October 25th, 2008
07:51 PM ET
10 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. Willie A. Richardson

    It's really called planning, something that McCain knows nothing about. I really wish he would stop whinning. He sounds like a two year old. Can you imagine Mr. Mccain running this country? I really couldn't. I do hope that Mr. Obama gets to officially delivery his acceptance speech. However, it's not over yet.

    October 25, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. Gee Whiz!

    You have only one choice Amarica. And that is for Barack Obama to stand down. Get out of Politics all togetther… Obama is not wanted on the World stage today… Your trying fo force him on ythe World….
    They He a Good Guy… ADOLF WAS A gOOD gUY IN 1937…

    You are pitiful. Your typing skills match your IQ and you can't even spell America. People always feel sorry for the underdog...in your case, I just feel sorry for the stupid.

    OB – 08

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

    Didn't the Republicans do the same thing with "Mission Accomplished?"

    Sounds like more GOP hypocrisy to me. Good riddance.

    October 25, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  4. ralph

    Wow, this fellow is making it up, making it up, making it up. Good lord does no one over there do any research before it winds up in a speech.

    Please send this corrupt old man who has shamefully squandered whatever honor he had earned, back to Arizona.

    For that matter why doesn't CNN fact check a bit before repeating McCain talking points as gospel.

    October 25, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. Chloe

    Another pure falsehood in a major McCain address. It's shocking what he has become.

    October 25, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. grahame

    Hey Willy Brown.
    That's "BORN IN THE USA. not BORNED. You uneducated twit What's the matter don't you have spell check?. That's what the little red line means under the word. Boy What a moron!

    October 25, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. Sue T

    Maybe McCain should start writing his concession speech......

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

    The Republican party has ceased to be a political party and now seems to be the home of racists, bigots and Christian evangelical right wing extremeists and John McCain is their leader now.

    Perhaps that is why he can offer nothing but negative attacks based on lies, fear and hate.

    October 25, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. sana ceesay,UK

    My advice to McCain.
    you are too old to handle this demanding job you are criving for.
    Why can't you concentrate on your health and let the young, more healthy, well educated and choice of the Americans [Sen. Obama] take over this demanding job.

    October 25, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. Already Voted Obama/Biden

    Griff... I pray that he does win; one of his campaign promises was for better educational opportunities and you could use some "Hooked on Phonics"

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

    Bill Burton's comment was funny. the McCain camp is becoming laughable as though it belongs as a skit on snl.

    October 25, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. Winny

    Even though the this statement is false. What is wrong with making preparation for such a great moment. It is not something to be taken lightly. What is wrong with that? Senator where is your honor? America is sick and tired of this type of behaviour from people who should be representing us. Come on you know better than that.

    October 25, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Ork

    McCain is now starting to annoy me more and more, day by day – the 4th of Nov can't come fast enuff..

    PS: Mute when this guy comes on the tele, ditto for Palin.. you'll be better off for it..

    October 25, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Gail in SC

    Another lie! Why is John McCain doing this to himself. In 2000, i would have voted for him. In 2008, Not a chance. John McCain keeps saying we don't know Obama , but John McCain doesn't know himself. This descent is just sadder every day.

    October 25, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  15. Polly

    I think that Barack supporters are not seeing who John McCain really is. They are only seeing what they want to see. I think they might be sorry one day.

    October 25, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. mel

    didnt mccain proofread lincolns speeches

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

    Just another lie in the bucket (or trough) for the McCain/Palin campaign.

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

    Hey McCain.....when you step off the plain in Alaska after you loose, be sure and tell them DEMENTIA SENTIA

    October 25, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |

    Ah Hem.... My friend John... the countrys problems today are the economy and they want to hear from you how you are going to correct the downward spiral..... I don't think that your bellowing about a speach that has or hasn't been written is of any importance but it does speak to your .....EXPERIENCE..... JUst come out and say it John...
    they can't possibly vote for THAT ONE>>>
    Yup its that old white retired guy from Ma. Former Republican


    October 25, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. Dave in RI

    hey shouldn't tainopower be posting some BS about now....

    slacking off...

    The bloggers paycheck is going to be short this week.

    October 25, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. BBB

    There was a time when I had such respect for Sen. McCain... it is so sad to see someone plunge so low.

    October 25, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. Rocky Richardson

    I wish Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin would talk about the very important challenges we face and how they plan to overcome them instead of crying like a little child. They've put forth no concrete proposals for solving the job loss, foreclosure, economic, health care, immigration or other challenges we face. I wonder if the future president of the United States will have time to sit back and cry/complain or think rationally and try to get to work on working together and solving the challenges at hand.

    October 25, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. Stick a fork in that pig, he's done

    Ok, so he wrote his inaugural address already? So what? I can think of worse things to do with him time, especially since he has a good chance of winning. McCain just needs to face the fact that he will be losing to a black man that is young enough to be his son. I am so sick of McCain's sense of entitlement. Because he was a war hero, he deserves to be president. What about that temper that is so apparent in this man? He can run this country like that. He's too tempermental and cannot control himself. An angry person leading this country with the problems we have? What kind of decisions do you think he will make with his angry self? He will just perpetuate the hatred of the U.S..

    I am so tired of McCain's attacks. He talks about how wrong Obama is more than he talks about the issues. McCain winning scares me. Not because he is old. If he had a smart and ready vice-president, I may have considered him more, but his choice of Palin proves how off his judgment is. He just needs to hang it up. Even the GOP is sick of this guy and Palin. She was just a strategy to begin with. She was chosen for the all of the wrong reasons so to vote for McCain is stupid. She is not ready to lead. McCain can die (God forbid) six months into his term. Do you really trust her to lead this country? If you do, you are an idiot, plain and simple. Obama doesn't have a whole lot of experience, but he is brilliant, just look at how he's run his campaign for Christ's sake. He is ready to be a leader. McCain is a loose cannon.

    October 25, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  24. jennifer

    Hey McSame...Get a life..well you do have one with your 13 homes!!!
    what bull, you don't know any thing about what it is to go without...you and your mouse hunter...should have a couple of six packs, and take a nice long holiday......

    October 25, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. 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???????????
    P.S. in case the general public does not know...IL has more than it's share of problems...we, of coarse, will forever thank the DEMOCRATIC party for that...and I am sure they will have their share of excuses for why it really wasn't their fault! Anybody know a democrate that will admit to ever being wrong? AND since when is it fair or just to take anything from someone who has worked for it and give it to someone who refuses to work. This has to stop.
    "If you GIVE a man a fish he has food for a day. If you TEACH
    a man to fish, he has food for the rest of his life."
    What do you really think is the BEST way.
    Welfare has not helped like we waned it to...It needs to be fixed...and the democrates are not going to do it...and I don't know why.

    October 25, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
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