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. callmeracist?

    well....I am amazed that news channels like cnn are picking Obama to win purely because of his race....where did qualification and the future country go?? aren't the news channels supposed to educate the public? the integrity of journalists goes down the drain...what is the difference between fox and cnn??

    June 21, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. Wolf

    Where has Senator Obama been? Oh ya – the Senate, where he could have been doing alot about alot. But no – he was no wheres to be seen after Katrina and has no room to talk now. He has had opportunities to do something constructive while in the Senate regarding this and other issues and chose to just be 'present'.

    Vote No for Obama....he has done nothing so far and will only harm the country in the long run if elected.

    Vote for America.......Vote McCain!

    June 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Change

    Is this honestly all he has to say? CHange, CHange,Change, Change, Change, Change, Change, Change.

    June 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. The Rev. Joe

    Sorry, but he is just as much white as he is white, and he doesn't give any thought to that. He won't be the first black to be a president. He is not full black.

    Thank you.

    June 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. AJ, IL

    Go get 'em Obama! I'm tired of hearing how much of a maverick McCain is. Let's look at the voting record of McCain on national issues that span the last 8 years and compare that to Bush! Then many will see that Bush and McCain agreed on 90%+ of the policies of George Bush!

    McCain is the real flip-flopper of the campaign season once you look at his positions in 2000 and now his positions in 2008!

    June 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Marc PDX

    @call me racist: I agree. It is politically incorrect to even bring this topic up if you are white.

    The country (rightly) is ready for black or woman president. In fact it is overly-ready. So overly ready that it is super-rallying behind the first black man to legitimately be a presidential candidate. But is he really ready? No. He has three years of experience in national politics – and half of that has been spent campaigning for president. It is akin to a college graduate landing a nice job at a major international corporation. Then after only three years on the job thinking he (or she) is ready to be the CEO. No matter how talented such an individual is they are just not experienced enough to be ready to lead that corporation. There is no difference here in Obama's readiness to lead America. His main qualification is that he is black and in a country that is falling all over itself to elect a black president. Too bad Colin Powell decided to forgo politics – now, he would have made a great president. But Obama is 20 years away from being ready to handle this. Sorry if that makes me a racist in your eyes but I reject the notion that these points cannot be made in something as important as the election of a president in the world today.

    NObama N'08

    June 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. Fella from Chicago

    Bad-mouthing Senator McCain while the western and southern sections of Illinois goes under water while he does nothing. I can't believe this guy. Then again I can because of the horns he hides; but I can't believe there are so many Americans falling for his b.s. After four years with this left wing liar in office, the Bush years will look like eight of the greatest years America ever experienced in its history.

    June 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. Peter E

    So... if McCain, Hillary, or any other politician mentions an opponent in a speech about a human tragedy they're being "disgusting, exploitative, dirty old politicians" but if Obama does the same thing he's being "honest, positive, leader-like?" Why do you guys keep giving him a free-ride?

    June 21, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. Bishop

    Why does it have to be a Black/White thing??? I guess he's right they WILL try to instill fear... Thanks for the proof, Call Me Racist...

    June 21, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. PA

    obama and hamas his running mate

    June 21, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Peter E

    I notice the very short list of comments that have been posted. What's wrong? The Obama News Network filter couldn't find enough comments praising Obama for his political exploitation of this human tragedy? Were there just too many comments pointing out, correctly, that this kind of tactic is real low-brow? How come CNN didn't filter such user comments about McCain or Hillary when they tried to score political points on human misery? That was the truth. And now the truth is that Obama is being very dirty in using Iowans' tragedy to attack his opponents.

    June 21, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. Peter E

    Vote Ron Paul! Change you can TRUST in!

    June 21, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. frank

    ask obama why he changed his name? if he is so u-s-a

    June 21, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. franco

    Hello People!

    Politicians will say anything, will do anything to get power............

    That includes: manipulating words, values, religion, facts, public image, feelings, and, of course, us, the common people.............

    It has always been this way..............................

    Politicians...........................

    Don't you agree?

    June 21, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. dems be dopes

    Interesting that the only one whining about the floods and levees is Obama. I don't hear the mid westerners whining, they just roll up their sleeves and go to work. Wait till the flood waters hit New Orleans the "Entitlement City", then you will hear whining, lots of it.

