October 25th, 2008
07:51 PM ET
14 years ago

'Finish the race before starting the victory lap,' McCain says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/25/art.macahead1025.ap.jpg caption="Sen. McCain warned Sen. Obama not to get too far ahead of himself during a campaign event Saturday."]
(CNN) - Senator John McCain attacked Sen. Barack Obama for having his inaugural address ready to go and said that Obama’s presidential preparations will be proven premature at a rally in Mesilla, Arizona on Saturday.

“We just learned from a newspaper today that Senator Obama’s inaugural address is already written.”

“You know? I’m not making it up. I’m not making it up. I’m not making it up. An awful lot of voters are still undecided, but he’s decided for them that well, why wait? It’s time to move forward with his first inaugural address,” McCain said.

“My friends, when I pull this thing, I have a request for my opponent. I want him to save that manuscript of his inaugural address, and donate it to the Smithsonian. And they can put it right next to the Chicago paper that said Dewey Defeats Truman,” he said in reference to the 1948 Chicago Tribune headline incorrectly proclaiming Dewey the winner of that presidential election.

“There’s 10 days left in this election, maybe Barack Obama will have his first state of the union address ready before you head to the polls. You know, I guess I’m just a little old fashioned about these things. I prefer to let the voters weigh in before presuming the outcome. What America needs now is someone who will finish the race before starting the victory lap.”

McCain was referring to a New York Times article published Saturday that said John Podesta (who leads Senator Obama's transition team) "has been mapping out the transition so systematically that he has already written a draft Inaugural Address for Mr. Obama, which he published this summer in a book called ‘The Power of Progress’.”

Minutes after the Republican presidential candidate finished his speech, an Obama aide clarified that the address was in a book John Podesta wrote before Obama was the nominee and was written for a generic Democratic president.

In another response, Obama-Biden spokesman Bill Burton denied McCain's claim and linked him to a very unpopular Republican president.

“While this charge is completely false and there is no draft of an inaugural address for Senator Obama, the last thing we need is a candidate like John McCain who just plans on re-reading George Bush’s,” Burton said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (521 Responses)
  1. Bulldog

    Wow, McCain is angry. What a surprise. He really needs to attend his anger management meetings.

    October 25, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  2. GE in MD

    Shame on ya, Johnny Mc ... Get the facts straight before you go off with guns a-blazin' – we don't need another trigger-happy cowboy in the white house.

    October 25, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. Ken in NC

    McCain maybe if you run in 2016 you can take a lesson from this campaign. Learn from the Obama campaign and stay on message and do not waste time trying to make your opponent do what you want him to do.

    Talk about how you will run the country in 2016.. WOW you will be 80 then. Maybe you better tape your campaign now for your 2016 bid for the White House or the Old Folks Home. They may vote to allow you in one.

    October 25, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  4. Independent Fred

    Willy Brown October 25th, 2008 7:57 pm ET *wrote*

    "Nothing would be better than Barry looking so dumb founded on the evening of 4 November when McCain beats the Chicago liberal. Hey Barry did you get your sick granny to say you was borned in the USA?

    This is exactly the reason Independents are turning away from you people. This type of mean spirited garbage will ultimately prove your parties undoing...

    BTW It's "Born in the USA" not "Borned in the USA"

    October 25, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  5. Barbara the PTA "Mawm"

    John McCain is so pathetic! He sounds like an angry child stamping his feet in a temper tantrum. It's so unbecoming and makes me dislike him.

    October 25, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  6. a Rose from Iowa

    I no longer believe in you.
    You were once an honorable man...but look at you now.
    I would stay away from being so negative...stay far away from Rush, Rove, and all the other ADVISORS who have ruined your mind and the entire GOP. The Republican Party was once respectable. No more. It's the party of whites trying to stay behind their gated lives. Why are there so many whites at your meetings?? Why aren't there more people of color?? It's a great world of diversity and the country has changed towards even more diversity. This country stands for liberty and justice for ALL...not just a few.
    Don't make it worse!!! No more lies...no more listening to screeching Palin smearing Obama.

    October 25, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  7. R.O.B.

    Well lucky for you Mr. McCain, you won't have to write one anyway.

    October 25, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  8. MSB

    VOTE MCCAIN!!!!!!

    October 25, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  9. Jim in Bisbee

    Mesilla is in New Mexico, not Arizona.

    October 25, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  10. Rogue Palin

    As a PA resident I wish we had early voting. CNN please stop talking about Race as an issue every 2hrs, we know it is. Let's start talking about Obama's economic plan which has got a lot of support by economists!

