June 27th, 2008
03:34 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain pushes free trade at Ohio auto plant

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/27/art.mccainad.ap.jpg caption="McCain campaigned in Ohio Friday."]LORDSTOWN, Ohio (CNN) - John McCain took his free trade message into somewhat hostile territory Friday, telling a group of Ohio automobile workers that free trade is “in the best interests of the United States of America from a macro sense and in the long term.”

“I understand the pain” of families affected by manufacturing job losses, McCain said, but he added that many “labor intensive jobs” were not coming back to America.

Instead, he said his job re-training proposals coupled with an “emphasis on new technology” in the automotive sector would boost employment.

McCain, battling a slight cold, was responding to an employee at the Lordstown General Motors plant who asked him what he would to make trade agreements “a little bit more fair.”

The presumptive GOP nominee said he does not believe “that every trade agreement is totally fair” and promised to “do everything in my power to make sure that trade practices practiced by our trading partners are fair and equitable.”

Still, the senator insisted that free trade was a net boon for the economy and called for approval of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement because “they have been helping us a lot in the war on drugs and they are a good government.”

It is “one of the realities of life,” McCain said, that “when we practice protectionism and we erect barriers to products from other countries, they do the same to us, and it leads to economic consequences.”

McCain told reporters he had met with union leaders at the plant to discuss NAFTA and said he would be "glad to streamline" the dispute mechanisms included in trade agreements.

Filed under: John McCain • Ohio
soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. Chris in Va.

    GAY American- Democrap? That's about as lame as one of McLame's speeches.

    June 27, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  2. 2012

    "USAF Staff Sergeant", are you aware that by identifying yourself by your rank and branch of service (if in fact you're not an impostor), your participation in published partisan political discussion of this sort is in direct violation of DoD DIRECTIVE 1344.10? Get with the program, airman!

    June 27, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  3. Republican for change

    We need smart Ohio republicans in to bring back fiscal reponsibility in this country!

    McCain is promising fiscal responsibility using the same Bush economic policies. He is a nut case. These policies have been proven to FAIL in the past 8 years.

    Dollar is at an all time low.
    Jobs are leaving the country
    Oil is at all time high.
    Deficits are at an all time high.

    TIme to vote for Obama!

    ...and make Hillary the Chief Economic Officer.

    Bring the deficits down and strengthen our currency to help bring oil futures down.

    June 27, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. McSame

    Wow, the nerve to stare American auto industry in the face and preach NAFTA...Wow, just wow...This is the same guy that supports drilling for oil off our coastlines for our "psychological" benefit.

    By process of elimination: Obama For Prez!!!!

    June 27, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. David Goldman for OBAMA







    June 27, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. jc

    McClown is out of touch!

    June 27, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |

    He is Talking Straight..

    He straight out no longer has the sense god gave him.

    He is soo optomistic,,
    He has such foresight... NOT..!!

    He will NEVER withraw from Iraq.
    America will NEVER get its industrial foundation back.

    Pray to God that he is NEVER our President..!!!

    June 27, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  8. Mike

    Free trade itself is not the problem. The fact that Republicans used free trade to sell out America's workers so that their Billionaire Corporate cronies could send our jobs to China for a dollar a day slave labor is the problem. Is McBush stupid to think we can not see this? Or just very old?

    June 27, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. Kim

    I understand your pain my friends. Jet fuel for my multi millionaire corporate CEO wife Cindy's private jet have gone out the roof. I may consider flying less.

    June 27, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. DJ in TX

    Job Re-training?? Does he really think someone who's been working in a factory for 20+ years, maybe aged 45+ or so really wants to re-train? Re-train to do what? If the factory was the main source of jobs in the town, what will re-training do for them?

    I'm all for free trade, but our trade deficit is horrendous. We are buying everybody else's goods, but who is buying ours??

    Case in point – the Auto industry. Japan is building factories in the US – how many US automakers are buinding factories in Japan or anywhere else?

    June 27, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. frank

    obama is the same as Mccain when it comes to free trade
    they say one thing then runs to other countrys and tells them not to
    worry it will still be free trade

    June 27, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. Phil Newton - Oregon

    Free and fair trade, my friend?

    How about that airplane deal you handed to the French?

    Free and fair?

    To whom? Your lobbyist advisors?

    Gag me.

    June 27, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. Shame on CNN

    This man keeps his foot in his mouth. You have to wonder what the republican party is thinking, or do they know that they lost this election already after 8 years of Bush?

    June 27, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  14. Chuck

    Here's some "straight talk" for you, Senator McCain--
    –You will never be President!

    Now let's see how well you like someone else taking the job you thought was yours!

    June 27, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. Chris in Va.

    GAy American- Do Republicans go to a special school to learn to walk around with their heads up their arses or are they born that way?

    June 27, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |

    Yeah and if J.C. Was a "lousy commander in chief" ... What is G.W.?

    What was John McCain? A LOUSY PILOT?
    And a NON HERO... People just felt sorry for a guy that spent 5+ years in a POW camp.
    Some American Still feel pitty for him for diferent reasons. 🙂
    Why should America keep suffering just to help John feel better??

    If POW's make such wonderful leaders..show me one other POW that has beoome our President.
    Wouldn't we have already had numerous Psychologically or Physically Damaged Presidents by now if POW's make the best Commanders in Chief??

    June 27, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. T. Miles

    To all you Hillary or nothing and McCain supports:

    If after reading this you can honestly look in the mirror and say McCain would make a better President by sending your jobs and your kids overseas to die for foolish causes you really have some deep hate issues in you that you may not understand. That issue is and I'll be blunt is that some people would rather have this country go to hell in a hand basket before allowing a black man to be President. Please don't be that hateful. We all bleed and are human beings.

    Try and understand this concept

    United we Stand.......Divided we Fall!!!

    June 27, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  18. Ron

    pushes for free trade before he goes to Mexico yo give away more jobs

    June 27, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |

    He is NO HERO.

    A Real Hero would have Saved someones Life while risking his own or sacrificed himself for another or others.

    He was just a PISS POOR PILOT who allowed himself to be captured alive instead of taking as many of them with him as possible. He was then broken by the Viet Kong and he Spilled his Guts

    He RATTED!! That COWARD..!

    Now in 2008, he wants to claim that he will never surrender to Terrorists. 🙂 He already did 40 years ago.. lol 🙂

    Thats the Mental problem he has.. He's Angry at himself for being BROKEN as a POW.
    He takes it out on everyone but himself..!

    He is Dangerously Stubborn because of Guilt for Ratting Out while he was a POW. He Lives a Fantasy of believing that nothing can ever Make Change him or make him rethink unless he wants to.
    He has promised himself he will never be weak again.. Even if being weak is for positive reconcilliation or other worthy reasons.

    In a Word...
    He is SICK.

    June 27, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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