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

McCain and Palin joke away differences on ANWR drilling

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/18/art.palinmccain.go.jpg 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. OutSider

    Oh my, my, my.......God
    What is this? What does this lady know? Is she ever going to get it?
    Someone, Someone....please tell Mc to get a real VP before it's too late.
    This lady is not only a dump for Mc campaign but a SHAME for all America when she shows up on the spotlight to answer question.
    How did she become a Governor? I forgot, she is governing 5,000 people.....even that, she must have and finished tones of lipsticks to be where she is.....

    September 18, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. Candy West Virginia

    According to the HUGE anti Palin protest they had up in Alaska this weekend, they aren't crazy about her. The only reason for the initial high rating was the check they all received from oil profits but as a person, no judging by the rally they hate her. Google Alaska protest against Palin

    September 18, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. James of Birmingham

    I ' m a little confused...

    If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law Professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs Committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

    However, if your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive and next in line behind a man in his eighth decade of life.

    Oh, I forgot about her "White Privileges"... Okay, much clearer now.

    September 18, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Jan

    great to see how the leftist bloggers are up and ready. I don't blame them for being nervous–Sarah has eclipsed their "star".

    September 18, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. Tim from Europe

    What the heck is up with drilling? It'll destroy our planet even more. Why not join other countries and invent or find some clean energy for the use of all people in the world? Come on you guys, we stand together as one world. Today even more than yesterday!

    Make your choice, not only for you now but also for your children and grand children in the future.

    Thanks!

    September 18, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. DebM, Allentown, PA

    I find it really interesting that Mrs. Palin believes that dinosaurs existed only 6000 years ago. If that's the case, where did the oil come from? Oh wait...God created the oil too. If God created the oil, why didn't he put it all under our country, instead of putting the bulk under the middle east where all the heathens live?

    Do you see the absolutely convoluted, insane logic of the religious extremists like Plain?

    September 18, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Joyce in Florida

    "What a joke", I said your sentiments earlier above. Glad it wasn't only me noticing that. Makes you wonder doesn't it? Cindy, you better keep an eye on your "old man". It still appears he likes younger women.

    September 18, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. One more for McCain

    I am glad that John and Sarah make such a nice couple. They even both have attractive spouses. I can't wait to see them in the white house. Sarah taking on the oil industry and agressively turning us into
    an energy independent country. John eliminating pork barrel spending and taking on the special interests groups. Don't hate them because they are independent and gifted individuals. I know that all Dimocrats can't be as petty and small as some of you are being about Sarah. A piece of advice, bite your lips and they will stop quivering. Blow your nose, and get over it. President McCain will make it all better.

    September 18, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. Martiniano

    It's all a big joke for McCain. When does this guy get serious?

    September 18, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. doob

    What a dog and pony show these two are!

    September 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Dumb and dumber running for president! That really makes my day.

    September 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Obama all the way....

    Yeah, joke away you morons. Really funny stuff.

    McCain/Palin sideshow- coming to a circus tent near you......

    September 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. Tom

    Thet are joking? Is this for real? Do we really need more clowns in the White House? Our nation is facing one of its severesed challenges and all McCain and Palin do is joking. She says she took on Big Oil, well guess who will be drilling in Anwar? Polarbears with lipstick. McCain says our economy is fundamentally strong while our biggest financial institutions are failing. He voted 90% with Bush and Palin now is refusing to cooperate in the investigation of the firings blamind Democrats. It was launched months back and it was Republicans that started it. I want our money back for that bridge to nowhere that was never built. She alos said we may have to go to war with Russia. More war? Remember what Russia did with an American trained Georgian military. They got crushed within a week.

    Vote for us and yourself, vote Obama/Biden

    September 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. Randy S.

    I wish you people would learn to educate and inform yourselves before spouting off with such nonsense.

    The little piece of land that HAS ALREADY BEEN SET ASIDE FOR OIL EXPLORATION relative to the entire refuge of ANWR is the size of a single letter on the front page of your newspaper (for those of you who can be bothered by reading).

    The GDP has been GROWING by appr. 2% every quarter for several years now. While not great, it is still growth. This shows that the fundamentals of our economy ARE STILL SOUND.

    But carry on spouting off about that of which most of you know nothing. Continue to inform yourself by listening to and repeating one-sided soundbites. Don't bother with learning the facts or listening to both sides of the issues.

    JUST KEEP ON DRINKING THE KOOL-ADE.

    September 18, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Lee

    You people who thought she knew what she was talking about must have been watching something else. A voter asked her for specifics and she tapped danced around it then said you can even play stump the candidate and everyone laughed. She answered NOTHING!! She feels confident all right..blah, blah, blah now answer the question!

    September 18, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Take back America

    Smells like Bush, Looks like Bush, Walks like Bush....Must be McCain
    Sounds like Bush, Reads like Bush....Must be Palin

    September 18, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. Lie-a-day Palin & Inane McCain Ain't Ready for Primetime

    Since the joke joined the jester on the ticket, how can they expect anyone to take them seriously?

    September 18, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. David Orbach, New York, NY

    Yes, because the country is in good enough shape right now that we should all just be laughing it up too.

    September 18, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Marianne Smith

    That is so funny. I am amused.

    September 18, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. John McSame as Bush.

    This is all just republican clearing house... has no one noticed that the price of oil shot up in the last days (thank god) of the Bush Admin, and now, its like drill or die? do you not see the connection? Put the freaking pitch on the american people and make it hurt enough till we give in to the oil companies wish list. They already have millions of acres to play with that the don't expolre or don't drill on, so the only answer is they want more money, and more land before they possibly lose their chance! We are being strong armed into big oil's will. Plain and McSimple.

    September 18, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. WASP (Women Against Sarah Palin)

    Palin is really a joke.
    Both of you can joke away your ignorance while the country is in turmoil.
    The untold must be told, the truth must prevail.

    This Republican woman is solidly for Obama/Biden.

    September 18, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Paul

    Fox News reported that the Grand Rapids "town hall" meeting was a "preticketed" event. Apparently, Kent County GOP gave out 2000 tickets and the remaining 1500 were distributed by the GOP in Kalamazoo and Ottowa. This was not a “public” gathering at all – it was a staged town hall. Palin can't even hit a beach ball slow pitched to her underhanded. She did not answer the question in regards to experience. This is not about her, however. Sen. McCain, who has been forced to provide almost daily retractions or clarifications of his position on the economy, has demonstrated he has no judgment in his selection of a potential successor.

    September 18, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. 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 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Gifty

    Disagree to agree is the best option

    Go John/Palin

    September 18, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Edward

    our energy crisis is no laughing matter. People are hurting and CNN should not be enabling commentary like this.

    September 18, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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