June 21st, 2008
02:41 PM ET
13 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. Upon Further Review

    John Cain should resign his bid for President.He is a disgrace to his own values and beliefs he held for many years.In 2000 he was slapped in the face and didnt have the guts to respond to Bush and Roves dirty tricks.He is a traitor to himself.

    June 21, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Just Say'n

    Maybe Obama could kick in some cash from all the people that are sending it to him. $22 million plugs up a lot of levees.

    June 21, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. RJ, CA

    Oh, my God! What is wrong with this man? One blatant lie after another. More inaccurate accusing of "others" for what they presumably haven't done - yet NEVER a single solution of his own! He would actually be funny if he weren't so pathetic and people didn't actually believe this guy!

    June 21, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. slm, Ity

    Don't here anymore about McMatusalem must have lost his bearing in Canada and can't find his way back to America.

    Obama/No McCain 08

    June 21, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Sgt. Harris

    How come no one ever talks about Barack's time he spent serving his country in the military?

    June 21, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. TJ

    Go Mr. President!

    June 21, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. unions are not stupid

    you notice how Obama hits Mc Cain hard on a issue and there is always the same old recycled response from his campaign with no facts to support there claims! Oh well I can not come up with a way for them to defend his constant flip flopping on issues and agreeing with the president on all his voting so why should I be surprised when his team of lobbyist he calls a campaigning fall on there face.

    June 21, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. NoShowBama

    "Typical" politician, typical political words from a candidate who has no record to offer. This pretty much says it all. While Obama has spent his time out selling books and not showing up for votes or not offering legislation, McCain has been working hard across party lines to enact legislation. Obama has some gall crticizing McCain, but as time goes on, I have to believe that Americans who really want a change in Washington will know that McCain is the one to get it done.

    This is no time to elect and empty suit.

    June 21, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Dems

    I hope someone is keeping track of this clown's promises. As best I can tell his current spending tab is approaching one trillion dollars. Now where do you think he's going to come up with the money??? Taxing the "rich", taxing American businesses into bankruptcy???

    Typical liberal politician. Spend...spend...spend...promise...promise...promise...backtrack...backtrack...backtrack...

    Where is that "change we can believe in"? Near as I can tell it's the same 'ol same 'ol Democrat buying your vote.

    June 21, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA





    June 21, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. NoMcSame

    Stay on him Obama and don't let him breath. Use the money that I sent to you to fight against McSame as Bush and the comedians at FOX(FIX)news.
    Obama08 with or with out the PUMA people

    June 21, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. John G

    So McCain voted against wasteful spending and tried to address the problem head on while Obama supported wasteful spending and opposed directly addressing the problem? Got it.

    Just waiting for the politics of fear card to be played here.

    "John McCain would have you believe that if we fix the levees the terrorists will win! oh right-YES WE CAN"

    Obama is a typical politician, I'm just glad he hasn't tried to get McCain off the ticket through loopholes yet.

    June 21, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. George

    I am really enjoying this Obama Mccain fight. Mccain camp looks funny sometimes. As a matter of fact, George Bush doesnt want to help Mccain in this election. The bush family is preparing another Bush for 2012. So, poor Mccain cant win this election alone.Obama's road to white house seems very easy this time.

    June 21, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Gail

    The soundbite prez nominee. Ick, I'm not voting for him until he gets more experience and proves himself at doing something other than give a good speech or dump his pastor of twenty years. McCain's not much better. This country is in sad shape.

    June 21, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Peter E

    You know, if Hillary mentioned an opponent in a speech about such a human tragedy Obama supporters would be screaming "disgusting, typical, old politics, exploiting human misery to score political points."
    Why is Obama exploiting human tragedy for politics considered a 'positive change?'

    June 21, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. s

    McCain, "... he's [Obama] nothing more than a typical politician," Takes one to know one, John!

    June 21, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. Peter E

    Let me guess: Obama supporters will now flood this article with comments praising Obama's attacks on McCain while making childish comments putting 'Mc' in front of insulting words and think they're making an argument.
    You know if it was any other politician, say McCain himself, or Hillary mentioning Obama in a speech about the Iowa tragedy you'd be so crying foul! You'd see the attack for what it is: a disgusting exploitation of a human tragedy for political gain.
    But blind-sight is 0/0 I guess...

    June 21, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Ray

    Obama can say all he wants at the end of the day, my vote is going to McCain. Hillary lost now it Obama turn.

    June 21, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. William Moore Plano Texas

    IN lack of other buzz words what has Obama had to say that he could possible accomplish in 2 terms or really do to help the poor and elderly Just more political droppings.

    June 21, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Fred

    Each day brings further misbelief of Senator Obama. He is inexperienced, mistrusting, and just plain hokey on our United States of America. Look into his background, his morals, his beliefs and what few things he actually says he can accomplish and you will become one of the millions that daily are looking at this snake-oil salesman and shaking their heads and agreeing that America needs John McCain.

    June 21, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Andrew

    Public finance, Sen Obama said he is out
    FISA bill he is for i think he did try to anger both sides this week. Who said Sen Obama had no guts?
    The RNC is running everywhere trying to find more money. I don't want to be Sen McCain thes days he must have the chills thinking about the 1.5 millions donors the Obama campaign has, the general election is going to be exciting. Flip flop or not on public financing, Sen Obama is going to give the RNC and Sen McCain the run of they will remember.
    Lets the campaign begin

    June 21, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Independent

    Speaking of TRACK RECORDS ~ what is Obama's???

    June 21, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Venus

    Go get em' Bam!

    Step it up on McSame!

    June 21, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Michelle

    To the tune of "Lady Madonna"

    Barry Obama
    All you do is talk
    Everybody knows you won't
    Walk the walk

    June 21, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Paul MN

    Yeah, I'm sick of Obama's constant criticism of McCain. Shouldn't he be telling us what wonderful things he'll accomplish for our nation, how he'll do it, and how he'll pay for it? That way we can listen to both candidates and draw our own conclusions on whether Obama or McCain is the lame one. It's so tiresome hearing Obama constantly harping about how perfect he is and how awful McCain is. This steady stream of negativity from Obama sounds like desperation (shouldn't he save that for much later in the race?) And, for sure, it doesn't sound like the guy who was going to run such a clean campaign and bring hope, solidarity, and unity to us.

    June 21, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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