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. Bill

    He's asking to lose hahaha

    June 27, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Abby

    He really doesn’t get it. As the British guy likes to say , we have “ an analog candidate in a digital world”. WOW

    June 27, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. independent

    you will keep trading our jobs overseas.how lame.no mcsame!

    June 27, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Patrick Henry, Ft. Myers

    Increasing trade and development retraining opportunities for jobs lost because of trade issues–is the best approach to develop the next generation work force–while continuing free trade issues.

    Liberty 4 us.....please.

    June 27, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Kiah

    WOW!

    June 27, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. ladymary

    He understands the pain??????????? When was the last time he had to chose between food and paying a bill? When was the last time he was afraid to answer his phone knowing it was probably a bill collector? When was the last time he faced cancer without insurance? When was the last time he went from a $20/hr job to minimum wage? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 27, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Michael

    McCain is the biggest hypocrite in recent history, take his recent comment that "we need to run a respectful campaign" while labeling Obama "Dr. No"; I'm curious how this qualifies as "respectful"? I wish the election were today so we could send McCain back to the Senate and then hopefully Arizona will send him into retirement!

    June 27, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Independent!!!!!!

    John McCain.............. 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.”PROMISE as in say anything to WIN!!!!!!

    June 27, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Ron. Toronto Canada

    These people like McCain make me sick when say they understand the pain of loosing your job. They live in a world lite years apart from ours.

    June 27, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. jen

    YAWN.......................................

    June 27, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. RickytheGriff

    Does anyone really care about this guy? Who is he, what he does, or what he says he stands for?

    Really? Anyone? He's a blank. In all my years on this planet I have never seen nothing on two legs like John McCain.

    June 27, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Vote Nader

    Wow! Consistency on free trade.

    VotePact

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    June 27, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Phil, FL

    Keating 5 folks. Google it.

    June 27, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Obama Supporter from FL

    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.”

    Therefore, he basically has the same position as Obama, which is that free trade is fine, but it has to be fair trade.

    June 27, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. USAF Staff Sergeant

    McCain: “I understand the pain”

    What? Total BS. This man hasn't understood any current problems in the last 30 years. He's way too old an out of touch.

    Wait, no he's in touch with people today. Doesn't one of his sites have an awesome pork barrel blasting game, similar to arcade games... of the 80's......

    Way to old McCain..... sorry.

    June 27, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Kathy in Michigan

    What a nut!!!

    He just doesn't get it!!!

    NO TO NAFTA and CAFTA

    June 27, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. hehehehhe

    How tall is Mccain in all the photos shots i've seen of him they are taken from an upward position. are they trying to make him appear taller than he is

    June 27, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. gman

    And if you believe McShame....then I have some free land in Arizona for ya. Get real folks...he don't plan on changing anything. A vote for McShame...then ask yourself this question...are you better off now then you were 12 years ago.

    June 27, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Angie

    How dare you, McCain. Not enough family lost their jobs.

    June 27, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Jim

    This is really not the time to be outsourcing jobs, Obama's plan to help the auto company's financially for alternative energy by giving a 150 billion, in the next ten years, 15 billion a year, make's Mccain's 3 million dollar price look like a joke. And if Mccain is willing to spend billions a week on Iraq, the least he can do is consider spending a few here...honestly I think he should just move to Iraq and go for office there.

    June 27, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Glenn

    "He feels your pain" says McShame, the husband of a multi-millionairess. He voted for war and supported Bush 95% of the time. Bush, McBush and the GOP have caused the national economic crisis and the national security crisis. I doubt he is personally worried about the approaching soon to be $5 a gallon gasoline or the mortgage crisis or the rising unemployment crisis and recession. He has multi-millions($$$).

    June 27, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Joe Reg

    The Bush Repubs economic policies have not been working for years, nothing is working with the repuiblicans. The time has
    come for a new dawn in America. Obama will bring back prosperity and the jobs that have been lost.

    No more government deficits, no more wars.

    Go Obama go.

    OB/HRC 08 & 12.

    June 27, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Mod

    Obama will do the same

    June 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. wycliffe, NJ

    JOBS NOT COMING TO AMERICA...HOW ABOUT CREAT NEW JOBS

    June 27, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Chris, Denver CO

    Oh, I'm sure in Ohio that'll go over like a (Chinese made) lead balloon!

    June 27, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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