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. Send Palin home

    McGimmick plans on reading George Bush's inauguration speech to us one more time.

    I'm not having any of it! I will be voting and taking the entire day off to drive disabled Americans to the polls.

    Thank you McGimmick for reminding us how detrimental your policies would be to the next generation.

    Let's Roll !

    October 25, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. Obama 08: white, female, 60 yr old supporter

    Griff: You are more than a little confused; it is McCain who is NOT wanted by almost 75% of the world community!!

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

    with obama we will go back to dictature, that will be revange.... think about it

    October 25, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. mel from Ohio

    McCain/Palin have no shame, morals, or honor. Don't want them representing my country and me!!!!

    October 25, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. Ex-Republican (Retired Military)

    The November Rise of Obama-Biden

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

    obama/kimbo slice '08

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. Charlie Bradley

    OMG Y'all the whole thing about "My friends, when I pull this thing...." is scary... Is he implying that he intends to RIG the election somehow??I hope Election officials and Co-workers will see this comment PLEASE POST CNN.....because We cannon have someone making veiled threats!!

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. Colin

    Another lie from McCain such a shock he's desperate he'll lie about anything in order to try getting people to turn on Obama.

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. SomebodyHandMcCainSomeGinko

    I can't wait til Nov. 4th. I'm really getting tired of McCain & his immature rants.

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  10. New Yorker

    Hey what's up with with Obama not being able to produce a valid birth certificate and "the Ticker" not giving any info on this? Talk about slanted newscasting!

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. vic

    John McCain needs to shut up. He's already ruined any good name he may have had, and now he's simply disgraceful and disrespectful.

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. Proud Military Wife Voting For Obama/Biden

    Response to Willy Brown.... Your mother must be PROUD she raised and idiot.

    The man is dealing with the smears from McCain and dealing with the possible loss of a loved one. Grow up and get the facts for yourself instead of listening to the vile McCain is "palling around" and you choose to throw jabs about family...

    So how does it feel?

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. SD,Michigan

    McCain is full of it, lying in our face. I believe both of them have those speeches ready, it's not like they're gonna wait till 5 minutes before the final result to scribble some words on a napkin..c'mon now. Apply some logic here...So sick of lies...

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  14. Dave

    When McCain says "When I pull this off," isn't he doing the SAME THING he's accusing Obama of?

    McCain's new campaign strategy seems to be "I know you are but what am I?"

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. DaveC

    John McCain has now invoked the memory of Harry Truman, patron saint of losing political campaigns. Truman was last summoned in a Presidential race in 1996. Notably, Bob Dole waited until the last weekend before Election Day before bringing up Truman and then lost to Clinton by a margin of 8.5%. The fact that McCain has resorted to calling upon Truman a full ten days before the election forebodes an even greater defeat for his campaign.

    October 25, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Sean

    I hope you have your congratulations speech ready for President Obama, Senator McCain!

    October 25, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. douglas in minnesota

    So, McCain's main source of critical, inside-information is what he reads in the newspapers? Boy, he's on top of things! Sounds like another "Legitimate Issue du Jour."

    October 25, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. vic

    John McCain needs to worry about his own campaign and stop worrying about Senator Obama's.

    October 25, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  19. btodd

    BOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!! Poor Johnny Boy, all your hard work, honest methodologies, straight-talkin' express, smart choice on running mate and you STILL can't win. What's wrong, John????

    October 25, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  20. JD in Moraga

    Every time McCain says "I'm not making it up" it's immediately followed by something he made up. I think he and Cindy are sharing drugs.

    October 25, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. Susie oklahoma

    McCain is someone I can't say I'm proud of, he's not even a pale imitation of himself anymore. That's so sad!! Obama is a man that really shows integrity, honesty, trust and honor. I'm voting for Obama when early voting starts on the 31st!!

    Obama the next President!!

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

    Willy Brown, LOOK at his BIRTH CERTIFICATE....he was born in Hawaii roughly two years after it became a STATE!!!!! Ignorant gentlemen such as you should NOT have the right to vote. *-

    October 25, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Observer

    Good grief, McCain! Sounds like you're yelling at kids to get off your lawn! Try pitching some optimism or something positive for a change. This ranting of yours is geting really tiring. Who wants a grumpy guy for president?
    I voted early and I proudly voted Obama.

    October 25, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  24. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    I am sure that Senator Obama plans to write his own speech, besides he would not use a speech that has already been published in a book!
    How silly for McCain to even say such a thing!

    October 25, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. PinkCat

    Oh my, my, my...is this all McCain has to bring up at a rally in Arizona?

    October 25, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
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