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

Obama hits McCain on help for cities, levees

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[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. β€œHis 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. Clinton/McCain

    What exactly have you done to show YOU would be an ally? Nothing! McCain has done more than you.

    June 21, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. JOYCE

    MCcAIN IS AGAINST HELPING ANYONE
    WITH CINDYS MILLION WHY SHOULD HE CARE. HE THINKS WOMEN DON'T DESERVE EQUEAL PAY AND IF THEY DO GET IT THEY NEED TO BE EDUCATED MORE. IF A WOMAN GETS RAPED AND CAN'T DEFEND HERSELF SHE WHOULD LAY BACK AND INJOY IT. HE IS A WOMAN HATER FOR SURE. JUST LOOK IT ALL UP. HE HAS SAID ITB IN CAMPAIGNS

    June 21, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Texas Trail Dog

    How can a man like OBAMA get up in front of people in a time of disaster when people need all the support they can get and try to make it a political issue. HE IS A LYING FRAUD. AN EVIL MAN. ONE THAT AMERICA DOES NOT NEED. How in the Hades does he know what McCain will support or not support. COME ON AMERICANS LETS PUT THIS CROOK AND TERRORIST SUPPORTER IN HIS PLACE. A bunch of jabbering speech will not cut it in the main election OBAMA. You and the DNC have deceived all the people you are going to deceive. YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH REV. WRIGHT G.. D...! WHITE AMERICA AND MICHELLE'S LITTLE ORATION OF ONLY NOW AM I PROUD OF AMERICA OUGHT TO BE ENOUGH FOR YOU PEOPLE. Hit the light switch to your brain and do not support this man who intends to destroy the military first then America as a whole.

    June 21, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Ian

    All they can do is scream "TYPICAL POLITICIAN ZOMG" because they know they have no chance against Obama. Haha. Obama 08/12

    June 21, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. BHO FTL...

    Obama: Im your best friend I can print money... see no consequences...

    June 21, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Kathy

    As a democrat, I hate to admit that I find the McCain response more credible than Obama's rhetoric.

    Obama going back on his word about accepting public financing is just one flip-flop too many for me - it's gotten to the point that I question anything that comes out of Obama's mouth.

    I have a BAD feeling about our democratic nominee...he's making A LOT of bad decisions and saying some stupid things.

    Each day Obama increasingly comes across as a man who will do ANYTHING to win = NO integrity.

    June 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. mountain man

    I'm a life long democrat but the lies that come out of Obama's mouth just make me sick. No way will I ever vote for him. So much for his "new kind of politics!"

    June 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. PMuffet

    I truly love my summers. But I am willing to say I can hardly wait until the fall Presidential election. I am so ready for the best of this nation (leadership and citizens) to once again surface.

    Obama/Edwards 2008/2012

    June 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Clinton/McCain

    I can't believe Obama voted against legislation that would have fixed levees. Then he lies and criticizes McCain? Well, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised considering that he played these types of games during the primary season. That's why I'm voting for McCain πŸ™‚

    June 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Tom, Oregon

    Our new roads, bridges and levees are over in Iraq!

    June 21, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. tai

    I love how the mccain camp is trying to switch things around, we all know mcsame is the status quo washington scum, so dont think any1 will fall for that argument.

    June 21, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. saga for Obama

    "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
    ...Change the way Washington works? Mccain who voted 95% of the tome with Bush... Mccain can not compete on his own so he is trying to make Mr. Obama seem more like him...a "typical politicion". no Mr Mccain, i wont buy it not with your 2 trill tax cut for your friends and special interest cronies. not when you take loans from public finance while you jet set on your wife's private jet. lets not even go there with status quo...how much is youer wife worth. Mr. Obama came from nothing and worked his way to the top...American Dream. Mr. Mcain lets keep "change" with Mr. Obama...unless we are talking about how you have Changed your mind...tax cut to off shore drilling to imagration.

