February 24th, 2009
05:20 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain presses Obama on pricey helicopters

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/23/art.maccopter0223.gi.jpg caption="Sen. McCain mentioned the hefty projected price tag for replacing the President's fleet of helicopters as the White House's fiscal responsibility summit ended Monday evening."]
(CNN) - President Obama said Monday heโ€™s pretty happy with helicopter he has - though the new commander-in-chief joked he's never had one to compare it to.

During a fiscal summit at the White House Monday, Arizona Sen. John McCain - Obama's former rival for the White House - pressed the new president on the Defense Department's plan to overhaul the fleet of 28 Marine One helicopters, a process that began early in the Bush administration.

Watch: 'I've never had a helicopter before,' Obama says

The price tag for the new helicopters has been estimated at over $11 billion, more than the cost of Air Force One - a cost that Obama said appeared unnecessary.

"The helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me," Obama responded to laughter. "Of course, I've never had a helicopter before.

"You know? Maybe - maybe I've been deprived and i didn't know it. But I think it is a - an example of the procurement process gone amok and we're going to have to fix it."

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (328 Responses)
  1. gl, Pittsburgh

    The man how spend $500.00 on his shoes. MCain is a whaco job!

    February 23, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. jonnierae

    If you look at the video.that is not what happened. Obama brought up the heliocoptors himself. McCain praised the work done in his break out group led by Napolitano. He spoke in general about derense oversepending . You have the story wrong!!!

    February 23, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. teauana s.

    This is getting old.

    February 23, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. Joe Green

    Hillary Clinton pushed this contract to makeover the helicopters and pushed it to Lockheed in Syracuse.

    Joe Liberman had this naieve idea that perhaps the contract should go to Sikorsky in Connecticut.

    Ol' Joe paid the price for crossing Hillary.

    Of the 11 billion to makeover the "Hilly-copters", 1 billion was for custom "HRC" monograms for each seat.

    So, we can save a billion right there....

    Just trying to help, here.

    February 23, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. Cecil

    So that's all thats left? Complain about something now that you didn't bother to complain about when W was in office? Get over youselves. This is the reason the GOP is becoming irrelevent before our eyes. Nothing constructive, only critical of the party in power. You guys haven't learned anything from the last 2 election cycles. Grow UP!

    February 23, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. amf

    cheryl people are complaining because the gov has no money

    February 23, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. bco

    Time for McCain to go and save the world and win a Nobel Prize or something. Pssst- you lost, now shut up.

    February 23, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    McCain is petty, miserable poor loser.

    February 23, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  9. Retire McCain

    I wish McCain would retire in one of his many homes and keep quiet. He just sounds like a rich, old, and bitter man.

    February 23, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. sprkl12000

    OLD MAN YELLS AT CLOUDS is still at it??? so the President's security detail is a problem now???

    The Repubs have gone from a joke to an all out comedy troupe!!!

    February 23, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. Say what?

    I did not hear you or any other republican complaining when the last clueless administration ordered the fleet of helicopters. SHUT UP ALREADY – that's just why you lost – old bitter man.

    February 23, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. Irving, TX

    Well John, sour grapes,,, what else can anyone say about an old man who wanted to be president and just could not get enough votes to make it.

    Well JOHN get over it and go drank a BEER from your wife company.....

    February 23, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. Ohio Woman

    President Obama could give him the old chopper and he could fly off to Alaska and visit the Palin Family.

    February 23, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. George

    Let me see,

    Do republicans have a share in the media outlets?

    February 23, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Daryl from Seattle

    McCain didn't have the 'corn nuts' to say something like that to Bush. What a coward and a fake.

    February 23, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Joe Average

    Just give me a 1/4 mil and I will not bother anyone again!

    February 23, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  17. liz

    Hey workndude! I find it interesting that you cannot spell IDIOT!

    February 23, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. kayla


    February 23, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. Roberta

    Oh Jesus save us. I do not want to have to listen to McCain campaign for another four years.

    I agree with President Obama that 28 helicopters at $11billion seems excessive. It's nice to hear the one with the most power saying his government is wasting money. Maybe he can change it.

    February 23, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. Todd (not the Alaska Separatist)

    Gosh, a real stinger from John "I'm not sure how many houses I own" McCain. Weren't these helicopters ordered by the Crawford Texas Village Idiot?

    February 23, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. Lisa

    If the helos are produced in America, thats a start with job creation.

    February 23, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  22. cnnnewser

    If it ain't broke – don't fix it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    February 23, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  23. Rob

    Sorry, I was so upset my mind forgot how to spell. The Republican Congressman should give up their GREAT health care and retirement to help save. While I'm at it these cry babies who screwed up our economy while getting RICH and ripping off real Americans are such idiots they are going to cause another depression and the stupidy here is that THEY stand to lose all the money the greedy BAS****s stole from you and me. Look around ALL the white collar crooks have been, YEA, Republicans. After 8 years of screw ups and getting us into a war that BUSH's intelligence people misspoke (HA , remember Bush appointed these idiots). The shame is that just about everyone BUT Republicans will not vote for these bozos again.

    February 23, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. Joe Average

    New Stimulus is on the horizon!

    February 23, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. Corey

    Whats with these headlines? "McCain presses Obama on pricey helicopters" really implies that Obama is the bad guy in this, that he masterminded this plan to blow tons of money on a new helicopter fleet. A: Bush contrived this plan. B: Obama already spoke out against it as well. The headline is extremely misleading and doesn't convey either of those critical details. Anyone just glancing through would think Obama is squandering tons of money-something that would unfairly tarnish his image. I know the idea is to generate a headline to make us read the article, but I've seen a lot of misleading headlines around here lately...

    February 23, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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