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.

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

    you i don't really like mcCain but at least he has been to the flood zone to see what has happened. this jrek just talks and never does anything. got see first then open you r mouth obama. Scrates once said the first person to speak is usually the one that doesn't know what he is talking about.

    June 21, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Danny in Ohio

    I'm a 28 year old Republican who just got home after paying $50 to fill up a 2008 Honda Civic. Voting Democrat and might do so the rest of my life. I thought Republicans wanted to help the common man but they only help the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I've come to learn this; your country is ONLY as good as how it handles it's most poor. The world is built on the backs of the blue collared man. Wars are paid for by the lives of people in my tax bracket. It's about time we get what we deserve. I want my little brother home, right now!!

    Republican for Change = Voting Obama

    June 21, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. seah5

    Mr Obama the Smear Campaign man.

    from day one laying the blame for everything on everyone else.

    He makes his campaign run on trying to demonize everyone. Look back at all the people who he abused since the first days of his campaign.

    He spreads smear and accusations, half truths and even lie if it suits him. Constant Blame game.

    Funny Obama is a US Senator Too. What has he ever done for anyone? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

    He can run for office and make a speech, The rest is propaganda.

    June 21, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Obama/Hillary 08

    John McCain is out of touch and does not understand the economy. He had the gut to go on TV and tell us that our economy is strong; this show that he is loosing his bearing. Read about john Mccain Keating 5. John McCain is dishonest.

    June 21, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. unity thru division and hate

    This guy takes the cake for being self-impressed and pompous.

    Come lecture us for the next 4 years.

    June 21, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Jack

    here here, i second that...let's review the record

    June 21, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. blah blah blah

    Show me...

    Where is your track record?

    Oh yeah... so far just fancy words.

    Tomorrow the spin on those words.

    Then comes the "I changed my mind".

    We are tired of listening... aren't you tired of talking yet?

    June 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. That's Reality

    Yeah, more people should go to the record and find out what a big talker do nothing Obama is. You'll see how many times he didn't even vote. Vote for McCain who has a proven record of working toward helping ALL Americans and trying to pull both sides together. VOTE McCAIN!

    June 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Mir

    It won't matter that Obama voted against a bi-partisan bill to fix the levees because the press has taken him at his word this entire campaign, hardly bothering to do fact checking. It's helpful McCain can do tthe work of the news organizations by bothering to tell the public that Obama's words rarely match his deeds. Since the press refuses to be objective about Obama, Obama will have a silent partner in telling his lies.

    June 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. That's Reality

    Yeah, more people should go to the record and find out what a big talker do nothing Obama is. You'll see how many times he didn't even vote. Vote for McCain who has a proven record of working toward helping ALL Americans and trying to pull both sides together. VOTE McCAIN for real change for the better.

    June 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. landi

    i dont expect any better from a man who publicly siad that he had no love for america unitl his well went dry.

    June 21, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. ron canada

    did sen. obama lie about president Kennedy paying his father's way to America

    June 21, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Dori in AZ

    McCain's spokesman Tucker Bounds (cool name, Tuck!) calls Sen. Obama "nothing more than a typical politician." Okay. I disagree, but I'm curious.... What kind of politician is McCain?

    Is he not "typical" with his many years in politics, and his bending and flipping around like a fish out of water when approached on the issues?

    Is he not "typical" (sounding much like George Bush) when he's confused on an issue and expresses anger as a defense?

    Is he not "typical" parading his POW experience as some kind of hero (rather than the victim and survivor that he was!) and expert on war, and expecting a sympathy vote or a patriot vote on that count alone?

    Is he not "typical" standing in the same line as those who've gone before him despite their atrocious "leadership" that's brought our nation to the point of teetering on the verge of an unmanageable collapse?

    Some of us are willing to stand differently. You can call it "typical" if you like. Doesn't matter.

