July 12th, 2009
04:12 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain: Obama was wrong on stimulus either then or now

Sen. McCain said Sunday that his former rival can't have it both ways when it comes to the new administration's $787 billion stimulus package.
Sen. McCain said Sunday that his former rival can't have it both ways when it comes to the new administration's $787 billion stimulus package.

(CNN) - President Barack Obama can't have it both ways on his economic stimulus package, the man he defeated in last year's election said Sunday.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told the NBC program "Meet the Press" that Obama either got it wrong when he predicted the benefits of his $787 billion economic stimulus package in February, or he's wrong now in saying the stimulus is working as intended.

"He's either not leveling now or he wasn't leveling at the time they passed the stimulus package," McCain said.

He cited predictions by Obama earlier this year that the spending plan would hold unemployment to 8.5 percent or less, noting the figure is now at 9.5 percent and likely to continue rising.

McCain also complained that the stimulus plan has failed to deliver the job creation Obama pledged.

"What they promised us would be the result of the stimulus in the short-term has turned out not to be true," he said.

On the same program, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York responded it was too soon to pronounce judgment on the stimulus plan.

"This is not a four-month plan - this is a two-year plan," Schumer said, noting that many Republicans also misread the situation earlier in the year because they opposed any stimulus package.

"It was very hard to read the economy. It was a whole new world," Schumer said of the economic crisis that started in the second half of 2008.

He praised Obama's "long-range perspective" on the economy, saying the measures in place will work as more of the stimulus money is allocated for projects around the country.

"I'm beginning to see in the last month … a lot of construction going on that I didn't see three months ago," Schumer said.

soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Ronald Clowney

    Since the stimulus is not working, lets just ask all the states that have received money to return it. Then, let the republicans do their plan of giving tax cuts to the rich and see if it creates jobs and works in ninety days. McCain in saying that Obama has it wrong on the benefits of a two year plan in only 120 days is remarkable. If I write a two year business plan and receive a loan, I don't think you can measure it's success or failure in ninety days when I have only spent 10% of the loan money. But, of course, McCain and the conservative GOP is a lot smarter than a liberal like me. The U.S. unemployment rate is not the major factor in stimulating the economy. I lived in Detroit for 50 years, I should know! Money is the major factor and by God you got to spend it. You have to prime the economy with money from the bottom so the consumer will spend which will stimulate businesses, which in turn stimulate banks, which in turn stimulate the economy. McCain should not be so quick to criticize Obama. Remember, Obama has an innate way of turning something negative into a positive which I try to teach my children.

    July 12, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. Larry

    John ...

    Go soak your teeth ...

    Give those gums a rest ...

    Obama and the rest of us are doing our best to clean up the mess you guys left ...

    July 12, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Seattle Sue

    And this coming from the man(McCain) that put his campaign on hold so he could rush back to Washington to single handed take care of the banking crisis and then sit like a bump on a log and not contribute anything. What a wonderful politician. Bull!

    July 12, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Ben

    Debra from Georgia – So we're not to question the great Obama? Who are you to tell us we can't? It is not only our right to question our leaders it is our duty. I bet you had no qualms about questioning anything Bush ever did. Hypocrite.

    July 12, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. John in WV

    The only time republicans worry about spending is when they are afraid the working class will benefit from it. Where were their spending concerns when a multi-trillion dollar surplus was destroyed to benefit the wealthy?

    July 12, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Dan, TX

    I absolutely agree. When Obama put in the Stimulus Bill he frightened everybody, did not allow congress to read the bill and said it is required for immediate recovery. Now Obama comes back from Ghana and says he needs two years. He must be joking. It shows his ignorance and lack of experience. He should be fired. Go back to your community on South side of Chicago. You have wiped out all our retiree accounts and our savings. Still, you have a face to speak out.

    July 12, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. McAttack!!!

    Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told the NBC program "Meet the Press" that Obama either got it wrong when he predicted the benefits of his $787 billion economic stimulus package in February, or he's wrong now in saying the stimulus is working as intended.
    ****What's up with you McCain ....you don't want Ditto head Palin to out Shine You ......One ? were you right when you left the campaign Trail to support Paulson !!!! Shut the H_LL UP

    July 12, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Alabama

    Republicans did not speak up when they were bringing the economy to its knees. Now, just after 4 months of the stimulus, they want to see results. WHy didn't they say this to Bush when clearly we were in recession during his last 2 years and they just looked the other way. Blaming Obama for this economy is like blaming Bush for 911. I have afeeling like republicnas want the economy to fail to use it as a weapon in coming elections.

    July 12, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. O

    States should use the stimulus funds to create jobs. Instead they are using it to balance their budgets and pay medicaid bills while Republicans blame Obama.

    July 12, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Ron in Raleigh

    People. Wake up. The stimulus package is creating hundreds of jobs. It's just that they are all government jobs. Government has to expand exponentially to administer, track, and follow-up on all the stimulus money. Of course, what they won't tell you, is that most of that money is going to fund their own government jobs. And you can be sure, government being what it is, these jobs will never go away.

