May 12th, 2008
10:08 AM ET
12 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. Dee

    I was absolutely for Mccain in January..I still remember him from 2000 days..I voted for him then. And I was willing to vote for him this year..

    Then Obama happened abd Mccain sounded more and more like Bush

    So I switched my loyalty to Democratic Party for this year

    However, I am a true Republican

    May 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Jerry

    If you think Hillary threw the kitchen sink at Obama, wait till McCain
    throws the whole house at him. A sort of ole Mr. Nice Guy.

    May 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Paul

    Adam: "Hillary supporters will have the last laugh!"

    Um, no. The Republicans will have the last laugh if you keep up comments like that. Say hello to President McCain in November and enjoy the 4-year hangover.

    May 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. charlotte

    Write in Hillary in November..Lets show them that the people are in charge, not the superdelegates, not the DNC, but you and me. Together we can do it, yes we can....

    May 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Diana New York



    May 12, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Good speech Al Gore want-a-be. McCain, go to school and study environmental issues so you can clearly understand and don't be an Al Gore copycat.

    May 12, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |





    GO HILLARY GO!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Marcus


    I am a veteran ('Nam) and I won't vote for McCain. If Hillary drops out, I will vote for Obama. He is younger, has a better record with the VVA and knows that this war is not good for anyone.

    May 12, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. blake


    May 12, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Elizabeth

    Please. Like he knows anything about the environment.

    May 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Joe B

    love the comment about roe v wade being overturned... the fem's have been using that line against every republican since the 80's!!!

    you Dem's really need to come up with a new playbook.....

    May 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Drew, Central FL

    Did McCain even care about the environment prior to this election year? Shameless panderer.

    To all you people saying you'd support McSame because Billary did not get the nomination or cling to your petty pretexts for not voting Democrat or Obama in the upcoming elections, I say this: Trillions in debt. And remember the lives lost in this war. Those brave men and women who died fighting for their countries left families and friends behind.

    A lot of you voted for Bush, some twice. You are as much to blame for the state of the country as the Bush administration. And you will no one to blame but yourselves if you vote for McCain in November, regardless who the democratic nominee is.

    Dems Unite.

    May 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Tony, Powell, OH

    It's clear that most of you Dems truly hate McCain (and "hate" is the right word, not "not support", etc.). Try to get rid of your angst and'll just eat you up. I'm on the fence between McCain and Obama, but I also recognize that there's been a lot of compelling information lately re: global warming, so I understand that people can and do change their minds, and I'd rather they do that than stay to a fixed position. Or have NONE of you ever changed your mind??

    As for those of you who talk about Republicans being evil and Democrats being the saviors of the planet, try to get it through your heads that the Democrat-controlled Congress has done virtually NOTHING over the past several years. Where is all the progress that Pelosi was talking about 4 years ago? The bottom line is that the system is broken and both sides are to blame. Democrats are EVERY BIT as partisan and as spiteful as Republicans, and if you think otherwise you are, frankly, delusional.

    May 12, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. carolflowery

    Another disturbing thing about Senator Obama is his employment as a "community organiser". This did not mean he was working for the Boys and Girls Clubs, or tutoring disadvantaged kids. No, he was working for Industrial Areas Foundation, an organizaation founded by far left radical Saul Alinsky. Alinsky was noted for preaching that the ends justify the means, and encouraging his acolytes to misrepresent their long term radical objectives when "organising" disadvantaged people. Sounds like what he is doing now in his campaign.

    May 12, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. s

    This guy is not serious about the environment. Bob Barr know more them him and understands more them Mccain. Mccain is getting some serious republican competition now. The republicans picked at the democrats while they fought back and forth. Now, the republicans are about to head into the same arena.

    May 12, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. obama supporter

    speak for yourself, stop the blackmail
    you are dead wrong

    looks like mcsain should hop abord the plane with obama
    he is following him state to state and town to town to campaign

    what is wrog mcsain?
    trying to steal votes

    May 12, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. Bobo

    I wish global warming would kick into high gear! Here it is May 12th and only 40 degrees at my house. The temperature matches my latitude! It's too cold outside.

    G.W .is synonymous with wasting US money and scamming the taxpayer.

    Why do you think it has those initials?

    May 12, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. Montana is Obama Country

    This Independent voter is voting for Barack Obama.. and so is my independent voter husband.. in NOV, 2008..

    This is no country for old men...


    May 12, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. s

    Sure, and he has a bridge to sell you in Iraq too!

    May 12, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Nicole, Atlanta

    I know that we as Obama supporters are taking great pride in the fact that our candidate is winning, but with that aside, we have to be very mindful of not gloating and taunting Hilary supporters. Hilary supporters need to understand that they will be cutting off their noses to spite their faces if they vote for McCain as a way of "teaching the DNC and Obama supporters a lesson". When you vote it's supposed to be for the betterment of the country and not because you have a grudge. Voting for McCain will not fix the problems of this country but will further exacerbate them. Think logically people!!

    May 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Sure

    I admire John McCain on his elegance and ACTUALLY taking the "high road" like Obama SAYS he always wants to do but then doesn't. At least McCain and Clinton know how to take a stance on issues and were able to vote for or against the Iraqi war. Also, have people not realized part of a politicians job is to pander (Obama, Clinton, and McCain ALL PANDER)!

    May 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Jeanne

    I'm waiting to see who he picks for VP. If McCain chooses a nominee that's too conservative, I most likely will not vote for him.

    May 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Bill

    McCain an environmentalist? That's a good one. Gotta love how the Republicans denied global warming for years and years and are now acting like we must act swiftly.

    Obama is the Democratic the third grade math. If Clinton supporters will not vote Democrat, they deserve whatever they get – which will mainly be more war (likely pre-emptive with Iran), even more disastrous deficit spending, even more out-of-control gas prices, and an overturn of Roe v. Wade. Use your heads.

    May 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Travis, Spokane, WA

    “We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great,”

    Have there not been 'credible scientist' that have said this is a bunch of bull? Global temperatures have dropped since 1998 (the warmest year on record) Ocean temperature levels are not on the rise. Why cant we as a people do the simple thing and start to reduce, re-use, and recycle some of our goods? Why do we have to hear about this doom and gloom everyday? Im sure the earthquake in China today was caused by global warming. Little Jimmy got an F on his history test today, global warmings fault right? Oh wait that is W's fault

    May 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. James G for Hillary

    If you people against the moderates only knew! I lived in Canada for years (leftist socialist) and for every dollar I made, they took almost 50% in taxes. Think before you vote Obama instead of McCain. This was a salary of only 40,000 to start with–imagine what you will have left for your family.

    May 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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