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. Baze

    Deb=Pork

    September 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Poor Comsumer S.C.

    I hope you smart American realize that it is not the drilling everywhere that the country needs. All the oil in the world want help us if the refinery capability it not there. If they discovered 100 billion barrels of oil today and drill it tomorrow the country could not process it for use.

    Currently, America refinery capability is max out. No new refinery built in over 30 years. Lies...lies...lies....and more lies. Drilling want help us today nor tomorrow as long as the oil companies can manipulate the country refinery capability. Vote Republican and continue getting the "SHAFT" with all the lies as freebie. Palin and McCain lies want help nor will drilling. Don't ask me ask the people that work the oil rigs, but at least they will have a job.

    September 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Steve

    Move on, move forward with OBAMA.

    September 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. ER P

    UNREAL! How can anyone take seriously two "leaders" who pretend to be a team but try to laugh away their serious diffrences over a costly and potentially disastrous project for our environment?

    Is anyone truly listening to all the nonsense these two not-so-funny jokers are saying, whether it's about the economy, energy, foreign relations, or governance in general? Maybe all the ridiculous shouts of "Drill, Baby, Drill" have caused some serious brain damage.

    It's about time the American people sent this once-well-meaning senior citizen to a well-deserved retirement, and this gun-loving hockey mom to the oblivion she deserves in her small town in Alaska.

    September 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. A CANUCK

    I can't stand listening to them...McCain whines and her voice is like "nails on a blackboard.....I can't believe Americans are going to be taken in be this "dog and pony show"..(google it) OBAMA/BIDEN2008

    September 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. Barney

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

    September 18, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. A CANUCK

    I can't stand listening to them...McCain whines and her voice is like "nails on a blackboard.....I can't believe Americans are going to be taken in by this bunch of lies. OBAMA/BIDEN2008

    September 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. Cyndi

    Neither one of them knows what they are talking about. Obama haven't talked about it so they don't have nothing to go on. Sorry McSane this is Palin and McSane fix for a great mess. Learn the facts then talk to each other.

    September 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. White and Black support for Obama

    Approving lies, is this same as lying and when you lied to victory is chaeting. cheating is the same as using drug to victory. American will stripped Mccain of his title maverick and voting him back to Arizona.

    Cheater McCain approve this message!

    Why McCain still approve lies? I thought he put country first, and his country man is been lied upon and McCain approved it. wow....

    Will he lied his way to the white house or will Mccain lied his way back to Arizona?

    Lying is not being Maverick or lying cheating your way to victory is not patriotism.
    Cheating away to vistory is the same as using drug or steriod to victory.

    Wakeup and stop cheating lying to innocent Americans who are confused.

    September 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Chuck

    Palin Does Not Answer Questions

    You failed to mention in this same town hall meeting Palin told the audience they could ask her any question they wanted including if they liked to quiz her on foreign policy issues. When a voter immediately asked Palin what her foreign policy qualifications were she stumbled and could not (would not) answer. McCain immediately jumped in and interrupted with some stupid comment about the Alaskan National Guard.

    September 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Women for Obama/Biden

    Deb and the reat paid bloggers.
    I dont know what version of the meeting you are talking about. She jumps to the question and gives irrelevant answers. With all the close interviews and scripted questions she couldnt even asnwer nation security question that she had memorized. Its sad that all you guys are too blind to see through the mirror of reality. If had been Mit Romney it would have been way better.

    September 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. JT in TEXAS

    Doesn't the phrase "SKIRTING THE ISSUES" really sum it all up? (emphasis on the word "SKIRT")

    September 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. Shirley

    Oubon you are right but he can't use the internet,

    September 18, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. You Can Run But You Can Not Hide!

    "Here is my take on this "hacked" e-mail story:
    1-Palin want to get rid of problematic e-mails
    2- create a hacking story
    3- shut all her yahoos' accounts up.
    4-Job well done and the media does the rest of the job by making her look like a victim to unsuspecting viewers!"

    September 18, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Biden said Obama wasn't ready to lead, and I'm guessing Obama disagreed with him on that. I'd say that difference of opinion is a lot more inportant than ANWR.

    September 18, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. Pick Me! Pick Me!

    We don’t need to drill more as all the tankers are filled with crude oil. What we NEED is more refineries. Unless you have the facilities to refine the oil, more drilling is a moot point.

