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. usualone

    Anyone remember the saying, "It takes money to make money." It is way too early to judge President Obama. What does Mr. McCain think when he hears policemen's jobs are being saved. Just the other day, there was a police chief, from an Ohio location, who pointed out that he was able to save police folk jobs. Construction is being advanced here in PA because of the stimulus package. And those are two positive examples of the turn around start. And, President Obama still has a few days to go until he is in office for 6 months.

    July 12, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Tired of the Fluff

    Wow. I cannot believe how hateful this audience is to Sarah Palin. WHile I am not a fan, I am amazed at how nasty you people are to her. I now remember why I am not a lib. You people cannot have it both ways – Obama is great and Palin is dumb. Obama hasn't done anything but spend our money and with him in the White House it is definitely amateur night. We are in big trouble. I would rather have a leader with substance and little style, than what we have not which is style with little substance.

    July 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. ysidero

    @b... if palin is the *average american* then god help us all. avaricious, amoral, ambitious far beyond her abilities... and dont forget just plain ignorant of the world beyond the trailer park in wasilla. i sure hope the average american surpasses that VERY low bar set by la palin. she looked very natural catching fish – she needs to stay in her element.

    July 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. catmom

    It's rather clear that McCain doesn't know wrong if it smacked him in the face like Sarah Palin has. After listening to him today, it is clear to me that he lies to himself regularly and has no intentions of facing reality.

    In fact, listening to Republicans on the Sunday talk shows showed exactly what their game plan is. They have no intention on assisting this President in coming up with new ideas for this country. They will not give his plans time to succeed and they will continue to scream he is a failure constantly to their constituents hoping they will believe it. They will then yell with glee as his poll numbers decrease. They will then expect for the American people to flock to them so they can continue with tax cuts for the rich and health insurance reforms that only help the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. That is what we can expect from Republicans. No new ideas, just complaints and glee hoping for this President and America to fail

    July 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. thetruthisoutthere

    mccain is WRONG again...what a joke that republicans say that it's too soon to judge bush yet they want to judge Obama when he hasn't even been in office a year! This is the same guy that thinks we got out of Vietnam too soon...go back to what you do best john, telling us how wonderful miss alaska is.

    July 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Denise

    Like I'm going to listen to economic advice from a self-admitted ignorant on the subject.

    You and Palin would have this mess cleared up in 5 months, right? You're too old and she's too stupid, not to mention a QUITTER.

    The fact that you could damage your country with your lack of ideas and support for your President, shows what a BIG LOSER YOU ARE AND HOW YOU'RE OUT FOR POLITICS, NOT SOLUTIONS.

    Give it a chance. It was probably too small and hasn't even kicked in 25% yet.

    Lend a helping hand instead of constant criticism. Doesn't strike me as the least bit patriotic, John.

    July 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Mary

    Actually, if you look at post Sept 11, you see how fast an economic turnaround can happen. Bush sent the stimulus checks to every taxpayer in amounts averaging about $500. It seemed silly, but everyone spent that $500+, including me, on their local economies and as THE PEOPLE had more money in hand, they spent it on things they wanted which increased demand and supported jobs. Since Obama has promised to take more of my money, three jobs have been lost at my house and I am doing everything myself now. The last to go will be my gardener. Wake up people, if you take a $100,000 loan right now against your house, you won't find economic prosperity, just a mounting debt. This is not a recipe for success for anyone with common sense. At least McCain gets that.

    July 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Robert in Austin

    President Bush and the professional Republicans in Congress has left the country on the edge of disaster and now they complain about Obama...?! Since these creeps are not in jail where they belong, they should shut their mouths.

    July 12, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Not-so-blind

    It's only a matter of time before our national debt destroys our way of life. Blame who you want, it's coming fast!

    July 12, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. MJHS1967

    Hmmn ...a year ago Senator McCain couldn't even spell economy! :(

    July 12, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. J

    Read Glenn Beck's Book "Common Sense"..Because most of you dummies commenting here have no clue why you voted, who you voted for, or even know one issue thoroughly enough to talk intelligently about it. The fault is not one party or the other..the fault lies with Americans not understanding the importance of freedom and why this country was built. But our own complaisance, we have allowed ourselves to be lulled to sleep by those politicians from both sides who want to control you and increase their own power...So we get reality tv, celebrity news and laws passed in the night. So..just read the book..wake up and realize that we do have a say and we can act to repair our republic. If we stay asleep, we have only ourselves to blame..but then, maybe not..We are so used to blaming other for everything..maybe pizza and a beer would be better...

