May 12th, 2008
10:08 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain appeals to independents with environment pitch


Watch John McCain’s new ad called A Better Way.

(CNN) - Kicking off a week-long push seen as outreach to independent and Democratic voters in crucial swing states, John McCain will deliver a speech in Portland, Oregon this morning outlining his vision for fighting global warming.

“We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great,” McCain will say, according to prepared remarks. “The most relevant question now is whether our own government is equal to the challenge.”

McCain’s commitment to fight global warming puts him at odds with some Republicans in Congress and the Bush administration, which has not made climate change a top priority. His stance on carbon emissions places him closer on the environmental spectrum to Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

In his speech, the Arizona senator will propose capping carbon emissions incrementally, with the goal of returning to 1990 emission levels by the year 2020 using a cap-and-trade program. Such a program would cap greenhouse gas emissions at certain levels, and allow more efficient energy producers to sell off emissions permits to other, less efficient companies, thereby creating market-wide incentives to reduce carbon output.

McCain believes this system will encourage companies to seek out more efficient means of production.

“As never before, the market would reward any person or company that seeks to invent, improve, or acquire alternatives to carbon-based energy,” he will say.

McCain has also released a TV ad in Oregon suggesting that climate change is behind deadly weather phenomena like hurricanes. The spot features a McCain voiceover saying, “It’s not just a greenhouse gas issue, it’s a national security issue.”

McCain will also speak about the environment on Tuesday in the neighboring state of Washington. Oregon and Washington among several potential battleground states in the West, including California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, where voters count the environment as a top issue.

However, McCain is not completely breaking with more traditional Republican positions on environmental matters. He agrees with the Bush administration’s stance on the Kyoto Protocol, which the United States has refused to ratify because large polluting nations like China and India are not obligated to reduce emissions.

McCain is also an ardent supporter of expanding the use nuclear power, a fact he mentions at nearly every campaign stop.

The Democratic National Committee is accusing the presumptive Republican nominee of hypocrisy on the energy issue, e-mailing reporters a list of McCain advisers who have served as lobbyists for the oil industry.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Adam

    Obama and his fans have a big surprise coming.

    Hillary's supporters will NEVER vote for Obama. Hillary has been robbed of the nomination. Every time someone says something about Obama, it has to be race related. Look at South Carolina and what his camp did their. Obama has played you guys.

    Every time some questions Obama about something HE said, he get angry and says that's not what he meant. He lied about Wright and hearing the things he said and many other things.

    Hillary supporters will have the last laugh!

    Hillary supporters unite..VOTE McCain or stay home on election day!

    May 12, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. rachel

    I think its gonna be a knock down dragout fight for independents for Obama an Mccain. I think McCain will attract more independents than Obama. I mean everyone keeps saying change, what is Obama gonna change? Is he gonna change the US to a place were terrists are now welcome with open arms, have our morality at an all time low were anything goes?

    May 12, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Johnny Be Good

    The party that you belong to will destroy this planet. Nothing you can say will sway my vote. The GOP stand for rich and wealthy and I am neither so Obama has my vote sir. Thanks for prentending to care about your planet.

    Obama 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. Venus

    This guy is paying his campaign manager $40-million! Mc Cain is going to be a easy match for Obama! Hillary supporters may think she is stronger to beat Mc Cain but the Republicans would love to eat Hillary alive! Go Obama!

    May 12, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Walter, Long Beach

    This old fraud has been lock-step with George Bush for the last eight years. And now he expects us to believe that he has turned into and environmentalist.

    If he can pull that off, it will be a better trick than calling right-wing preachers "agents of intolerance" out of one side of his mouth and begging them for endorsements out of the other.

    Liar, hypocrite, and coward!

    May 12, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. RealityKing

    John McCain is not a republican...., beware of sheep wearing wolves clothing...

    May 12, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Relevant

    Flip-flop and pander all you want, John... but with your perfect senate record of anti-abortion votes, and the fact that three supreme court positions will be nominated during the next presidency, there is NO WAY I, or any self respecting woman, or any soul who cares about a woman's right to choose will EVER vote for you.

