July 12th, 2009
04:12 PM ET
9 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. Derrick


    The dirtiest campaign ever? I know you're not talking about Obama. Look at factcheck.org. They did a nice report during the election. Obama's adds were about 20 to 30 percent negative while McCain's were well over 80 percent. Get your facts straight.

    July 12, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. suzyku

    mcsame is wrong about everything! he really doesn't "understand" the economy by his own words. He's not a patriot, he proved that by choosing the moronic palin to be his running mate at the expense of this country! he proved he's ignorant, old, senile and clueless. he also proved that he's worthless, not a hero, never was and he's just as nasty and hateful as his former running mate! john mccain is an old fool!

    July 12, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. McCain is a dishonorable loser

    McCain did not even know we were having a complete economic meltdown when he was running for President. He told everyone that our "economy was sound".

    Now he tries to accuse Obama of handling the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression incorrectly???

    Just exactly what ideas or solutions have you, McCain, or your loser Party put forth to save this nation??? That's right, your plan was to caling for America to FAIL.

    President Obama has been working hard to restore this nation that the lying, corrupt, criminal Republicans destroyed and now want to blame on everyone else. The Stimulus Package is working and our nation is recovering, President Obama has also regained the trust of our world Allies again and we are safer now than we ever were under the Republcan dictatorship.

    McCain – exactly how would you know if our economy was recovering or whether it was in good shape or bad??? I believe you told the nation during your disgraceful campaign that "Economics was not your strong suit". Neither is the truth obviously.

    Republicans are terrified of President Obama's successes. They have done NOTHING except criticize and whine and snipe and America is succeeding beautifully WITHOUT ANY REPUBLICAN SUPPORT OR IDEAS. Says to me they are just useless negative noise that needs to be removed from office starting in 2010.

    July 12, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Actually, G I Joe, the federal government is trying to control the state governments. They told them they had to take the stimulus money and they've told them to change their laws to accommodate the money. Some states were told they had to change their constitutions to allow for longer unemployment benefit payments and that those changes were to be permanent, even though the stimulus will only fund them for 2 years. We need to hold every one accountable, city, state and federal. Try to remember this is our money they're spending.

    July 12, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. No one famous

    And we are suprised that a tax and spend socialist got it wrong. His goal of redistributing wealth was bought hook line and sinker by the populous.

    July 12, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. 2pacolypse

    Is this the same McCain who actually supported the stimulus and was screaming that Obama needed to do something along with the rest of the GOP lugnutz? I for one thought the stimulus was way too small and would not have the immediate impact it needed to have plus government red tape wouldn't allow it to be disbursed quickly as needed. But for McLame to all of sudden now start banging his drum and criticizing the package which is barely four months old is typical McCain and typical GOP, who helped create this mess from the get go. How about offering to clean up the mess you help create or is your party so devoid of ideas, that you can't contribute anything?

    July 12, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Scott M

    Here come the Obama apologists. Apparently the man can do no wrong. When the economy collapses, it will all be Bush's fault. Nothing Obama has done could possibly have made things worse, right? As Peter Schiff said, Bush headed us for a cliff, and Obama stepped on the gas. But liberals are too blind to see that (much less admit it).

    Of course, McCain has the benefit of speaking without a yoke around his neck. I firmly believe he would have screwed it up, too.

    July 12, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Virginia

    Lost in all these ridiculous exchanges and posturing is the fact that the vast majority of the money has not yet been spent, so it's impossible to see the impacts of it – because it hasn't hit the streets.

    Let's see what happens once it is – then we can judge. If they made one obvious mistake, it was thinking they could handle this with the current acquisition workforce in FedGov, or they could staff up quickly. On so many levels this was an incorrect (or overly optimistic) assumption. They need to spend the money fast, and well, for this to work, and I'm not convinced they will have the ability to do either.

    The other thing I will say is that with better acquisition oversight, policies, and delivery – along with a more qualified workforce – they could have spent more of existing money instead of getting all this new stuff. So much money is wasted through ineffective programs, bad investments and review processes that follow "we've spent so much already, we can't kill it now" paradigms instead of pulling the plug, small business giveaways through pass-throughs and company-size based awards to under-qualified, under-staffed firms who provide little value to the government, either delivering less-than-stellar strategies and programs that the government employs, or work that needs to be redone.

    So much more money is wasted by agencies that procure strategy work and then don't act on it – so much "sits on the shelf" after millions of dollars have been spent – often for stupid reasons involving personality conflicts, poor decision-making, etc.

    More money is wasted through fat contracts that hire former USG employees to do things like background checks at high rates of pay. Every agency has its own set of clearances, which is patently ridiculous and a huge waste of money and resources, just so retireees can be "taken care of".

    Bottom line – improve acquisition, spend existing money more wisely, and re-purpose the extra for more stiumulus benefits. THEN we can start seeing results, if there will be any.

    July 12, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Peace

    Mr. McCain: The President was wrong that time or now!! which is which????? The interpretation of this is: you have said nothing.

    Suppose yourself and your pick the quitter (VP) were in power now, tell us how the economy could look like. Always, it is easy to throw stones to others!

    July 12, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Keith in Austin

    Unemployment will amass over 1O percent this Fall. Stimulous 1 went to liberal pork projects that Democrats have tried to push through Congress for years. The state of the economy allowed the passing of the bill in the middle of the night with no disclosure to the People! Sheer piracy! Anyone that supports additional spending proposed by this President and his Liberal thieves should have their heads examined unless they're not paying for it! (Democratic electoral base)!!!!

