McCain to Obama: Your bus is ugly
October 17th, 2011
03:40 PM ET
3 years ago

McCain to Obama: Your bus is ugly

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain –a politician who has seen his share of campaign buses– had harsh words Monday for Pres. Barack Obama's choice of election transportation.

"I must say again I have never seen an uglier bus than a Canadian one," the Arizona senator said in a speech on the Senate floor Monday. "He is traveling around on a Canadian bus touting American jobs."

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates next face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, October 18, in the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. Submit your questions for the debate here.

Obama launched a bus tour Monday through North Carolina and Virginia, where he is touting his American Jobs Act. He carried both states in the 2008 election but they are considered up for grabs in 2012.

Obama's bus –an imposing black model from the Canadian company Prevost– was first used on a tour of the Midwest in August. At the time, CNN reported that the Secret Service bought two buses at $1.1 million apiece with the intention of both parties' nominees using them come the general election.

The company used to outfit the bus is American however, and has designed buses for musical acts, theatre tours, and presidential candidates – including McCain.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer downplayed the criticism Monday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"I think that's a lot of politics from Senator McCain," Pfeiffer said. "As we've talked about this before, the Secret Service acquired the bus from an American company. It is made by the same company that made Mr. McCain's very famous 'Straight Talk Express.'"

On Monday, McCain was also critical of the president's decision to campaign while touting his jobs plan, saying he was using taxpayer money to spread his re-election message.

"On the taxpayer-paid dime, the president is now traveling attacking the Republican plan. Obviously I think unfairly," McCain said.

He continued, "I think he has the, certainly in a political venue, the right and privilege to do that. I think the question might be, 'Is that appropriate on the taxpayer's dime' since it is clearly campaigning."

–CNN's Virginia Nicolaidis contributed to this report.

Also see:

The president goes on the road to promote jobs


White House says aid to teachers will face first Senate vote

Senate Dems consider votes on parts of Obama package


Filed under: John McCain • President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Cranky old man is mad he doesn't have a bus anymore. Sore loser.

    October 17, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    ""He is traveling around on a Canadian bus touting American jobs.""

    And the Republican candidate will be doing the same thing (they bought two...so the opposition candidate could be fairly protected as well). I guarantee that the GOP nominee won't have the cajones to refuse it either: after all, they're the ones living in fear of the Big Secret Jihad and myriad other bogeymen.

    October 17, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    McCain continue to be an irrelevant dipstick. It was the secret service who ordered two buses, one for the president, and one for the eventual republican candidate, Sarah Palin. But McCain just keeps in being a senile unhappy man.

    October 17, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Get some rest, John, you are really losing your battle with reality.

    October 17, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Bill

    Poor John McCain – addled with age and making stupid comments about a bus on the Seante floor. I am sure all of McCain's automobiles are American made. Time to retire.

    October 17, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Sorry, Senator. Speaking to the American people about legislation *currently before Congress* is not campaigning for election no matter how you look at it. If the jobs bill were not being currently debated by members of the House and the Senate, then I would concede your point. But, it is the issue that trying to come up in the House and the Senate.

    October 17, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Obama has done NOTHING BUT campaign for 3 years and now a 4th. This fool has been the most divisive, partisan "President" this country has ever seen. This buffoon has lied or misled the American people on just about everything he has done or proposed. Obamacare, his signature legislation, is falling apart at the seams as ever they admit it won't work. This fool has no idea was leading means. He's supposed to lead one nation, not divide it up and pit one segment against another. The idiot has set this country back decades. He took us from the ditch and through us into the Grand Canyon of debt.

    October 17, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Clwyd

    The American public to McCain! Your choice for VP shows your total lack of good judgment!

    October 17, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Imagine the outrage by the crazy right wingnuts if the chassis was built by UAW. Republicans would only be happy if it was built in China, where they sent 20 million American jobs.

    October 17, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    Sen. John McCain you lost in 2008

    October 17, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Kris Craig

    You can't completely seperate politics from the job of being President. Part of his job is to push his jobs bill. That requires taking his message to voters and explaining why his plan is better than the alternative. It's not like he's driving around on a campaign tour, saying, "Re-elect me!" That would be a misuse of taxpayer funds. But campaigning for his jobs bill? Gimmie a break. You could also argue that McCain is using taxpayer money whenever he campaigns for a bill on the Senate floor, since that's also political and at taxpayer expense.

    I think the senility is starting to get the better of him....

    October 17, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Niki

    Scraping the bottom of the bitterness barrel.

    October 17, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. ja

    can mccain still see, senior rich americans would help the employment situation if the retired, mcain it is time for you tto go home

    October 17, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. rs

    The only bus made in America is the line of Bluebird school busses. Most busses, including ones use by McCain are made elsewhere. The difference is a company in the U.S. got the Secret Service contract to outfit it for the President's use.
    More lies and spin from the GOP/TP.

    October 17, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. DrRich

    Really?? McLame, I thought you were for free trade? Dont criticize when you push for free trade yourself!! There may not be many other options but Canadian. Are you watching an American made TV? Thought not.

    October 17, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Expat American

    Majority of Americans to John McCain: Sit down, eat your apple sauce and shut your mouth, old fool.

    October 17, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. AntiFringe

    ........and you gave us Palin!

    October 17, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. David Peterson

    Uhhhh.... the Executive Branch does not choose or buy the buses. The Secret Service is in charge of that ordered the buses before Obama was president. They supplied Bush with the same bus and they will supply the Republican nominee with an identical bus. So basically McCain told a big fat lie which obama- haters have latched onto and spread without researching the claim.

    October 17, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Alan J

    McCain sounds a little "Green-Eyed Monster" to me huh? Mad you ain't riding in the BUS? Last I checked you were campaigning and drawing a Tax Payer Check at the same time 3 years ago, remember? Maybe you don't, since you can't even remember how many houses you have! Never in my 51 years of living have I seen these US Senate and Congress get on the floor and spew some of the most stupid, foolish stuff as this Congress has! That's the New Repubs for Real. Good luck beating the Man with a Brain, President Obama that is!

    October 17, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Steve/Oklahoma

    Jeez McCain, Please go away. Everytime you open your mouth, it's nothing but crap. I thank God you are not the President.

    October 17, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Enough is Enough

    Is this seriously what they have.... throw everything at Obama, regarless of relevance, and we'll just hope something will stick. And that the American people are so "Real TV" mentality that they'll
    believe whatever we tell them.

    October 17, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. bcnu_too

    Boo hoo – he is just jealous because his old butt isn't being hauled around in the bus.

    October 17, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Really? REALLY????

    CNN ... will you stop talking to John McCain, please. The man is a doddering old fool ... his comment is basically the adult equivalent to the sandbox taunt of "your mom is fat!"

    October 17, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Ozzi

    Sorry John but you're not relevant anymore. Go back to sleep in your office and let your aides do their jobs.

    October 17, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  25. Naztaja

    I am a democrat and even I must say McCain is 100% justified in criticizing the President on this issue. The President needs to put his money where his mouth i, especially if he is going to blow 500M on Solyandra...the least he can do is buy two buses from his own country. It is beyond awful.

    October 17, 2011 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
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