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. Bruce

    what a joke...now that mention it..it does look like he is looking at her behind...and thinking...I need to get me some of that....LOL

    September 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. JohnBoy

    Its ok to vote for a white man in the USA.

    McCain 08

    September 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Jeff Brown

    They "Joke away differences"? Aren't Grandpa Munster and Gidget the fun bunch? Fiddling why Rome burns!

    September 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. HillbillyBill

    TEE-HEE!
    But is it really a joking matter?
    Is the way to break our "addiction" to oil, drilling now, drilling more, drilling everywhere possible?
    Do drug addicts break their addiction by consuming more–in fact, all the drugs they possibly can? Perhaps hoping they will exhaust the supply and that will end their addiction?
    The truth is that the more oil that is extracted from the earh's remaining reserves, the less will exist. It will just run out sooner if we step up the drilling.
    It will not run out while any of us living today inhabits this earth.
    But it will run out for future generations that will wish we had saved them some.
    The petrochemicals derived from oil produce thousands of products we take for granted every day. The list is huge. Look it up on Google.
    But the reason we are running out is that we are burning it up as fuel.
    That is really the most stupid use for it that can be imagined.
    The problem we have is not energy–we have multiple sources of energy that we cannot exhaust.
    The problem is using oil for fuel and burning it up.
    Drilling now for all the earth's remaining reserves just to burn it up will break our addiction to oil alright, but deny future generations of the many useful products that they could have used if we had not burned up the source.

    September 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. RJ, CA

    Bulldog, you're nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What is causing the current economic crisis?

    The subprime mortgage meltdown.

    When did the subprime mortgage meltdown begin?

    In 2006/2007.

    Who was given an overwhelming mandate by the American voters in 2006?

    The Democratic Congress.

    Who voted 98% of the time with the Democrats in Congress?

    Barrack Obama.

    The legislative branch (Congress) makes our laws.

    The president does NOT make laws - he merely enforces the laws that the legislative branch (Congress) makes.

    OK, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid - FIX THE MESS YOU MADE!

    September 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  6. TIRED OF THE GOP

    It turns out that John McCain, while crusading against wasteful spending, specifically objected to three earmarks that Sarah Palin requested as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, including a dubious agricultural-processing facility designed to promote local produce. In fact, Palin has a consistent record of chasing the bacon that McCain has fought for years. She pulled in $27 million in earmarks as mayor, requested $450 million in earmarks as governor and even supported the state's notorious Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it. There isn't enough lipstick in Alaska to cover all that pork.

    Enough is ENOUGH!!!

    September 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. Shari, NY

    They are a joke.

    September 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  8. freddie

    Ahh...the Regis and Kelly of the Republican party. Just what American has been waiting for! This town hall was such a joke. Why don't you print her response (or lack of response i should say) to a woman's question to her about what she would do specifically to help women financially? She totally did NOT answer the question and no one even bothers to call her on it.

    And CNN – you need to get up the story about McCain's scary and bizarre Spanish interview. American needs to know. Do your job...report fairly on the candidates.

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. JBW

    Global Warming is a HOAX! Drill NOW!

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. Matt

    Hahaha...great picture...looks like McCain is thinking about "tapping those reseources."

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. Orlando

    Is John checking out Sarah rear again? Look at the picture and where his eyes are going.

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. Daki

    If you look at all of McCain and Palins speeches together,he is always looking at her like he wants to snatch her up and eat her.Cindy better watch out.I think that is why she goes everywhere with him now.Michelle does not stick up under Obama like this.

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. Female Voter

    Where are the people who were saying "the dems are afraid"? hahaha foolish people those Republicans are. They under estimated the people of America.

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Jen

    These two ARE the joke!!

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. VIRGINIA will be blue

    They may have different views on drilling in ANWR, but what immediate relief will drilling now do? It won't bring gas prics down. They're not called "strategic" oil reserves for nothing. America needs to get the gas pump needle out of our veins and find another drug to abuse.

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. rodlang

    Barack Obama says he was always against the war in Iraq and Joe Biden voted FOR the war in Iraq. Why does the media never talk about that very critical difference of opinion.

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. heidi

    It is kind of creepy but, it does appear that he is looking at a behind! What's up with that? Wierd....

    September 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. AA

    Gross.

    Is it so much to ask for the people who represent our country to be able to speak proper english? Has the bar been set that low in GOP land?

    Why in the world would anyone possibly want such uneducated and obviously ignorant people to be making decisions on future national and global policies – when they cannot even begin to grasp what they mean?

    At the very least be competent, and have the basic leadership skill set to (a la Reagan) choose and surround yourself with those that have more knowledge than yourself.

    I mean, seriously now, I have not heard anything above a grade 6 answer or policy from these two when they can even grasp what the question was.

    Peace.

    September 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. Clark

    This is just the latest and most typical example of the ignorance by these two and another prime example that they believe it is the responsibility of the American people to support "big oil".

    The reality:
    1. Drilling today won't produce any benefit for years!

    2.Investing today in alternative resources both creates jobs and helps improve the economy.

    Seems like a no brainer to me, but then repubs and their followers seem to be long on this characteristic.

    September 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Anonymous

    McCain had a bad week. Another gaffe – This time with a Spanish reporter that asked McCain if he would meet with the prime minister of Spain, one of US's top allies in NATO. McCain didn't know who the reporter was talking about, as the reporter only gave McCain Zapatero's name and not his title.

    McCain didn't know the man's name, OR that he was from Spain, a US ally, referred to Latin America TWICE and stressed the need to stand up to world leaders who want to harm America.

    INEXCUSIBLE!

    September 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. Milton, Harrisburg, PA

    We have trillions of cubic feet of methane hydrates too in the ocean-but digging them out could destabilize our entire marine ecosystem-including our food source, quintuple global warming rates, and cost more to remove than the energy they contain. The same could be said of all the natural gas and oil in the US. Ironically, it will only be economically feasible to tap when oil and gas prices are sky-high. Needless to say the environmental damage from drilling is of little concern to Palin. Her policy reminds of an 19th century whaler espousing the virtues of using whale oil relative to protecting whales. Time to move on to other energy sources Sarah. I know it stuffs the coffers of the Alaskan state government, but it is yet another case of trading our children's and grandchildren's future for the wants of old people (Republicans have made the same trade with our deficit too). Why do you care so much for saving unborn babies and then are okay with saddling them with debt and a destroyed environment when they grow up?

    September 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. Eep

    I'm glad that you think its so funny, McCain and Palin.

    September 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. who is this woman?

    the world is lol at them and us! if they get pick. THIS IS A JOKE RIGHT! I HOPE THEM TWO IS A BAD DREAM! WAKE ME UP PLEASE!

    September 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. I'm just saying

    I was sort of disappointed in some of her responses during the town hall.

    September 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. inga

    McCain had a bad week. Another gaffe – This time with a Spanish reporter that asked McCain if he would meet with the prime minister of Spain, one of US's top allies in NATO. McCain didn't know who the reporter was talking about, as the reporter only gave McCain Zapatero's name and not his title.

    McCain didn't know the man's name, OR that he was from Spain, a US ally, referred to Latin America TWICE and stressed the need to stand up to world leaders who want to harm America.

    INEXCUSIBLE!

    September 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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