    We don't line up behind our choice, we surround him. We aren't marching behind him, we're dancing alongside him! We're thinking outside of the boxes and coloring outside of the lines with colors that McCain can't even fathom. We're young, middle-aged, and old men and women of all races and ethnic groups and faiths (or lack thereof) and gender orientations and socioeconomic groups together. We're uniting to tear down what we must, to heal and rebuild, and then build better on a healthier foundation.

    If we don't make major changes now, late as they may be, some future generations may never exist. And, what kind of a legacy is that?

    June 21, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. your hatred drove me away

    I still won't vote for a hypocritical two-faced slick race baiter who cleverly bullied his way into being installed as nominee of the once DEMocratic party. and never got his pretty hands dirty. CHICAGO style.

    Just on the legal side of totally unethical. Dancing on the fine line between truth and fiction.

    You can have the new socialist newbie undemocratic party.

    The haters that you attract, drove us away.

    June 21, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Frank, Atlanta, GA

    Obama is on the only good choice for middle America and for that matter the rest of America. In fact, John McBush....oops.....I mean John McShame...ah.... I mean John Mc Blame.......well you know... that old fart, senator from Arizona, will only represent the lobbyist in Washington.

    Remember "The Keating Five"???? Just google "McCain Silverado" or " McCain Keating Five". Then do th right thing for America and


    June 21, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Jay

    Thank you Senator Obama for exposing another notch in John McCain's failed record. When did revealing a vote become a political attack? The truth is that John McCain has opposed most legislation that would improve the infrastructure of our country. If anyone is the "typical politcian", it is McCain, who says one thing to one group and changes it to appease others.

    June 21, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. B Churchill

    Wait a minute – that's not fair! McCain wants to fix the bridges and levees just as much as Obama – he just wants to make sure that Halliburton, GE, and Bechtel get the no-bid contracts, they outsource the labor, and he gets his cut off the top – don't you know anything about business or government – oops, I forgot; they're the same thing.

    June 21, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. game player

    With all the lies he tells... you'd think he'd have a longer nose.

    I love your smile... your eyes so dreamy... how can I NOT trust you...?

    Well... I never did care for slick... cocky...self-important... arrogant... prideful...self-impressed...boastful...swaggering...jeering... pandering, wishy-washy boys who try to convince me of their greatness.

    I like my men humble, strong, solid- with principles and conviction. Where their character says it all...not their rhetoric. And I don't like two-faced people who are evil within but pretty on the outside.

    You just say whatever you need to say to get your way.

    June 21, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. Nicole R, LA

    Why is Obama only leading McCain by 4-6 points with all you people groveling at his feet? Is there a problem? You bet there is.

    June 21, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. A Democrat No More, California

    Wasn't Barack a Illinois Senator......why didn't he fix it?

    June 21, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. lies from Obama

    Obama you lost me when you played the race-card against the Clintons.

    June 21, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. D in Chgo

    That's right, let's go to the records to find out the truth. The rep's are known for their lies and coverups. Mcshame may be a war hero, but he follows the rep party line – help the corporations first, your friends second, and suck the rest dry of money, hope of equality under the constitution, and the American dream. ONLY Obama has shown the commitment to the American people that offers ALL of us a better now and future. Who are the main Mcshames contriubing supporters??? Think about it, THEN look at Obama's contributing supporters. And yes, he's not taking/using our tax dollars....thank God, we have enough debt, at least he's not contributing to it.

    Go Obama! Yes we will be in the White House come Nov.

    June 21, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Mary

    Many experts in the field are saying that building levees does not solve the problem, only increases it when heavy floods/rains occur. The Mississppi Valley is a flood plain and Mother Nature knows best.
    When the flood plain is allowed to swallow up the water upstream, there is much less flooding down stream. Unfortunately cities and towns with million of people have been built in the flood plain and what will happen to them? There are no easy answers.

    June 21, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. lies from Obama

    Obama lost me when he mocked and ridiculed Hillary Clinton to impress all the boyz who would be men.

    June 21, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. ed

    McCain will continue to be in reaction mode the rest of this campaign. The Bush Admin will only make him look worse.

    June 21, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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