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. former republican

    Im getting sick of hearing old man mccain constantly talk about barack obama. enough already. how about you talk about your OWN PLANS AND IDEAS instead of always bringing up obama... oh and another thing

    your not "MY FRIEND"

    October 25, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  2. chris

    mccain does not get it.....he is still worried about obama...

    while obama is giving the country hope....

    October 25, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  3. Alfonso, Colorado

    Everyone make sure that you and your family and friends and anyone else you know get out and vote!! Especially if you can vote early. Together we can win this thing!!

    O/B 08

    October 25, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. Carrie

    I honestly respect you McCain but face it. You sold your soul to the devil when you allowed the most ardent right wing of the GOP to push Palin on you. Country First but not in this case. And even more sadly you are not the focal point of the ticket, Palin is. The GOP did not trust you and did an end around to get the type of candidate they really wanted. Unforunately this wil be your legacy which is a shame...

    October 25, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  5. chris

    i think it is responsible to be prepared for anything, That's what Obama has done. Why hasn't McCain written one himself?

    mccain stuck in the moment

    Obama seeing the future

    October 25, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  6. Renee

    Mccain is just shameful. So what if Obama had prepared "inaugrate speech. This is childless behavior from a 72 year old man. In my opinion it is a good thing to always to be prepared just incase.

    October 25, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  7. chris

    ..............i think it is responsible to be prepared for anything, That's what Obama has done. Why hasn't McCain written one himself?

    mccain stuck in the moment

    Obama seeing the future

    October 25, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  8. Cartwright

    Obama is a Socialist. He has a history with the New Party of Chicago which seeks to take our Democratic Party to the far left. He wants to model the USA after France.

    October 25, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  9. jcbc

    And to think I once supported John Mc Cain.....until he morphed into another bush....how sad to see a fellow veteran lose his fortitude just to get elected....oh wait...according to sarah...you are called a 'maverick'.
    Good enough for me...i'll be voting Mc Cain...NOT

    October 25, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. ra372tes

    CNN, I see your comment moderator allows only Democrats to comment .,,,and the more anti McCain/Palin the better.....whata laugh!! Were did you get that boob, from the bottom of the bottom?

    October 25, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  11. Abe

    SENATOR YOUR CAMPAIGN IS LIKE A BUNCH OF DRUNKEN SAILORS AND YOU ARE THE CAPTAIN OF THE BOAT.

    I REFUSE TO SAIL WITH YOU.

    October 25, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  12. PUMA 4 HILL

    Obama thugs... stop stealing my McCain signs.. you are disgraceful.

    Ask yourselves... why would Michelle not visit the ailing Grandma? Why would the kids not visit their Grandma?

    ODD, indeed. It's either because he had some cover up business to take care of and she's not dying or Michelle is truly a racist and won't have anything to do with his white heritage.

    The whole thing smells and it takes a real dummy not to see it.

    October 25, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Tim, Laurel MD

    There he goes again – throwing mud and hoping it will stick – Never mind the facts – Got caught up in a lie once again! – McShame, McPain – I can't wait to cast my vote for OBAMA!!!!

    October 25, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  14. djak

    How about when it was quoted that you and Palin already discussed what her role would be in your administration. You know darned well you already have a speech drafted as well.

    October 25, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. mary

    It is just one more thing to avoid talking about the issues himself. what is wrong with being prepared, i think preparation is important.

    October 25, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  16. What is wrong

    People, People, please.

    1. Griff, what is wrong with you. Even if Obama was a bad person, which he is not, what Universe do you live on that you think that Congress, FBI, CIA, etc. or any other officials in Washington would allow him to do what he wants to this country. Obama would be impeached in a heartbeat. Please, please, please. I'm tired of these scare tactics. ADOLF my b-tt.

    2. Willy Brown, what are you talking about? There is proof that his mother went to the University of Hawii. His father went to the University of Hawaii. His mom is European decent – now how many people back in the 60s of her race do you know would travel all the way to Kenya, a very poor country. where there was poor hospital care etc. to give birth to their kid and then come all the way back to the USA. This doesn't make sense. This goes to show you how ignorant people really are in this country. Ignorant, ignorant.

    I am voting Obama/Biden 08'. Because of ignorance like this, you are only hearting the McCain/Palin ticket.

    October 25, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  17. Cynthia for conseratives

    McCain accept the fact that you have run a very negitive campaign attacking your opposition instead of detailing what you would do as President and choosing Palin over Romney was so stupid, that you are going to lose and lose badly.

    October 25, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  18. Susan

    I just stood in line for an hour and a half to vote with two thousands other people on a Saturday morning but whose counting.

    October 25, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  19. SBC

    What if he did have a speach ready? Even if it is right, I don't see anything wrong with it. McCain slogan says Country First but his campaign is anything but. He needs to convey his message instead of distracting the country with silly things like this. Enough is enough.

    October 25, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  20. swing state voter

    Oh my god!
    McCain is gone mad.

    October 25, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  21. Jesus Praising, Freedom Loving American Patriot

    PALIN GONE WILD! today on CNN:

    "She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," said this McCain adviser

    Next thing you know, she'll be running around with a "B" carved into her cheek and a black eye.

    Save our country!
    Vote Obama Nov. 4

    October 25, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  22. Ben Collins

    McCain's tactics have again proved he is average and not worthy of the Presidency. His bad parking job blew up the USS Forestall & got shot down because he was hungover and not paying attention. His wife, the balding yellow eyed demon seems to think greed is a God given right. His running mate has jumped the kennel and proclaimed herself Queen bizatch of the Republicans. CBN is on her speed dial.

    It will be a route of Biblical proportions. I'm betting 285 before midnight on 10/5 and 307 when the dust clears.

    October 25, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  23. randy

    Get your vote in early, then you can concentrate on helping others to the polling office to change this great country for the better!

    Go Obama/Biden!!!!!

    October 25, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. I would be worried also

    What happens after the ist 6 montsh if Obama wins. He will be tested by the terrorists.
    Who needs enemies when Obama`s own running mate (Vice- President) Joe Biden is worried.
    On the job training, is that what Americans accept if Obama wins

    October 25, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  25. Debi

    Wouldn't any presidential hopeful have an inaguration speech started the day they received the nomination.
    Just because it is written, does not mean it is written in stone.
    An inauguration speech takes time to write and tweek. It is not something that is written in the 2 months.
    I would think McCain would have started writing one when he was selected as the nominee, unless he knew from the time he sold his soul and allowed Karl Rove to pick Palin as his "running mate" that it would be a waste of time.

    October 25, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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