March 13th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama slams McCain for reverse on tax cuts

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Obama had some sharp words for McCain on his campaign plane Thursday."] (CNN) - Barack Obama suggested Thursday John McCain reversed his position on the Bush tax cuts in order to win the Republican nomination.

Speaking with reporters on his campaign plane, Obama noted the Arizona senator was a onetime opponent to the tax cuts, and said he has since reversed his position for political reasons.

"That was how, I guess, you got your ticket punched to be the Republican nominee," he said. "But he was right then, and he's wrong now."

McCain has said he supports the tax cuts now because of the economic slowdown and the stimulus potential they offer.

Obama also said he is against the tax cuts because they are an example of a "flawed fiscal policy."

"The notion that we would pile up more mounds of debt, literally borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars to pay for tax breaks for people who don't need them and weren't even asking for them I think is unfortunate," he said. "And I think it's an example of the kinds of flawed fiscal policies that have gotten us in such a hole under this administration and a republican congress."

UPDATE: Responding to Obama's remarks, McCain said later Thursday "it’s very clear that I voted to make those tax cuts permanent on several times."

"Senator Obama has stated very clearly his desire to increase Americans’ taxes," he added. "That will be one of the great debates we have if he is the nominee of his party. He wants to raise Americans’ taxes and put more of their money into the hands of the government. I want to keep it in the wallets and purses of the American people."

- CNN's Chris Welch contributed to this report

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. An Army veteran

    Go Obama! Too bad Hillary is still hanging around like a bad cold.

    March 13, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. mike from PA

    Even though this article has nothing to do with all the haters post negative comments on her. The lady can not even she said she is sorry or thanks Obama. There is always something for the haters!

    March 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. John

    John McCain has absolutely no chance to win the Presidency unless he takes a crash course in economics over the next few months, and flip-flops back to opposing the Bush tax cuts.

    March 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA

    Maybe McCain has not changed his mind. Maybe he just does not remember what his position was on the Tax for the Rich. McCain and Hillary change their mind every other day.

    March 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Randy - Denver

    Hmm interesting thought.. for those of you who support this I ask you to change a few words.. l8ike McCain to Clinton and tax cuts to FL/MI Primaries.. same thoughts by each candidate..LMAO but this will not be posted.

    It is nice to see a dem get back on track and stop the silly in fighting I am not surprised that it was Mr. Obama who was the first to get back to the real issues.

    March 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Don Bowers

    Alright! I can't wait to pay more taxes! The less I have to take home the better, I say.

    March 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Amy in Iowa

    McCain said he doesn't even know about the economy. Bush didn't know how much a gallon of gas is. Yet, these Republicans know how to give economic breaks to the rich, who didn't even ask for or need them. And they both support a war that is costing us billions of dollars we don't even have. Obama is right to slam McCain on changing his stance. It is hurting the country.

    March 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Goodheart

    Obama is delving into unchartered territory for him. He has the most liberal record in the Senate and would raise everyone's taxes. I don't think this is an issue he wants to bring to the forefront. In addition,
    in recent weeks, I've read reports that Obama is losing ground among men, women, Democrats, independents and Republicans. His only base is the youth vote and the black vote. He's going to sink quickly after he gets crushed in Pennsylvania.

    March 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Right on President are reading the competition correctly!!! Fight for us Pres. Elect !!!!!!!!!!!

    March 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. Vince

    Obama is right, it's these flawed economic policies of Bush that have gotten us into the mess we're in now.

    If you want a continuation of the present course vote for McCain, if you're ready to change the course vote for Obama.

    March 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Voices of Reason

    I don't get posted on important issue and now you want me to comment some old news! get a live CNN

    March 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. txpoodoo

    Well, Obama is right, a spade is a spade

    I have been following McCain very closly since I believed from the beginning he would be getting the nomination. He did a complete 180* on the tax issue. Just like Romney signed up for a lifetime membership of the NRA right before he announced his candidacy.

    They only did it to "appear" more conservative.

    March 13, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Letha, Sioux Falls, SD

    Isn't Obama the same man who said he wouldn't play this finger pointing thing? This has been going on now for a few weeks. So much for this politicians word, it doesn't seem to be worth much or we are seeing the real man come out to play!

    March 13, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Sylvia

    to mimi de la cruz for OBAMA.....
    you are a mindless fool....Obama changes his mind as does EVERY politician.......NO politician is HONEST
    wake up fool!!!!

    March 13, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Charlotte

    Excuse me, but doesn't Obama know we have a democratic majority in the Senate? He needs a lot of training. First, get your facts straight before you speak. Second, speak only what you know is true. Better yet, keep your mouth shut, until someone with more knowledge speaks first.

    March 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. jacky

    The national is: $9,405,716,515,488.41 and McCain is talking about tax cuts. "The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
    $1.69 billion per day since September 29, 2006!" Does anyone care?

    March 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    This whole political bit is getting more DISGUSTING every day BACK STABBING OR WHAT EVER YOU WANT Call it . THE ONE WITH THE MOST MONEY IS THE WINNER, what a waste of so much money while people in THIS COUNTRY ARE BEING PUT OUT OF THEIR HOMES.

    March 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. James

    Good at least one of the Democratic candidates realize who the opponent is. Why can't they both start contrasting themselves against the Republican nominee opposed to attacking themselves and endorsing McCain over their fellow Democrat nominee.

    March 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Amy in Iowa

    Finally an Obama article by CNN. And one that didn't use race as it's journalistic topic. Thanks for a real issue.

    March 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Lets Get Ready for Change!

    Interesting point of view!!!!

    Wait... I hear something.....

    Oh, it is the Obama hater... he lacks experience, he is all talk and no action, he is empty, he flip flops, i just don't like him...

    I think I covered them all.... Just trying to save the Obama haters some typing..

    Closed minds will not bring change nor will business as usual!

    March 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. M.

    One sane voice within an insane government...Listen to him!

    March 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Chris Mannoia

    Long term tax cuts? I'm lucky I can still put gas in my car! How about working on that, Hillary, Barack, and John...!

    March 13, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |

    Obama shut up!!! You have been wishy washy too!


    March 13, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Carl

    Define irony... democrats complaining about tax cuts when they are the ones that have doubled the national debt in 11 months

    March 13, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Anastasia in Obamaha, NE

    Obama is right. Why should the wealthy get all the tax breaks while everybody else fights to stay in their homes and have gas to go to work? McCain has jumped on the George W. policy wagon. Anyone who supports McCain is delusional.

    March 13, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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