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. dan

    This is the same guy who thinks Palin quitting shows "leadership" so he's hardly credible...

    Thank the good lord he wasn't elected.

    July 12, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. pat c

    and this is coming from an idiot republican that thought the economy was fine until it came crashing down around the republicans!
    mccain should be to embarrassed to be seen on TV!. he would have had us in war already with iran, probably troops in china and with his lunitic running \mate barbie palin, he would be in a constant scandel with all her drama. i am grateful barack obama is our president and IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN 6 MONTHS TO DIG US OUT OF THIS REPUBLICAN HOLE THAT WE ARE IN. if the republicans would offer help and not whining about everthing we could achieve much more at a faster pace. mccain should retire and never be seen again.

    July 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Jack

    If Democrats are afraid of Palin, and I don't think they are, it is only because she is so uninformed, to put it mildly. The country cannot afford to allow anyone as politically nearsighted as she in the Whitehouse, and you right-wing extremists will surely try to put her there.

    As for the recovery, I find it incredible that the party that got us in this mess is so willing to chastise anyone for failing to restore the economy in six months. Conservatives, get over it. You had your chance, and you blew it. Democrats wake up, or your time in power will be short. Hopefully, a qualified independent will come along to save us all. The Republicans and Democrats don't seem to be able to get the job done.

    July 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. James L. Stewart

    People it's been 6 MONTHS, the stimulus is a 18 month plan!!! My Goodness, are you people (G.O.P and the impatient) really thinking Obama can solve 8 years of Bush and 6 years of G.O.P. congress control in lest than half a year. Stop listening to Limbaugh & Hannity. Be patient 12 in months you'll all be calling Obama a GENIUS right intime for him to start rasing money for re election. OBAMA has smart people with him and he is NOT STUPID. Strategically it's best for the stimulus to kick in within 2 years because peoples memory are too short. ALSO GM IS OUT OF BANCRUPTCY did you impatient drones notice that???? Pain's book is coming out (ghost writer of course) and I assure you Fox news will give her a show with gifted writer to make her look informed and she'll be a hit with all the pitbulls in a skirts who's daughters may get knocked up because they didn't know any better.

    July 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Leslie Griffith

    Mr. Negativity is at it again, why doesn't McCain offer some positive imput instead of always trying to dump on others?

    July 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. JP Bless

    "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."

    Stop thinking like a fool; the economy collapsed under Bush/Republicans... Obama is trying to fix it.

    July 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Leslie Griffith

    Mr. Negativity is at it again, why doesn't McCain offer some positive input instead of always trying to dump on others?

    July 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Suzanne

    Still haven't gotten over that stinging loss, have you, Mr. McCain? I say give the man some time. Hey, his estimate could not have been worse than yours- do you remember your quote "The fundamentals of the economy are sound"? To suggest you had better clarity of vision is laughable, and frankly, pathetic. And that Palin was a good choice too. Time to retire. Your barely coherent daughter is more relevant than you.

    July 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Leslie

    Hussein "HIGHFLYING PRESIDENT" Obama is destroying this country. That PORKULUS BILL he signed which he said would keep unemployment at 8% was PAYBACK for all organizations like teachers UNION and UAW to put him in office. We have so much debt right now, there's no end in sight. Obamanomics is CALIFORNIA. Very soon the federal government would be sending IOUs to its vendors. Obama doesn't care, his ego is so big, he thought he's king of the hill.

    I can't stand Obama, in fact every time I hear his voice, he gives me severe acid reflux.

    Only 28% strongly approve him and 35% strong DISAPPROVE him; I belong to the 35%

    July 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Robert

    He is playing politics and it is an embarrassment to himself. These problems are the results of 8 years of mismanagement on the part of the Republicans (they had a budget surplus Clinton handed to them). To claim the stimulus a failure after 6 months is disengenuous.

    When you lose an election (where you played so nasty to begin with), it would be better for him to show some class and keep his mouth shut for a fair amount of time to let the new President's plan have a fair chance at working. When you speak up like this after only 6 months, you come across as a sore loser.

    July 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Mike Dallas

    If President Obama determines down the road that the stimulus package needs to be adjusted, I am confident he will or try to change it.

    That is much better than just mindlessly repeating "stay the course" and maintaining the status quo.

    July 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. landon kelsey

    Before Bush left office he had a big stimulus package.

    I got a big chunk!

    Now the GOP is whining about Obama.

    Is McCain getting dementia?

    Not enuff oxygen in DC air?

    July 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. paul roger

    It took 8 years for Bill Clinton to leave a surplus; It took 8 years for Bush to create the biggest deficit in US history; and now you want President Barack Obama to relieve the economy in 6 months? is it political posturing or just plain disgust of the first Black president?????