    October 25, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  11. Mark

    he's an idiot, period. He will wake up one day and look back and see how he let the people in charge of the republican party steal the presidency from him and make him look foolish for the rest of his life, his reputation is done, he might as well just sit back and do pain pills with his wife and doctor shop in each town of his 7 houses and watch palin go back to alaska in shame when the truth comes out about her troopergate and her $150,000 in clothes and the fact that the highest paid person on the McCain team for the first 2 weeks of october was Palins make-up artist who got $22,000 for just 2 weeks, and her witch hunting preacher and her husband who wants alaska to leave the united states and the poor kid who has to go to a shotgun wedding, and Joe the plumber who isn't a plumber or paid taxes and the girl who lied about getting beat up by a black guy, or fox news it wasn't a hoax and saying if it wasn't true then it was the end of his campaign and he will forever be known for racism in his campaign,SNL , Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert can't even right stuff this good!... good luck everyone we need it

    October 25, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  12. RACHEL

    McPalin is right in that it's not over. It's not over until every vote is counted and Tom Brokaw announces "Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States" (I had that dream the other night. It was beautiful :)).

    Obama has a decent lead in the polls, but the only poll that counts is the one on Nov. 4. Let's be happy and encouraged that we are ahead, but we can't get too comfortable. We can't be that snowboarder in the Olympics that had a sizable lead and started celebrating before crossing the finish line and fell and lost the race.

    Please, if your state has early voting, do it, and encourage others to do it.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008!

    October 25, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  13. rbho

    Please learn to write proper English – you are an example of the fools who blindly support an idealogy and not what is best for America. I genuinely wish McCain would have done two things: picked a running mate that allowed us independents to have a sound reason to consider him and secondly, spoke about issues and solutions than the irritating comments typically along the lines of "My friends, I have a plan... I have a plan.... I have a plan...." What the hell are the details of this plan? Also, stop calling us friends unless he intends to invite me to one of his 7 mansions, a free ride on his jet, a ride in one of his 13 cars, etc.

    My support for Obama is based on a well articulated and reasoned set of solutions to systemic problems facing our country. For that he wins my vote and simply because of that. I do hope we realize how close our country is coming to the point of going from a great nation to one that could be a has-been. That is not an option and we must vote for the country and not in support of an idealogy – the same idealogy that have torn our country over the last 8 years.

    October 25, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  14. John Obegolu

    I can not believe that McCain is wasting precious time commenting on speeches someone else is writing. Poor judgement. He should be talking about where he intends to take America, Only 10 days left, no time to waste.

    October 25, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |

    McCain thought he was going to pull Hillary's supporters with Palin. She had her own agenda. She is a crook, evil, narrow minded person. I hope her political career is over. GO HOME AND TAKE CARE OF ALL OF THOSE CHILDREN.

    October 25, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  16. reality

    October 25th, 2008 2:51 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    wow.. the McSame campaign is coming undone. It's surprising how MsSame can make the argument for experience when, he has far more experience in running campaigns and still failing, and failing miserably.
    Experience means nothing if you're not competent, and McSame is incompetent.

    If you think of this objectively, McCain is not qualified to run the small business Joe the plumber wants to buy.

    Vote Early, Vote Obama and Vote for a great future for all Americans.

    October 25, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  17. republican voting for obama

    mcbush, your big mistake was palin.

    get rid of her and i will reconsider.

    go obama

    October 25, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  18. jfc1

    "Just 10 days to go. 10 long days of McCain's insanity."

    eh, he'll still be a US senator after the election.

    at least I think so.

    if he doesn't go nuclear.

    October 25, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  19. Carrie

    I don't hear the fat lady singing yet. I can't believe the American people have been duped by the rhetoric of Senator Obama. The first thing he plans to do is sign the Freedom of Choice ACT, which he cosponsored.
    This will negate state abortion laws, making abortion legal up until the birht of a child for any reason. Other countries want Obama elected because he is weak and a pacifist who cringes at "The Star Spangled Banner" because it speaks of bombs bursting in air. He plans a trillion more in federal spending. His new motto will be, "Ask not what you can give your country, but ask what your country and give to you." He has crucified businesses suggesting they are evi. It is business that give all you idiots voting for him your jobs. You will regret electing Barack Obama.

    October 25, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  20. beth

    And the point of Mr McCain's comment is??? When is he going to campaign about the issues? Can't he understand that if they win based on the campaign they've run, the whole country loses? We need a leader, not a tattle tale and a diva.

    October 25, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  21. Lawrence Ryans Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    There has been comments relating to whether one would prefer a president with more experience or one with better judgements. I would take the one with the better judgement anytime. The one with the more experience still can't explain why over 4,000 young soldiers have lost their lives in a useless war. The one with the better experience would not have allowed the soldiers to have been there in the first place, so those beautiful lives would still be here living their livelyhood with their family. Being a Harvard graduate is a bonus. Graduating 894 out of 899 on the graduate list scares me.

    October 25, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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