June 22nd, 2008
04:04 PM ET
13 years ago

Sunday Roundup: A battle of the 'flip-flops'


WASHINGTON (CNN) - Days after both men reversed course on major issues, the presidential campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain spent much of Sunday's talk-show circuit working to ensure accusations of "flip-flopping" don't stick.

Both sides tried to go on offense, with the Obama camp accusing McCain of "yet another flip-flop," on the issue of oil drilling and the McCain camp saying Obama broke his word on the issue of campaign financing.

McCain said he now supports lifting a federal ban on off-shore drilling that he once supported.

Daschle pointed to the issue, saying, "we're surprised at yet another flip-flop on the part of John McCain here."

But McCain's economic adviser Carly Fiorina, on CBS' "Face the Nation," argued that "a good leader is influenced by the facts on the ground."

Watch: McCain's 'false' claim, Obama's Pinocchios

She added, "We've never before faced a situation where the price of a barrel of oil has doubled in the last 12 months. So what John McCain has said is that we now need to take control of our own energy future." Watch more on the off-shore drilling debate »

When McCain announced his decision Tuesday, he said off-shore oil drilling could be part of a plan "in the short term in resolving our energy crisis." But many analysts argue any significant oil production gain would be years away.

On the issue of campaign financing, Obama announced Thursday he would not take public financing for the general election.

Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, had long spoken in support of public financing, and when asked on a questionnaire whether he would accept public financing if the competition did, he answered "yes."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Mary

    There is no way around it. Senator Obama flipped-flopped on taking public money for his campaign. Now I will call him a liar again.

    June 22, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. william

    Obama is a bigger flipper then McCain, HE is a back stabing smooth talking boi but thats it. McCain know that he might have to change dirrection years later on an issue. But its only been months and Obama is changing his tune once again. what next will he change his mond on. oh that he is not an elitist.

    June 22, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Christina

    We all have to cut back on non-necessities. And guess what, it's while a Republican is in office. So, please, don't blame Obama for this, because he is not in office yet! Also, it sounds like you are a flip-flopper yourself. So, if you vote for McCain, please don't complain again because you are voting for the same problems that you are facing now.
    As a supporter of his, gas IS an issue to me, and to just about every other supporter of his aw=s well. Please, stop being so bitter, because you and all your other puma people are the reason why Obama made that comment!

    June 22, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Molly

    obama is a FRAUD!!!! – He is NOT qualified to lead our country.
    Obama comes from Corrupt Chicago – sorry obama & DNC – you cannot BUY – or STEAL the election!

    June 22, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. M.

    While I will be voting Obama over McCain, I will admit that both are typical politicians and they can both legitimately be called flip-floppers.

    June 22, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Homer

    I can't see why McCain cares if Obama takes public financing or not it doesn't effect him one way or the other.

    June 22, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Jason, Texas

    Let's think about this. What are they flipping on. One is trying to save the tax payer money and the other is attempting to create more environmental problems. The first made a decision that benefits everyone, the second has decided it was convenient for him to take this stance, even through the drilling would not ease a thing for a decade or more.

    Let's not talk about flipping but rather what are they changing their minds about. McCain is making a huge mistake while Obama is doing what is right. Lets get away from oil and the oil companies and get those no emission, no fuel cars out there asap!

    June 22, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. TheTruthHurts

    Political expediency for both of them and in both cases the right thing to do. Even though I don't support the blank check on drilling that oilmen want, strategic access to large resources is important. Yes, I know it won't be ready for a few years and we could be working on alternatives during that time. I believe in BOTH AND instead of EITHER OR.

    If we can get the oil from existing reserves, no need for offshore. Shale is stupid because we better have our alternatives online before that becomes viable.

    June 22, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. Chut Pata

    Obviously both have "flip-flopped". Let's do the comparison.

    McCain wants to screw our beaches for an oil which wont make any significant difference. Then, by the time it is available, there would be alternate energy and the "oil for beaches" will not be needed.

    Obama want to not take the tax dollars, just the 10s and 20s the public will donate volunteers.

    I would always prefer Obama's flip-flop over McCain's flip-flop.

