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. Peachbird

    Polly, Polly, Polly..... wake up and smell its over! McCain is desperate. Palin is shopping and working on her new career.... I suspect she's planning with Fox News or Rush Limbaugh's radio crew as we type......

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. bruce FORMER REPUBLICAN FROM MA.

    Once upon a time I traveled on and commanded the straight talk express. I was younger then and a more truthful polition. I had a better grasp of the situation... now we are in the ditch, the tires are spinning the mud is flying but we seem to be stuck.....I just thru Pres. Bush under the bus but don't seem to gain any traction... perhaps I could throw congress under the bus... perhaps the entire country...

    Sara says its okay...

    Yup its me the old white retired guy from Ma. former Republican

    Bruce

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. kw

    It's over.
    Everytime I hear something like that, it's like saying: I have nothing more to show you, but don't vote for the other guy...

    It's over!

    If the last 2 presidential election was done right, and the Bush administrations been good, or there wasn't the Swiftboat... This election could put Mccain in a better light. The republicans did this to themselves. And I'm sure many republicans are ashame of their party.

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. Ron

    at least Obama didn't pick a former Saddam lobbyist like McCain did – how's your presidential transition team head William Timmons doing these days John McCain? I suppose he's not writing any inauguration speeches which is good. that way Timmons can go back to lobbying for dictators and McCain can retire and get some anger management counseling.

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Hanna

    McCain is loser what his wering jan 20 obama you tell me mcCain old lier

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. YES WE WILL - TEXAS

    McCain, Palin has finished your race to the Whitehouse. After CNN picked up the fact that she interferred with the bidding on the pipe line and it may not be built. She will have more charges.

    All you all have to offer is lies, lies and more corrupt government.

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. maynard hopkins wi

    Obama was born in Kenya, this is what his grandmother states who lives in Kenya.
    How can he be the president if he is not born in the U.S. as stated by the constitution. His half sister claims that he was born in Hawaii.
    More dark secrets of Obama.
    Who was Frank Marshall Davis? These are legal questions and should be answered before election day.

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. FrankSmith

    Why do we pay taxes?

    -Not to spread wealth (0 point, if you think it is to spread wealth)

    -Not to give out welfare (0 point, if you think it is to give welfare)

    -Not to support the poor (0 point, if you think it is to feed the poor)

    We pay taxes "To make our Government function or work for us". As an example, the Republicans just waged 2 wars because they knew the Government had our tax monies, and one of the functions of Government is to "protect us."

    Do you want Government to protect us? If your answer is YES, then vote to pay taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    John McCain has lost it. At this stage he seems more like a chicken with its head chopped off. There is a lot of movement but he is going no where because the republicans cannot fool all the people all the time. We have seen through their spin and fear mongering, when all the time their main interest has been to make the rich richer so that the rest of us can get more crumbs.

    October 25, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  10. recreant

    That's right John...why be prepared in advance for anything? Why make a plan when who knows what tomorrow will bring? Why shouldn't the whole country just fly by the seat of its pants, to put it in your lingo?

    Because George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower understood something; the Allies would not prevail through tactics, but through logistics.

    Barack seems to have gotten that part of the story straight...and it shows in his campaign. And yours? Always a day late and a dollar short. It's given us all a very good idea of what a McCain presidency would be like...and we ain't buyin'.

    October 25, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. SickofMcCrap

    Sheesh John, you say the most interesting things. Too bad they are less true than most of those 'based on actual events' made for TV movies.

    Oh and BTW, in your case saying you are 'old fashioned' only serves to remind people of just how old you really are.

    October 25, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. AllWeNeedIsLove

    Does the McCain-Palin camp believe if you continue to tell the same lies over and over, that they somehow become the truth? I'm fine with one fighting until the fight is over but at least be honest in your fight.

    October 25, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. melody watkins

    I'm saddened to see McCain has come to this. He just can't play it straight. People are not being gullible anymore. He has a disgruntled, divided campaign staff and a VP choice with limited appeal and designs on the Presidency for herself. He now appears to be desperate with the negativity. Please Mr.McCain, take over your campaign for these last few days, silence Palin to show you have control, and regain your dignity.

    October 25, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. Uwabare

    MCCain is commiting politcal suiside by running against Obama. Hillay and Bill merely survived, You should have learned from thier lesson. Watch out Bush the second!!!!!

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. YES WE WILL - TEXAS

    McCain you have tire tracks all over you from Palin throwing you under the Straight Talk Express. Just a word of caution – Palin isn't through with you yet!

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Hanna

    McCain is loser what his wering jan 20 obama you tell me mcCain

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Sarsar

    Oh, I just remembered: John McCain doesn't use the internet and computers so he hasn't been watching the Nate Smith wedsite of poll predictions. This is now about the fifth time I have heard McCain refer to something over 40 years ago: the 1948 election, Ike the day before DDay in 1944 and the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962. Mr. McCain, Americans are more concerned about the future, you are making yourself sound VERY old and out of touch.

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  18. Dawn

    One last thing, the mental Hospital is looking for an escaped patient,

    The police reports claims that he is very delusional and in the company of some very shifty characters. One is blonde and looks like she is in dire need of some Prozac. The other is a brunette and she is in dire need of McCain's place as head of the ticket.

    If you see them please, do not approach them, call 911 and tell them this is Joe the obscene caller

    It will be a tough 10 days

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. Gracie

    Hey McCain.... you might want to listen to the song by the O'Jays, "BACK STABBERS"...

    I WOULD BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR PITT BULL, WHOSE TURNING ON HER OWN MASTER!!

    I WOULD BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR PITT BULL, WHOSE TURNING ON HER OWN MASTER!!

    I WOULD BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR PITT BULL, WHOSE TURNING ON HER OWN MASTER!!

    I WOULD BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR PITT BULL, WHOSE TURNING ON HER OWN MASTER!!

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. Simmy

    Sen McCain: With all due respect: SHUT UP! You are sounding more like a lunatic each day!

    Early Obama Voter!

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. Linda32

    Haasn't this man learned yet???? Doesn't he know Obama yet?

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  22. gilbert tx

    go OBAMA, hispanics endorsement

    October 25, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. John in FL

    What does everyone see in Obama? What has he done, besides taken a free ride through college, and taken a free house? He has yet to prove anything to anyone. Palin might not be the ideal VP candidate, but at least she has a record of what she has done.

    October 25, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. Amy

    Hey Sen McCain is it really your stump speech or a skit on SNL that cnn is reporting on?

    October 25, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. YES WE WILL - TEXAS

    I hope when Palin leaves she takes Bay Buchannan and the blonde from The View with her. Oh, and the Sanchez lady from CNN – Oh and Photohauer!

    October 25, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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