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. Jason

    As a solider who has been to Iraq twice now and I am appalled at the comments of the war being a mistake and how we should pull out immediately. I have personally talked to the men, women and children and if I could have laid down my life to insure those men, women, and especially children have the same freedoms we as Americans do today I would have gladly done so. Regardless of the reasons behind the start the war we have an obligation to finish it. Not to do so would mean failure on a global scale and not any candidate regardless of party affiliation will have the power to fix that. I will vote for McCain if for no other reason then to see the work I and my comrades started years ago is completed
    None of these candidates are angels but to believe the president has the absolute power to make the changes any of the three is claiming is foolish. Only through cooperation between Congress and the President will true change come forth.

    May 12, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    John McCain can reduce greenhouse gases 20% by taking Beano.

    That will prevent the polar ice caps from melting! 🙂

    May 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. James

    Yea if i cant have Hillary add me to your list of suport. I will rally votes all across Pennsylvania for you. No real american can vote for the hate monger Obama.

    May 12, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Uncle Sam

    We have on the one hand, a naive presidential hopeful who promises change, while on the other we have an experienced heroic statesman who has a proven record of change. Am I missing something?

    Americans for McCain '08

    May 12, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Bring Unity not Divide and Conquer

    McCain's nuclear energy plan is a big glowing mutant joke. "I know how to fix this oil problem, URANIUM!!! " I don't want to live in a radioactive fishbowl.

    May 12, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Whiskey

    “Why do Clinton supporters feel so ENTITLED?”

    May 12, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.


    I happen to like Kool-Aid. My favorite flavor is red. 🙂

    May 12, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Kristin, WI

    This is why McCain will win over Obama. McCain has a track record of thinking and voting more like an independent than a republican (compared to the minimal track record of any kind that Obama possesses). And a strong independent is exactly what America needs! Get rid of the 2 party system, as all it leads to is partisan bickering. McCain's only issue in the fall is going to be the Iraq war – if he changes his position on that, and is willing to articulate an exit strategy, he will have this election wrapped up. This is one Hillary supporter who will vote for McCain over Obama without a second thought! Both parties need to recognize that the majority of Americans are independent – we do not like these crazy right or left ideologies – we want someone in the middle who sometimes goes right, sometimes goes left, depending on what is the best solution for the country. McCain is that type of politician.

    May 12, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. Christopher W. Mannoia

    I'm a conservative, combat-disabled vet, business owner-type Republicanl; I think that Senator MCCain is a great man, and great patriot, and a a true American hero; however, we need change, we need direction, and we need to look at the direction our great country is heading in the near future.

    Obama 08'

    May 12, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Steve

    Mccain, that worthless old fart, was never a POW, his rich daddy sent him on vacation to avoid the war.
    Obama 08

    May 12, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. sacto joe


    A lot of neo-cons posing as Democrats are posting hate mail. They're trying to drive a wedge between us!


    May 12, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Obama Express

    McStupid, the environmentalist. LOL!!!

    May 12, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Sidney McCain

    Yeah right HRC supporters want abortion outlawed and more of the children to die in Iraw ... enough with the empty threats. My wife threatens to leave me all the time. She never does.

    On McCain ... this cap and trade is so bogus! They will set the cap such that they can claim progress, it will be phantom. Who in the world won't use up ALL their credits ... they have to set the cap high enough to get any trading.

    May 12, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. bobo

    that tard Lieberman said this morning that McGramps is "Aginst global worming" thats an imprissive stand

    May 12, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Bob

    "I was originally going to vote for McCain just out of spite..."

    Spoken like a true Hilary supporter. So stubborn they'd rather vote for 4 more years of failed policies... just like Hilary too stubborn to drop out of the race and try to unite the party.

    Btw, for all you dilusional Hilary supporters, the media isn't pushing Hilary out of anything... the PEOPLE are. Look at the math people.

    May 12, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Jamaal Kansas

    It is over before it even Begun for Mccain he is a Republican and I will never vote for a Lying racist Republican

    May 12, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Dan, Hopkins, MN

    Experience? I would rather go to a mechanic who fixes the problem the first time rather than someone who talks big on how he can the problem but has not done so after several tries. Only stupid people fall for this spin.

    May 12, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Pardon my cynicism, but the man is in Oregon - of course he is going to say he's 'for' the environment! What he will actually DO if he gets elected is anybody's guess, but my guess is that he will revert to his party line on the environment so fast the radar won't capture it.

