October 29th, 2008
01:14 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain pushes Obama connection to Khalidi

 McCain is calling for the release of a tape from an event attended by Barack Obama.
McCain is calling for the release of a tape from an event attended by Barack Obama.

MIAMI, Florida (CNN)- In a radio interview with Radio Mambi in Miami Wednesday, Senator John McCain said that the Los Angeles Times should release a tape of an event that his opponent attended with Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi , a former University of Chicago professor now teaching at Columbia University who is alleged to have ties with the PLO.

“We should know about their relationship including, apparently, information that is held by the Los Angeles Times concerning an event that Mr. Ayers attended with a PLO spokesman. The Los Angeles Times refuses to make that videotape public. I’m not in the business about talking about media bias but what if there was a tape with John McCain with a neo-Nazi outfit being held by some media outlet. I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different.”

Khalidi has denied being a part of the PLO, saying that between 1976 and 1983 — the period critics have alleged he worked for the organization - he was a full time assistant professor at the American University of Beirut, a fellow at the Institue of Palestine Studies and author of two books and had no time for anything else.

McCain’s radio interview comes a day after the McCain campaign accused the Los Angeles Times of supressing a videotape of a 2003 banquet that then state Senator Barack Obama along with Ayers and Khalidi, and where Obama talked about his friendship with the Palestinian scholar.

"A major news organization is intentionally suppressing information that could provide a clearer link between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi," said McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb. "The election is one week away, and it's unfortunate that the press so obviously favors Barack Obama that this campaign must publicly request that the Los Angeles Times do its job - make information public."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
October 28th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain: Obama definition of rich 'creeping down'

McCain is hitting Obama hard on taxes in the race’s closing days.
McCain is hitting Obama hard on taxes in the race’s closing days.

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) - Senator John McCain, campaigning in the must-win states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina, charged Tuesday that Barack Obama has a "creeping" definition of what rich means.

“Senator Obama has made a lot of promises," McCain told a crowd in Hershey, Pennsylvania. "First he said people making less than $250,000 would benefit from his plan. Then this weekend he announced in an ad that if you're a family making less than 200,000 you'll benefit.

“But yesterday, right here in Pennsylvania, Senator Biden said tax relief should only go to ‘middle class people - people making under $150,000 dollars a year.’ You getting an idea of what’s on their mind. Eh? A little sneak peek. It's interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down,” said the Republican nominee, to boos from the audience.

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Filed under: John McCain
October 25th, 2008
07:51 PM ET
5 years ago

'Finish the race before starting the victory lap,' McCain says

Sen. McCain warned Sen. Obama not to get too far ahead of himself during a campaign event Saturday.
Sen. McCain warned Sen. Obama not to get too far ahead of himself during a campaign event Saturday.

(CNN) - Senator John McCain attacked Sen. Barack Obama for having his inaugural address ready to go and said that Obama’s presidential preparations will be proven premature at a rally in Mesilla, Arizona on Saturday.

“We just learned from a newspaper today that Senator Obama’s inaugural address is already written.”

“You know? I’m not making it up. I’m not making it up. I’m not making it up. An awful lot of voters are still undecided, but he’s decided for them that well, why wait? It’s time to move forward with his first inaugural address,” McCain said.

“My friends, when I pull this thing, I have a request for my opponent. I want him to save that manuscript of his inaugural address, and donate it to the Smithsonian. And they can put it right next to the Chicago paper that said Dewey Defeats Truman,” he said in reference to the 1948 Chicago Tribune headline incorrectly proclaiming Dewey the winner of that presidential election.

“There’s 10 days left in this election, maybe Barack Obama will have his first state of the union address ready before you head to the polls. You know, I guess I’m just a little old fashioned about these things. I prefer to let the voters weigh in before presuming the outcome. What America needs now is someone who will finish the race before starting the victory lap.”

McCain was referring to a New York Times article published Saturday that said John Podesta (who leads Senator Obama's transition team) "has been mapping out the transition so systematically that he has already written a draft Inaugural Address for Mr. Obama, which he published this summer in a book called ‘The Power of Progress’.”