    June 22, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. So devastating

    Well, yes, of course McCain's latest flip-flop in a long line of policy and philosophical positions pales compared to Obama's decision not to participate in the public financing. Charlotte, as ever, is obviously torn because she wants so desperately to believe in Obama.

    Well, Charlotte, here's the good news: if you read the entire response Obama gave on the questionnaire, you will see that his initial intention to accept public financing was "conditional" and that one of the conditions was the his campaign would be able to work out an agreement with the Republican nominee's campaign so that the playing field would be as level as possible, and 527s would not have the power they had in the 2004 election.

    McCain has had an on-again/off-again relationship with public financing, as I'm sure you know, that has depended entirely on his own financial situation. To say nothing of the legal trouble he may be in because of his violations of the law, and the many loopholes he has found that allow him, for example, to use his wife's corporate jet. And, he has stated that he will not try to "referee" conservative 527 groups that attack Obama, which is well within his rights. But both candidates need to maintain as competitive an edge as they possibly can.

    The Republicans are going to try to make as much of this as they can, of course. Lindsay Graham, on MTP with Joe Biden this morning, gave a great performance of a Believer whose hopes had been dashed by Obama's betrayal. So sad. What really makes Republicans weep is the Obama campaign's fundraising power. What's this world coming to when Democrats don't allow themselves to be blindsided by Republican machinations?

    June 22, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. AY

    obama is a fool.America deserves better.

    June 22, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  12. richard

    Charlotte, please don't be stupid. I'm an Obama supporter and can't afford 4 dollars/gallon, but i also realize that approval for drilling off coastal states will not be a solution, for many reasons.

    The primary reason is that most states that would see the drilling would not allow it. Florida and California are strongly apposed.

    Did you know that last year the Saudis increased their oil production by 5 percent? Do you remember seeing a 5 percent decrease at the pump?

    neither do i. The reason is that any new oil production gets absorbed into the global market immediately. And if you think the oil companies will only sell this oil to America, think again.

    Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska currently gets divided among America, Canada, and the Asian markets. Yet, it is an American oil field!

    Please, don't be stupid.

    June 22, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  13. Independant Thinker

    OBama's laundry list contiues to grow.

    Any one of them by themselves doesn't mean anything, but when you start adding them all up together, it really makes one question his sincerity and truthfulness.

    Where I come from, my word is my bond and a handshake is worth a $10,000 loan.

    I don't know that Obama can be trusted, he says one thing and then does another.

    Just something to ponder.

    June 22, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  14. Ohio Citizen

    It is silly to expect politicians to hold to a position even when that position is no longer the best one. We do not need another GW Bush.

    And by the way. When is CNN going to dump Lou Dobbs? All he does anymore is whine. I haven't been able to learn anything from his show is over 18 months. He used to have a good show. Now he comes off like a partisan. Ditch him and find someone without a political axe to grind.

    June 22, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  15. pakuna

    GET THIS ! Yes this is a pivotal time in our history. but you cannot elect an African Americans when there is NONE running. if obama gets elected he will be just another man that got elected that should not have.
    Yes indeed this is pivotal if he gets elected you will have elected a citizen of Kenya to be president of the United States.but you will not have elected a black man. No matter how he could not stand his "whitey" mother she was white so there goes your electing a black person to take you down the yellow brick road.

    June 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. Dominic Baragona

    Right now the oil companies own 40 million acres of oil fields offshore...They could drill for all the oil they want right now, but for whatever reason have choosen not to...If we permit them to purchase the 600 acres offshore oil fields they want right now, we won't get the first drop of oil till 2018...That's what Senator Joe Biden said on Meet The Press this morning...Is he right??..

    June 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. Janet WV for Obama

    Dear Charlotte,
    Logical and intelligent people do sometimes embrace facts, learn and change their minds. Sen. Obama is that kind of person. He is not about to be swiftboated this time and I say hurrah for him. Whether you like it or not, he WILL be the Democratic nominee. Your hateful and ill- informed comments will not change that. Hillary has moved on and is helping Barack overcome the challenges we face from people like you. We love you anyway!

    June 22, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  18. bern

    Obama is smart enough to know that the repugs were going to play games if he stuck with public financing. He did what he should have done. Answering a questionnaire is not taking an oath. He had a right to change his mind and he did. So what? Obama's fundraising is real public financing. Small donors investing in changing America for the better.

