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. Frank

    So, all you Obama idiots really think that this deal is done for your candidate, ha? Well, lets see what happens in America on November 4th. Do you really think that with all the anti-White and anti-American message flying around by your folks, that people are going to still vote for your candidate come election day? Just promise no riots and no revolt once Obama loses the elections. Or should we hold on to our guns in case you mad idiots try to do something silly like during the L.A. riots if your candidate actually loses? CNN: please don't take this message out!!

    October 25, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. Walt

    Man, is there anything you guys won't say??? McCain, you need to get your running mate in order before you worry about what Obama is doing. The "rogue" is hurting you bro.

    October 25, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. get real

    Like you don't have yours written, you sarcastic old windbag? SO WHAT?!?

    October 25, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. FreeNLovIt

    Oh my goodness, talk about being READY DAY 1. Please I dont want to eat any more PEANUTS. I NEED CARROTS!!!! Yes, a diet of TRUE VEGETABLES.

    Trust me, if we all dont want to DIE, we need to elect DONKEYS so we can eat REAL vegetables.

    October 25, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. conny

    Another trick OUTBURST!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008

    October 25, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. Republican for Obama

    McCain sure does cry a lot about irrelevant things. He has proven exactly why traditionally Repiblican families like ours are jumping ship and voting for Obama...he complains to much instead of actually doing something productive. McCain is a divider, Obama is a uniter.

    -Republican for Obama

    October 25, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  7. morris graham

    It's a wonder McSame dosn't twist his own name...

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08'

    October 25, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  8. lyn

    McCain I am so fedup with the lies you continue to tell on the campaign trail, your negative ads, your attacks, it's time McCain to open your eyes,you and your $150.000 VP are a looser.

    October 25, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. AUC

    McSame please take Palin and go home.

    God bless America and God Bless Obama/Biden 08/12!!!

    PLEASE VOTE AMERICA – Obama and Biden for a change we need.

    October 25, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. jeff

    Thank goodness....John McCain finally replaced that blue and white checked shirt he has worn 1000 times with a different color - Sarah must have given him a little bit of the clothing allowance money.

    October 25, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Jan

    If Obama is elected, I'm throwing out all my television sets. I can't stand watching the arrogant egomaniac. Of course, it might be interesting watching him gyrate when the whacko left starts pulling his strings. Pelosi, Reed, Dowd, Franks, Kerry and Soros as puppet masters...God help us...

    October 25, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. FLORIDA for Obama

    ALTHOUGH we respect John McCain for being a 'war hero' (who was captured by the enemy and made propaganda films FOR the Vietcong), YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK. GOOD BYE!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 AND '12

    October 25, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. Herman In LA

    When you don't have a story line you will come up with anything. Just imagine how McCain would have govern this country it would have been worse than Bush.

    October 25, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. LK

    McCain sold his soul to the right wing of the party, and the McCain of March is not the McCain of October.

    John and Sarah are really showing what poor sports they can be......

    Obama/Biden 08-–They cant be worse than the last 8 years, and we cant afford 4 more years of Bush.

    October 25, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  15. C. Smith

    I wonder what John McCain is going to do on November 5th.

    Something tells me his campaign will discredit the entire electoral count and try to send it to the Supreme Court. By that time they'll be the only GOPers left on the hill.

    I can see him doing everything except bowing out gracefully.

    In fact, I see him doing like three of his flight attempts: going down in flames.

    October 25, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  16. znarf

    Perhap's if McCain prepared an inaugural address he would come up with some ideas that resonate with the country.

    October 25, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  17. Vic

    My inaugural address is to vote early, and to vote all Democrats.

    Registered Republican "voted" Obama/Biden 08.

    October 25, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  18. Dan, TX

    Dang, make up something about your opponent out of thin air and then attack him for the thing you made up? Unbelievable.

    McCain is a disgrace as a presidential candidate. He is a great senator and should continue his wonderful job as senator as that is a position that suits his personality.

    October 25, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. Bill

    I feel badly for Mr. McCain, now that he has no running mate. I Guess she has gone out on her own. Way to go Mr McCain, you really know how to pick 'em!!

    October 25, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. James

    McCain is a LOSER!!!

    October 25, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. Desmond

    I like Obama as a person and I have no reason not to like McCain. The only reason I would vote McCain is his proven record. America will lose if we don't give McCain a chance: One thing, it will be saying that American people have nothing to do with records of sacrifice such as McCain's. What will inspire our youths who would like to make similar sacrifices if they know that it will not be remembered when they want to contest for a post similar to McCain. There should be no hurry for Obama since if he is real he will still prove himself and could still become the president. My question: Why the avoidable risk ? Obama's speeches are not guaranteed by his known past. I give him the benefit of doubt that his good records are not known yet. The joj of the presidency is too much for this risk. CNN, KINDLY POST MY COMMENT!

    October 25, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I'm wondering if McCain's father and grandfather lies as much as John to get where they were at the end of their life ......


    October 25, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  23. Pete in CO

    Hm, so someone else writes the presidents speeches in advance. Is this somehow surprising? It's not like Obama himself has spent his time thinking about it. Has McCain forgotten how busy Obama has been making typically Republican states into swing states?

    October 25, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. Ons

    Nothing better McCain Camp can offer than dirty politics that do not help Main Street, that’s why you see Joe McCain calling 911 for traffic jam, Sarah palin firing his brother-in-law So what is the new surprise take us back to the Keating 5 and privatize social security?
    We are tired
    We need new style of politics
    Obama and Joe

    October 25, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  25. gogozito

    let me tell the truth!
    Negative campaign for maccain had led him to
    to big failure to deliver the issues which American people
    they need now,
    But Obama will be the good leader not only for America but
    in the world,since he seem tobe wise especialy when comes
    to the issue of iraq war.

    October 25, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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