    July 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Phillydan

    When McCain said on Meet the Press that Palin is still a viable candidate for President, he lost whatever crediitability he had left remaining with me. Therefore, his statements on the Stimulus are bogus.

    The problem with this country is short-sighted and short-term thinking. It is what has got us in trouble in the housing market and the dot-com bubble among other things. McCain and other Republicans reflect that thinking. We should certainly understand the politics of their statements. Don't get me wrong, the Dems can be just as guilty of this as well.
    But, the Republicans are worse.

    If by next year at this time, we have over 8% unemployment, our economy is stumbling along, banks are still not lending (to responsible borrowers), etc.; then the critics can call into question the effectiveness of the stimulus and of the Obama Administration. Until that time, keep your powder dry.

    July 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. landon kelsey

    Rush Palin 2012 get on the bandwagon ,,,NOW!

    July 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Illini

    Keynesian econonimcs, if you trust the theory that Obama did, requires substantial influx of money in a short time period. The longer the time period, the more money required. Taking 2.5 years to spend the money is not quick enough. What McCain was trying to state is if you are going to take 2.5 years to implement, the amount of money needs to be larger. The effects are almost impossible to measure at this point and probably will be in the future as well. If it was going to take so long, why not give the congress time to read the document. What would a couple more days hurt?

    The only project in my area was repaving a short stretch of highway which was already in pretty good shape. No jobs created, no real benefit for the community. I am sure there are other projects showing improvements and I pray that the stimulus works.

    July 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. Buddy Gilmour

    One has to remember that this economic meltdown was mainly the result of 8 years of inept leadership by Bush. Obama is dealing with it and he is making the best of a bad situation. But in my opinion the real roots of this meltdown go back to Reagan, who allowed too many mergers and the creation of these too-big-to-fail financial institutions. These mega-companies need to be broken up as part of the bailout. And while its ok to allow small companies to merge, we need a much more critical perspective on when mid-sized and large companies should be allowed to merge or buy other companies because as we can now see, its not in the public interest.

    July 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Realist

    Wow, I love how this thing always gravitates towards Palin, you people just wont leave the lady alone, how can you hate someone so much that really the only thing she has done was run for office? Do you not remember that this article is about Obama and his stimulus? How many of you can actually say it has helped you out other than that extra $13 a check. Wake up people, you are completely focused on the wrong things, what does Palin have to do with anything anymore? She is no longer even in any form of office.

    July 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Robert

    Was the American Public burdened with the publication of every opinion and politically motivated statement made by John Kerry or John Edwards when Bush was re-elected?

    Can you please give a rest to McCain and Palin? Especially Palin? Can we slow the media's intense desire to start the campaign for 2012 two years early?

    July 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Mary

    Why does CNN have to report every single thing it hears about? How about using some journalistic judgment. But I do understand why – controversy is what it is all about – not what is good for America. McCain, Palin, Limbaugh and all the rest love being in the fray. There is no such thing as bad publicity.

    July 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. gene

    The stimulas done right would have probably worked but there was way to much needless pork added that only helps small segments of Democratic area's. Republican's should have helped instead of acting childish and standing in the corner while talking smack. We need to get ride of the two party system. We should be improving roads and bridges.

    July 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. Papa

    Do the repubs have anything to offer? Nope. Have they ever had anything of value to offer? Nope.

    July 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. Leslie

    A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you have. That is EXACTLY what the Democrats and Obama are busy doing. Before you knew it, you have nothing left in your name.

    HOW'S THAT HOPE AND CHANGE WORKING FOR YOU? If you still have a job, get ready, you'll be unemployed soon. Forget your retirement investment, Obama give it to his friends in wallstreet.

    July 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Losing-the-touch...

    Obama, the man with the golden touch is losing his grip to jump start the economy..hence they...the democrats...need distractions from their failing policies so far...just look at one jopless America is climing sky high. ! So, why not? divide the country even more by crimalising the last administaration for keeping the country safe since
    9/11...go ahead and air lies and dirty laundry to the world and you will see what will happen.....more hate for America....!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. AlwaysThinking

    If tax cuts for the wealthy and de-regulation of the financial industry result in job creation and economic growth and stability, then how come since 1980 and Reagan have we had:

    - The S&L bailout

    - Record farm foreclosures

    - The housing/real estate bubble

    - Huge numbers of jobs shipped overseas

    - Decline in real wages for middle income families

    - Soaring deficits (except under the only Democratic president during that time – Clinton)

    - Health care costs spiraling out of control

    If giving more money and power to those who already have more than they need – through tax cuts and de-regulation – is such a good thing, then why is our country in such a mess?

    July 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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