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. lonny

    I wouldnt consider Obama flipping on mail-in voting. It takes years to initiate a system, not a couple months like they want to do in Florida. There is a big difference.

    March 13, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. No More Tax Increase

    Mortgage payment and rising gas price have already made majority household's budget tight. And we will have to pay more taxes?! It only makes people's lives worse!!

    March 13, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |


    March 13, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Abe

    Let's see McCain I meant McBush wants 100more years of war in Iraq, tax cut for the wealthy and chases lobbyist skirts. He has bad qualities of the past two presidents we can do without.

    March 13, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Doug, DC

    To Charlotte: The Bush tax cuts were implemented when the Republicans had the majority in Congress!!!! Please do your own research before entering a statement of fact so you don't look foolish!! Oops, too late.

    OBAMA 08!!

    March 13, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. AJ, IL

    Obama has not flip-flopped as nearly as much as McCain and Hillary over the last 10 years. Obama's record has been consistent on NAFTA, IRAQ, Israel/Palestinian position, and other such issues. As a Hillary supporter, California Independent, you need to research the truth not repeat Hillary camp distortions and lies.

    March 13, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Beth Trivian

    Grow up, Obama. Thinking adults can change their minds according to the context of the environment. For example, while I might not be in favor of abortion, I can certainly change my opinion if the mother's life is in danger. Or, at one time I supported Ethanol production until I found out that the way we make Ethanol actually destroys and depletes land and resources just as quickly as oil production.

    John McCain was right about opposing tax cuts at the time, and he's right about supporting them now. Things change.

    March 13, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Marsh

    Senator McCain will do what ever it takes to have is conservative Republican ID card validated. Whether it's flip-flopping or deal making with the hard core conservatives, he's up for the task. Four more years of Bush is what we can expect if McCain were elected. That’s why it is so critical for the Democrats to quickly unite under one Presidential candidate...Barak Obama.

    March 13, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. jyfranca

    Obama is doing a grave mistake to attack McCain he has one opponent ,Hillarybillclinton.Ans still he wants more opponents?Attacking Mccain instaed of clinton cost him in Texas and Ohio

    March 13, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Obama

    McCain. should be talking about Social Security... and how . old people in America can't afford healthcare.And then.. to go along with bushes tax cuts... WE ARE IN A RECESSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! R E C E S S I O N!!!don't you get it?

    March 13, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Haley Rodman Clemson

    Thanks Barack! Please vote for heavier taxation. I just love turning my hard-earned money over to the IRS. Take McCain to task for trying to let me keep a little bit of my own money! Americans need to pay more taxes! Please tax me more heavily! Read my lips: Enact new taxes!

    March 13, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Tara

    I'm glad that Obama's focusing on issues that are important to the American people, instead of playing Hillary’s divisive games and strategy. We need a balanced budget in this country. Spending billions in Iraq and simultaneously cutting taxes for the rich is not getting us there!

    March 13, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Nan

    If you increase your spending while reducing your income, you're headed for bankruptcy. Even Reagan realized his mistake in cutting taxes and eliminated the cuts! Get real, people!

    March 13, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Vig

    Obama seems to need a template of someone else's actions or words in which to form his own opinions. Is there anything original or dynamic here?

    March 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. AF Vet

    Obama should step aside and give Hillary his support.

    March 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. stlouis

    Stay the course Obama and make your points against the Republican Party. We the People are behind you!!!

    March 13, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. gregory

    is homer simpson on the republican ticket

    March 13, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Cosmo

    It's going to be great to see Obama tax the hell out of the rich, give all the money to the poor, and then watch as businesses can't afford to hire or keep employees. Yeah, that's a sound strategy right there. We'll cut taxes, and also the prospect of you having a job.


    March 13, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. Go Hillary!

    Obama is just a liar who does not have credit, seriou!

    2008 Hillary

    March 13, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. lilahenna

    Obama your so great that we want you to be the president of

    March 13, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. Michael, Torrance, CA

    With these comments from Obama, if he does become president it will be; Tax and spend here we come!

    March 13, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. Hammer

    flip-flop ?
    NAFTA is bad (just political maneuvering to Canada)
    bring troops home and end war - not really just looking for votes
    great uniter – Democratic party has become a black v. white
    what about the truth?

    March 13, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Big Rich Guy

    Hey all you bloggers. I like these tax cuts!!!, the rich need a brake too after putting up with you insects. All you Obama fans can take a back seat. I would love to roll up a 100 dollar bill with tabaco and smoke it right in your faces. LOL.

    March 13, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Roves Third chin

    Hey McStain, the economy has been struggling since Bush took office. Tax cuts for the rich didn't help the Great Lakes region one iota. Sure, an extra $300 one time (yay) but sorry folks you loose your $400 a week job. I think I'd rather keep my job thanks.

    March 13, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Paul

    And here he goes again, without the nod he is going after McCain. How about you focus on Hillary cause you still have to deal with her until Aug.

    March 13, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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