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. LA

    The record is McCain's number one enemy.

    June 21, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Franky

    I gotta say, I liked it when my boy helped out! But as for Senator McCain, I don't know. I don't know if I want my President to be slow and not get on the action. I mean, I could just look at my dad, LOL!!!

    I gotta say, not a bad move, not a bad move. I mean, my boy understands the our economy is messed up( I mean, REALLY MESSED UP) and a pretty good way to use this.........not bad.

    June 21, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. phantom of the Oprah

    Obama brushed me- and my support and vote- off his shoulders when he dismissively and oh so arrogantly impressed the schoolyard boyz by brushing HRC of his shoulders.

    WE already know the phony hyped up media creation that you are.

    June 21, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. jt

    obama = politician. So is mccain but at least he is not trying to convince people otherwise.

    June 21, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. another democrat defects

    Michelle said that she would not vote for HRC were Hillary the democratic nominee.

    I feel the same way about her hubby... now that you stole the nomination.

    You will not get my vote.

    One more democrat done gone.

    June 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Alicia

    Well, then ther is that PHOTO OP that McShame was more worried about. Did not matter that law enforcement was stretched thin...........no it is about the PHOTO OP.

    So, I used to think McShame was Mini Me to Dubya, Dr. Evil. Now I know he is Mini Me Me.

    June 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |

    The Republicans are trying to pull wool over the face of the majority of Americans, since they can't seem to find real bait for the RELENTLESS OBAMA. Americans would not and never settle for less. The Bush Administration (ably supported by the Republicans) has clearly failed the American People. Lost wars in Iraq, a down economy, a looming recession, Americans are clearing tired of the GOPs and their clear mind games. Five months to November and it’s a shame that McBush (Oh sorry McCain) has clearly refused to debate boiling issues. Rather he would saddle himself with Michelle, Obama been Black, and very luckstre issues. Good enough Americans know better. Not after a miserable 7 Bush Years and an arrogant self seeking Republican Party
    You should vote McCain if you're-
    Tired of your job and you clearly wouldn't mind been fired
    You're of Draft Age, You love War (You're engrossed in XMEN, 3000 and the rest of them) and would not mind been sent to Iran, Syria
    You don't mind losing your house
    You would not mind at all paying 10 dollar per Gallon (At least your wallet's as filled as Bono's)

    Americans know better and so therefore are standing for CHANGE.
    Are You?


    June 21, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain always talks about his POW experience but where is the rest of his life after that. It's just like he was a POW and then a Senator, there is too much information missing about McCain. Obama has always given Americans an account of his life from childhood to where he is now.

    June 21, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Ken

    We can't spend money on projects like these...we have to save enough for tax breaks!

    June 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Timothy

    Record show Obama is right Mccain is going to repeat Bush failed Policies it will be a misstake for the country to elect Mcain.Just look at the results of our Ecomomy failed polices of the Republicans

    June 21, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Supreme voice over all

    Well... it is easy to criticize others when you have declared your own self above any criticism. And when you have absolutely no record to criticize because you have never taken anything but a VERBAL position on the things that matter. No one can hold you to "just words".

    Very easy to criticize once you silence all criticism at the start- by pulling the race card. You did it with HRC- and it was so successful that you played that same hand with McCain. But we know all your tricks by now.

    What a fake and phony you are.

    Blowing your own horn and touting your own perfection is such a turn off for mature voters.

    June 21, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. no more lies

    I used to think that black is beautiful....

    But the lying Obama's cured me of that delusion.

    June 21, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. jim sane

    Obama stopped the Clintons. As far as I'm concerned, he can do no wrong!

    June 21, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Who did you say was the typical politician? Who's flip-floping now?
    No need to talk about the past, the now and the future is what matters now to Americans.
    McCain's campaign is full of he said, she said.

    Go get um! Obama

    June 21, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Aqua Project

    Now you are all the witness of destructive floods in Midwest states.
    On the other hand in the Southern states and California are suffer with droughts.
    With the help of technology, Weather Satellites, etc., we can build dams and "Highway Pipe water" webs, so we can direst "The surplus water" from flood zone " to the drought zones'!.It will take years to build and trillions dollars to spend, but it worth it.
    If we can build thousands of miles of Highways from coast to coast, why not Highway Pipe Water Web ?
    Is Senator Obama or Senator McCain has plan to solve this problem ?

    June 21, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. ammi

    Oh wait, look at that. Turns out McCain will say anything to throw the media microscope off of him.