    September 18, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. RapidRay

    Hey, Sarah! Joke away this one!

    According to your Charles Gibson Interview, you didn't hesitate or blink when asked.
    According to your husband, the kids were told to surrender their cell phones, ask no questions, and were told they were going on a trip in celebration of your 20th wedding anniversary. That trip was to the RNC Convention.
    You stated in your interview with Hannity that you had a "family meeting" BEFORE you accepted the nomination.

    So which are we to believe now?

    This election is not a joke!

    CNN, PLEASE POST THIS

    September 18, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. sweetnikki

    I cram to understand how these two can be taken seriously. We are taking a huge gamble by even considering them for the Presidency and Vice Presidency. Mccain is just to old to be working anywhere at this point. I know a lot of elderly people that do have have their senses with them, and he is not one of them. This woman scares me to death and has caused me to start the blue-print for my underground bunker. OMG-she lies without blinking. Why is she ALLOWED to not testify for an investigation? How could anybody not be concerned with the fact that she thinks she is above the law. She should be doing plays on broadway with all the drama she brings to the table. Her life is like a soap opera in it's last interesting season. Ms. Palin clearly needs to be home with her infant and mom to be teenage daughter.
    Barak may be new to the scene and my not have years and years in Washington. I can tell you that I would trust him waaaaay before I EVER trust Mccain-Palin to have at least a clue as to what is REALLY going on in AMERICA. Final note: Do you we really want anoher Pathological Liar in the White House....?

    September 18, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. Jenn

    You people posting are a joke, or point the finger at all the things you think are wrong with the McCain/Palin ticket. Did you look at the Obama/Biden ticket?? The half the things you critize McCain/Palin for are the same things wrong with Obama/Biden.

    No experience and being in DC to long for real change LOL

    September 18, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. mary, colorado springs

    Geezer and Gidget remind me of a pair of comics: Abbott and Costello. They don't seem to take the condition of the things that matter seriously. She's so overbearing she overshadows McCain and makes him look like the dummy he is.

    God forbid they should get in the White House.....we have enough jokers there already.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008/2012

    September 18, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. LB

    The questions at the Town Hall had to be planted, neither of them were challenged in any way. Did you notice she said "try to stump me on foreign policy", then the subject was dropped. There was nothing informative about the Town Hall meeting last night. These two are a Circus Act at best. I have noticed all of the extremely wealthy are now endorsing McSame because of the tax breaks he is giving the wealthy. Last night he was endorsed by Donald Trump on Larry King and Rothschild is backing him as well.

    September 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. christiansin

    Haven't we just spent eight long years dealing with the negatives that have come from having a "Maverick" running around using his "Cowboy Diplomacy" to alienate all of our allies and harsh partisan politics to divide and concur at home? Do we really want to continue that?

    To some of us the term "Maverick" means uncooperative, self-serving, and irresponsible when used to describe a person. At this point we need someone that will foster cooperation and unity. We need a "Leader" that will unite and lead the U.S. and the world, not a "Maverick" that will charge off in his own direction making statements like “if you aren't with us, you're against us."

    If these "Patriots" truly believe that America is the greatest country in the world, then they should be prepared to work within the greatest political system in the world to resolve its problems. Circumventing the Constitution and Bill of Rights and ignoring the will of the people at every turn (as you might expect a "Maverick" to do) does not demonstrate a proper understanding of or respect for the balanced structure of our government.

    We've had eight years of a "Maverick" running around making a mess of America. We need a "Leader."

    September 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. Mccain and Palin are Liars

    Palin is corrupt she is Trying to stop the Investigation into the firing of the TRooper in Alaska and this is the Same person suppose to be going to change washington how can she change washington if she acts just like them? Palin Puts Self First

    September 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. ES NYC

    Deb said 9:27am 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!

    Miss Palin, foreign policy? "I have that readiness"
    Miss Palin, women empowerment? "I played Basketball in High school"

    I do not believe that American voters are naive gamblers and it will probably show in the landslide, but the one you predict Deb

    September 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. Amy

    I don't think it's a joking matter when Sen McCain may very well not make it through his first term, and then we'd have Gov Palin drilling in a wildlife refuge sensible citizens agree should be safe from exploitation.

    September 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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