January 25th, 2009
01:30 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: I won't be a 'rubber stamp' for Obama

McCain says his new role after a bruising election is that of loyal opposition.

McCain says his new role after a bruising election is that of loyal opposition.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain, who faced a long, bruising campaign against President Obama, has taken on a new role in the Obama administration: "Loyal opposition."

McCain defined his role as, "[To] help and work together where I can, and stand up for the principles and the party and the philosophy that I campaigned on and have stood for for many years," to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

McCain, who has long championed bipartisanship in Washington, said while it's important for Americans to come together, it doesn't mean "that as the loyal opposition that I or my party will be a rubber stamp."

But the former Republican presidential candidate said he can use his experience to help Obama with a long-standing problem besides the economy.

"I think I can help in devising a strategy for Afghanistan. The hard truth is that the Afghan war has deteriorated," he said.

McCain's comments come amid recent U.S. bombings targeting al Qaeda in the Waziristan area of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. The rocky terrain has long been seen as a haven for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda operatives.

soundoff (395 Responses)
  1. SJ in SJ

    McCain is playing a valuable, necessary role. Of course he shouldn't rubber stamp anything – his insights are valuable, and he should raise concerns, both sides should examine the facts, and refine actions based on all qualified (emphasize qualified) points of view. Then our leaders need to come together and drive forward. I don't see McCain playing the role of obstructionist; instead, he'll speak up when he can suggest course refinements.

    The strength of a two-party system means that neither side can get carried away and act on ideology (though Obama seems pretty disciplined already). That's what brought down the Republicans, and I hope the Democrats listen to intelligent input from outside.

    January 25, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. TrueIndependent

    I lost a lot of respect for Sen McCain in the last 8 months. He certainly knows how to play to the gallery. Funny he made this statement on Fox., why not when he met with the President.

    Again, why all of a sudden are the Republican talking now? where were they the last 8 years, in exile?

    The Republicans do not want this President to succeed.

    Right now, 'We the People' want and need 'problem solvers' NOT 'loyal opposition', whatever that means. Now he wants to help? Where was his experience when he supported going to war in the first place?

    The only reason Republicans like war is because they make a lot of money as 90% of defense contractors are Republicans.

    Enough of the hypocrisy.

    January 25, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Bill

    None of this will matter. The country is heading towards a Final Depression which will make the Great Depression look like one of our better periods in history. If you look at history all great powers ...economic and military..... have come crashing down due to their selflessness and morale decadence.

    There is nothing that Obama can do to prevent this.

    January 25, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Jean

    It is a little to late McCain.

    You would be President if you had taken this stance against the first bailout.

    January 25, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Poll shows Americans not in favor of closing Guantanamo..

    Most Americans want to keep Guantanamo open because they know George Bush has kept them safe from terrorism for over 7 years now and thus they feel Guantanamo and enhanced interrogation techniques have worked.

    This is the first big break between Obama and the public and it's likely to be huge, especially after the next terrorist attack.

    Al Qaeda recruiters are telling prospective members that they have nothing to fear now and that Obama and Pelosi will treat them kindly.

    January 25, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Outspoken

    Well, that is certainly a relief to know. That's it John, get tough…..NOW THAT THE CAMPAIGNS OVER!!

    January 25, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. chuck


    January 25, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Willy Brown

    Obama is Nancy & Harry's rubber stamp to socialism.

    January 25, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. JRS

    Fed Up, Obama is already applying several of McCain's economic arguments concerning business taxes and windfall profits.

    People were mistaken to believe McCain was the same as Bush. Just good Democratic campaign trickery.

    Obama voted with the Dems 99% of the time ..the least popular Democratic congress in history with a 12% approval rating. That is diverse for you. Nice choice on the lobbyist, a day after saying there will be no lobbyists.

    January 25, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. paul g

    i think mccain lost his way during the campaign. if he truly disagrees with the obama administration on an item he has a responsibility to oppose it- but not just for the sake of opposing. that is how it should work. we will be stronger if both parties work for we citizens. how naive am i sounding???