    All of you Hillary supporters who want to vote for him, or want her to run as an independent: be careful what you ask for. Unfortunately, a vote for HRC as an independent is a vote for McCain, and I really don't think you'll like what you get with him. To reverse what a conservative friend of mine says, 'Any Democrat is better than any Republican".

    May 12, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. The Lone Ranger

    Travis, Spokane wrote: " 'We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great...” [quoting McCain]. Have there not been 'credible scientist' that have said this is a bunch of bull?"

    The answer is no, there are no credible scientists who say that global warming is a bunch of bull. Oil companies have been providing financial research of scientists who dispute the global warming hypothesis, but they are, alas, well paid liars.

    tidho wrote: "capping emmisions?…he's supposed to be a Republican! Emmissions caps raise production costs. ..."

    That is a scary form of accounting, to complain that saving the planet will hurt this year's profit margins. There may be something to that, now that I think about it. I am in my sixties, have no children. Most of the worst stuff won't start happening until after I'm dead anyway, so what do I care about the next generation? Let 'em roast! They can curse at our tombstones.

    May 12, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Venus

    Danny May 12th, 2008 12:32 pm ET

    John we need your Republican help to knock BHO out now because Democratic support with the wrong guy and he is not American guy. The bid problem is Obama doesn't care to pledge of allegiance that's mean he not going to stand for American so knock him out now.
    Allegiance? Get a life! Also -if the mighty flag pin and US flag is so important – why are they made in China and shipped to America?

    I don't pledge the allegiance and haven't for many years and it's my choice if I want to! See – that's another thing a lot of you stupid-white Americans regarding this country and that has a very poor imagine around the globe and still want to tell another country about human rights!

    Have you been to fight in Iraq if not – are you ready to die for a lie in Iran for oil!

    I am married to a white and some times – I just have to tell him that just because you are white does not give you the rights to think that you are better than others.

    Mc Cain doesn't know Iraq from Iran without some one whispering in his ear! I don't pledge a country that invades another country on lies only to go after their oil! Nor do I pledge a country that killed thousands of Native Americans and slaves and places "only whites for this section of beach" or "no chinese or dogs"!

    Nor, do I want to pledge a country who tells another country we will destroy you and 70-million people!

    But-- one of the beautiful things I see and like about Americans voting for Obama is see millions of white-Americans saying it's time for a change ---------–

    Obama for president will be like our Jackie Robinson, Tiger Wood and many others and we thank all the whites who have stood with us and have helped to MAKE this country lives up to its true meaning!

    May 12, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Erik B

    Looks like McCain is once again changing his tone, to sound more like Obama, because he knows that Obamas Ideas are the right ones.

    I bet hit record doesn't match his campaign promises.

    McCain is just selling dreams right now (short-term, just enough to get him elected, dreams)

    May 12, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. It's soon over

    Nothing about politics is fair. What counts is who has the number of delegates at the end of the primary. Hillary lost this back in February and has not been albe to catch up. This elction all bets are off, it's so unusual. For once the country has to put their maturity in to play as they contemplate voting for either a very capable woman, a very capable mixed race man or an old established guy. In the fall, who will you vote for the past or the future? There is nothing to fear with change, it wil be good for us and it is absolutley necessary for this country.

    May 12, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Bill

    The Hillary supporter above claiming to have a surprise for Obama: I have a surprise for you. Vote for McCain and watch what happens to this country and the world. This is nonsense. McCain voted FOR drilling ANWR, against higher CAFE standards, against forcing utilities to use renewable energy sources, and against applying the Endangered Species Act to pet projects in Arizona. I not only voted for McCain, I even volunteered for him in 2000. John McCain of 2008 has gone back on everything he claimed to stand for in 2000...even his vote against Bush. Obama is the only way forward for America in 2008!

    May 12, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. julieMn

    I will rally behind McCain if Obama is the nominee
    I want a loyal American in the white house.

    obama per Rev,Manning says that Oprah will be VP
    and Mr. Wright as secretary of state.

    thats more then I needed to know, but it sure helps to vote Republican
    Maybe Hillary will start her own party. Moderate democrates

    May 12, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |

    I find this guy McCain to tbe alot like Hillary he flips flops on everything saying any and everything that he thinks people wants to hear. We will never really know what he really thinks or believes this way. That's the last thing we need is someone that is so unsure of what the right answers are. He is a double minded person!

    May 12, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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