    John McCain = Roe v Wade overturned. It is just that simple. No freedom-loving American will EVER vote for this man.

    May 12, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. TD


    May 12, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Republican in Idaho for Obama

    Is there anything this man won't do to get votes?

    May 12, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    SORRY TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE! I am a registered Independent, and so is my husband. We voted for Bush in 2000, and immediately regretted our vote! Since then we have been voting for the Democrats!


    How can anyone with a brain vote for people who got us into the mess we are in?!

    The $10 TRILLION in debt and counting, will not go away, unless we start ending the war with Iraq! And start being honest with ourselves! We are being foolish if we think we can have TAX BREAKS and pay down the DEBT! Our nation is in danger of being bankrupt and people would vote for McBush?! Nuts!

    May 12, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Jose'

    Well said President McCain.

    We cannot allow this country or planet to be destroyed by Obama!

    May 12, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Max


    May 12, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. The Dude

    Adam, how has Hillary been "robbed" of the nomination? Obama is winning... See, your argument would make sense if she was winning, but she's not. Honestly, I hope all you McCain Democrats leave the party and never come back.

    Go to college, moron.

    May 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. derrick

    the 1990 emission levels were too high also, mccain- way to be stagnant :/

    what a perfect, do-nothing approach to a world-wide issue

    May 12, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. mitchell from arkansaw

    i'm an independent,and i will never vote for mccain or any other republican.mccain has too many ties to communist military junta ,in myanmar.the people of burma are suffering terribly,with the cyclone,and their brutal government.mccain has friends who lobby for the same brutal government,and he wants to put these friends in high offices.who's side is mccain on,democracy and freedom?or communist dictatorial regimes?he's a part of the old school politics of bush,that carry dirty little secrets around,in their pockets,while portraying themselves as elite americans.they are un-american.

    May 12, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. Doug R.

    McCain wants to cap dangerous emissions by 2020...12 years from now...Not good enough. I wouldn't trust or believe McCain on any statement he makes regarding environmental issues. This man is not being honest. He's lying again. Many McCain advisors are well connected to big oil.

    May 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. Faith

    Who does he think he is kidding??

    May 12, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Stacy Clarks


    DEMOCRATS IN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. maya

    Smart guy.

    Take heed "New" Democratic Party. We Dem old timers will be watching McCain VERY closely IF Obama is the nominee...

    May 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. La Raza

    McCain has not only lost his bearings, he may just lose his bowels when he loses to Obama in November. I'm sorry folks, political party aside, McCain is just not an inspirational person or speaker. He lacks "it", the stuff Obama is made of. Republicans please heed Newt Gingrich's warning to you all, It starts like this " fellow Republicans, let's not kid ourselves........"

    May 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. No McSame

    How much we will pay for a gallon of gas when you bomb Iran?
    10 dollars? twenty dollars?
    You should get Hillary as your VP, and Obama can get Regan...

    Logical vs war mmmmmmmmmmmmmm... gers.

    May 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Austin, Texas

    This man is why many Clinton supporters will vote Republican. Obama is a Left Wing Elitist, and McCain is a aisle walking Republican. Clinton is an aisle walking Democrat. Many of us would much rather vote for the one with the moderate views, instead of the one with the left wing liberalist views.

    Democrat for McCain '08

    May 12, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. AJ

    I'm not crazy about John McCain and have never before voted for any Republican. McCain will get my vote if Obama is the Democratic nominee. I urge all of Senator Clinton's supporters to do the same. Obama is a disaster waiting to happen.

    May 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. sarah

    Pandering... the Republican party is the least concerned about the environment, little person or social wellbeing. "he" may have some concern but 90% of his party doesn't so what could he really achieve?

    Oil companies make 40 billion and only invest 100 million in alternative energy research and investment – I see what the Republican party really supports.

    Oh, please tell us about NAFTA and China re-negotiations as well McCain!?!? Healthcare? How about lowering taxes by borrowing from China's banks and leaving us in even more debt?!?

    May 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |





    May 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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