    The drilling deal is a red herring. We have $4.00 gas because of Bush and Big Oil's best friend forever, Dick Cheney. We have $4.00 oil because of a senseless war they started to benefit Big Oil. McSame will only make it worse. We need a real energy revolution that is not dependent on fossil fuels. Not more leases for Big Oil to screw up the environment. The oil they find will not be marketable for at least 10 years. That will not reduce prices in the long term or the short term. Real leadership in Washington would have freed America from dependence on fossil fuels a long time ago. Look at Brazil. They are largely free of the oil monkey. If the repugs and Bush had paid more attention to energy innovation and less to crippling the Constitution we would be better off.

    June 22, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. Rick FL

    McCain has unfortunately left his maverick days to become the king of flip-flops from tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% during a time of war to torture, immigration, oil-lobby manipulation, etc.

    It is sad how any conservative could criticize Obama for not wasting tax dollars on his campaign. I thought Republicans were for a platform of so-called "lower spending." It appears these Republicans switched to debt spending instead with their record-breaking deficits. It was one of the main reasons I became a former Republican now fully supporting Obama '08.

    June 22, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. only4hillary

    The real deal is gone for this time...

    But she'll be back and we are here to make sure of it.

    PUMA pride – http://www.justsaynodeal.com

    McCain '08 for Hillary '12

    June 22, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  21. Mike

    McBush has flip flopped on more issues than John Kerry. On taxes, on the war, on offshore drilling etc etc. Obama did flip on the campaign finance issue. He really had no choice. Even FOX news said he had no choice. Obama gets his finances from small donation from every dat Americans. Obama does not get support from the Corporate Puppet masters like puppet number one, McBush. If Obama allowed McBush to force him into the public finance deal without a fairness agrement. Then Obama losses his support and McBush gets his Corporate Crook buddies to finance 'Non Profit organizations' to trash Obama whils McBush campaigns with our tax dollars.

    June 22, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. richard2

    McCain did not give his word about not drilling. He realized that the situation had changed and we now need the oil yesterday and if my fellow Democrats would have allowed drilling long ago we would not be in this mess.
    Obama gave his word on the public financing issue. No spin no nothing he gave his word. The way I was raised when you give your word you do not go back on it. You are only as good as your word.

    No brainer Obama flip flopped. McCain saw the citizens suffering and made a decision to do something about it. That is a leader I can believe in. PROUD TO BE AN AMERIMcCain.

    June 22, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |

    lou, as a independent i would like for you to tell the world what would you do as a president i stead of beating down each candidate. i watch your show everyday and i cant believe what i hear .i think you are no different from either candidate.i rather watch jack cafferty. happy ratings.

    June 22, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  24. erica - cali now 4 mccain

    Oh get real, Michele. Obama's campaign was financed not "just by small donors." He has just as much "big money" being contributed as anyone.

    Check your facts.

    June 22, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Jen, CA

    Let's get over the McCain split with his first wife - shall we? It has nothing to do with this campaign.

    • Serving his country in Congress since 1981
    • 5-1/2 yrs. POW in Hanoi, with extreme torture that left him unable to raise either arm above his head
    • McCain’s 17 military awards and decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal
    • McCain was married to his first wife, Carol, for 15 years
    • He adopted Carol’s 2 children from a previous marriage
    • John and Carol McCain divorced in 1980
    • McCain has repeatedly admitted: "My marriage's collapse was attributable to my own selfishness and immaturity. The blame was entirely mine.”
    • John’s divorce settlement with Carol included two houses and ongoing financial support for her medical treatments
    • Carol and John remain on good terms.
    • Carol supports her ex-husband's 2008 presidential campaign
    • Carol has often said that she was not bitter
    • She says: "He’s a good guy. We are still good friends. He is the best man for president.”
    • McCain has been married to Cindy, his second wife, for 28 years
    • They have 3 children together
    • In 1991 John and Cindy adopted a 4th - a girl of “color” from Bangladesh
    • ALL McCain children love, respect, and think highly of their father

    So what have YOU done lately to be in a position to judge John McCain?

    June 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
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