June 21st, 2008
02:41 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama hits McCain on help for cities, levees


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/21/art.obamamayors.ap.jpg caption="Sen. Obama praises the nation's mayors on Saturday in Miami, Florida."]
(CNN)- Sen. Barack Obama took his campaign to Miami, Florida, on Saturday with a message to the nation's mayors: I'll be your ally in Washington, but Sen. John McCain will not.

Speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate praised McCain's service to the country, but chastised him for not "proposing a strategy for American cities" hit hard by tough economic times.

"Because while Sen. McCain is a true patriot ... he won't be that partner,” Obama said. “His priorities are very different from yours and mine ... he isn't proposing a strategy for America's cities. Instead, he's calling for nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans."
Obama also discussed McCain's trip to Iowa this week to see firsthand the effects of devastating flooding.

"Both Sen. McCain and I have traveled recently to the areas that have been devastated by floods. And I know that Sen. McCain felt as strongly as I did, feeling enormous sympathy for the victims of the recent flooding ... And I'm sure they appreciated the sentiment, but they probably would have appreciated it even more if Sen. McCain hadn't opposed legislation to fund levees and flood control programs, which he considers pork."

Shortly after Obama's speech, the McCain campaign lashed out, saying the Illinois senator opposed and even voted against a bipartisan effort in the Senate by McCain, Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, and Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, to assure levees were fixed first.

"It is beyond the pale that Barack Obama would attack John McCain for actually trying to fix the problem and change the way Washington works. Barack Obama's willingness to continue the status quo pork-barrel politics in Washington, and then engage in political attacks that entirely disregard the facts, once again fundamentally shows that he's nothing more than a typical politician," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds in a press release.

At issue is the 2007 Water Resources Development Act, a $23 billion bill that funded levee and flood control programs along with dozens of other projects across the country, including Everglades and other habitat restoration, emergency water supply storage, lock and dam security and water
quality improvement.

The bill passed Congress, with Obama in favor and McCain opposed, although neither took part in the final vote. The measure was vetoed by President Bush as too expensive, but that veto was overridden, a first for the president. Neither McCain nor Obama participated in the overide vote. The
Senate votes were 91-4 for the first vote and 79-14 for the override.

During the initial debate on the bill in the Senate, Obama voted against an amendment, sponsored by Feingold and co-sponsored by McCain and others, that would have established a commission to prioritize water projects with flood control at the top of the list. Thirty-five Republicans joined 34 Democrats in rejecting the amendment. Although he was a co-sponsor, McCain did not vote on
the amendment. McCaskill, who was not a co-sponsor, voted in favor of it.

Full Story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. Voter turned 4 Obama

    I'm so tried of reading dumb people BS, like Call Me Racist, well ok I'm call you one. Plus also I'm call you an dumb one. WoW you are afraid of the black vote. What you don't understand is that you think blacks are dumb or just go alone with anything that someone tell them. I think you got them mess up with yourself. I see that black people in this country are looking at two guy and they are going with the best one and the one that are looking out for the people. Ask yourself this what do you think Mcsane going to do for you. Gas,food,home,war, ect. Blacks have been voting for white guy and girls for as long as they could. They wasn't racist then. They are just tried of the BS that going on and we can see that whites,blacks,brown and yellow are stand up and speaking out. You can take McSane the C-Nile man and drop him off at the ol'folks home.

    June 21, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Cindy,CA

    It seems all that comes out of Obama's mouth is attack, attack, attack,
    Then he says how the republicians are "going to" attack him. When will they find the time? He seems like he is doing a good job all by himself.

    Can't stand his new logo...

    June 21, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. franco

    Hello Minority People!

    In talking about "change," we, as minorities, must not expect miracles.........It does not matter the color or the race of the people in the government because we will continue to be Hispanics (me), we will continue to be Yellows, we will continue to be Blacks, and we will continue to be minorities for a long time..........

    Change will be only for the elite in the government........

    If we want real change in our lives, we must work hard, get educated,
    and become fully positive, integrated American citizens. It can be hard but not impossible, and we have many examples of people who reached this kind of change in their lives...........

    So "change" will be only for the elite that is always manipulating us, using us, and discharging us.........

