October 27th, 2008
11:07 PM ET
6 years ago

Fact Check: McCain's 'closing argument'

Sen. McCain spoke in Sarasota, Florida Friday.
Sen. McCain spoke in Sarasota, Florida Friday.

Note: The McCain campaign says Sen. John McCain has been delivering his closing argument “every day for the past week.” The CNN Truth Squad looked at Obama’s "closing argument" speech and one McCain delivered Friday, October 23, in Sarasota, Florida.  To help sort out the reality from the rhetoric, a transcript of the speech is reproduced in full below with links to related Fact Checks from the CNN Truth Squad.

. . . .

You know, my friends, we've heard a lot of words over the course of this election. After months of campaign trail eloquence we'vefinally learned what Senator Obama's economic goal is. As he told Joe the plumber up in Ohio, he wants to spread the wealth around.

He believes in redistributing in wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans. Senator Obama is more interested in controlling who gets your piece of pie than he is growing the pie.

Senator Obama may say he's trying to soak the rich but it's themiddle class who are going to get wet.

You know a lot of his promised tax increases miss the target. Pay for nearly a trillion dollars of new government spending, his tax increase would impact 50 percent of small business income in this America and the jobs of 16 million middle class Americans who work for those small businesses.

So I ask our small business people to raise your hands so we can thank you. Thank you, Joe the doctor, Joe the plumber, the car dealer, thank you all.

Thank you, the men and women who are making our economy grow. Our economy is in trouble, my friends. We know that. We've lost over 700,000 jobs and it's 300,000 jobs that have been created by small business. My friends, whether you're Joe the plumber in Ohio or Gary the dentist in Alamonte Springs or Jesus the restaurant owner in Orlando or Christine the florist in Plant City or Bob the boat builder and Tony the teacher, we shouldn't be taxing our small businesses more as Senator Obama wants to do.

We need to be helping them expand their businesses and create jobs. These small-business owners have achieved the same dream Joe the plumber has. They now own their own businesses and combined employ hundreds of thousands of workers because they've been successful. Senator Obama wants to spread their wealth around.

That's exactly the wrong approach in an economic slowdown. Just today, just today we received news that jobless claims has increased by 15,000. Senator Obama's tax increases would put even more people out of work.

The answer to a slowing economy is not higher taxes but that's exactly what is going to happen when the Democrats have total control of Washington. We can't let that happen and I won't let it happen.

Now I don't how much you've seen but we've already seen a preview of their plan and it's pretty simple: Tax and spend. Now, the chairman of a powerful committee in the House of Representatives said this week that they quote, "Are going to focus on an immediate increase in spending" and then he went on to say there are quote "a lot of very rich people out there who we can tax." Really? Is there really? Is there really?

You know my friends, you've got Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama, you've got... you've got a recipe for tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend. What should concern the American people is that the Democratic budget plan they passed just this year with Senator Obama's help called for raising taxes on people making just $42,000 per year.

No wonder he thinks there are a lot of very rich people out there. Everybody is rich when you define rich as $42,000 a year.

This week we learned that Senator Obama is concerned that his plan for wealth redistribution is welfare so he just added a work requirement. Thirteen days to go in this election and he changed his tax plan because the American people had learned the truth about it and they didn't like it.

My friends, that's just another example that he'll say anything to get elected.

So now if you're unemployed Senator Obama's plan won't help you at all even as his tax increase makes fewer jobs available so you can back to work and that's the problem with Senator Obama's approach on taxes. He's more concerned about using taxes to spread the wealth than creating a plan that creates job and grows our economy.

Now, my friends, the McCain-Palin tax plan is the real thing. We're going to double the tax deduction for every family. We'll cut the capital gains tax. And we'll cut business taxes to help create jobs and keep American businesses in America.

As Joe and small business owners across this country have now reminded us all, America didn't become the greatest nation on Earth by giving our money to the government to spread the wealth around. In this country, in this country we believe in spreading opportunity for those who need jobs and those who create them.

And that's exactly what I intend to do as president of the UnitedStates.

My friends, you know the next president won't have time to get used to the office. We face many challenges here at home and many enemies abroad in this dangerous world.

This weekend, this weekend Senator Biden guaranteed, he guaranteed, he said: "Mark my words, that if Senator Obama is elected we will have an international crisis to test America's new president."

We don't want a president who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis.

Americans are fighting already in two wars. Yesterday Senator Obama tried to explain this away, this warning, by saying that his running mate sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes. Now, that's another of saying that he accidentally delivered some straight talk.

My friends, Senator Biden referred to how Jack Kennedy was tested in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I have a little personal experience in that. I was a Navy pilot onboard the USS Enterprise. And I was ready to go into combat at any moment.

I was ready to go into combat at any moment and I know how close we came to a nuclear war. And I will not be a president that needs to be tested. I have been tested. Senator Obama hasn't.

My friends, it shows in his responses to our challenges abroad. What's more troubling is that Senator Obama told their campaign donors that when that crisis hits they would have to stand with him because it wouldn't be apparent that Senator Obama would have the right response. Forget apparent, we know Senator Obama won't have the right response.