    July 12, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. America Shrugged

    For someone who admitted during the campaign last fall that he had no real grasp on economic issues and hired frm Sen Gramm as his chief economic advisor (architect of Gramm Leach deregulation bill of 1999 and Enron fiasco) he sure has a mouthful to say about Obama's stimulus package. As Obama has repeatedly said, the stimulus wasn't a cure all to turn this economy around, but a shot in the arm to give it a boost. It wasn't designed to dump all the money into the states all at once and they were done. It's being managed and tracked by GAO and while it hasn't created 10s of thousands of jobs yet, it has prevented many folks from getting laid off at state and local governments as well as teachers. With every person not being laid off, and extension of unemployment benefits, there are more $ being pumped into local economies which hopefully will be able to sustain things until the economy gets going again. What is worse, trying your best to help this country or doing nothing? Doing nothing isn't an option.

    July 12, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Ursula

    and McCain thinks his "no-plan" plan would have worked faster? Obama has been prez for 6 months and I wasn't expecting any miracles this fast.... was anyone else out there? It was the idiocy of the republicans in office that got us into this mess and I'm sure it'll take a long time to dig out of it. Let Obama do his job!

    July 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. S M R

    Why should we listen to someone who voted for the Bush failed policies 98% of the time.This clown also said: " The economy is fundementally strong ". Thank GOD McCain didn't become president or we may be called the United States of China by now.

    July 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Mike Dallas

    President Obama may not have all the answers, but McCain has no clue!

    At least President Obama and the Dems are attempting to do something to get the economy out of the ditch and the stimulus has been hailed by economists as the reason the downward spiral that you and the shrub left the economy in. You do not cure 20 years of "voodoo economics" in 6 months.

    Just like economists say it was folly to wage 2 wars and give tax cuts to the rich.

    But then you would not know the definition of "economist" would you "Mr. The Economy is Sound"!

    The shrub would not even admit we were in a recession until we had been in one for one year. Obviously, you and your Party of NO do not listen or understand economists other than that moron Phil Gramm..

    July 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Nicholas Follansbee

    I seriously doubt that anyone in either party really understands the economy and how the stimulus is either working or not. At least some people are making a sincere effort to try to do something constructive. Let the people who honestly think they are competent to do so speak up, but do so with a little humility.

    July 12, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. republicanturneddemocrat

    And we are listening to a man who would have let the country go bankrupt and turn the US into a 3rd world country...

    McCain, just be quiet. Get lost. Go home. Retire. Eat oatmeal.

    July 12, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Gerry

    I guess Obama made all of these promises and now can't keep any of them. Not ready from day 1 or day 125.

    July 12, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Zach

    For you President Obama "apologists", please take a honest and frank look at where we are. the fact is, the President has spent our children's money in hopes it would stem unemployment and create jobs. Many neutral thinktanks are saying it is not working. Let the free market work. I for one am not looking for "liberal progressive" news as some bloogers suggest CNN should be. I am looking for the news; unbiased. I am sorry for those of you who feel CNN should be a liberal commentary channel and not a news organization. Expand your horizons and srf a few other news organizations.

    July 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Alicia

    WAR is an acceptable debt, right McShame? I used to admire and respect Senator McCain. After the Palin nomination it just keeps getting worse and worse.

    Republicans do not blink at the cost of a WAR$$$$$$$$$$$ To Republicans WAR is good debt$$$$$$

    July 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Ben

    You people should be outraged. This is generations worth of money Obama is throwing down the drain for NOTHING! It's not even creating jobs.

    No, you are all more concerned about slamming McCain and Palin because it makes you feel better about how horrible of a president Obama is. Obama is using Bush politics because he knows it distracts all of you from how badly he is screwing you.

    Welcome to the new world, you will be judged, and you will be shown.

    July 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Rick Sr.

    I think it is much to early to pass judgement. The President has been in office for only six months. It took us eight years to get into this bad situation, why do we think we can stop this run away train overnight. I am willing to give him a little more time.

    July 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Michael Richman

    Newsflash: Nobody cares what McCain thinks!

    July 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. Susan (Michigan)

    Oh come on, John. Bush promised us a 6 week war, greeted as liberators...7 long year and hundreds of thousand of deaths later.

    Go ahead and recite the numbers Obama thought were true...no one can predict unemployment numbers, not even you. I tell you what might help, though. You and Huckabee and Hannity and Beck could stop whining and complaining for a month or so (but then, what would you ever talk about?) and give this the time it deserves to work. At the very least, please share your vast knowledge of what would have worked quicker. Pray tell? Tax cuts? Yup, that worked splendidly for the past 8 years.
    What WOULD work is to stop okaying spending for theses useless wars, that are doing NOTHING to keep America safe, but are putting billions into the contractors' wallets. So John, next time there is a war funding bill, please vote against it!

    July 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Gordon Shumway

    Would somebody, anybody, please ring a giant bell so we can all tell when Obama's NOT LYING to US!!!

    July 12, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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