    It has always been this way..........

    Don't you agree???????

    June 21, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. Terry

    This nation has been voting for the realist for a long time where the hell has it got us? Tell me what is wrong in feeling good about our nation again?

    New voter for Obama

    June 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. Mary

    McCain voted FOR a commission to prioritize water projects such as shoring up levees (without the added pork spending) and Obama voted AGAINST it.

    Enough said.

    June 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. LaTreetha E. Sharpley

    If anyone thinks that Sentor McCain, is the most qualified I have a bridge to sell you. Someone that has never held a job other than in government. He is a war hero, because of his capture, and having to endure 5 years in a prison camp. I truly believe that knowing the problems of the average American, is something he can not relate to, having never had to worry about paying bills and buying gas for the family auto. We now need someone who knows the problems we face and have walked in our shoes. It is time that we turn the page on the old policies and start something new. I am not saying that Senator Obama, will be able to do all that is needed, in his first term, but please America lets give him a chance.

    June 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. Mcshame

    go obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. Borat likes pork

    Borat is using the flood as a political issue. Is this really bringing the country together or divisive politics as usual.

    Enough complaining and whining about others, what will Borat actually DO beside whine and complain? Where's the leadership?

    Why is Borat using the flood as a divisive political issue?

    June 21, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  9. LA

    Obama's appeal is universal in regards to 100% of America and everyone is voting

    June 21, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. out of work

    I will give my unemployment check to the OBAMA CAMPAIGN if it will help him win.

    June 21, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  11. s.positive

    "Call me racist", You WILL eat your words in Nov and the same applies to the likes of U...

    June 21, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. GO AWAY!!!!

    call me racist.................OK...............RACIST................If you were on the Phone I would Hang UP.............personally I think you are an IDIOT!!!! BYE NOW !!!

    June 21, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. One Vote

    Dear Call me a racist,
    You are a racist... That is why people like you that share that mentality are the true terrorist... THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN DOES'NT MATTER... HE CARE ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE... LIKE THE PEOPLE IN IOWA AND NEW ORLEANS...

    Go back your hole and let the intellectuals repair this broken AMERICA...

    OBAMA 08....

    June 21, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  14. college student

    barack obama is one of the phoniest, smooth-talkers i've ever seen.

    i would say that i'm surpried that people fall fo rhis b.s., but people fell for hitler didn't they? you're all being manipulated, can't you see it? i don't trust this man at all and his policies are horrible, he doesn;t think for himself he just follows every liberal policy plan even when it;s not the best thing to do.

    AND HE WILL NOT GET US OUT OF THE WAR. the things i've heard him say about mccain are so blatantly untrue; mccain has never attacked him or his wife personally, like he did to hillary. he's such a smooth talking liar.

    i'm voitng for mccain because he has experience, knowledge, good policies, and i can trust him to do the right thing. people have to get over obama's "hip-factor" and rosy speeches. he's so clueless.

    -pro-choice, pro-gay, college student

    June 21, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  15. Jim Moriarity

    I always find it interesting the spin put on the news. The headline reads that McCain voted against the bill. This gives everyone the impression that he was against it. Obama says McCain voted against the flood control programs. When infact he wanted it but not in it's present form. He felt there was too much pork in it and wanted it ammended to prioritze the spending. Typical Democrat spin. The problem is people eat it up with a spoon and believe it.

    June 21, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Mary

    call me racist: in response to your blog. People are making T-shirts, Pins and even a monkey calling it Obama. Obama and the media has to remind people this is what the GOP will attempt. I remember the "Willie Horton" attack ads. John McCain has no control over the RNC, John McCain is just a tool for lobbyist. Look at the difference how Obama runs the DNC. Now that real leadership!

    June 21, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  17. Ok then, you're a racist.

    He's against gay marriage and supports a border fence. Obviously many don't know their lefts from their rights. Research first!

    It's about having a public servant in office who has the interest of ALL America at heart. Ignore issues that can not be helped, such as sex and skin color and focusing on ones that are the most important.

    A realist should know that our troops are still dying for a lie in Iraq, and the deaths are growing in Afghanistan. Our bridges and levees are failing and our fellow Americans need help.

    Get Real!

    June 21, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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