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. proud

    What a joke, you are dead on. Same as on the first day he introduced her. He is so pathetic!!! He said the VP's duty was to "check on the presidents health" and "attend the funerals of third world dictators". Well, can you think of anyone better looking to ask how he feels?

    September 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Trasa, Texas

    I just also want to add, despite that I'm an Obama supporter, when I try to give McCain and Palin the benefit of a doubt, they disappoint me. Yesterday she took her first Q&A and they didn't ask anything of real substance. Some woman had to ask some question about her doing it all, of course we already know what her answer is going to be. That's irrelavant. Just because I'm voting Obama, doesn't mean he shouldn't have to answer tough questions from his own supporters because the truth is we're the ones hurting big time.

    Now that I and many of the American people have a stake in AIG and other businesses, does that mean when things start looking up that we will all get a check for our investment?

    September 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. beevee

    McCain must be regretting what a mistake he made in picking Palin as his running mate. Ms. Palin is very shallow on any national issues, no respect for environmental preservation and being a governoer of a backward state with some oil does not make her energy expert. It is scary to even that this person is a potential president if McCain is elected and dies before his term.

    September 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    The fundamentals of their differences are strong but they will go to nowhere(no way?)

    September 18, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Wake up America. Wake up and ask yourself how will obama pay for all the new programs he is proposing and also proposing to take the troops out of Iraq and put them in Afghanistan for 8 years or longer?

    I think he will pay for it the old fashioned way. You know the Democrat way, RAISE TAXES. Yes, America you and I will pay through the nose if Obama somehow gets in the Oval Office.

    I trust McCain with our country and our values. Obama is risky and I am not sure he has our values on the top of his list.

    September 18, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. McCain/Palin: COUNTRY LAST

    Picking an unqualified person like Palin with so much legal and political baggage simply because she's a woman is not putting "Country First". It's pure pandering and the reality is starting to sink in.

    September 18, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. west home

    Obama needs to hit the McLame/Gramm tie-in hard. That should be worth 10+ points on any poll! Talk about the chickens coming home to roost, and McLame is one stringy rooster.

    September 18, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. Wes

    "Is it just me or does McCain appear to be staring at Palin's behind in this picture? I guess now we know why he chose her as his running mate …"

    You know, I have said this very thing to people ever since he first "introduced" her that Friday in Ohio. Other people are starting to notice this too.

    September 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. elvera

    These two ‘mavericks’ have no idea what they are talking about. Both are primitive non-educated people who know nothing about anything. Two future US and world leaders?! Are you serious? How in the world you can listen to their mumbling and even applaud them? What is wrong with you, people? Let McCain retire in peace and let Sarah produce more children and continue to hunt deer, bear or something.

    September 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Nina DePonca

    Oil is down to about $95 per barrell. Why ... because demand is down ...


    Conservation ... not DRILL, DRILL , DRILL ... not Off shore drilling makes the difference. There has been ZERO drilling. Once again Obama was right McCain was wrong.

    Now, there are some voters ... to whom McCain was pandering ... when he FLIP FLOPPED on his position on off shore drilling ... that think that drilling new fields today could impact oil prices but they were wrong.

    Domestic Oil is no better than foriegn oil. It still polutes, it still creates global warming, and there is no guarantee that oil pumped from America will be sold to America. It will go to the highest bidder.

    We need an energy policy that takes us off ALL fossil fuels. Obama has the right approach, not John McCain.

    September 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Concerned Texan

    This is getting very interesting. There have to be other issues that the gop candidates do not agree on that has not surfaced yet.

    And someone please tell me that mccain is not staring at her rear again, please tell me I am wrong again 🙂

    September 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. L

    I love Sarah Palin. She has something i have never seen in a politician and i cant wait to have her as McCains VP.

    September 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. Trasa, Texas

    what a joke September 18th, 2008 9:46 am ET

    Is it just me or does McCain appear to be staring at Palin's behind in this picture? I guess now we know why he chose her as his running mate …

    Looks like it to me!

    September 18, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. Anti Palin...Pro Women

    ===why is that rich and clueless go for mcBush?(Donald Trump)


    ===those hardworking of americans go for Obama?

    September 18, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. Baze

    Well its fitting that they're laughing while the world market is crumbling, the White House is denouncing this B.S. "fundamental" argument, and the G.O.P. calls the absolute end to all "pork barrel" spending an outlandish dream. A pair of "jokers" indeed.


    September 18, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Foo Man Jew

    McCain's looking at her north slope!

    Do we really need this Beverly Hillbillies routine w/ the homespun non specific generic answers? It was cute when Bush did it, heh heh, But this just appears to be a bad rerun.

    September 18, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. David

    Agree to disagree? On an issue that's this important, the two people on the Republican ticket cannot agree. To agree to disagree simply means: We won't be able to resolve this matter so let's leave it alone.

    September 18, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    They are BOTH a joke! And as the economic trouble their Greedy Old Party caused by deregulating the banking industry [especially Phil "Mental Recession/Nation of Whiners" Gramm], people are FINALLY going to hold them ACCOUNTABLE!!! Bye, Bye Miss American Pie!

    September 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. Take back America

    Yes he's staring her down. "Yoooooou caaaaaan plaaaay stuuuuuump the caaaaandidate'" haaahaaaa. This chick is astraight moron. I think she's Bipolar. When she starts to speak she takes a few steps as if she's gonna run up to the person who ask the question. Check out Johnny right hand.....Can you say Bob Dole?

    September 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. Rob


    September 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. Remus

    "When people are hurtin, get the sources flowing"? LOL
    Green eggs and ham, Sam I am. It appears she tried to make a high-cou, although most of her audience would not recognize that thinking it's a type of moose she hunts.

    September 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Getting over that new car smell??

    The whole GOP is a joke. Bush and friends have made a disaster out of our country. Nothing but corruption and disgrace from the "Party of Family Values".

    The sooner we send the GOP packing, then we will return to the great nation we are supposed to be.

    VA Veteran for Obama!

    September 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Ron

    what happened to Michele Obama? i hear there a little tension in the family because of the interplay between Barack and Joe Bidens wife

    September 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. kathy

    The questions Palin took weren't anything astounding...but becuz she isn't qualified to be VP or even prepared to take media questions, then we have to see the same ol' same ol' over and why doesn't the media move on! the important issues. i truly believe her answer to the "drilling" question was memorized...she's not smart enough to come up with that off the top of her head. You know and i know tht she was thoroughly coached as to what to say in the event a certain question was asked...and where were the tough questions?.....or would that have been to sexist? Her off the script impromptu was "stump the candidate"...which as you can see mccain squashed immediately...cuz i'm sure she'd have been stumped on the stump!

    September 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. Wisconsin Cheesehead

    The definition of a banana republic is a country that is ruled by a small, self-elected, wealthy and corrupt clique.

    If you think banana republics only existed on foreign policy papers or some exotic movies think again.

    America is unofficially a “banana republic”. Does anyone remember Bush jokingly saying if he was a dictator it will be very easy to govern? This was just before the Iraq war started and he was frustrated with Congress for not acting fast enough for him to start his war.

    Well Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulson are calling all the shots in this economic meltdown and Bush is MIA for not talking to the nation and according to WH spokeswoman Dana Perino “Bush is wary of holding news conferences in general because he didn't want to distract from the presidential campaign”. What is more important these United States of America or the campaigns? But then again it’s just Bush outdoing himself on mediocrity and incompetence.

    There you have it Bush doesn’t have to tell the American people what he’s doing with their tax dollars and he doesn’t have to work with Congress either.

    September 18, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
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