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. “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. Proud American

    Let the truth be known Barack. McCain=Bush!!

    June 21, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. jo nc

    if cities,and states quit selling property to people that like living around water and then people building huge house right in middle of the lakes then they wouldn't have all these house floating in rivers as i've seen on tv this past week,,you can'r rerout a river and not expect it to find a way to seep back or flood the areas it has always run thru,,nature will find it's way back together

    June 21, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. An old white woman 4 Obama

    He has SO much experience, what the hell can he show for it? My country is falling apart.

    June 21, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Obama Supporter

    Who cares!! Obama is the only man for the job! He is even getting his ducks in a row! He brings his Democratic governors to a meeting for ideas and collaborations on how form unity to change the policies and never turns his head on his team nor tries to control what should be. He speaks to his mayors the next day...now that is an openminded President to be and one who will initiate his better judgment than any many in history. GOooooo OBAMA!!! We love you!!

    Starr, in WA

    June 21, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. santella de frenza

    As a Canadian who is interested in international issues,I try to listen to various "NEWS" programs in order to arrive at informed views that affect all of us globally. I am so verry disappointed in CNN and its coverage of world issues and politics. Other than your excellent reporter in Iraq, Amanpour, Cafferty and Anderson Cooper, I continue to be disgusted at the totally biased and opiniated views of Blitzer and Dobbs. They are not reporting news–rather with every other word , body language and self-serving selected guests they use, they are only expanding on their own biased views! Shame on you CNN for allowing this to continue!!! What happened to actual reporting?? ...and does Blitzer HAVE to convince us that CNN has the best political team every other sentence?? Perhaps if it was, he wouldn't have to say it as often as he does.

    June 21, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Ern

    Barack H. Obama, your records can't be considered as a good leader of the great nation. You're the most flip flopper candidate for pres. in American history. If you're caught of your lies you immediately make a lovely speeches that can even awake the dead people from their graves.

    The latest controversy regarding the muslim ladies wearing scarfs was actually came from your advised that they shouldn't be recognized in your campaign because you denied to death that you're not a muslim, wha'ts wrong if you're one of them?

    June 21, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Angel

    Obama-Clinton 08' DEMS UNITE!!!

    June 21, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Larry Buchas

    Any way you look at it, improving the nation's infrastructure is not "pork."

    As for prioritizing water projects, were they to predict the current flood problems throughout the heartland?

    McCain thinks prioritizing the war in Iraq is more important. Even more important than our veterans returning home? What do you think?

    June 21, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. BROOKLYN

    It is pretty obvious that Senator Obama has in fact become EVERYTHING that he swore he would not be... "No more Politics as Usual in Washington" that was in FACT the very phrase that he led us all to believe...
    This is the BIGGEST letdown in the history of politics... The Golden One has LIED to us all... HE IS NOTHING BUT A POLITICIAN and does NOT have our interest at heart.
    This has become ALL about him... We are in for four years of speeches diverting us from ALL of the mistakes.

    AMERICA IS NOT A LEARNERS PERMIT FOR POLITICIANS...

    Biggest mistake we ever made was letting Clinton go...

    June 21, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Trisha, Monsey NY

    Whenever McCain is exposed he is on the attack. This senator will never win against Barack Obama who has RIGHT on his side!
    I hope the people who need help in these states know that McBush will be the same as Bush when it comes to helping the needy. Let us not fall for it people. Dems Unite!

    June 21, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    Senator Obama is absolutely GREAT at speaking out of BOTH sides of his mouth; a typical politician...

    June 21, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. MODERATE

    Whateva, whateva, like anyone not in louisiana cares about billion dollar levee protection. Move to a dry state, not one that is under water. Anyway, since obama did not accept public funds he will have a shot at getting as much exposure and money as McCain and the repubs this election. How exciting!

    Democrats deserve to trample the red army this election. Too much bush and McCain's balls are turning red on all the major issues. Where did the maverick go? Dont criticize Obama for flip-flopping McCain, you are turning into a GW Bush clone.

