October 25th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain: 'I'm a fellow Westerner'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/25/art.macmexicohills1025.gi.jpg caption="Sen. McCain got off his plane Saturday with the hills of Mexico in the background on his way to a campaign stop in New Mexico."]
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CNN) - At a rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico Saturday, Senator John McCain told the crowd that he was a neighboring Western senator who understood the Southwest and Hispanic culture and his opponent didn’t.

“My friends I’m a fellow Westerner, I understand these issues, I understand land and water and Native American issues and border issues and I understand the challenges that a great, great western states face with our growth and our needs and our challenges,” said the Arizona Senator as he courted voters key to the state’s five electoral votes.

“My friends, Senator Obama has never been south of our border, you know that? And he doesn’t know these issues. I know them, I know what the Southwest is, I know strength and the culture and our Hispanic culture and the strength of our great states."

While McCain has been dealing with southwestern issues for over 20 years as an Arizona legislator, an Obama spokesman said that in fact the Illinois Senator did visit Mexico when he was in college.

McCain added a new line to his comments about Congressman Barney Frank’s plans to cut the defense budget, echoing the lines of GOP presidential candidates in elections past.

“The Democrats answer to the challenges we face is to lower our defenses and raise our taxes. That is not the vision I have for America. I want to strengthen our defenses and lower our taxes.”

And the Arizona Senator emphasized that while Senator Biden told donors at a Seattle fundraiser that his running mate would be tested by America’s enemies in office, McCain would test them back.

“My friends, I have been tested,” said McCain. "They may want to test Senator Obama. I’ve been tested and I'm going to test them. They’re not going to test me.”

Obama also has events in New Mexico and Nevada Saturday. These are battleground states that Bush won in 2004 but have been favoring Senator Obama in recent polling.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • New Mexico
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Hope in Georgia

    "I've been tested and I'm going to test them."

    Three points about this sentence: (1) When was McCain tested?
    (2) Who is "them"? (3) This man is unstable. He will get us into another war! Abort! Abort! Heaven help us. Go Obama!

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  2. mbg

    He is an American citizen.

    October 25, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  3. georgia for Obama

    Does he ever elaborate on what his test was ???
    Clearly he failed a bunch of them @ the naval academy

    October 25, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  4. Joe Fifth of Tequila

    Hey John –
    The only thing you know about Hispanic culture is what you read off a menu at the mexican restaurant you stopped by for a photo op on your way home to one of your 7 houses. You are clueless.

    October 25, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. Observing With BOTH Eyes

    I thought he was a Georgian.

    October 25, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. AM in VA

    Does McCain understand Native American and natural resources issues ?

    His VP's mantra is "Drill baby drill"

    It'll be great when he gets to go back to Arizona once and for all on Nov 5th!!

    Obama '08

    October 25, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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