September 18th, 2008
09:10 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain and Palin joke away differences on ANWR drilling

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain and Palin held a joint town hall event Wednesday."]GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (CNN) - John McCain and Sarah Palin hold opposite opinions on the prospect of drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve - Palin supports drilling in ANWR. McCain opposes it. But in their first unscripted appearance together on Wednesday evening, the running mates telegraphed that they’ll just agree to disagree.

At one moment during the pair’s first joint town hall meeting, a voter inquired about their position on offshore drilling. Palin obliged, arguing for drilling off America’s coastline, but she also argued for more forcefully than McCain has in the past for drilling onshore, on lands already leased for oil exploration.

“When people are hurting, they need to tap those resources and get those sources flowing,” she said, referring to high gas prices.

Talking about onshore drilling comes easy to Palin - since becoming governor in 2006, she has pressed for more energy exploration in ANWR and elsewhere in Alaska, often taking her argument to national media outlets.

And if her remarks in Grand Rapids sounded familiar, it’s because she’s offered very similar reasoning in the past when making the case for opening up ANWR for drilling.

“There are still a lot of places in America of course that need to be tapped,” she said at the town hall. “There are proven resources in these areas in Alaska, in the Dakotas, some new finds there. We have billions and billions and billions of barrels of oil underground in the United States of America. We have hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of clean, green natural gas onshore and offshore.”

McCain and Palin’s disagreement on ANWR was brought to the fore on Wednesday when a voter asked the Alaska governor if she had been able to change’s McCain’s mind on the issue.

“Still working on it!,” Palin said, to laughter and applause.

“This meeting is adjourned,” McCain cracked.

Indeed, early on in the event, McCain seemed to pre-emptively knock down the significance of any policy disputes between the two candidates. Along with drilling in ANWR, McCain and Palin don’t see eye to eye on other issues, such as stem cell research and whether or not global warming is man-made.

“By the way, you may figure out from time to time, Sarah and I don’t agree on every issue,” he said. “What do you expect of two mavericks, to agree on everything? Eh?”

Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. Barney

    We have a clown in the White House now – we don't need two lying jokesters taking this country even further into the pits.

    Let's take our country back for us – Obama/Biden '08

    September 18, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Janey/Michigan

    What a dynamic team! I find it amazing that, with all the left-sided smears, Palin is unfazed–even after leaving her "safe" state of Alaska where she had 80% approval rate after being Governor for 2 years. It must be a culture shock, but she is more than up to the task! This Lady is NO whiner! I will take her and McCain in dealing with America's enemies any day.

    September 18, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  3. OUBon

    Oh my, they're already disagreeing on stuff. $5 says McCain is wishing he would of done a "real" background check. Or maybe he just ask for a refund from the people who supposedly checked her out. Chances are that company's already gone out of business too.

    September 18, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. jm for sc

    McCain and Palin is trying to joke their way in the whitehouse. If it works, the laugh will be on America.

    September 18, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. TC



    September 18, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Rick in NC

    You mean they didn't talk about this before hand. Well they are both maverick and probably don't get along at all. I guess the definition of a maverick it someone that doesn't agree with anyone. A grumpy old man.

    September 18, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. David, Silver Spring, MD

    I wouldn't expect a President and VP to agree on everything, but this makes me wonder about the gulf between their environmental values.

    Maybe if Palin got out and saw the rest of the world she'd realize that ANWR isn't so vast in the grand scheme of things.

    Maybe if McCain chose his VP candidate based on a real ability to carry on a McCain administration if he became incapacitated instead of appeasing Rush Limbaugh, he wouldn't be sharing his ticket with someone with whom he so fundamentally disagrees.

    September 18, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. John McSame as Bush.