    July 12, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Gobama

    To say that Obama is 'wrong' is plain childish; unless McCain believes that he or Obama should be able to accurately predict the future? lol

    Obama gathers the best minds with the best ideas and made the CONSENSUS BEST CALL!

    That is the most ANY wise human can do and WILL do: Collect the best evidence available and TOGETHER make the BEST JUDGMENT based on available evidence!

    Fools act based 'on their gut', when there is no brain in the gut!
    That is why US went into a free fall; we had a lost leader who 'acted based on his gut feelings'!

    Giving away the nation's wealth to wealth-addicts via tax break for the wealth IS responsible for the present depression! Why?
    If the wealthy is already given/allowed the nation's wealth, then why should the wealthy bother to produce real goods and service?

    The wild and BAD LUCK bush has brought great pain to Americans.
    Obama's strategy is to reduce the pain; but there HAS TO BE PAIN; because that was what Americans voted for TWICE with bush-cheney!

    July 12, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. Margo

    We are very lucky to have president Obama, instead of any other.
    Republikans/conservatists made most of $10 Trillion debt (about 85% Reagan thru Bush)) pushed us to two wars and tax cuts for the reachest, all that mess.
    Now when we are in financial catastrophie, all they can say is NO to any government action to try limit or stop that total failure.
    McCain should be very quiet after election. He has no ideas, except I remember to fight for another 100 years in Iraq. Go away mr NO!
    It will take couple years to fix our economy, we all have to be very patient and emotionally resilient.
    If conseratists/republicans do not want to help, just be silent.
    Stop your disastrous propaganda.

    July 12, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. Audrey in Georgia

    Why does CNN report on this loser every freaking week?!? WHY?!?
    Why does CNN continue to report and analyze what McCain and Palin
    are saying and doing. The American public want to hear positive
    progressive news. McCain/Palin are the losers. They are not positive
    and they are not progressive. Please allow them to fade away.

    July 12, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Blueskys

    Mc Cains judgement going back to his beginning came to light after our wake up call when McCain picked Palin .

    I can still see McCain grinning when he introduces Palin to the world which reminds one of pulling a vicious Rattlesnake snake out of a sack to show the world and today her Rattler is still buzzing and its odd how Palin c an make up all these lies about others them don 't and venom fuming about others including all the lies about obama and when someone else tells the truth about Palin she complains to get in the head lights poor lier baby.

    July 12, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Ernie in LA

    Folks, just ask one of the many still unemployed people if they think the Stimulus worked and if they mind waiting until it does. Four years from now it will still be Bush's fault and still the lame excuse of what Obama inherited. I cannot image what the next president will inherit.

    July 12, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Mighty Mouse or McGruber?

    Gosh, it wasn't that long ago when mccain suspended his campaign, rushed to D.C., and showed America that he had no clue how to undo 25 years of republican economic policies of deregulation, lax enforcement and just plain corporate socialism run rampant.

    Now, he's a critic because our President has not undone all of his party's mess in 6 months.

    John, with all due respect, it takes a lot of shovels to clean up all the elephant dung bush and your party spread over America.

    July 12, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Georgia

    Why is anyone listening to McCain anyway? HE LOST!!!! He lost because he has NO CLUE on economics! Just like he had NO CLUE on his VP candidate!

    July 12, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Fla.

    McCain admitted he's uneducated on the economy, and it really shows now and when he erratically "suspended" his campaign.

    The recovery efforts will take some time to work, but more Americans trust President Obama over failed Republican ideology that obviously didn't "trickle down" from their wealthy tax cuts in 2001, but rather grossly exasperated greed, debt, and this recession. Thanks, but NO thanks, GOP.

    July 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. tee

    The repugs are still lost in the jungle..........Sad

    July 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. wycliffe

    McCAIN couldn't even chose the right running mate

    July 12, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Keith in Atlanta

    Just....go.....away...USELESS drivel from a tired, bitter and disconnected old man.

    July 12, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Hopeful Optimist

    McCain, the DEFEATED one, needs to keep quiet. His entire campaign was devoid of any economic remedies whatsoever. Each time he makes an observation he lowers himself in the eyes of the entire electorate.

    July 12, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. bell

    MCCAIN- SHUT UP!!! McCain keeps forgetting that he LOST the election. President Obama WON. McCain deserves to be strung up with Cheney.

    July 12, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Willis, Texas

    These "bad new bears" republicans have not given the stimulus plan time to work fully. It is working - state governments have money to pay the police , fireman, teachers, etc. New jobs have been created in renovating schools, building roads, etc.

    The job loss rate has slowed somewhat and as I recall the President indicated that we would not see immediate relief - but more long-term! The country was COLLAPSING under the Republicans - worse than the great depression! Republicans had eight years to destroy the economy and now they think President Obama's can resoure it in eight days! GOD created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh? Do the republicans think the President is GOD?!

    July 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. Republicans is smart in the head area

    B July 12th, 2009 10:31 am ET
    "Why are all the lefties so scared of Palin? Is it becasue she represents the average american or is it becasue she actually may have some morals."

    We're not afraid of Palin, we're afraid that morons like you have the right to vote.

    July 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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