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. John

    He is SENILE and She is EVIL

    Both are LIARS

    September 18, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. undecided in ohio

    nine houses...out of touch...airhead VP...enough said.

    September 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. mitchell

    they sounded ridiculous up on that stage last night. they were like tag-team wrestlers who never follow the rules.

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

    Watch the Chemistry between McCain and Palin.....Deb two important things for me please.......Wake up and Slap yourself.

    September 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. Anna


    September 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Allen

    When republican's find themselves in a hole the first thing they grab is a shovel.

    Why do we have to drill from these pristine locations? Whatever happened to "I drink your milkshake."?

    September 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. facts are facts

    Well people I have reviewed Sara Palin's qualifications for being President or a breath away from this position. I just realized I am more qualified than she is and didn't get a mention.

    Sara can see Russia from her house but I have actually been to Russia on a Cruise and toured St. Petersbourg so it goes without saying I know more about Russia than Sara does.

    I have shot and skinned a moose so Sarah doesn't have any advantage over me on this point.

    I have never shot wolves from an airplane so I will have to concede this one to Sara.

    The list goes on and on but you can see my point and would have to agree I am more qualified and should have been chosen by McCain except for the fact I don't wear lipstick and knowing John's past that just might be where I lost out!

    September 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. JohnBoy

    It's ok to vote for a white man in the USA.

    McCain 08

    September 18, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Len in Washington

    Let's see how hard they're laughing after they see this mornings poll results.

    McCain/Palin....A losing team you can bet on.

    September 18, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |

    See this is it, They are the are the only IDIOTS joking at a time where the American people are looking for answers. I am glad to see that they have something to laugh about why the rest of Americans feels like caged birds and yes we are ANGRY!!!

    September 18, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Independent in Texas

    She seems outright uninformed, angry, and scripted. She would bring the biggest shame to the office of VP since DQ. I cannot believe she has a following in this now struggling country – just shows how feebleminded some people are.

    September 18, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Pam

    McPalin's entire campaign is a joke.

    September 18, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Rena

    Sarah was asked by one of the viewers in the audience yesterday in Fl., to put away the critics on your foreign experience could you tell us some of your experience in foreign policy? Sarah couldn't answer her; but went on to say she was ready and if they wanted to ask her about any foreign question ask her anything and you can even play stump the candidate. Well Sarah she ask you the question; explain your foreign experience you still did't. So why ask if you are not going to answer. Bottom line you have no experience and couldn't come up with anything; but I am proud that you didn't lie this time. But old man pops tried to step in ring out her resume with some crazy anwer about her being a commander in Alaska.

    If America don't wake up and see this disaster; we will become a third world country. China is going to take over and we will become the laughing stock in the world. Once a great nation now a sad and pathic nation and all the credit goes to Bush/McCain and their lobbying partners. But hey they will have money and living good while the rest of America will be suffering. Thanks Repub voters you are doing a great job of destroying yourselves and your country!!!!!

    September 18, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. DebM, Allentown, PA

    Reposting this because I don't want anyone to think I'm using the word heathens seriously.

    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 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Christine, Ohio

    The more they let Palin talk on her own, the lower their poll numbers will drop. I can't wait for the debates!! She will look like a 1st grader compared to Biden. It's not even so much her lack of government experience, it is her obvious lack of just overall knowledge that concerns me the most about her. She comes across as narrow minded. How can you be the possible leader of the free world if you barely made it outside of your own backyard. I think it's safe to say that she will self-destruct at this point. I used to have respect for McCain but I lost all of it when he announced Palin as the VP, I found it to be irresponsible. As far as ANWR, I think she just wants to be Alaska's hero for drilling there, no concern for the environment at all, no vision!

    Obama/ Biden 2008

    September 18, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Mike

    If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.

    * If you're husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

    September 18, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Anonymous

    When are these people going to realize hat drilling in Alaska will only increase oil production by 2% and that we will have to wait about 10 years to even see any of that oil?
    I know, I am in the industry....

    September 18, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. ran

    This is so great the McCain/? team every day gives us who eyes and ears are open another reason to vote Obama/Biden and other Democrats.

    Way to go guys. Keep this coming and maybe those who either have their heads in the sands/oil or eyes and ears closed will open their eyes and ears and pull their heads out and truly see what this McCain/? team is all about.

    September 18, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. Frank Zimmermann

    My company closed shop and went to China and these crooks are joking? My 401 K might disappear with the market crash and they joke? I am getting milked at the gas pump and they joke? The American people can't take it anymore, we deserve better tha McSame and Paliar animal for fun killer. They are sickos. If they get elected I am seriously considering leaving the country. AMERICANS this not about the Republicans and Democrats, this is about us and right now Obama is just the better choice. If the founders of this great nation could see how Bush, Cheney and McCain have downgraded the US and could see the Republican circus with McCain and Palin as circus performers. Does anyone think they are taking us seriously. I am in no mood to joke seeing my fellow citizens lose their jobs, homes and savings.

    September 18, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Get the USA Back

    These people are a joke and have no environmental values. Sarah has no experience and would run this country even further into to the ground (if that's possible). McCain, even though old and wrinkly, still acts like a two year old by calling names instead of focusing on real solutions. SO WHY IN THE WORLD IS THE RACE STILL SO CLOSE? WAKE UP AMERICA. Obama/Biden or we are hosed – this is the real deal, not an American Idol popularity contest.

    September 18, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Lia

    McCain/Palin ticket means more disaster for American people.

    September 18, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. Another Republican for Obama (this year)

    How stupid is this woman?? My god.

    Gas was forced to upwards of $4 a gallon when the price of oil reached almost $150 a barrel. It doesn;t get much press, but oil has dropped 1/3 down to around $100 a barrel. Gas prices still hover around $4 a gallon. Drilling for more is not the problem, people.


    September 18, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Truth Be told

    oh, this "unscripted" Q&A is so funny it should be on SNL. she said the united states has "billions and billions of barrels of oil" under it and hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of clean, green natural gas onshore and offshore. huh? she can tell this to the uneducated hicks who support them and they will gobble up every bit of crumbs that fall off these pairs' mouths. mccain and palin would not stop spewing off lies after lies after lies. if what she says is true, then our country (now besieged front and center economically) would have been independent of opec years and years ago!!!

    also, did anyone ask mccain his take on the spanish president? does he really know who zapatero is? this is scary. our allies are now praying that this tandem will not take over. otherwise, china and russia are looking so much better everyday.

    does anyone stop and think that why our professional athletes are given physical check-ups before their contracts are finalized? no matter is they're the jordans or the jameses or the mannings. they need to go through the process so that their employers know what they're getting. we are the employers of the government. we need to know if the people we're employing are capable of working for us. let us then put pressure on the republican party to reveal to us the health conditions of both mccain and palin should they, if they're lucky, take over the whitehouse. it is our right.

    September 18, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. mama4obama

    Is McCain checking out the backside of Palin or what? They are both liars and the American people hopefully wont fall for the bs again.

    September 18, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Eric

    Um, how many times does it need to be explained that it will take, at the least, one year plus to get any oil from offshore drilling. Then the oil companies can sell that oil to anyone, and guess who that is? China and India. At best, we'd see about 2 days worth of oil supply in about 4 years. Not to mention all the instant, horrific enviornmental damage done. The money and time spent on such fruitless endeavors could be spent transitioning all the rustbelt factories to electric car production, and we could finally start leading the world in bold ideas again. But no, "Drill baby, drill." So sad.

    September 18, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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