    June 21, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Lisa

    Obama where's Hillary? Thought she was going to be helping you out on the campaign stump? Or maybe she realized you're not qualified, just like the rest of us.

    June 21, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. ted

    ***
    Yeah thats it - C H A N G E the subject

    Thats the C H A N G E he really Means !

    ______NO ANSWERS______NO SOLUTIONS____DAAAAA

    June 21, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. ACG Dallas

    Yet again another picture of him pointing a finger. What an arrogant b***ard!

    June 21, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Belle2

    Typical of Obama: Point out what you will do while ignoring that it was you who opposed someone else who has already worked toward that goal. Forget that you have done nothing and take credit for everything you will do in the future-never mind that you have no record and your opponent has a record of working toward the very goal you now propose. Give me a break!

    June 21, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Obama is Deceitful

    Wake up America Barack is a ruthless politician and deceitful. He brings up the race card – Shame. Then he attacks mcCain on issues that Obama voted against. I have never seen such a two faced pol – Mr Tax and Spend and lie ... pathetic

    June 21, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. Bill From Florida

    B.H. Obama is distorting the truth again. This man does nothing but lie to the American People.

    He is buying the presidency, can't you people see that.
    Please open your eyes before it is too late. That's why he will not take public funding , every single black person in the US is sending
    money to his campaign. A person should be elected on knowledge
    and experience , honesty, patriotisim and love for their country,
    OBAMA HAS NONE OF THE ABOVE.

    HE IS NOTHING BUT A NAPPY HEADED BLACK COCKY SOB, I amgoing over board, but I am so pissed at our government for letting
    this happen. As a democrat for 35 yrs I WILL BE VOTING FOR McCAIN.

    June 21, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Maggie

    Just another empty promise. I don't understand how the democrats could have selected (not elected) to be their nominee. They will live to regret in November. You know that Clinton is a better and stronger candidate but because of how you played your race card, you made sure that people thought that she was being racial. But what goes around, comes around (karma). I want McCain to whoop you in November.

    June 21, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. sd

    so mcwar oppose bill for flood that means he only go to lowa for vote not to sympetize with the people that is affected.

    June 21, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. Joe Reed

    Old man McCain is bad for Cities, bad for States, bad for this Country and bad for the World. With Obama there is hope, unity and a chance for real progress. McCain shows more interest and investing in more Countries outside the US than any other politician I have ever seen. Toronto, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam..and he calls himself patriotic?

    June 21, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. David in Illinois

    Memo to Sen. McCain: Not all federal spending is a bad thing. Money to fix bridges, levees, roads, schools... that IS NOT pork. The $400 toilet and overpriced tanker jets, yes, those ARE pork. You need good judgment to know the difference, something you lack big time.
    I know you want to save as much money in the federal budget as you can to pay for more and more war, and fixing the infrastructure in Iraq, but it's time to say: no more.
    If you're still unclear what constitutes pork, ask a few of your lobbyist buddies.

    June 21, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Suburb Mike

    What, the billions we spend today on those rat holes isn't enough?

    June 21, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. MCR

    B.O. continues to be very negative. He hould give his plans instead of always attacking McCain. It is becoming difficullt for me to watch B.O.

    June 21, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    OBAMA PROBABLY DIDN'T GET THE MEMO FROM

    THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. IT CLEARLY STATES THAT

    "SPENDING TAX DOLLARS ON US & US CITIZENS IS

    BIG GOVERNMENT". GOT TO GET US TO SPEED OBAMA.

    ON THE OTHER HAND ITS PERFECTLY OK TO SPEND

    A BILLION A DAY IN IRAQ ALONE, NOT TO MENTION,

    TAX BREAKS FOR THE WEALTHY & THOSE POOR

    POOR, OIL COMPANIES, THAT BUSH, MCBUSH & CHANEY

    HAVE BIG STAKES IN.

    AND FOLKS WILL LEARN TO LOVE $10.00 GAS.

    June 21, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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