    Go back to your nursing home, grandpa.

    June 21, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. joe

    I am contributing to obama campaign because there is a cause to contribute for......... I can not Imagine republicans back into Power!

    June 21, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. paid blogger for Obama

    The Obama bloggers all rest on the weekend... so they can trash these blogs 24/7 M-F.

    No Biff Biffington?

    or the 58 old white ladies – (1 illiterate black girl) pretending Obama has the support of old white ladies.

    or Mimi de la Cruz for Obama -who is anything but hispanic or latina- pretending that latinos support Obama.

    or David Goldman for Obama- trying to cover the Jewish part of the pretend support.

    None of you blog in a form that is believable for the "group" you are trying to be representative of. You all post some version of the identical message on cue on any given blog.

    One person can not speak for an entire ethnic, religious or other demographic. No one feels the NEED to identify themselves as being from any particular group if they are true democrats to begin with. That is what gives all of you away as paid Obama bloggers. THAT and the obligatory rote post on every single blog.

    Nice to see you are taking a well-deserved breather. Take all the time off you need.

    June 21, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Ian

    I am white male 64 and I am an Obamacan!

    June 21, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Marc PDX

    Obama is just a same old same old politician. No more of the "hope and change" message. Haven't heard that in a while now. Instead we have tried and true Washington political tactics of misleading public opinion. McCain is the guy who SUPPORTED fixing the levees and Obama OPPOSED it. Read the article carefully. Although Obama tries to spin this in reverse, the legislation he supported was a standard pork proposal that included levee support AND a whole bunch of other items – all lumped together in a great big wasteful PORK bill. An old Washington trick (used by both parties and one that needs to be changed!). McCain voted against THAT but for the separate bill that would have specifically addressed the levee problem. Obama voted against that one. And now he's trying to spin things as if he supported fixing levees and that McCain opposed it.

    Obama never supported "change and hope". He is an old fashioned, Jimmy Carter style politician that will tell you whatever you want to hear in order to get elected. And that's just plain disengenuine! Sad!

    NObama N'08

    June 21, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. 1926

    Obama , mend your own fences and leave Senator McCain alone. Nothing he says or does is any of your business.

    June 21, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. Danny, CA

    Barack, you are the biggest hypocrite. You want to praise John's service to this country and same time you are saying that he will not be the partner for american people. Don't think that you can get votes by criticising John McCain. Florida will vote for John McCain and my homseatate California is alsop going to vote for John mcCain who is going to be the next president of USA. Get a life or go to Cuba from Miami since you are closer there.

    June 21, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. kirt0417@yahoo.com

    Barack H. Obama,
    If Americans will only dig your records they will know who you really are however, your real color appears and describe your real personality which you couldn't prevent to hide it. I don't know why people still bite your words which acutally you can't make a perfect speeches without lie, it's already in your blood and it's very obvious. Here are some of your lies:

    1. You said you're a christian and never been a muslim, but the truth
    you grew up in a muslim family, your father was a muslim and you
    lived in Indonesia with a muslim faith.. You said you just converted
    christian 20 years ago under Rev. Wright as your pastor.
    Barack Obama, there's nothing wrong if you're a muslim to run as
    president, you have all the freedom but why should you hide it? Are
    you shy of your background?

    2. You criticized Hillary Clinton regarding her stand in NAFTA but now
    you are saying NAFTA is not actually bad and you start agreeing
    with Sen. Clinton

    3. You stand to death that you were not in the church when your pastor
    Rev. Wright's anti American sermons but when the media
    confirmed that you were actually present during his sermons then
    again you denied you never heard his words, why? The next day
    came again another alibi another pretentious speeches that
    came from the tip of your tongue which again fooled so many
    people, what a clever guy you are!

    You have so many malicious and wrong doings ever since you started to enter politics, your Rezco, about your uncle, and may be you remember what you did when you 1st run in the office in Chicago. You cheated a lot and made tons of lies just to pave your way to your political ambition. Can you remeber how many apologies did you make to correct your mistakes? It's because of your constant lies and flip flopping. You use cheating and lies to attain your every aim in life. But God will stop you since it's too much for you to be the head of the nation that initiate goodwill, promoter of peace and the most generous one in terms of aides Your speeches create attraction, it helps the ears to hear the nice words but it's not the criteria to be elected as the leader, you're far from that category.

    June 21, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. puff


    June 21, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. wendy

    What a genius....GO OBAMA

    June 21, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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