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. GA American

    James, get your info correct. Study what was said and how it was said. Oh! I'm sorry, your just another democrap!

    June 27, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. Jerry, Fremont, CA

    Typical NeoCon BS. Policy can get jobs back to the US; but poor old McCain is blinded by "free trade" ideology. http://www.bluebarking.com

    June 27, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. independent

    president obama woulod never trade our jobs to other countries.president obama will fix everything and then we'll make all republicans move to iraq.

    June 27, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. Chris in Va.

    John McCain, do the sreams of agony from your fellow POW's as they were being tortured while YOU smoked cigarettes, sipped tea, and ate cookies with the NVA ever keep you awake at night ? I didn't think so. You are just as immune to the cries from the American people.

    June 27, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. Travis


    June 27, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Simply_kris, NE, I keep telling people McCain doesn't look well at all, and now he has a "slight cold". I hope he can get better before he gets worse, but he looks like his health is declining.

    June 27, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |

    J in Houston said:
    Giving the auto industry money will not keep work here. Lowering corporate tax rates, opening up foreign trade, expanding infrastructure, and lightening regulation WILL. Look at the reasons companies moved to Mexico and Canada. Those are the ONLY same reasons they will come back.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


    With the Republicans having the House, the Senate and the WH for six of the last eight years.... ALL OF THAT WAS DONE...


    June 27, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Jason, Texas

    well, let the free market figure it out.. isn't that the party line? oh, well, McCain doesn't have a platform... it changes situationally and has little substance.

    OBAMA 08

    June 27, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Joseph, Los Angeles

    No McCain... That's all I can say. I wouldn't give him one minute of my time. I find it hard to believe that he feels my pain.

    June 27, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Montana is Obama Country

    There is NOTHING Free about TRADE... It an oxymoron...

    June 27, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. Peter E

    Wow. A ticker that actually talks about a candidate's stance on an issue? Run for your life! The end must be coming quickly!

    June 27, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Go Obama

    McCain should save his breath.

    June 27, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Sean John

    Who gets a cold in the middle of summer? I would keep my eye on his "cold" to see how long it lasts.

    June 27, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. Margaret

    I agree that we need to start buying MADE IN AMERICA stuff, problem is usually the prices are too high. Prices of USA stuff needs to be brought down a little, I'd rather sell 10 items @ $10 is than sell one at $20, that's what companies need to learn. You see items sitting on store shelves and no one buys them until they go on sale/clearance. If we lower prices, people buy more, the economy is stimulated, creating more jobs....no more foreign stuff, no more shipping jobs overseas (would you rather make $10/hr on a job that used to pay $15 or would you rather not have a job?). Only company executives make money by laying off people and shipping jobs overseas. The real answer is to start your own business. As a business owner you control you own hours and you get great tax benefits. There are many home based businesses around. Most people I talk to would rather work 2 jobs than take a chance to improve their lives. I'm tired of people complaining about their lives but refusing to do anything about it!! Read, read, read...go to the library and read books like THINK AND GROW RICH, RICH DAD POOR DAD, THE GREATEST SALESMAN IN THE WORLD, THE SECRET...we can make our country great again, we just need to start at the bottom....a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step...come on America, take that step!

    June 27, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Jeannie Pepper

    John McCain efforts aided in sending a $35B contract to build the next generation Air Force refueling tanker overseas to Airbus.

    As such, he played an important role that sent tens-of-thousands of US jobs overseas.

    This as a result of his hatred and vendetta against the Boeing company. With little information, McCain claimed that a plan to lease the tankers wasn't sound. A detailed and intellectual look at that arrangement proved otherwise.

    June 27, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. David Goldman for OBAMA







    June 27, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. laurence

    Ask the disabled wife he left for a rich home wrecker if he "feels the pain"? See what she has to say about the matter. He'll feel some pain come November. You can take that to the bank!

    June 27, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    "McBush has got to be the second dumbest nominee ever, take that back I think Bush may be even smarter then McBush. Keep talkin McBush, you are guarenteeing a Obama/Clinton win. Democrats will rule the next 16 years. Thanks GOP for screwing us and making us mad for so long you won't be in power for a long… long time."

    – You were probably saying the same thing in 1976. How'd that work out?

    June 27, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA




    June 27, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. Duckula

    I can't believe McCain would come to my state and tell the families that have had to accept jobs at Walmart after their factories up and moved to Mexico and China in the last few years. We don't need retrained old man; many college educated folks with many years of experience are competing for minimum wage jobs just to survive.

    You have no idea what it's like...no idea at all.

    June 27, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. Juan Grain

    Take your free and unfair trade to a convention of people that want to hear about free and unfair trade John McTrade!

    June 27, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. JIM...TX

    PUFF...is that what you do(puff) in your spare time while thinking up these stupid posts of yours? If you really were a HRC supporter an think McSame is the one to vote for now....I question your mental stability:)

    June 27, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. caron

    At least Bush was likable - at first!!!

    June 27, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. Pat in Cali

    ....“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....

    Straight out of one of Obama's speech. Did anybody catch this? He's been copying Obama's speeches all across America?

    June 27, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. john

    McCain is the only moderate running. He is the only one that will get fair and meaningful legislation. Obama will bankrupt the country in his wealth redistribution project. And all people making over 75k will suffer higher taxes. Obama as President and te Democrats with 60 in the Senate is a night mare scenario for anyone who wants to work as they will not be happy until all business are either offshore or not-for-profit. Obama is the most liberal Senator with backing from left groups a

    June 27, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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