    The only change Obama is interested in is the change in your pockets, and then some.

    Maybe Obama can find a way to get McCain off the ticket like he did his opponents in IL?

    Just another politician in a suit and a Rolex.

    June 21, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. cbenji in NYC

    "call me a racist" wrote: "with no merits- but his blackness"

    you're a racist.

    June 21, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. Joe Reed

    John McCain: Bad for cities, bad for States, bad for this Country and bad for America!

    June 21, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Who tells the truth????

    Does BO ever stop lying??? Pretty scary????

    McCain 08'

    June 21, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. Daniel

    Ok granted obama does have college chicks voting for him and blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanic, young, old, rich and poor. and maybe GOD is trying to help us, we as a people just need to listen. lets look at our options we have a rep. dinosaur who wants to throw some twist on the already failing bush plans. I mean come on how can you watch this guy (McCain) and not be able to tell he’s lying, honestly I think he doesn’t even know he’s lying. When he smiles doing his speech he looks like the grench who stole Christmas. I listen to his energy plan and it doesn’t even make since. Soooo you want to drill more and feed our oil apetite.hmmm what about all the negitives that come with drilling, not even to mention the fact that we wouldn’t get that oil for at least 8 years, lets be smart about this for once and spend that money on something that will work. Man I could go all day. Oh and for all those people who feel obamas Muslim, have you not been watching the news, he goes to a CHRISTAN church, you know that religion that the people who founded this country believed in. America WAKE UP

    June 21, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. LJackson

    You are not a racist. You have a right to vote for whoever you want if it is about matched ideaology. But for anyone to vote against someone who has your same ideaology because they are a minority, then it's safe to say you are racist.

    Unfortunately, it's going to come up. And Obama would be severely naive as the GOP calls him if he thinks by not talking about his blackness, the GOP won't attack him because of it.

    Our country has come a long way but we have a ways to go. Looking forward to seeing the day.

    June 21, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. gary

    OBAMA IS SUCH A JOKE. MCCAIN WANTS HELP FOR THE FLOODS AND O.B. BASHING AGAIN. IF O.B. DOSN'T BRING UP THE IDEAL ,HE TRASHES OTHERS THAT DO. OUR COUNTRY IS IN DEEP TROUBLE IF O.B. SOMEHOW GETS ELECTED. HE HAS PLAYED THE RACE CARD THROUGH THIS WHOLE RACE, THAN SEEMS TO GET THINGS TURNED AROUND ON OTHERS. NEVER SEEN ANYONE GET SUCH A FREE RIDE.HIS MONEY BOUGHT HIS NOMINATION ,BUT WILL NOT BUY THE ELECTION. LET HIS RACE THREAT RIOTS IF HE DOSN'T WIN. SHOWS YOU THE MORTALITY AND WHERE THISCOUNTRY IS HEADED TO. O.B. IN THIS RACE HAS TOOKEN USBACK 100YRS. OR MORE, HATE,RACIST, AND DIVISION. I WISH HRC WOULDN'T LOWER HERSELF TO CAMPAIGN AND GO INDEPENDANT.LIKE I SAID,AMERICA GETS WHAT THEY ASK FOR.

    June 21, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Dale

    But, racist (since you insist on being called that), where is the evidence that Obama is, as you said in your post, "the most left-leaning," the "least qualified" and/or that he has "no merits"?

    Or is rhetorics and scare-tactics all that those who oppose the man can give? After all, the only "fact" you stated was that he's black and you drop in the scare-tactic of him "already has the 12% of America Black vote" (which of course isn't true).

    Maybe Obama IS the voting realist here. Thanks for supporting his position.

    June 21, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  23. Kennedy Ghetuba

    Let us talk about future policies Mr Obama, choose Mr. Hillary Clinton and stop on petty issues. I urge you to talk big, and act big, the ball is own your court.

    June 21, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Disaster victims will be up a creek without a paddle, like Katrina Victims, if McCain is our next guy in charge. Obama will be the next president, though, so not to worry.

    June 21, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  25. Chuck

    Hmmm. So, we tax the hell out of working America to support LAZY America?

    I certainly feel no guilt about how black people were treated before I was born. I've always been taught that "You get what you WORK for."

    Obama will bring this country into another depression.

    Stop drinking the kool-aide!!!

    June 21, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
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