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. SoCal

    McCain: change you can forget about!

    October 25, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. John

    Take your meds, Griff.

    October 25, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. Tony

    Even if Obama has already written his inaugural address, I don't see the problem with systematic planning (in advance). Why be a "knee-jerk" candidate who functions in reactive mode, rather than proactive, such as John McCain?

    October 25, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. Dennis

    Just like McCain and Palin not to check their facts before going off half-cocked. Take it down a notch McCain and do something about salvaging your "honor" while you still have chance. A lot of people probably would have remembered you fondly before this campaign started. I can't say the same is true now.

    October 25, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  5. Proud Military Wife Voting For Obama/Biden

    I guess thats another lie that backfired... Cant keep count. Patiently waiting on the next one...

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 25, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. Eileen

    Why doesn't the republican party take a look at the condition the state of Illinois is in. If he (obama) can't help run a state efficiently...how well will he do for 50 states???????????

    October 25, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. Ron L

    McCain is losing and will lose and one BIG REASON
    Gov. Sarah Palin..What a BONEHEADED decision!!!
    The AP just released a story showing once again she is an ego run amok!! It appears she manipulated the bidding on the pipe line she likes to brag about....Just another power hungry politician!!

    October 25, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  8. S. Boatman

    Mccain Is Just Jealous! We Already Had A Celebration Bar B Que! I Hope Obama Takes Two Victory Laps Just In Case You Miss The First One Mccain!

    October 25, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. Dori in AZ

    Hey, guys! MESILLA is in New Mexico. MESA is in Arizona. Which one is it?

    And, the only thing McCain is going to "pull" is the plug on his failed campaign. He can thank himself for having the foresight to pick Palin. What a disastrous duo!

    October 25, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. Chipster

    McCain is simply pathetic at this point. He's so desperate, angry, and nasty. It's sad really.

    October 25, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. Charlie Bradley

    LOL IF his inaugural address is already written, I think that is the undercurrent of preparedness and readiness and PLANNING that he has demonstrated throughout the campaign. I for one can't wait to hear OBAMA'S address.

    October 25, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. francheska ;-)

    I did not think Obama was doing a victory lap. I thought he was still out stumping and getting voters to the polls. Doesn't sound like a victory lap to me, sounds like he is putting in some long hours and hard work.
    But, McCain does need get a better handle on his campaign. For someone who says he has such great leadership qualities, he can not even lead is campaign.

    October 25, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. Let it go..........

    Somewhere between taking his meds and getting senile, McCain [I guess] doesn't know this election is about the economy. All he wants to do is put Obama in the limelight instead of stating what the Palin/Mccain ticket stands for besides squabbling. >scratching my head< Has he ANY idea that bullying his opponent is NOT a good a good thing? I(Oh yeah, right, he's got "Limbaugh and Family" who only KNOWS how to divide the country.) f McCain can't plan ahead, are we to trust him in a time that needs quick thinking? These people need to look outside the bubble and see how stupid they look not only to America, BUT, other countries. I pray McCain does not make it for you see, "my friend", he WILL be tested MORE than Obama!

    October 25, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. park more - New orleans

    if you cut message against obama, where is the democracy..... I am sure that with obama we will be back to dictature

    October 25, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. Larry

    GO John-but NOW is the time to QUIT TALKING ABOUT OBAMA and tell us HOW YOU ARE GOING TO GOVERN,WHAT YOU ARE PLANNING and WHY IT"S BETTER !!!!

    GO POSITIVE--YOU CAN WIN THIS ELECTION --GO POSITIVE

    October 25, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Gracie

    STOP CRYING McCAIN, IT'S A SIGN OF A SORE LOSER!

    STOP CRYING McCAIN, IT'S A SIGN OF A SORE LOSER!

    STOP CRYING McCAIN, IT'S A SIGN OF A SORE LOSER!

    STOP CRYING McCAIN, IT'S A SIGN OF A SORE LOSER!

    STOP CRYING McCAIN, IT'S A SIGN OF A SORE LOSER!

    October 25, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. park more - New orleans

    Sorry Bill, I am Hillaru supporter and I will vote for McCain. You and Hillary said that Obama is not qualify at all........ Now he is the best of the best ....... I am sure that insight you think different and you are playing politic....... At least RNC have straigh talk......

    October 25, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. Dawn

    Just like Palin, he only reads the headlines. I think you also have one written, you cranky old fool...You have been lamb basting Obama about being exprienced enough for the job, you bring in Caribou Barbie who incidentally wants the top ticket not the VP. You will do or say almost anything to get elected. I read that PNAC, it's scary... If you think that McCain is the answer, vote .. we are looking at Iran, Syria.

    Vote for Change Please, and don't let McCain close to the White House.

    October 25, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  19. ruty

    McCain is a liar. No one can believe anything he says. He has been a cry baby all his life. Go Away and take Palin with you.

    October 25, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  20. Dinah

    Obama is treading water. McCain is sinking without a lifeboat in sight.

    October 25, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Rodger

    Go home John McCain...you may lose Arizona!

    October 25, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. S. Boatman

    Its Not To Late To Join The Winning Team Mccain Supporters! Vote Obama And Be A Winner! Vote Mccain And Waste Your Vote!

    October 25, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  23. Nola

    Senator McCain, Senator Obama has not written a speech, nor has stop campaigning because he knows that the fat lady has not sung. In fact, she has not even began to stand up. So please stop telling everyone that he is ready to take over because he is still running in this race

    October 25, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. Jane Sixpack

    McDaddy McCain is getting a little grumpy in his old age. Maybe Sarah Palinoma can sing some soothing lullabies, show him some eye candy, and calm him down a bit.

    October 25, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  25. Amused to Death!

    Ha ha ha! Burton's comeback is hilarious!!!

    October 25, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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