    July 12, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. john u

    McCain is a fool if he thinks that after 5 months into a probably too small stimulus plan that everything should be hunky-dory again after 28 years of conservative, McCain supported bad ideas like deregulation, sub prime, leveraging to the hilt, etc, etc. Like Obama has repeatedly said, it will take YEARS, not a few months to fully recover from the fiancial meltdown, one which McCain directly oversaw when he was head of the Senate Commerce Committee. So far the Obama stimulus seems to have staunched some of the bleeding, but unwinding the phony booms and bubbles of the Bush years ain't gonna happen overnight.

    July 12, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Ben

    Alabama – "WHy didn't they say this to Bush when clearly we were in recession during his last 2 years"

    Who was in control of Congress the last two years? Do you honestly think that's a coincidence?

    July 12, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Tony in TX

    I wish people on the right would stop saying liberals are scared of Palin. Nobody is scared of her. We and many republicans are just angry (not scared) at her and her party for putting such an incredibly unqualified person in the national eye. She quickly became a punchline all over the country and now she is the symbol of why the republican party will go nowhere. Its a shame because there are some real smart people in that party but, the Palins, Limbuaghs, and Gringrichs of the world took it over.

    July 12, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. CO

    Americans lack patience generally. Just months into Obama's administration, people were already complaining that he didn't get their jobs back, as if that was a realistic expectation . The crisis is deep and global.

    July 12, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Why is EVERYTHING someone elses business?

    Well, I guess either way you look at it, McCain "could" be 50% correct. OR maybe he is 100% wrong. Either way, it makes him look like he's grasping at straws. Why all the "anal"yzing and not coming up with some NEW ideas?, Oh yeah, they have none. Just ANOTHER example of cutting someone else down to "try" to make YOU look better huh?...Deflecting your own ineptness?

    July 12, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Ben

    john u – You're clueless if you think the Repubs created the subprime mortgage mess. That was created by 30 years of Liberal Democratic policies and a refusal of Democrats to regulate. If you think any different you haven't been paying attention.

    July 12, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. Not-so-blind

    I hope the stimulus package succeeds, but even if it does the benefits will be relatively short term. The reason for that is that the interest payments alone on our runaway debt will consume our entire GDP and then some. The ONLY way for our government to make ends meet when that happens is to increase ALL taxes (i.e., sales, income, property, etc) on ALL Americans to levels never seen in American history. In addition to that, most discretionary spending (anthing not related to Social Security, Medicare, etc) will be virtually unaffordable. Bottom line is our Gov is paying for EVERYTHING with a credit card and, no matter who we want to point the finger at, will eventually lead to the demise of the American way of life as we know it.

    July 12, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. GI Joe

    So much hate on these blogs and so few thinking people. I say AGAIN

    GI Joe July 12th, 2009 10:25 am ET

    If your State isn't creating jobs with the money they received, hold THEM accountable.

    Feds cannot and should not control State Governments.

    Contact your Local and State Representatives – don't just come on here and spread more hate. No one needs hate.

    July 12, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. Art

    Mr. McCain needs to say something positive and constructive or just go away and retire. I think Mr. Obama is trying to control the out of control economy. I was not for the stimulas plan in the beginning ,but, if the money was never given out, which only a small portion has been, I believe we would be in a far worse place than we are now. Unemployment would certainly be higher and more states would be in dire straits, like Californa.

    July 12, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. Why is EVERYTHING someone elses business?

    @ "b" – We are not afraid of Palin, we just KNOW BETTER.

    July 12, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. DJ

    That's what you get when you elect a community organizer to be our president. He has no other real experience. Well guess what, it takes more experience at a real job to run our country! And no, his Senate time does not count because he was basically running for president during that "job" and really did not do his job he was paid and elected to do. Oh, that sounds familiar!

    July 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. Steve J, Michigan

    One of the problems is that there is the usually government red tape concerning the stimulus. What has got out to the public has created and saved some jobs. States would of had to lay off hundreds more people if not for the stimulus, from teachers, police,etc.. Its easy to complain without providing any alternatives.. Oh, the right has thier typical tax cut strategy which they can keep..

    Steve-Michigan

    July 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Gerald F. Canada

    My Question to you Americans:
    Why is your President STILL on the road campaigning? How many more countries is he going to visit before coming back home and actually doing the work he was elected to do? Sooner than later. All those IN Baskets on his desk are going to fall over on to the floor from avoidance.

    July 12, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. Jeanne H.

    if he's so smart, why didn't he tell his party who was in power for 6 years with a republican president, to do something right for the country? It's very easy to leave a pile of s... for other people to clean, and then open your mouth to say "hey you're cleaning it all wrong!"

    July 12, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. dave

    John,
    How would you feel if you won and they judge a program that you clearly said will take time to show fruit? So McCain think before you saying you're starting to sound like your VP choice.

    July 12, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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