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. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    You, McCain, were tested in N. Viet Nam and you failed when you make propaganda film for the enemy.

    Obama/Biden – the Constitutional Fellows.

    October 25, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. High school valedictorian

    JOHN MCCAIN = NON COMPOS MENTIS!!
    JOHN MCCAIM = NOT OF SOUND MIND!!

    Stop the lies. Tone down that arrogance. Nobody is measuring drapes in the White House, and nobody is writing inaugural speeches. Get it?

    I doubt it.

    October 25, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. IndyVoter

    Misleading and Pathetic!...but what else is new...Sen. McCain, please stop and leave the stage with SOME semblance of your integrity intact if it isn't already too late..., Oh and don't forget to take your running mate with you, though I suspect she won't want to get off of the stage and indeed will try to share it with the rest of the Republican candidates in 2016.

    October 25, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. CONFUSED OLD MAN!!

    Sen. McCain warned Sen. Obama not to get too far ahead of himself during a campaign event Saturday...Senator McCain you are stuck on Senator Obama and Joe the The Fake PLUMBER Move on !!!

    October 25, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. cm

    I can't wait for November 4th to go to vote for Obama (Independent for Obama) and wake up with a new President the next day without having to hear all this how can I say this... idiot remarks. Please McCain if you are going out the game do it with dignity.

    October 25, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. JACKED-UP-POLITICS, FLORIDA

    LOL Let the Haters Hate. They were hating from the beginning.

    October 25, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. Richard to stop the decline of America

    He only trying to reach idiot like Wllie Brown (who refer to Barack Obama as Barry) making Obama appears as cocky and overconfident. I beleive there are not enough of Willie left. Willie will never vote for Obama anyway. He is the 22% who still think in Bush.

    These group will drag all of us down the toilet.

    October 25, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. Maggie from Virginia

    McCain still doesn't get it. Election 101: Finish the campaign on a positive note. Unless he plans to retire after Obama wins. That would be the smartest decision he has made in 10 years.

    It's already too late to bring out a plan that the American people can analyze and approve prior to election day. So far, Obama is the man with the plan that will benifit most Americans in this time of crisis.

    October 25, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Former Republican for Obama/Biden

    How dare the RNC use any money on commercials – Palin's family needs more clothes.

    October 25, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. Ace

    I'd vote for Mccain if he could sensibly explain how he picked his VP after only meeting her once. Another 4 years of missjudgement?

    October 25, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. Someday a Blue ND

    I guess I understand where McCain's coming from. If he doesn't keep saying "We've got them right where we want them" and "we're going to win" then he might as well drop out because he'd lose for certain. And can someone tell me why the most dedicated McCain people on these things kant spel or rite verry guud. And could the McCain guys tell me how McCain plans on pulling this off, especially with Palin tossing him under the bus constantly for her own agenda? His own advisors don't know, maybe you should offer your wisdom and insight.

    October 25, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. Somebody Stop Him....

    I guess that lie backfired... I have lost count... I will be sitting by patiently waiting on the next one.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 25, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Sally

    Senator McCain has become a caricature. And what with his recently rogue running mate, no wonder he's becoming unglued. I'm bored with him now. November 4 can't come soon enough.

    October 25, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. Jane in CA

    It almost over McCain !! You can take your running mate with you
    and go home, and tell Joe McCain to quit calling 911 for traffic
    problems !!

    Vote For Hope !!

    October 25, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. Dave

    John's ticked because he's not prepared for anything he does. I wonder what he's thinking? Red necktie or Blue necktie?

    October 25, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. BC

    Hey, McCain lost this by being afraid to stand up to the far-right fringe nuts in his party. If he had run as himself, he might be winning, but being stuck with that crazy Palin woman (who he would have never chosen on his own) has done him in. God bless Obama!!

    October 25, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. Alvin Swerve

    I wonder if the Republican party can substitute another pair of candidates at this point. I mean, seriously, can it be done? Were I they, I would do it.

    Maybe they can get Bush to attack Iran. That might swing things. I actually thought he would sometime about now, or maybe shortly before the Obama inaugural.

    Firing Palin and replacing her with someone more capable would be a big improvement. Even a dancing chimp would improve things.

    Maybe McCain already has a deal to be on Obama's cabinet and is chunking the election in revenge for 2000.

    October 25, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. J. Sully, NY

    Hey, McLame, quit talking about Joe the Plumber, Obama raising taxes, and your war hero stories. They're getting really boring. If I hear Joe the Plumber one more time, I'm going to puke. I like what Leno said, Joe knows a lot about lower taxes. He just doesn't pay them.

    Your campaign is finished. Obama is right to start writing a speech. At least he writes his own speeches. Yours and Palins are getting old an worn out.

    WELCOME PRESIDENT OBAMA!!

    October 25, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. Keith

    No inaugeral speech has been written. Just another lie upon lie upon McBush lie. What next McBush? Are you going to give yourself a black eye and say you were attacked by a black, arab, socialist Obama supporter ?

    October 25, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. PROUD AMERICAN FOR OBAMA

    IT'S ABOUT TIME TO SAY GOODNIGHT MR. MCCAIN...........

    October 25, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. steve

    McCain, it's time to stop talking about Obama. It seem like you are endorsing him.

    October 25, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. Trysh in Los Angeles

    Why doesn't he spend more time trying to make himself look better than trying to make Obama look bad. I mean, his charge is that Sen. Obama is PREPARING in case he wins?? Can someone please tell me when being prepared became a bad thing?

    October 25, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. Your Move

    After months and months of waiting to hear what John McCain can do for his country instead of all Barack Obama can't, all we are still getting are the rantings of this 72-year-old spoiled, tantrum throwing brat. Nasty, sarcastic, condescending...is that all McCain and Palin have got? Our country and very way of life is falling apart around us and McCain and The Devil Wears Prada (literally) Palin continue to not get that this isn't about them but us. Remember...we the people? Someone needs to enlighten these two that the inmates are finally awake and are taking back the asylum.

    October 25, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. mh

    What does Obama's inaugural address have any thing to do with McCain's campaign? McCain "worried" too much and whined too much. Be a man! Keep going and die with dignity.

    October 25, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  25. David

    I read that article. McCain is full of it. The article said that a member of Obama's team had worked on a draft of the address and that both sides routinely looked ahead to how they would transition into the White House.

    The fact that McCain doesn't have much done is just par for the course. He hasn't done a lot of things his campaign should've done by now, including convincing people why he should be elected.

    October 25, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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