July 18th, 2008
10:40 AM ET
15 years ago

McCain: 'I don’t know' if Obama is socialist

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/10/art.both.gi.jpg caption="McCain said Obama's Senate record was more liberal than a self-described socialist's."]
WARREN, Michigan (CNN) - John McCain on Thursday described Barack Obama’s Senate record as “more to the left” than Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont - an independent who caucuses with Democrats but has described himself as an “independent Democratic socialist.”

During his town hall meeting with voters in Kansas City yesterday, McCain said, “Senator Obama has the most extreme record of any member of the United States Senate.”

In an interview after the event, The Kansas City Star asked him to clarify the remark.

“His voting record … is more to the left than the announced socialist in the United States Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont,” McCain answered, according the paper.

Asked if he thought Obama was a socialist, McCain answered: “I don’t know. All I know is his voting record, and that’s what people usually judge their elected representatives by.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Socialist

    I don't want to work for a living. But you make $100,000 per year. So it's fair if I get half.

    But since you are not married with kids, like I am, I should get more. so if we divide your earnings by 5 (you, me, my wife, and two kids), my family should get $80,000 and you can keep your $20,000 so that we are all equal.

    Of course we will all have communal healthcare, but since I'm not a very good doctor, you'll have to accept whatever treatment I can give you.

    July 18, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Steve

    McCain is using the old and tired Republican strategy of stating lies and distortions, so that his opponent has to spend his time setting the record straight rather than addressing the issues and the weaknesses of the Republican Party. That worked a couple of times (it got Bush elected, then re-elected), but people are wise to it now, finally. Because McCain has become known for distortions and lies, his credibility is in the toilet. No matter what he says about Obama or anything else for that matter, no one is really listening, other than for the entertainment value.

    Enjoy your time in the spotlight while you can, John. In a few months they're going to lock you in the attic like a crazy uncle. With any luck, we'll never hear from you again.

    July 18, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. Kevin from NC

    John McSane denounced his country when he was shoot down. McSane do you remember your military training? Death before Dishonor. You Nazi!!!!!!!

    July 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Ian

    Drawing attention to voting records is probably not a good plan for you Mr. McCain.

    July 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Ez

    Poor McSame why not talk about your proposed plan much and talk about Obama less we are not scared of Obama we like his ideas and we like the fact that he is spending 90% of his time not on atacking you but telling us his plan.

    July 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. Ahmed from Toronto, Canada

    If this does not get posted, that's fine but at least I know someone read it.

    What is wron with being a Muslim, or being a Socialist? So much talk of tolerance and inclusion when U.S. citizesn cannot even fathom the idea of having anyone who holds these qualities to engage in national polititics. Yet, this is not about division but about unity. Which unity? Americans need to wake up to the realities that they are more divided than they think are and suppressing those thoughts and emeotion simply by rallying around a candidate with a darker shade of skin colour, as a quick fix isn't going to help in the long run.

    Supporting Obama just because people think 'blacks have earned the right' to the position of President of the United States, and not because he can actually adress economic, ideological, social,religious,political and cultural injustices will leave Americans divided more than they can ever imagine.

    Post if you wish but I'm not counting on it!

    July 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. Ian

    And what about the joke he told about a woman being raped? Not funny at all.

    July 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. karen-phoenix

    McCain go take a nap!!!!

    July 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Chuck

    I wonder how it would look of the voting records of McCain and Obama were compared side to side? I wonder who's voting record would show they are more in tune to America and our basic rights under the constitution. It seems to me that every time McCain opens his mouth about voting records that he leaves himself sitting under a heavy light of disparity and misleading statements. I think CNN and fact check should do this and give us a detailed report of their findings.
    ***Linda from prescot AZ. I have also checked into this and McCain has not fought in any war other than Vietnam and he has not been in a command position that would give him credit for winning any war. So I am kind of curious myself as to his knowledge base for that statement.

    July 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Jon in WA

    Wow, McCain pulls another one out of the Karl Rove playbook. What a waste.

    Then again, maybe we need a socialist in office to correct what that fascist President of ours has done. (Socialist /= Communist... )

    PS to Pat RIot: I think many of the people of Northern Europe would laugh at your characterization that they don't enjoy freedom.

