December 18th, 2007
04:14 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain chooses Senate over stump

WASHINGTON (CNN) - With just weeks to go until New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, John McCain is taking an unscheduled absence from the campaign trail and rushing back to Washington for a Senate vote on Iraq war funding.

The Arizona senator canceled most of Tuesday’s campaign events after learning that three amendments related to the war effort, all attached to government funding legislation, are scheduled for a vote tonight. Two of them, offered by Democrats, aim to end the mission in Iraq. The third, offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, would provide $40 billion for the war in Iraq not already included in legislation passed by the House.

McCain’s vote may be a critical one - senators and aides on both sides say they are not sure if the McConnell amendment will get the 60 votes required to pass.

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton’s office says she will not be returning from the trail. CNN has not yet heard back from presidential campaigns of the other sitting senators, Democrats Barack Obama of Illinois, Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put off until next year consideration of a bill that contains some controversial legal protections for the telecom industry. Democratic senators on the campaign trail had faced a challenge from Dodd to follow through on their pledges to support him in a planned filibuster of the measure.

–CNN’s Ted Barrett

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Matt, New York, New York

    McCain is truly dedicated to winning the war against the Islamic extremists. The Democrats claim they can end the conflict, but that will destroy any hope of redemption of the United States. America will lose any hope of turning things around in Iraq. McCain is an experienced war vet, knows his military history and will lead the country to victory.

    The Democrats want the war to end in defeat. They don't care about the safety of the nation. Sadly they want more death and destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan because they think it will help their political careers.

    December 18, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. rita,PA

    These people are appearing desperate everyday. I hope someone tell them we know the game better than they do.

    December 18, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. Andrew, NJ

    shouldn't he be there for all legislation, not 1 bill that he finds important? The tax payers shouldn't be paying him to campaign

    December 18, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. Independent in IA

    Of course he hustled back to D.C. so he could vote yes. Bush probably called him personally, and gave the secret signal...the dog whistle boogie.

    December 18, 2007 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. RunMcCainRun

    Quick McCain! Run back to the hill to save your precious disastrous war so you can "support the troops".

    We all know that really supporting the troops would mean bringing them home right now and stop invading a nation that had nothing to do with terrorism or 9/11. But they're all muslims so they deserve it, right?

    Neocon USA sounds a lot like Nazi Germany.

    December 18, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |

    Very Interesting, the Dems rush back to get a photo-op vote for giving more money to farmers, more than they need, and McCain goes back to vote on supporting the courageous men and women of the military. Who's priorities are being disseminated here?

    December 18, 2007 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Matt A. , Kennesaw, GA

    Hillary is going to get owned if this turns out to be a close vote.

    December 18, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. Cora Big Lake AK

    Hello, they all should be at work in the senate. John McCain should know ALL votes are critical. CNN should do a post on all presidential canidates and how many votes they have missed.

    December 18, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Larry, Columbus, Ohio

    It's sad to see so much hatred here...but nothing he could do would please some of you. "He's going back? To support the war machine!" "He's NOT going back? He's only interested in being elected!" Give me a break.

    Voting is part of the job, people, and all them (yes (gasp, including Hillary and Barack) should be scheduling their campaigning AROUND their current job responsibilities.

    December 18, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. Tom, Cville, VA

    I don't much like McCain's politics, but at least he is going to the Hill to vote what he thinks. Wish the Democratic candidates would do that. I very much hope the Dem nominee wins the election, but we are not paying them right now to campaign. They need to get back to work when big votes come up.

    December 18, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    I thought the constitution forbade The Senate from raising bills of revenue and appropriation. Should the ammendments to the bill not return to the house of congress to be passed again?

    The congress has the sole right to coin and mint monies; while it was a general understanding that the States may trade with silver and the federation with gold.

    A vote of concurrence only adds the weight of the States?

    December 18, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. Doc Rosceaux, Lafayette Louisiana

    If it's a promised national TV interview they would be there in a nano second !! They will avoid with the campaign excuse so they won't have to defend their NO vote (if that's what they truly believe).

