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. Go Cry On Barbie's Shoulder

    Waaaaahhhh!! Waaaahhhh!

    October 25, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Arin

    Nice try McCain but no dice. It's like you are insulting not only Obama's intelligence but all of ours. By the way tell Joe "The Hothead" McCain to quit calling 911!

    October 25, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. lee

    Does McCain fact check anything before he says it?

    October 25, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. linda n carolina

    I can't even feel sorry for him.

    October 25, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  5. Peter (CA)

    Sen. McCain, you should spend more time worried about what your running mate is doing behind your back than what Sen. Obama has planned.

    Forget it Griff-it was lame a month ago, it's worse now.

    October 25, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. I liked it!

    Bill Burton...I like your style! Your comment was timely and true!

    Obama/Biden – 08

    October 25, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  7. grahame

    I watched the McCain rally today and one thing becomes increasingly obvious. The more McCain falls behind the more hysterical his message becomes. This is obvious now that Sarah Palin has stabbed him in the back and decided to concentrate upon leading the Republicans in 2012.
    What did McCain really believe anyway. After all he's the one that picked this bimbo. I hope that Obama/Biden sweeps the entire country and makes it blue then we can start to forget Bush,Chaney,Rove McCain,Palin
    and all the rest of these cowboys who have done great damage to the USA

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

    hey mccain drop out of the race already you lost

    October 25, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  9. Mikey

    To "Willie Brown" and Griff: I hope things hold as they are and you get to post congratulations to President Barack Obama on November 5. That would be icing on the cake.

    October 25, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. Carl H.

    John McCain has lost his mind. I don't think any logical person is even listening to him anymore.

    October 25, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. reggie

    Obama thinks he's already won the White House. I really hope McCain can expose him for the fake he really is. Obama talks the talk, but has NEVER walked the walked.

    October 25, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. hurriCAIN PALIN

    that would be so great, nobama partying and gloating, then end up losing. haha

    October 25, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. mume

    mccain is so insecure, he just says whatever he wants I think john gat alheimer. Lol

    October 25, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  14. Proud Military Wife Voting For Obama/Biden

    Griff... Seriously!!!! You dont sound racist at all. The man may actually clean up what our last administration jacked up. I for one would rather give him the chance to do it on the BIG STAGE than vote for someone like McCain who is only trying to win to one up his father. Its written all over his face "my friend"

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 25, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. DDDDDDDDDDDDA

    MCSAME WHAT IS YOUR WORRY ?

    YOU'VE GOT HIM WHERE YOU WANT HIM !!!

    AND WE HAVE HIM WHERE WE WANT HIM,

    PRESIDENT.

    October 25, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. republicans hate america

    Willy Brown – Another stupid Christian that can not spell. Good thing your kind will be irrelevant on the 5th

    October 25, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. McCain=the draft

    There you go again, McCain...ANOTHER LIE!

    October 25, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  18. rainmaniam

    I'm starting to notice that this doesn't seem to be the first time McCain scans articles and picks out peices not in context, and then he quotes as fact. Makes him look out of touch.

    October 25, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. Mark

    This guy, McCain is so sore at being behind he just dreams up miserable snippets and shoots them from the hip. It's hard to believe that he's the same McCain as the one who campaigned in 2000.

    October 25, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Dawn Tarr

    McCain, either you are a complete moron or your staffers are trying to make you lose this election. Don't you think that lies are going to come out, or do you think that news is still delivered by the Pony Express!!!

    October 25, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. Alison B

    McCain is awfully confident for a man who is about to be the actual loser... can you say L.O.S.E.R

    10 days and counting until Obama wins this whole things...

    October 25, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. Polly

    The problem here is that Barack believes that he and his supporters can "play this game anyway they want to." There's way too much arrogance going on. I appreciate Senator McCain for his dignity and ability to play fair. Luckily, God is still bigger than him and things will work out eventually.

    October 25, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  23. Chris

    John – may I call you John? John, it's called planning ahead. Try it sometime.

    October 25, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  24. kate

    Hey CNN why don't you investigate the campaign contribution fraud going on in the Obama camp?

    Obama, don't count on some of your typical Dems states, you may lose them.
    I know many who never voted before who are voting Rep. and plenty of former Dems now voting Rep.
    Hey CNN:
    You worry about what Palins babys wearing but you don't do your job of investigative journalism about Obama fraud?

    How can someone named Della Ware at some bogus address donate money to the Obama campaign? Because his campaign doesn't bother to check .
    McCains campaign catches bogus donations
    Amazing that the FBI isn't involved yet

    ACORN, Rezco and now this

    As Bill Clinton says "this is the biggest fairy tale ever"

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

    HAHAHA!!..C'mon now Mccain, we all know that you have already written your concession speech, in which you throw Palin under the bus for screwing this election up for you..

    October 25, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
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