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. FedUpDem

    The Dude May 12th, 2008 11:25 am ET

    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.

    Oh and get used to these highly educated obamians.
    They are educated but most of them are not very intelligent and
    they all seem to lack common sense.

    May 12, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. Deb n Texas

    McCain can't remember who's in Irag let alone anything that has to do with the environment. Maybe someone will teach him a little on the environment between now and the fall – I would like to see if he will remember what he learned, including what he will learned on the economy as well. I am in my 50s and can't remember too much – I want him to impress me with his memory.

    May 12, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Franky

    Don't worry Senator, don't worry about the West, I have that taken care off.......I mean, "I'll hook you up"..........but, it'll cost you, LOL!!!

    May 12, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. matt

    if obama wins
    he gets my vote..

    and its because of his enviroment pitch, and what he did on immigration.

    thats right hes accomplished something

    I thought the day i voted republican would be the day the world turned inside out.

    Looks like it ll happen though

    May 12, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Proud American

    Thats too funny. Since when have Republicans cared about our environment... NEVER! Never have and never will.

    May 12, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Maggie

    McCain = Too OLD and out of touch with Democrats and young Republicans
    Obama = Too young and thinks he know everything...typical teenager, no wonder all the youngsters are voting for him.......
    Clinton = Americas future

    May 12, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. DoneWithDems

    To should repent!

    May 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Frank

    Independets are smart and see right through the empty promisses of Obama. Have no worries, Senator McCain! You will have the independents' votes with no problem. It is a good thing that Hillary doesn't seem to be the nominee, otherwise you would have had a really hard time! I guess we should get used to "President McCain". Please don't let this nobody Nobama ruin our country and please don't follow some of the stupid policies of President Bush. You are much smarter and much wiser than our current President, and hopefully you won't make the same mistakes as he did.

    May 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Frank

    100% agree with ADAM above. But I do wish Hillary would run as Independent. The Democratic party needs a huge reform anyways, and she might as well start the process. Many flaws need correction in the party rules and regulations. No Obama for sure; McCain or stay home.

    May 12, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. American Girl

    McSame is saying anything right now... he know s that Hillary or Barack can smoke him.

    He is old and needs to retire.

    May 12, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. ted

    Sweet, now I am thinking McCain will definitley be the democratic Nominee 🙂

    May 12, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    As far as I'm concerned, environmental concerns are a distant second (or third, or fourth...) place behind getting an appallingly huge, intrusive, tax-gobbling, government off our backs.

    Global warming and the like are distant, impersonal, issues for me–being robbed blind by a government determined to wage idiotic, unwinnable, wars and to ignore the rights and freedoms of American citizens are far more important issues.

    May 12, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Ohio White Woman 4 Obama

    Be careful everyone: That's EXACTLY what Bush did in 2000 then recanted ALL of his promises!!! Then, he STOLE the White House from Gore!

    I GUARANTEE you that that is precisely what McCain AND CLInton will do to us in November!

    Obama + Change in 08/12

    May 12, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Carol

    CNN, you state you moderate the forum. Well how come I and others can post, stay on topic – fall within the Comment Policy but don't get posted.

    Then however, you can have Adam who spams the same cut and paste from other blogs and he ends up on every forum?

    May 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Pete in OR

    Hillary08s not for Obama or Democratic party but for McCain, please use your brain if you really care about your issues. The phrase "cutting off your nose to spite your face" comes to mind.

    Pro-Choice: McCain, no more choice or planned parenthood"....
    Iraq war: Can you spell quagmire? End of the "American" era.
    Economy: We risk losing relevance as the world's #1.
    Natl debt: up, up and away.....20 trillion here we come.
    SocSec/Medicare....debt + incr costs = 15 years to still exist.
    Feminism: McCain, Republicans, ....women's rights....get real!
    Healthcare: ....good luck pal, home medicine was always good....
    Iran war: Let start the 100 years war now.... end date 2108.

    American 21st century: ????????????

    May 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. carrie

    u are a sore loser like your candidate hillary
    who cares?
    shut up,empty vessel
    u'll def be first on the line to vote for obama
    unless of course you are a 79 year old racist gun totting uneducated redneck
    which you are

    May 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Jon B

    Its interesting to see all of you fight back and forth about McCain, Obama and Clinton.

    None of you realize that none of them represent the republican form of government the founding fathers left for us.

    All three are very leftist just different flavors and none of them have any intent of saving this country from its government.

    McCain: Fascist (State valued over the people)
    Hillary: Socialist (Organized theft)
    Obama: Socialist/Communist (Weath redistribution aka theft)

    What ever happened to people having enough pride to take care of themselves? What ever happenned to corporations taking care of their people in a free market?

    "Government is not the solution to our problem, Government IS the problem"


    May 12, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. jimmy velman


    May 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. carrie

    y'all clinton su[pporters who wont vote for obama
    please stay home or vote maccain
    or better jump off a cliff,if u dont want change
    bitter folks

    May 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. carrie

    why are my comments always awaiting moderation,CNN?
    but u always allow the stupid clintonites to say some crap at the begining of each post.
    cant u hide your bias a bit?

    May 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Senior from San Jose, CA

    John McCain is 71. So am I. And I am pretty set in my ways and McCain presents himself that way too. I also fit the norm of folks my
    age who have memory deficits, as McCain appears to as well. I have a tendency to think I know better than anyone else, even though life has taught me the folly of that. McCain presents himself as a superior expert on what is good for the U.S. Despite his campaign promises, he is likely to be stuck in the same old- patterns of government for America.

    The videos on the internet that show him at angry moments portray a brutal image of him. I am concerned about Democratic voters choosing him because they want to get revenge for their candidate not being the nominee.

    May 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Paul C. Palmetto Bay, FL

    After 8 years of disastrous Republican domination we are facing 4 more years. John McCain has a very good chance of being elected because a large number of Americans will not vote for a (half) black man under any circumstances. That is just a fact buried deep in their bones.
    Four more years of Republican blunders can very well push the country over the edge to 3rd world status.

    May 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. Cynthia

    Hillary Clinton has the intelligence, leadership skills, courage, strength, determination, work ethic and experience to be President of the United States. Obama is a good man, but is not tough enough nor experienced enough. It is time for the right choice to be a woman- Hillary Clinton will be an excellent President. Senator Obama would be a great Vice President and in 8 years an excellent President who has experience he needs. The two together will certainly beat McCain. Please Democractic players wake-up! Hillary-Obama is the ticket that is the best for our country. Thank you!

    May 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. ted

    If anyone is setting us up for false promises it is Obammy. He's speaking niave sweet nothings too many people have drank the kool aid.

    May 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Ken

    Missing something?! Try the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. You missed the boat both times. Please, be my guest, offer your feeble-minded support to McBush - he deserves it.

    May 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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