Minutes after the Republican presidential candidate finished his speech, an Obama aide clarified that the address was in a book John Podesta wrote before Obama was the nominee and was written for a generic Democratic president.

In another response, Obama-Biden spokesman Bill Burton denied McCain's claim and linked him to a very unpopular Republican president.

“While this charge is completely false and there is no draft of an inaugural address for Senator Obama, the last thing we need is a candidate like John McCain who just plans on re-reading George Bush’s,” Burton said.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
October 25th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain: 'I'm a fellow Westerner'

Sen. McCain got off his plane Saturday with the hills of Mexico in the background on his way to a campaign stop in New Mexico.
Sen. McCain got off his plane Saturday with the hills of Mexico in the background on his way to a campaign stop in New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CNN) - At a rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico Saturday, Senator John McCain told the crowd that he was a neighboring Western senator who understood the Southwest and Hispanic culture and his opponent didn’t.

“My friends I’m a fellow Westerner, I understand these issues, I understand land and water and Native American issues and border issues and I understand the challenges that a great, great western states face with our growth and our needs and our challenges,” said the Arizona Senator as he courted voters key to the state’s five electoral votes.

“My friends, Senator Obama has never been south of our border, you know that? And he doesn’t know these issues. I know them, I know what the Southwest is, I know strength and the culture and our Hispanic culture and the strength of our great states."

While McCain has been dealing with southwestern issues for over 20 years as an Arizona legislator, an Obama spokesman said that in fact the Illinois Senator did visit Mexico when he was in college.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • New Mexico
October 21st, 2008
10:15 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain: Western Pa. 'most patriotic' part of the country

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (CNN) - John McCain attacked Barack Obama in Western Pennsylvania Tuesday over a surrogate's comments that some of the area's residents were racist, telling locals the region was "the most patriotic, most God-loving" part of the nation.

“I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama’s supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately,” he said, to loud boos from the crowd.

Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, who supports Obama, was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette saying there is "no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area," and predicted that those attitudes could cost the Illinois senator on Election Day.

“I couldn't agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most God-loving, most patriotic part of America, and this is a great part of the country,” McCain said Tuesday, to cheers.

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October 20th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain uses Biden comments against Obama

McCain slammed Obama over Biden’s Sunday comments.
McCain slammed Obama over Biden’s Sunday comments.

BELTON, Missouri (CNN) – John McCain is seizing on Joe Biden’s prediction that his running mate would be tested in office.

"He guaranteed that if Senator Obama is elected, Senator Biden said, we will have an international crisis to test America's new president,” McCain said at a Monday rally in Belton, Missouri Monday. “We don't want a president who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars.”

At a Sunday night fundraiser, Biden said that within Obama’s first months in office, “we're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy" - and that it may not be immediately “apparent” that an Obama administration’s actions were the right ones.

“Forget ‘apparent,’” said McCain Monday. “Senator Obama won't have the right response, and we know that because we've seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Joe Biden • John McCain
October 19th, 2008
03:36 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain said he's not surprised by Powell

Powell endorsed Obama Sunday.
Powell endorsed Obama Sunday.

(CNN) - John McCain said on “FOX News Sunday” that he was not surprised by General Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama.

“Well, I've always admired and respected General Powell. We're longtime friends. This doesn't come as a surprise," he said.

"But I'm also very pleased to have the endorsement of four former secretaries of state, Secretaries Kissinger, Baker, Eagleburger and Haig. And I'm proud to have the endorsement of well over 200 retired Army generals and admirals. But I respect and continue to respect and admire Secretary Powell," he said.

The Arizona Senator did not answer a follow up question about Powell contradicting McCain’s argument that Obama wasn’t ready to lead.

But after his opponent touted Powell’s endorsement at a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the McCain campaign issued a statement saying Obama needed someone like Powell to supplement his own lack of experience.

"Only an unproven and inexperienced politician like Barack Obama would have to rely so heavily on an another man's resume in making the case for his own candidacy - and it shows that he's just not ready,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
October 18th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain calls 'Joe the Plumber,' invites him on the trail

McCain wants Joe to campaign with him.
McCain wants Joe to campaign with him.

