August 7th, 2008
02:11 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain: Obama's promises 'don't mean all that much'


Watch Sen. McCain's remarks about Sen. Obama in Ohio Thursday.

LIMA, Ohio (CNN) – John McCain is stepping up his efforts to characterize his rival as a say-anything Washington politician out of touch with the American heartland, particularly on the issues of energy and taxes.

“Behind all the words, Senator Obama’s agenda can be summarized as this: Government is too big, and he wants to grow it,” McCain said at an Ohio town hall meeting Thursday. “Taxes are too high, and he wants to raise them. Congress spends too much, and he proposes more. We need more energy, and he's against producing it. We’re finally winning in Iraq, and he wants to forfeit.”

He added: “The bottom line is that Senator Obama’s words, for all their eloquence and passion, don’t mean all that much.”

McCain read the scripted remarks off a handful of note cards, in line with his campaign’s recent efforts to tightly control the candidate’s message. Throughout the week, the presumptive Republican nominee has kept his distance from the media - a strategy that has allowed the campaign to hammer home contrasts with Obama on energy policy without the off-topic distractions that often spill from McCain’s own mouth.

Today, McCain branded Obama as an obstructionist on offshore drilling, and said the Democrat simply wants “to raise your taxes and spend more of your money.”

“Pretty much anything you can tax, he wants to tax more,” McCain said.

While he looked to tie Obama to Washington, McCain himself tried to tip-toe away from his own party and an unpopular White House. He called himself a maverick — an image his campaign stressed in a new ad earlier this week - and told the audience he has “stood up” to the Bush administration on energy, the Iraq war and spending.

“I don’t work for a party,” he said. “I don’t work for a president. I don’t work for a special interest, and I don’t work for myself. I work for you and the country I love."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Ohio
soundoff (246 Responses)
  1. Jenna

    That's about right, we will pay for all of his fantasy proposals.

    August 7, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. CG

    That's okay because at this point, JM doesn't mean that much either. What a grumpy bore-and a sorry hypocritical one at that. Is this really whom any of you want as the face and voice of your Nation for the next 4 to 8 years?

    August 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Denise Groves

    And his do? The oil companies give him $1.3 million and now he is for drilling offshore when before he wasn't. He has donors who are now questionable!, and his campaign is filled with Rove want a be's! Give me a break!

    August 7, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. Cosmic Comedy Queen Go Hillary!!!

    Bad Boy Johnny McSame you are absolutely correct....

    August 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Shotta Nic

    “Pretty much anything you can tax, he wants to tax more,”

    So these are tactics the McCan't campaign likes to off of the ignorance of people, and trick them into voting for you?

    August 7, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. tomiwa

    "We’re finally winning in Iraq"? After how many billions of $? After how many soldiers dead?. And we are not even fighting the whole of Iraq, just a handfull of resistance. What if we are to engage a super power, like russia, at war? This guy is not a fixer of problems he is just here to destroy. The choice is yours!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. Annette, Washington, DC

    Look who's talking....

    August 7, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. jimmy


    August 7, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. Patsy Smith

    John Mcsame is a robot who is programed to do those things ordered by Rove and the corrupt RNC . He used to be a Maverick but now he is just a tick tock tick waiting to blow up the White House

    August 7, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. McLAME

    McLAME = OLD

    Old politics delivered by a VERY OLD shadow of a man.

    August 7, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |


    August 7, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. matt

    Ya, try pulling the string between pulosi's legs, maybe that will get her and the rest of her party to do something. Who's she working for, the people's interests or her parties? Most of you democrat whiners will die of old age before this democratic controlled congress gets anything done. Way to sell yourself, POS....

    August 7, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. What if?

    Whine, whine whine whine.......For those of you who said you were tired of seeing Obama, McCain will make sure his name is mention over and over again while Obama is on vacation.

    And some of you say Obama thinks he's God, The One and ect....Will somebody at the next Town Hall meeting tell McCain to stop talking about Obama as if he was and talk about his views about the important issue that affect us that struggle financially with this lousy economy that he has been a part of........ops.........experienced in for 26 years.


    August 7, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. KG

    How can an Obama promise mean anything? He'll change his stance tomorrow so what does a promise today get you?

    August 7, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Obvious

    Typically GOP crap, instilling fear of "big government" works wonders to make people fear the Democrats!

    August 7, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Sue

    Everything he said here about Obama is the absolute truth, and his supporters know it. McCain has a 2 decade long record that we can all look to as proof that McCain is among the most independent of lawmakers. It is well known that even other Republicans don't like him because he does not just tow the party line. The only thing Obama supporters can do is to resort to childish names like "McSame" or "McBush," or even better, mock an immutable characteristic–his age. Ironic, considering they accuse anyone who does not support Obama of being racist. But then, what else can they do? They KNOW that McCain is infinitely more qualified with a record to back it up. Obama the elitist narcissist will do and say anything in order to get elected. He has promised everyone the world. Find anything wrong with that? Ever wonder how he can make everyone happy? Let me think–oh yeah, he can't. It's an impossibility. His whole family is phony, down to Michelle Obama going on tabloid TV to tell America that Obama wears 10 year old pants (certainly that means he can't be elitist).

    August 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. Rob indetroit

    MCcrazy you lost it your word is tainted, just ask your first wife

    August 7, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. obama is the most dangerous man alive

    I have always trusted John McCain to care for this country. I wouldn't elect obama dog catcher. He lies and he's unfit. Futhermore, he wasn't even born in this country. And he isn't african american.........he is an arab.

    August 7, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. Amy

    I am more and more impressed by McCain. He is no Obama, with those words that appear to taken out from some English literature. McCain is simple and straight – he deserves the straight talk brand.

    What happened to Obama? The more I looked at him, his big crowd, his I-am-the-one speech, the more I feel he is a joke. Big Crowds and Big Bucks have been a symbol for his appeal, now that the big crowds become shallow celebrity stunt, and the "big bucks" is found to be from the big bundlers, what has Obama left?

    There is something about illegal contribution from people in Gaza recently. CNN is not reporting this. I wonder when there will be a full blownup.

    August 7, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. John Lau

    I can't believe that people don't confront him on his statement that Obama will raise "your" taxes. Who is he talking to? That's only true for the handful of people in that audience who are in the top ~5% of income. In fact, Obama's tax cuts are better for the majority of people in that audience.

    August 7, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. 17 year old future politician

    Yeah...lets have a president who has to stay away from the media so that the people who work around him can hammer home "HIS" positions...are you serious???? Do you really want that in a president???

    August 8, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
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