    January 25, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. E-Man

    I used to love McCain, but he's history. HE is going to craft a plan for Afghanistan ??? I don't think so. He needs to work with the current admin on finding things that resolve problems. Forget mere ideaology, the Republicans got us into this mess with that cr@p. Will they ever learn ?

    January 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. QnAtl

    Given McCain's "Fundamentals of the Economy are Strong" statement and overal expertise on the economic front I am please that he is opposed to this bill.

    January 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Dana

    Sounds like he is saying, "I did not win so I am going to be a thorn in the presidents side as much as possible".

    Can you say, "Bitter old man!".

    January 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Turnabout is Fair Play

    alan January 24th, 2009 8:39 pm ET

    Dont forget no attack between 2001-2008 because of BUSH
    Can Obama protect us like BUSH?
    By that rationale then, the same could be said of Clinton's eight years in office. No attacks on American soil by foreign terrorists at ALL. One attack DID happen on Bushies watch though. Care to try that line of logic again?

    January 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Mike

    Brian January 25th, 2009 1:21 pm ET

    I'm a liberal Democrat and can't say that he'd ruined his reputation. Sahra Palin was a mistake, and she sure ruined her reputation (if she had any, never 've heard of her before), and the GOP ruined their reputation (but that's mainly due to GWB). The one who came out of this election as "best loser" is – in my opinion – John McCain. Maybe he's trying to increase this image, but he shouldn't oversell it...

    January 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. J McKeever

    Senator McCain was a terrible candidate for the Republican party. He is playing into this "let's get along nonsense." It's too bad the GOP is falling into the liberal trap of let's be nice. The liberal party is nothing but hateful and vitriol individuals with a distaste of America. Republicans had better get their game plan together because the sneaky liberals are on the prowl.... Democrats=The party of hate.

    January 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. John G

    After reading some of the comments on here I have a question. When are the Democrats going to get over the fact that they won? During the campaign the hatred and anger was at least understandable. They were trying to win an election. But now the hate has just turned into a sad attempt at bullying.

    Welcome to the New America I guess...

    January 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Ruth

    Same old thing. Sour grapes and resentment from the Republicans. McCain you lost. We don't need you. GO HOME TO CINDY. SHE NEEDS A PILL.

    January 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Bob

    Fun fact: John McCain was born before rubber stamps were invented

    January 25, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Turnabout is Fair Play

    NC January 25th, 2009 1:26 pm ET

    It should have been President McCain………Its just to bad America didn't think…
    You're joking right? I like to think that Americans who have lost their homes and jobs on the Republican's watch DID think and that is why Obama won and is now PRESIDENT Obama. If you think it should have been President McCain, you are in the minority and living in utter fantasy.

    January 25, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. sandee in Portland

    Term limits, term limits. Get these people like McCain that have been in public office for their entire life out! He's no different than the rest of them who are only in office for their own self serving interests and not the interests of the country or people. Keating 5 is a good example of that.

    It's time for the american people to take their country back from these selfish politicians.

    January 25, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. NJVote08

    NC January 25th, 2009 1:26 pm ET

    It should have been President McCain………Its just to bad America didn't think…

    America thought and thank GOD we did!

    January 25, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. DJ

    McCain's wisdom and experience in military issues and policy will be of benefit in an advisory role with the administration, and in the spirit of bipartisanship I'm certain his counsel will be heard.

    I'm pretty sure however, that no one in their right mind expected the republican candidate for president to be a "rubber stamp" for the ticket he lost to. Sounds like posturing to remain a valid party member and media item to me.

    January 25, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Larry in Houston TX

    @ Fed up & TKW – New Mexico – I totally agree with you !!
    Thanks for your post !!

    January 25, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Gal from NYC

    Both Obama and McCain are working for AIPAC.Don't be fooled people

    January 25, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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