MELBOURNE, Florida (CNN)- At a rally in Melbourne, Florida Friday evening, Senator McCain revealed he had called Joe Wurzelbacher.

“I talked to him this morning for the first time ever,” said McCain. “And I want to tell you his sprits are good and he’s a tough guy. He is what small business people all over this country are all about. They are tough and they are good and they want to get ahead and they want to keep their money.”

McCain did apologize to the Ohio resident for thrusting him into the media spotlight on the night of the debate according to McCain press secretary Brooke Buchanan.

The night before he called, he appealed to Joe on CBS's “Late Night with David Letterman.”
“Joe, if you’re watching, I’m sorry,” he said into the camera.

Buchanan did say that the Arizona Senator invited Ohio’s most famous voter to meet up with the campaign but did not set up any specific stops.

McCain has a rally in that state on Sunday but Buchanan said she didn’t know whether Murzelbacher would appear.

When asked why he called Joe, Buchanan said, “I think he just wanted to reach out to him.”

Whether Joe is there in person or not, he is certainly a star at McCain events. McCain urged others at the rally to contact Joe and share their support. “Send Joe an email and tell him you are with him, ok,” said McCain.

And the crowd definitely seemed to be full of Joe supporters as well as John supporters, with people at the Melbourne rally were wearing tee shirts with a picture of a name tag on them that said, “My name is ... Joe the Plumber” and holding signs about Joe like one on stage that said, “Joe’s dough, not Obama’s.”


Filed under: John McCain
October 16th, 2008
03:08 PM ET
6 years ago

Lieberman: McCain is 'on the road to victory'

Sen. Lieberman campaigned with Sen. McCain in Pennsylvania Thursday.
Sen. Lieberman campaigned with Sen. McCain in Pennsylvania Thursday.

DOWNINGTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) - It wasn’t quite the starring role that he had at the last presidential debate, but Joe the plumber still had top billing at the McCain event in Downingtown, Pennsylvania Thursday.

The senator from Arizona didn’t declare himself the winner in Wednesday night’s sparring match with Barack Obama, bestowing that honor instead on America’s newest star, Ohio resident Joe Wurzelbacher.

“My friends, we had a good debate last night. It was a lot of fun, you know. I thought I did pretty well. The real winner last night was Joe the plumber,” said McCain to applause and chants of “Joe.”

“Joe’s the man. He won, and small businesses won across America. They won because the American people are not going to let Senator Obama raise their taxes in a tough economy. They are not going to let him do it, my friends.”

And that wasn’t the last we heard of Joe. McCain again elaborated on what Obama to the Ohio plumber in their weekend meeting.

“He wanted to spread his wealth around. What does that mean? He wants the government to take Joe’s money and give it to somebody else, “McCain said as the crowd booed. “His hard earned dollars. We are not going to stand for that. America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by spreading the wealth; we became the greatest nation on earth by creating new wealth.”

The Republican presidential nominee had more criticism for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. “I agree with the chairman of the FDIC, who said that Secretary of the Treasury in this government is not going enough to help people stay in their homes,” he said. “That has got to be our first priority. Not Wall Street. Not the bankers. Not the investment houses.”

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Filed under: Joe Lieberman • John McCain • Pennsylvania
October 14th, 2008
11:33 AM ET
5 years ago

McCain plugs tax cuts in Pennsylvania

BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (CNN) - John McCain unveiled his $52 billion economic package Tuesday - a mix of new initiatives and older proposals - and told Pennsylvania voters that Barack Obama was a risky choice.

Listen: McCain adviser explains the new plan


"I will help to create jobs for Americans in the most effective way a president can do this - with tax cuts that are directed specifically to create jobs and protect your life savings," said McCain at a rally in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

Most of the new proposals featured a GOP favorite economic tool, the tax cut. McCain proposed cutting the tax rate for withdrawals from retirement accounts to 10 percent, cutting the capital gains tax on stocks purchased and held for more than a year, eliminating taxes on unemployment benefits, and increasing the amount of capital losses from $3,000 to $15,000 which could be deducted from in come in tax years 2008 and 2009.

The plan also featured a guarantee of all savings accounts for a period of six months.

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