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. educated Ron

    They have the same Bush advisors advising them on policies. How is this change???

    America is finally waking up on these two liars. The sad part for them is that they could have easily won if they just told the truth and avoided the media.

    Instead they figure to lie about bridges, ebay and and troopergate.

    September 18, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Nat Turner

    Sarah tries to be so flip in responding to serious questions, but that's merely to cover up her lack of knowledge on the subject. I am really looking forward to her debate with Sen Biden. He will expose her for the ignorant, folksy, liar that she is. The more she talks, the dumber she sounds.

    September 18, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. Barney

    Did anyone notice the muscles in McCain's jaws yesterday? He was clenching his teeth every time she butted in.

    September 18, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    They call her "in touch" Really?


    September 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. RyanTX

    Again the lie that oil drilled in America is going to somehow stay in America and fix all our problems

    September 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Nobody Asked Larry But...

    If you think the last eight years of Bush-Cheney and company was, and continues to be, a disaster, wait until McCain-Palin get into office. We have not seen anything yet. For all those women who will be voting for Palin to spite Barack Obama for not choosing Hillary Clinton as his veep, be careful what you wish for. Despite Palin's Annie Oakley appearance, they will set women's rights back 30 years or more. And while you are getting mad and think you are getting "even" with Obama, get your sons and daughters ready for the military to fight all the wars that McCain-Palin wil get us into.

    September 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. I'll take 4 more years of "Bush" vs Obama!!

    Um, considering Biden and Obama don't even agree on the fact that Obama is not qualified to be president, I don't think you Dems should go there!!

    September 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. The Surly Scholar

    Wait. I don't get it. Uhh... McCain said they were both "mavericks." That was the joke, right? Because they're both actually psychotic hardline conservatives who want nothing better than to fall in lockstep with their borderline-fascist party, right? I guess that's kinda funny. Mostly scary.

    See kids? Feigned naivete does have its uses!

    September 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. marlies

    seeing this ... no wonder obama is up in the polls!!!

    September 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Ron

    two years of controling the senate and congress and the democrats have the audacity to blame others for doing nothing

    September 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. charding

    What is Mccain thinking as he looks at palin's backside.Hmm I am gonna get some of that even if it kills me.

    September 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. White Republican for Obama

    While some were caught up in Sarah Palin's moose-hunting skills, thousands and thousands of Americans have lost their homes, their jobs, their 401k plans and their health insurance. I find it funny that she still avoided the foreign policy question an audience member asked her. If that is not obvious to Americans who are rooting for McSame/Palin simply because of Palin's image, then I give up! America, you deserve better than that!

    September 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. MikeH

    Sarah Palin is Ignorant Trailer Trash in expensive clothing.

    She's under investigation for breaking Alaska State law.

    She's a bald-faced liar.

    Pretty much says she'd be the perfect Republican Cancer Vice Presidential candidate.

    September 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Robbie

    We can't drill our way out of this. I'd like to hear McCain/Palin talk about renewable sources of energy and fuel. This will bring about real change in our energy policy, create millions of new jobs, protect our environment, and make us a more secure nation. If you think drilling is going to do it, you know nothing about global energy supplies.

    September 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Barbara Chicago, IL

    WHAT IS THIS? TOP GUN.................

    September 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. mr g

    Deb you are indeed the dullest knife in the draw,you probably thought boxing had a great white hope too. Get real or GET LOST

    September 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. link

    This is a Joke–When is she going to go solo on a campaign trail. She did one event so far. It looks like daddy leading his daughter to school. Is this what people want as a VP on the republican side? This is all smoke and mirrors. I hope the republican voters arn't stupid and see through all this mess. If they don't want to vote democratic fine, but understand that these to hot heads will take this country down. The war will drag on forever. Also, McCain keeps saying that he won't increases taxes. Remember Bush Sr. made that same claim. Hmmm. and guess what happend–he raised taxes. I feel more secure with Obama/Biden ticket.......

    And yes–it does look that he's looking at Palin's behind.

    September 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  18. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Boy, this is an amazing trick they are playing on the American people. These two are running against the Republican Party and calling themselves “Mavericks”. Eric Cantor yesterday would not take responsibility for what the Republicans have done the past eight years while Wexler from Florida took part of the responsibility for the way Democrats have acted. Be weary of the tricks, “my friends”.

    September 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Deb September 18th, 2008 9:27 am ET

    I watched the meeting in Grand Rapids…..

    I'm very impressed by Sarah!

    You, ma'am, are very easily impressed.

    September 18, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  20. America think for you

    The reason why our economy is crashing is because of Iraq all the money that was supposed to refuel the economy are been sent to Iraq while the economy is let alone to die. The consumers have no confidence in the market that is mean they will not spend and again the economy will struggle. John McCain does not understand that simple economics formula and stated that the economy is strong. I know that McCain pocket is strong because he is a rich man. But, our economy is not strong.

    September 18, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. WASP-Woman Against Sara Palin

    Patholgical liars is what they are.

    September 18, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  22. Stupid is as stupid does!

    This whole thing is a joke.

    September 18, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. CB

    Palin: "I am certain in that readiness, certainly, though" "I am ready though, certainly, in that readiness"....the woman can't campaign on her own and take questions that is why they are campaigning together. They need McCain there to cover for her because all she's good at is snarky one-liners. WHERE's THE BEEF PALIN? HAVE YOU SAID ONE POLICY IDEA YET other than "we're gonna shake up Warshington?"

    September 18, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Sarah L., Fayetteville, AR

    ANWR isn't a joke. McCain's stance on ANWR was one of the reasons that I used to respect him. Now that he picked a pro-drilling in ANWR running mate, I don't feel as though I can trust him.

    It's time someone in the media actually tell the American people the truth–that drilling will not lower gas prices and the oil won't be available for nearly 10 years.

    September 18, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Mama for Obama

    I thinks its awfull!!! I am not a tree hugging hippie at all. But I do think that it is sad that Palin wants to drill in the most beautiful place. I dont understand for what oil?? Oil compaired to animals is nothing.We need to protect those who can't prototet themselfs. Oh and by the way Alaska has 3% of our oil not 20% like she has stated. Lieing again....
    And Gov. Palin doesn't have a great recod when it comes to protecting the ones who need help. Its sad that she would fier someone over trying to get funding for rape and instest abuse.. Thats just wrong and she should be punished for that alone. Its shamefull. This is american we protect animal and people...

    September 18, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
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