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. Maria in Crawford, Texas


    McCain voted 90% with Bush
    Palin refused to answer questions about abuse of power.

    Vote for these two and you will have the same policies as we have had the last 7+ years.

    I don't know about you, but I am sick of BUSH(McCain) & CHANEY(Palin).

    Even the Republicans I know are sick of these two guys, so I ask you Republicans, why vote in the BUSH/CHANEY CLONES!


    September 18, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. drnen

    Why does she feel the need to speak like one of the Clampett's? Shes sooo FOLKSY!!

    September 18, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. SoCal

    "McCain and Palin joke away differences on ANWR drilling"

    Yes, these guys are simply a joke!

    September 18, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Joe

    so pretty much McCain is saying to all his moderate and independent supporters, "Hey you're voting for my issues, not Palin's, but if I die and hand over the Presidency to her, hope for the best!"

    September 18, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. Andrew

    Of COURSE she agrees with it – she has ties to big oil in more ways than one: her husband works for BP and her state stands to gain immensely from it financially. Even when she loses the presidential election it would guarantee her re-election as governor of Alaska. Sometimes money trumps common sense....

    Do we really need another big oil person in the White House? Honestly folks. Look at the international problems the Bush's have gotten us into, not to mention not progressing very far from relying on oil (foreign or domestic) in the first place.

    September 18, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. B. Smart

    Just look at her eyes. There’s something there that tells me that she is in
    no way qualified for possible Commander in Chief. And she knows it.
    McCain is attempting to pull off a very dangerous fraud on the country.
    He should be held accountable.

    September 18, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Kiboko

    I suppose after there are no wolves left and the other species that were kept in check by wolf populations increase, will in turn be hunted to oblivion, there won't be any wildlife to protect, and ANWR will be free for drilling. Hooray! And I also suppose drilling for more oil, and keeping the USA dependent upon it, and continually pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere will further confirm that global warming isn't man-made. And stem cell research? Who need that? Regenerating organs to help individuals battle diabetes, cancer, damage caused by accidents, etc...that's only fit for sci-fi movies and books that should be banned anyway.

    By the way, ffter this election season I never want to hear the word "maverick" again. It makes my eye twitch.

    September 18, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. TAYO, NY

    McCain and Palin think these election is about joke... They must be kidding!

    They disaggree on drilling!

    They disagree on abortion (in some instants)!!.

    They disagree on stem cell research!!!

    Yet if by chance they win and anythings happen to McCain in office, then Sarah Palin will reverse all the above issues (and many more in her direction).

    This is totally unacceptable.

    They can't have my vote anyway.

    All the way Obama/Biden 08.

    September 18, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. You Can Run But You Can Not Hide!

    McCain/Palin are applying typical Karl Rove's tactics! They "expose" those information to make her look as the victim. Then utilize the opportunity to get raid of all the incriminating/controvercial information!
    Haven't we seen that before? Similar tactics that is being used against Obama and Journalist! Instead of explaining earmarks/ "porks", bridge to nowhere ... Call people sexists, claim that "pig with lipstick" = Palin and put those enquiring for the truth on the defence!

    A "Reformer" must be able to live up to the reputation by keeping to one's own words about being Transparent! Charity begings at Home, else you do not have any business applying for the nation's highest office!

    September 18, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. DebM, Allentown, PA

    Well, sure, Palin is the energy expert. Remember, she said that the US gets 20% of their energy from Alaska. WRONG. The real number is 3.5%. Is she lying or just stupid?

    September 18, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  11. Moe, NY

    McCain and Palin are a joke...a bad joke, but a joke all the same. Of course she would back the drilling to nowhere plan instead of searching for new alternatives. McCain/Palin are a disaster waiting to happen.

    September 18, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. tyler

    This "maverick" business is old news. we don't need two self-declared mavericks who can't see eye to eye to lead this country.

    Is that Maverick McCain in this photo or just regular ol' Creepy McCain?

    September 18, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Did anyone watch the Jon Stewart Daily Show last night where he showed two video clips of McCain?

    One clip showed McCain screaming drill here drill now and the other just a few weeks before John McCain telling the public drilling off shore would not help with the soaring prices of oil and gas.

    These comedy shows are the only way Ameicans will ever get to see the truth on these important issues as the main stream medias won't publish. Shame on them.

    September 18, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. pat C.


    September 18, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. Hannah

    Palin isn't even ready for a cabinet position, much less VP. If Repubicans were truthful to themselves they would admit it. This woman scares the hell out of me, because she is a gimmick and McCain wants to be president so bad, he'll do anything, anything. He'll put this great country at risk with a ploy like Sarah. I'm glad America is waking up.

    September 18, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. Don

    Sounds like discord in camp McCain.

    September 18, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. kathy

    They can joke all they want, skirt the issues and try to cover up "more of the same". The american people are dumb. We are laughing AT them...NOT with them.

    September 18, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Uncle Sam

    John McCain can accept opinions other than his own.
    A good trait for a president to possess.

    September 18, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. W Spivey Merritt Island, FL

    They agree to disagree on about everything.

    September 18, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. Billy

    Berger adds that Palin spoke several times during the hour-long event, asking to speak at the end of questions McCain answered and handling questions aimed directly at her.

    September 18, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. Linda

    So it's a joke now, is it? Have they looked at today's jobless reports? Are they even paying attention to the important stuff, like how people will feed their families? How anyone can support this ticket is beyond belief. I know people, myself among them, who are so worried about the future of this country that we lose sleep at night thinking these two could be in charge a year from now.

    September 18, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  22. Angela

    Fannie/Freddie Pay Offs to Politicians Since 1989 – Overall Rankings. Name Office Party/State Total

    1. Dodd, Christopher Senator Democrat-CT $133,900
    2. Kerry, John Senator Democrat-MA $111,000
    3. Obama, Barack Senator Democrat-IL $105,849
    4. Clinton, Hillary Senator Democrat-NY $75,550
    5. Kanjorski, Paul E House Democrat-PA $65,500

    September 18, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  23. Mike

    They Joke? They are the Joke!

    September 18, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  24. Just a Mom

    She wasn't properly vetted, and that's why they disagree on such major issues such as ANWR, stem cell research and global warming. I feel a bit sorry for Sen. McCain because it seems he gave in to the hard right and now has to put up with Palin.

    September 18, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. Chut Pata

    It is yet unclear who would this "Agents of Change" change. Would McBush change "VP to nowhere Sarah Who" or will Miss Congeniality change McDeregulation.

    September 18, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
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