    June 21, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. rexx

    Obama proves yet again he is a true Chicago style politico. Too bad the machine can't disqualify McCain from the ballot for you huh Obama? Welcome to President McCain.

    June 21, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. Larry

    What a bunch of bull..from a guy with no record or experience at all.....

    June 21, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Rob indetroit

    Mccain needs to Quit crying about campaign finances .did anyone see Mccain trying to get hip. MTV cribs. straight bus. how sad . drink your warm milk and go to bed

    June 21, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Sal

    don't let up Barack, "Skeletor w/ a comb over" and his Grand Old Party are gonna finally fall

    Obama '08

    June 21, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. Vivienne

    I already know the republicans record is on flood and natural disaster. I'm a Louisiana resident. I feel sorry for the rest of the country. Especially if they get the Louisiana treatment. I am convinced that the republican party isn't interested in having the federal government work with the state government. Obama is correct they have a totally different focus. I however believe that the American people can demand that all branches of government start to communicate and coordinate efforts to repair our infrastructure no matter the cost. If we can spend 3 billion dollars a week on foreigners, we can spend a few million per state to start a major infrastructure project to start repairing our infrastructure.

    June 21, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Ern

    Obama is a fake guy full of lies, he must be rejected!!

    June 21, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Pete

    People who know about Barack Obama will surely dump him.

    June 21, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Rob indetroit

    Sen. Mccain . refused to vote to give people of New orleans flood insurance. what does he care about the little people . he's a big shot .Who cares about "WAR".

    June 21, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Joe Reg

    Cities are the engine of economic growth.

    A foreign concept for Mcain.

    Obama 08 & 12.

    June 21, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. Haris Siddiqui

    "Iran is experiencing a staggering decline in revenue from its oil exports and, if the trend continues, income could virtually disappear by 2015, according to an analysis released yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences.

    Iran's economic woes could make the country unstable and vulnerable with its oil industry crippled, Roger Stern, an economic geographer at Johns Hopkins University, said in the report and in an interview. Iran earns about $50 billion a year in oil exports. The decline is estimated at 10 percent to 12 percent annually. In less than five years, exports could be halved and then disappear by 2015, Mr. Stern predicted."

    – That's the conclusion of a new report from the National Academy of Sciences, reported in today's Washington Times.

    Hint: Question your self as to my Iran is after Nuclear Energy.......?.........Because their oil Production Peaked in 1978 in recent years it has been declining at the rate of 7 – 10 % Annually......

    SAY NO TO WAR – Obama 08

    June 21, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. Independant Floridian

    Why do John McCain and his surrogates always accuse Obama of things or make blatantly false statements and count on the rest of us to be dumb enough not to notice.Also why was it a huge headline when Obama so-called "flip-flopped", but when McCain does a new "flip-flop" each week the press let's him slide by and it gets buried. Gosh, if McCain wins and the country goes down the tubes,which it will, we know who to thank. THE CORPORATE RUN MEDIA! DO YOUR JOB PLEASE. WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO BE INFORMED. GOD, I'M GONNA MISS TIM RUSSERT.HE LOOKED OUT FOR US ,AND HELD PEOPLE ACCOUNTIBLE.

    June 21, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. T L

    Obama always claims he did everything right except Rezko cuz it went to court, so he has not choice but to admit. Then Jeremiah Wright issue, it took him 20 years to denounce. How many more things did he do wrong? Iraq war? He did not have the authority to vote, stop claiming any good judgement. Obama voted against the amendent. Bagging sandbag does not cancel his poor judgement. He does not think about it before doing it, but always flip-flop. If he becomes the president, the flip-flops are gonna hurt the country more than help. how much do people have to pay for his mistakes? McCain is not the best candidate, but not doing anything is still better than flip-flopping.

    June 21, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Scott

    It is hard for McCain to come back from this. After all his entire cabinet is full of lobbyist. He has gone from a position where tax cuts for the wealthiest were against his nature, now he seems more then satisfied with this. If 2000 John McCain were here today, he would surely beat the hell out of the 2008 John McCain. A VOTE FOR MCSAME IS A VOTE FOR BUSH'S THIRD TERM.

    June 21, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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