August 5th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain: Obama 'confused' on energy positions

Sen. McCain slammed Sen. Obama at a press conference held in the shadow of a nuclear energy plant.

Sen. McCain slammed Sen. Obama at a press conference held in the shadow of a nuclear energy plant.

NEWPORT, Michigan (CNN) – A day after Barack Obama released a television ad that accuses John McCain of seeking tax breaks for big oil, McCain struck back Tuesday, calling Obama “a little bit confused” because of their divergent votes on the 2005 energy bill, which contained tax breaks for oil companies.

Watch: McCain slams Obama on energy policy

McCain made the remarks to reporters after touring the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant, a facility that provides power to 2.3 million customers in southeastern Michigan. McCain is an ardent supporter of nuclear power.

“I saw that Senator Obama's latest attack has got to do with oil and campaign contributions,” McCain said, referring to Obama’s new TV spot. “I think he might be a little bit confused because when the energy bill came to the floor of the senate, full of goodies and breaks for the oil companies, I voted against it. Sen. Obama voted for it. People care, not only what you say but how you vote.”

Obama was one of 25 Senate Democrats to support that energy bill, which the Illinois senator has said represented a compromise that removed several of the Bush administration’s original proposals.

McCain also tweaked Obama for his newfound openness to offshore oil drilling.

“I noticed that there’s confusing now information from Sen. Obama as to whether he actually supports offshore drilling or not,” he said. “The fact is we have to drill here and we have to drill now and we have to drill immediately.”

Related: Obama teases McCain on drilling

McCain acknowledges that “nuclear power isn't enough and drilling isn't enough,” reiterating his regular proposals for a comprehensive approach to energy reform that includes wind, solar and tide production.

Flanked by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, McCain chided Congress for taking their annual summer recess without focusing on fuel prices.

“People are paying four dollars a gallon for gas, are sick and tired of a Congress that won't act in their behalf,” he said. “So I'm urging Senator Obama to urge the Democratic leaders of Congress to call Congress back into session.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. McConfusious

    Ask him what his name is?
    Obama is right when he said that the only term is the election term for getting rid of the bums . Get Rid of McBum.

    August 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  2. OHIO


    August 5, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  3. Marie in California

    Obama is confused about energy stuff. No surprise.....he's confused about everything. He knows nothing. He has no experience upon which to base anything he, 143 days in the Senate doesn't qualify as experience, any more than a whirlwind trip to Europe and the Middle East establishes foreign policy credentials.

    McCain has experience, a long and transparent track record, and he has given much for his country. You know what to expect based on his history, and you know exactly what he's made of. Obama has nothing.....only something vaguely akin to the "emperor's new clothes"'re told he he has them but you can't really see them.

    Obama is what clinical psychologists would call an open and inviting "blank slate" upon which people can "write" whatever they please, based on their own needs, beliefs, hopes, dreams, etc. In the profession, it's called "transference." It is very interesting indeed to watch that occuring on a national scale.....Wall Street politics at it's finest. It's also quite scary because many people will vote based on this unrealistic schema.

    If not Hillary, then McCain!


    August 5, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Jay

    Now if Obama had called McCain confused you know Mac and his campaign would be whining about playing the AGE CARD and whatever else to distract from issues!!!! What a jerk.

    August 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. CAW in MD

    Tell you what - I'll take Obama's advice about the tire gauge, and the rest of you who want to can wait for McCain to start drilling wherever he thinks we need to drill, and then let's compare how much oil/gas/money we've saved after, oh, I don't know, a decade.

    Bet you a dollar I've saved more money...

    August 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. Carl Justus

    The only person confused about how to get off the oil addiction is McCain. He does not even know if you inflate your tires, you can increase your gas milage by about 3 percent or more.
    McCain should come out and say when the oil he is going to drill for will we ready for use. He has no idea when it would ready to use.
    He has an aligator mouth and woodpeckers rear end.

    August 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. Spider


    Your intelligent and wide ranging use of the English language is, indeed, impressive. However, as you suggested, let's look at the facts. The mere removal of the Presidential restriction to off-shore drilling resulted in an almost immediate reduction in the price of oil. I suppose we should do away with the media and get all of our "facts" from John.

    August 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  8. Ki-Jana Carter

    Why are you "urging Senator Obama to urge congress"? Why can't you just do it yourself?

    It's spelled S-E-N-I-L-E.

    August 5, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  9. LINDA


    OK…This is my ..BIG THING….HAS ANYONE THOUGHT of this while Sen.McCain wants to build more 45 to be exact nuclear PLANT,s..First who want,s them in there town and near there home also does anyone REMEMBER 3-MILE ISLAND I DO AND ALL OF THOSE POOR KID,S & FAMILYS NOW IT IS FENCED OFF REMEMBER. DO YOU PEOPLE KNOW SEN McCAIN WAS A U.S. SEN. AT THAT TIME. Let,s think of that shell we. when it come,s to these nuclear Plant,s

    O yes let us not for get the big OIL spill that just happened in New Orlean,s And the one,s on the oil rig,s in the ocean when the 2big hurricains came how bad they where messed up those rigs,,People think plz. On the new today they said gas is going down because of the spectolator,s pulling out and that is why nothing else.