    Yeah, they’ll play a little good cop bad cop, but we all know that in the end, John McCain will be right there picking up the tab for Big Oil. And you can argue all you want about what he thinks about the economy. I think John meant what he said, to republicans, the economy is sound, every time an American workers gets put out of a job, they benefit, every time a company goes under, they benefit, every time we all get screwed over at the gas pump, they benefit, every time they start a war they benefit, every time women’s rights are set back 50 years they benefit. every time they abuse power and break they law to protect themselves, they benefit, every time this country is attacked they benefit. Every time they steal your retirement they benefit. Every time they take your home, they benefit, every time they sign a no bid contract, they benefit, every time a market is deregulated, they benefit, For republicans, times couldn’t be any better! That’s why John McCain wants to get into office, so he can continue the same policies for as long as he can, to carry the torch into your home and set it ablaze! he hired all the same ol' Bush buddies, now why the heck would you think he'd be any different!?

    September 18, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    So dumb.................

    September 18, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. Ms. White

    Because, those two are the BIGGEST JOKE in the history of politics...a mismatch made in for political gain.
    These two clowns are running a desperate campaign asking the American people to vote for McScary and MsMoose Killer to govern our country???...May GOD bless and have mercy on us if they are elected.

    September 18, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  11. Georgia Gal

    It would really serve their ticket better if they could agree one way or another on this.

    It's surprising to me that a Presidential ticket has several key differences like they do. IMO, that's not a good thing because we would never know what they were going to do if they do happen to win this election (perish the thought). Even if they choose a position I disagree with them on (in this case its Sarah's position – drilling is a good idea in offshore areas, but they need to keep ANWR off the table) I would rather them do that than to continue to agree to disagree. Atleast that way I would have some idea as to what to expect from them if we do happen to get stuck with them the next 4 years (scary thought).

    September 18, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. USMC Mike

    Maybe this is how we'll fix the economy too John ...

    Joke it all away ... funny indeed ...

    September 18, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. WhoIsPalin?

    The real JOKE is the McCain-Palin Ticket. Wake up America!!!

    September 18, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  14. John

    I was moved by the thorough responses from John McCain. He is a great leader!

    September 18, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. Noah

    Lets spend hundreds of millions of dollars to save 50 cents a gallon in gas, thats $7.50 per fill up or $375 per year. OR we could invest in solar and wind, last time I checked the weather it was Sunny, 90' Degrees outside with a light breeze. Lets put windmills in our Gulf, not potential oil spills!

    September 18, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  16. Montana is Obama Country

    Look at him.. Every picture of him since he pick her as VP shows him staring at her junk in the trunk..

    Seriously,, we can tell why he picked her..!! It certainly is not for her qualifications or nasal noise..


    September 18, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  17. Tony

    McCain and Palin ARE the jokes!!

    September 18, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Will, NJ

    Everything is a joke to these people, with two clowns already in office I don't see how this is funny.

    September 18, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. ChuckinCT

    ummm...7-10 years until we see a drop...

    September 18, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    funny how the CLUELESS TWO can laugh and joke about war and economic recession, including the loss of tens of thousands of American jobs.

    September 18, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. TexicoFrom Mexico

    Is this all they can do? Joke and Iie? Joke and Lie? Joke and Like?

    It's all starting to catch up to them now...what else can they blame on Obama? I bet if that if Palins husband had his snowmobline stolen he would blame Obama! This is almost getting to the point of a three stooges movie...these two idiots running around blaming everyone eles for what comes out of their own mouths...

    Veterans for Obama

    September 18, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. Deb

    I watched the meeting in Grand Rapids.....

    I'm very impressed by Sarah!

    She comes across as being very down to earth and ready to answer any question asked.

    I enjoyed watching the chemistry between Sarah and John it was refreshing to see, they make a GREAT TEAM!

    McCain/Palin-08-In a Landslide!

    September 18, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Eugene

    Her first day on the stump actually taking questions, and the answers hurt the ears. Back to the drawing board before we try that again!

    September 18, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. Al, NY NY

    So....... If they're elected and god forbid JM expires, any policy he would implement (funding stem cell research, not allowing ANWAR drilling, etc) would be reversed by the lipstick chihuahua? After that, she'd press for teaching of Creationism in schools, guns in every house, etc. What a prospect for the future of this country!

    September 18, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  25. Mike D

    "oh it's ok we don't really care about anything that much"

    September 18, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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