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. Eva

    Ya big joke??

    So much for team..They both have totally different ideas.
    The Abbott and Costello of the Republican party!

    So glad that the GOP thought this one out..huh?
    Glad to see they are on the same page on how to fix the downward spiral America is in! UNBELIEVABLE!

    September 18, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. Lorna, NY

    These two are PATHETIC! How did they get this far???

    September 18, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. Rod

    Please get rid of this ODD COUPLE. getting sick of them.
    Elect Obama quickly.

    September 18, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. Texas Witch Twister

    Why not drill there. It's oil we need. The wildlife won't be affected anymore there than they have been here in Texas. GO FOR IT UNTIL WE CAN DEVELOP SOMETHING BETTER.

    September 18, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. SARAH PICK ME! I WANNA PLAY STUMP THE CANDIDATE!

    Sarah what color is your lipstick?

    In what aspect, Mike?

    Game over!

    September 18, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Bulldog

    Palin said yesterday in the town hall "We'll be ready by January.....I'll be ready." Why hasn't anybody picked on that? She is admitting she is not ready right now with that statement. And she does not give any specifics. All of her answers are very generic, we want specifics.

    September 18, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. McCain/Palin '08

    John McCain is the only one who can put aside differences and bring this country together. I think this is just another example of that. He has always reached across the isle to do things he thought was in the best interest of the american people.

    September 18, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. Barbara Campbell

    McCain's handlers want voters to see him as the "maverick" he WAS, not the puppet he IS.

    McCain and Palin will dance to the Oil Industry's tune just like Bush and Cheney have.

    September 18, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. pj4521

    It's obvious why McCain chose Sarah to be his running mate....I have to wonder if Cindy sees the same things in these photographs as the rest of us? What a Perv..

    September 18, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Joyce in Florida

    The Repugs think EVERYTHING is funny. Well it isn't. This Administration is a disgrace and we CANNOT have another 4 years of this mess!!!! America is getting sick and tired of the Repugs thumbing their nose at authority and thinking they can get away with it. I can't for the life of me understand how this can be happening. It just goes on and on. More examples every day (e.g. Palin's troopergate). There is so much corruption it is sickening. It must be stopped!!!!! The Democrats NEED TO TAKE BACK THE WHITE HOUSE. NO QUESTION. Wake up people. This Hillary Clinton supporter is voting for Obama in November.

    September 18, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Doug

    "Hurtin'...Flowin':.."eye rack.."eyeran"... from a journalist.

    September 18, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. JDM

    Wow! Two different messages on the same ticket. Mcain will push one way and his Palin will push the other way. This is FUBA in real time. WoW!

    September 18, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. California Gold

    Maverick my eye. Someone needs to sit Palin down and tell here about the existing oil leases and how those millions of acres of untapped leased lands need to be first drilled before the oil companies seek another helping.

    Judging by the polls the American public sees her for what she is: clueless and stupid. Even worse, she under estimates the American voter.

    September 18, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. IS MCCRYPT CHECKING OUT HER RESUME?

    McCrypt has been caught more than once checking out Sarah's "resume".

    Was the fact that he got a woody without the Viagra, now part of VP qualifications?

    September 18, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. greedyboy

    A joke, that is the best way to describe Palin's ability to serve as VP. It is a very, very scary joke though.

    The pandering ploy of the campaign, may come back to bite McCain in the butt!

    September 18, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. Julie

    "“When people are hurtin’, they need to tap those resources and get those sources flowin’,”

    From the look on McCain's face, something's flowin...

    (Sorry, it's just so blatant)

    September 18, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. bob in LA

    with all those kids and now gradkids you would think saving the planet would be somewhere in her head

    September 18, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. CR in WI

    No American should have an issue with drilling on land already leased for the purpose of drilling. Why don't you start there and then see where things go. It makes no sense to me to suddenly make a mssive amount of new locations available for drilling because it will lead to a cadre of new facilities built only to maintain the status quo on our oil dependence. We need to move forward into new technologies if we are to excell in the future. New technology is what will bring countless new jobs to American shores.
    BO08

    September 18, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Chuck

    Western Michigan is the safe place for the two of them to agree to disagree! Grand Rapids and Holland areas are the most consevative areas in the State. It is the home of Jerry Ford! I know, I was born and raised there. Nice safe area to let Palin answer a few questions!

    September 18, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. ChrisP

    And exactly HOW do we get extra processing capacity??? Pump more and store it???

    September 18, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. proud army and navy mom

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

    What is Palin talking about??? She speaks in genetic terms that shows her obvious like of deep thinking or intelligent thougt. She's BS her way through this election. Someone in the media please call her on this.

    September 18, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  22. Ron

    Is Palin going to answer the lady who asked about her foreign policy experience?

    It went something like this:

    Lady: "What exactly is your foreign policy experience"

    Palin: Well, you know, me and John will be ready to lead on day 1".

    September 18, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. BJGT

    OK, feel free to quiz me, but you don’t get a chance to quiz me?

    Her remarks on economic issues and what constitutes foreign relations readiness have ranged from naive to stupid. Have we not had enough of that yet?

    If you think these last few days have been scary with the economy going down the tubes, then just think what it is going to be like with McCain and Palin in the White House.

    Already Palin is trying to get out of having to testify in TrooperGate.

    This woman is not qualified to be VP and the Republicans know it, but they want another 4 years so they will do anything to keep the Bush years going.

    September 18, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  24. 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?

    Remember, whichever way you answer my question, someone is lying. Either you or your husband.

    Welcome to you first "Catch 22."

    September 18, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. Jon

    Man those oil companies really get to me!! They've already got leases on federal lands, but since they don't like making money, they aren't drilling on them. That must be the only reason why they aren't drilling on those leased lands - they don't like making money!!

    September 18, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
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