    August 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. Proud American

    McCain G.W. Bush lap dog for 8 years.

    August 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. LINDA

    Why does Sen.Obama keep,s saying he must think about the nuclear
    plant or he is not for nuclear, because he think,s of the AMERICAN PEOPLE and how they will be safe from nuclear spill,s. Sen.McCain has NOT.HEY IS McCAIN HUMAN OR WHAT .........

    OBAMA 08

    August 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. Franky

    "My problem is how you so blindly follow this man. It's astonishing to

    Yep, you must be an Independent, LOL!!!! By the way, don't you wanna be a conservative?? Is beautiful....very beautiful...

    Hey Lou!! I recruited one of your peeps! You see Lou, your peeps are smart....I mean, that's right they went Independent, right? Did that make sense??? LOL!!

    August 5, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Rave

    McCain is confused about his own confusions..he no longer understands if he is living or saying anything out of confusion and he confuses himself... He will leave us all in a state of confusion and then call us Whiners... Does he know, he's living in America (or) is he confused on that as well??
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    August 5, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. steve dumford, Scotts valley ca.

    All the nasty, vile little sexists who were here when Hillary was in the race have now come out as ageists. with their ignormaus insulting disrespectful comments. I wonder how many of them could survive five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp and still go on to become a candidate for President even with the permanent injuries he suffered during torture. Your comments sicken me and make me want to go puke. Daddy and Mommy bought you a computer and you can't find anything to do but say pathetic, sick comments about a man who has more integrity in his little finger than you ever thought of having. The only reason Obamas pathetic campaign can't throw the racist tag on him is the little known fact that he and his wife adopted a little black girl from Africa as their daughter to try and help out. How many of you stupid twits are ready to do something like that?



    What about that fact don't you get?

    August 5, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  15. w.l. jones

    My father were a pride colord farmer and only listen to country and western music on an old battery radio. This re mind me of the old way of thinking in a new world of high oil cost and high to reduce it we have every thing within our border to begin reduce our dependant on fossil fuel starting in a year and a half. We have the land through out the South and mid-west to prduce the raw material. If start building Bio-plant now and fully begin preparing the for spring planting by fall we could strart produce new source by spring of two-thousand ten. And we all can enjoy listen old music again.

    August 5, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  16. Trasa, Texas

    Only person who's confused it the "nitwit" McSame. Everytime he speaks I want to drop myself in acid. Anyways, this fool will only shut up when he looses in November. Go Obama, so we can put this old horse out to pastor.

    August 5, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. Trasa, Texas

    If I didn't know better, I bet the Repugs had this all planned out so they can lift the ban on drilling. It sounds like their the ones that want to rule the world and bomb everyone who isn't like them. How convient McCheapShot standing by a nuclear power plant, trying to stay away from that radioactive waste.

    Go Obama 08

    August 5, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |

    Wellll McCain what is your excuse!!!! It appears that you have been CONFUSED A LOT THESE DAYS>>>>>>> pause.......... oh oh...... oh yeah Confused McCain!!!!

    August 5, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  19. RJ, CA

    I'm confused on Obama's "energy position" - aren't you? I mean - what does he ACTUALLY say?

    Meanwhile, McCain moves along - one issue at a time - solidly - without hype - WITH EXPERIENCE!


    August 5, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  20. Independant Thinker

    Obama doesn't have a CLUE when it comes to an energy policy.

    Obama just wants YOU to conserve, use alternative fuels, and inflate your tires. What an IDIOT, that will not SOLVE the problem.

    McCain wants to;

    2)..expand the use of alternative fuels
    3)..Drill here, Drill now thus creating American jobs and security
    5)..Nuclear energy
    6)..Wind power
    7)..Solar power

    Obama is a far sighted IDIOT

    August 5, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  21. Sherry, Atlanta


    ARE... YOU... TOTALLY... OUT... OF... YOUR... MIND?????????

    August 5, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  22. unity

    He's been confused on a lot of things lately. Too many to count. Check out youtube 'What happened" – a video press conference McCain did in Panama City on 8/1/08.

    August 5, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  23. Franko

    Obama campaign should show a black and white commercial w/ Dick Van Dyke Show music and McCain talking up the promise of Oil and that new fangled Nuclear power. He's so 1950s

    August 5, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. Vig

    Today the San Francisco Chronicle had an editoral that really summed up Obama's flip-flops = he's trying to score points with the American voter. The SF Chronicle endorsed Obama over Clinton – raving about him – not anymore. I thought their metaphor was right on. Obama must think this election process is a game – like the basketball games he likes to play and we are the spectators. A dribble here, a 3-pointer there – just depends on the arrangement and opportunity of the moment. This is the problem when you promote a wannabe. They don't know the difference between loyalty and whining, between committment and "it's all about me", between substance and just scoring points. Obama is starting to look the fool –

    August 5, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  25. Down with McWar

    Speaking of scare tactics" Illinois 2" just you wait that old fart will be crawling for shelter by just looking at them look one will look alive ,intelligent while the other will look like something warmed over hard to tell if it was a frog or wart .
    I bet McWar will ask if he can have his elbow puppets beside him to whisper answers during a debate .
    McWar belongs under the bus

    August 5, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
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