need the American hero not the senator full of words that are just words. Vote for McCain and Palin in 08.

    October 25, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  15. Jeff

    Well, maybe that's just another sign that Obama's ready to go. McCain isn't even up to speed on the issues of the day. I don't think there's much room for criticism from his campaign on being ready.

    October 25, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  16. For the records

    How Can Barack Obama not win with Cnn showing so much bias.
    You would think that CNN was running Baracks 's Campaign.
    Enough already CNN.
    Viewrs are getting tired of seeing and hearing the same old thing.
    Too much is not a good thing.

    October 25, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  17. mary

    I have two words for McCain & Palin (UGLY AMERICAN) YOUR ADS AND ATTACKS ARE DESPICABLE. I SEE UGLY ALL THE WAY TO THE BONE. All I see is McCain is the clone of Nikita Krewshev. And Palin as the wicked witch of the north.

    October 25, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  18. Bama4Obama

    Polly-What campaign have YOU been watching? Not the same one the rest of have been!

    McCain, when are you going to tell us how you will help the nation instead of spouting off all of this blustering nonsense? Oh, right-it's already too late for you, isn't it?

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 25, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  19. Gary Chandler in Canada

    McCain should not bother working on one!

    October 25, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  20. MN Liberal

    Griff: which poll are you referring to when stating the world doesn't want Obama? Or did you take the poll yourself during your spelling test?

    Your should vote for who's going to make the best President; not McCain because mom and dad were Republicans.

    October 25, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  21. IN

    To Willy Brown and all those outrageous liars who are trying to attack Obama's Character, he was born in the United States' 50th state whether you like it or not AND you have no right to deny that (THE TRUTH)

    October 25, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  22. wakeupamerica

    John McCain – take an Aricept.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 25, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  23. aware

    I'm reading "Rule for Radicals" and "Reveille for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky, the one Obama said he learned the most from!

    People are in for a huge surprise if Obama becomes POTUS! :(

    Not to mention Reid and Pelosi...! If it wasn't so serious, it would be hilarious!

    October 25, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  24. Tiff of lithia springs

    Polly if telling lies is playing fair then I am going to vote for McCain

    Sike! I already voted for the guy who tell's more truths that McCain.

    GO OBAMA/BIDEN

    October 25, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  25. Tom

    If McCain were elected, he would set free Mark David Chapman,

    How screwed up is that?

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