Senator Obama said this morning if you want to know how he would respond in a crisis, look what he's done during his campaign. But we've seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign. He opposed the surge strategy that is bringing us victory in Iraq and will bring us victory in Afghanistan.

My friends, I will bring our troops home but I will bring them home in victory and honor and not defeat.

He said he would sit down unconditionally with the world's worst dictators ... including the Castro brothers.

When Russia invaded Georgia, Senator Obama said the invaded country should show restraint. He has been wrong on all of these.

My friends, you know we can't spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight hoping for our luck to change at home and abroad. We have to act. We need a new direction and we have to fight for it, my friends.

I've been fighting for this country since I was 17 years old and I have the scars to prove it.

If I'm elected - If I am elected president I will fight to shake up Washington and take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I am not afraid of the fight, I am ready for the fight.

I'm not going to spend $750 billion of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers that got us into this mess. I am going to make sure we take care of the working people who are devastated by the excesses, greed and corruption of Wall Street and Washington.

Now, my friends. We all know what triggered this crisis. The subprime lending, the home loan crisis. My friends, we've got to keep people in their homes.

I have a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so you can afford it so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him. We must preserve the American dream. We have to keep people in their homes and those home values rise, that's the American dream. Let's stop taking care of Wall Street. Let's start taking care of the homeowners of American and let them realize the American dream.

I have a plan to let retirees and people nearing retirement to keep their money in their retirement accounts longer so they can rebuild their savings.

I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home.

Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy.

The explosion of government spending - my friends - the explosion of government spending over the last eight years has put us deeper in debt to foreign countries that don't have our best interests at heart. It weakened the dollar and made everything you buy much more expensive. If I am elected president, when I'm elected president I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Senator Obama will and he can't do that without raising your taxes or digging
us further into debt. I am going to make government live on a budget just like you do.

I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans' care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program, get rid of
the ones that aren't working for the American people.

And every single earmark pork barrel bill that comes across my desk, I will veto them, and I will make them famous and you will know their names.

I want to tell you again, I will make them famous, these pork barrelers, we'll get rid of them.

If I - When I am elected president I won't make it harder to sell our goods overseas and kill more jobs. Senator Obama will. I'll open new markets to goods made in America. And make sure our trade is free and fair and I'll make sure we help workers who have lost a job that won't come back, find a new one that won't go away.

Senator Obama wants to raise taxes and restrict trade. The last time America did that in a bad economy it led to a Great Depression. You know they say that those who don't learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

Well, I know my history lessons and I won't make the mistakes that Senator Obama seeks to repeat.

When I am elected president we are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries to buy their oil that don't like us very much.

The other night in the debate I acknowledged Senator Obama's eloquence but you had to pay attention to his words.

For example, he said he would quote, "consider" offshore drilling, consider. My friends when I am president we will drill offshore, we are going to drill offshore and we've got to drill now, and I've got to tell you also, let me also tell you...

Let me also tell you - Let me also tell you - I want to also tell you, and I've committed this to Charlie Crist in the state of Florida and all those states. You need to get a lot more of those revenues to stay in the state of Florida if we're going to drill offshore of the state of Florida.

And the state of Florida deserves more of those revenues and my friends, that's what this is all about.

Senator Obama wants to delay drilling, he is against building new nuclear power plants in America.

And when I am president we will start and we will invest in all energy alternatives, nuclear, wind, solar, tide, we will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex - hybrid, flex and electric automobiles.

We'll invest in clean coal technology. We will lower the cost of energy within months and we will create millions of new jobs in America, my friends.

Let me give you a little straight talk, my friends. We have less than two weeks until the election. And what America needs now is a fighter, someone who puts all of his cards on the table and trusts the judgment of the American people.

I have fought for you most of my life. There are other ways to love this country but I've never been the kind to do it from the sidelines.

My friends, look, I know you're worried. I know you're worried. America is a great country but we're at a moment of national crisis that will determine our future.

Let me ask you, will we continue to lead the world's economies or will we be overtaken? Will the world become safer or more dangerous? Will our military remain the strongest in the world? Will our children and grandchildren's future be brighter than ours?

My answer to you is yes, yes we will lead.

Yes, we will lead, yes we will prosper, yes we will be safer, yes we will pass on to our children a stronger, better country but we must be prepared to act swiftly, boldly, with courage and wisdom. My friends, I'm an American and I choose to fight. Don't give up hope. Be strong. Have courage and fight.

Fight for a new direction for our country. Fight for what's right for America.

Fight to clean up the mess of corruption, infighting and selfishness in Washington.

Fight to get our economy back out of the ditch and in the lead. Fight for the ideals and character of a free people. Fight for our children's future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies. Stand up. Stand up. Stand up and fight. America is worth fighting for.

Nothing is inevitable. We never give up, we never quit, we never hide from history, we make history.

Now let's go win this election and get this country moving again. Thank you and God bless you and God bless America. And thank you all. Thank you.


Filed under: Fact Check • Florida • John McCain
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