    July 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Pick Me! Pick Me!

    Here is McCain's voting record regarding VETERAN'S.

    McCain: ‘I Received The Highest Award From Literally Every Veterans Organization In America"

    The recognition McCain has received from veterans groups is not "high awards" but failing grades:

    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave McCain a grade of D for his record of voting against veterans. (By contrast, Obama got a B+.)

    Disabled Veterans of America noted McCain’s dismal 20 percent voting record on veterans’ issues. (Obama had an 80 percent.)

    In a list of "Key Votes," Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) notes McCain "Voted Against Us" 15 times and "Voted For Us" only 8. (Obama voted for VVA 12 times, and against only once.)

    So, if this makes Obama more to the "left", does that mean those that are toward the "right" are against Veteran's benefits?

    July 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. dannette

    McSame, is so dillusional, he believes being a captured pow, is somehow declaring you the victor, he believes that promising the very same lies that Bush will suffice. He underestimates the American voter.

    July 18, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. joe

    To Mike-Texas, who wrote...

    "Well I do.

    Obama is so far LEFT that he might just be left of Socialism.

    Just look at his policies.

    A vote for OBama is;"

    I like how you took the time to write out that long list, and it's clear you don't know anything about Obama OR socialism.

    Really, who are you trying to convince?

    July 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. McCain=the draft

    McCrypt, YOU are another Bush, having voted 95% with him!!

    July 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Scott

    A spade is a spade. not sure how referring to Obama as a socialist is a "personal attack" or "sinking" into the gutter. OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST BY DEFINITION. Has anyone noticed that whenever anyone criticizes Obama for anything, we're told to "move beyond that".
    As is, you hate capitalism, you belong to a racist, marxist church and you seek to "change" the basic principles that made America great... "PEOPLE PEOPLE, THESE ARE THE POLITICS OF DIVISION. WE NEED TO GET PAST IT." right, we need to get past any condemnation of Obama for policies and judements that will hurt America. My bad Senator.

    Barack...Leader of the Obamunist Party!

    July 18, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. RJ from NJ

    Not only is Hussein a Socialist, but he's also a Marxist who will grow the government beyond belief, to the point where it controls every aspect of our lives. There is NO WAY mainstream America will elect this radical leftist and put up with the slime that surrounds him.

    NO-Bama EVER!

    July 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. You can't win an occupation

    I would rather be rewarded for my hard work than get trampled by megacorps who squeeze every last cent from me and never give back. Why does McDonalds, Walmart, etc... need more money? They didn't make the products, stock the shelves, flip the patties... I'm sick of working myself to death just to make someone else rich.

    July 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Travis (in the real world

    Does McWar ever have anything POSITIVE to say?...a true Warmonger

    July 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. California Voter

    Obama is to the far left of the democratic party. But more importantly, take a look at his history . . community "organizer" in the South Side of Chicago, 20 year member of a black liberation church where the pastor preached hate and racism, wife's comments about America, his flip-flopping recently on FISA, . . . etc, etc. I think those are the issues that people should be looking at regarding Obama.

    July 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Zelda

    Guess what MORONS – we are already part socialized!

    Do you like social security – they you like "socialist" programs. If you mean is Obama that kind of socialist – maybe – but so is McCain.

    Maybe if you Republican greed-mongers weren't so fat you'd be happier.

    July 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. obama is unfit to be president of this country

    YES, he is a socialist and a racist. He is unfit and a complete disgrace with all his lies,say anything approach to the white house. I hope Americans are smarter than this phony gives us credit for. He would try to make us believe he can walk on water if he thought he could get away with it.It doesn't take very much to see this guy is trying to "wing it". God help this country.

    July 18, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Alice in Florida

    Obama is a COMMUNIST!!!!!


    July 18, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. JDC // Ohio

    Socialist, communist...not a great deal of difference! Socialism/communism has NEVER worked anywhere.

    July 18, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. ProudToBeDemocrat

    Source factscheck.com 3
    The McCain campaign claims that Obama voted to raise income taxes on individuals who earn as little as $32,000 per year. That's a lie and wrong.

    July 18, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |

    If Obama is a socialist then this pensioner is a war monger.

    July 18, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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