    December 18, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  13. Bob,Austin Texas

    Are Clinton, Obama, Biden, and Dodd drawing salaries as member of the Senate? I believe they are, yet they are absent from their place of work. I do not believe the US Treasury should pay their salary when they are not performing their duties.

    December 18, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. John G Charleston SC

    Wow a democrat who can't win (Dod) runs back to the hill to fail a filibuster attempt and the liberals applaud-a Republican with a decent shot runs back to vote on a bill and he is clearly jumping through the presidents hoops?

    Just another example of liberal fence jumping to suit the situation.

    Personally I think all the candidates should be present for votes on legislation but clearly the campaign trail is more important to them than doing their jobs or taking part in Harry Reids silly political games.

    December 18, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. Mike O Plano, TX

    At least one of the candidates seems to recognize they do have a day job, one they'd promise some voters they would do faithfully.

    Of course, by not voting, they can't actually be held responsible for any of it can they? Do we really want a fence-sitter as president?

    December 18, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  16. Brampton,on

    To those who have taken this as a opportunity to criticize John McCain for making sure he did not miss votes in the senate that involved the Iraq war, who you should be criticizing is all your candidates who pretend to be anti-war, Hillary, Obama, Bieden, Dodd who could not find the time to vote for legislation aimed to end the war. Why you feel the need to criticize McCain is that your are jealous that there aren't candidates on your side who have real integrity, and don't just say the right thing but follow it with action.

    December 19, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  17. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    The dems presidential candidates do not want to be held reponsible for not including the 3 billion dollars to build the fence to protect our southern borders like 70% of American Citizens want. If they did not vote they can lie about supporting securing the border. McCain had a good reason to vote to support his fellow commrades in arms.

    December 19, 2007 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  18. Alice Newman

    Interesting to note the response from several posters commenting only on McCain & Senate responsibilities:

    for example: shouldn't he be there for all legislation, not 1 bill that he finds important? The tax payers shouldn't be paying him to campaign
    Posted By Andrew, NJ :

    No comment on the other Senators: Just slam McCain – what is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander –

    Have any Senators historically resigned when running for national office?

    December 19, 2007 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  19. Margaret Fuller, Wolfeboro, NH

    Is Ron Paul going back to vote or doesn't his day job count?

    December 19, 2007 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  20. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    IMO, this is the twenty-first century, Senators and Congressmen should be allowed to tele-vote. At least, under certain circumstances.
    Then we wouldn't be having such discussions and the people will be getting the service they voted for.

    December 19, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. John, New York, NY

    What political cynicism! The budget bill was passed by a whopping 76-17 majority. McCain only showed up so that he could do some political grandstanding about voting for the war budget. Neither the president, the Senate Republicans, nor, frankly, his constituents in Arizona were benefitted by his "rush back to Washington."

    December 19, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  22. Jim, White City, KS

    We have lost the paid services of how many elected officials this campaign season and it is not even January yet.

    I would like to see a absolute ban on campaigning for President until 1 January the year of the election. If they can not represent their ideas and philsophies in three or four months prior to the Conventions and then cannot mount a positive political campaign between the Conventions and November they don't belong on the ballot to start with.

    How many of you out there are as feed up with paid elected officials wasting over 2 years of office time polluting the airways of the country with campaign trash. Election reform, a shorter campaign season, get to the point stick with the point and be done with it.

    December 19, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. John, NY, NY

    Sepcific to Mark from Alabama above.

    Man! What vitriolic hatred. I get it...its not politically correct for Southerners to blatantly hate blacks these days, so now they have a new 21st century whipping boy – Mexicans! I guess its really hard to get bigotry completely out of your system.

    By the way, unless you are a Native American, your family didn't exactly arrive in America with an invitation either, buddy.

    December 19, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. LeftyLoosey

    McCain 48
    Harry 0

    December 19, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Ajay Jain

    Good for John McCain. He is doing his job and being faithful to his constituents.

    December 20, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |