June 21st, 2009
05:38 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain: Obama has done well, but hasn't been bipartisan

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/21/art.bomac0621.gi.jpg caption="Sunday, Sen. McCain had praise - and some criticism - for his former rival."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - You can't call John McCain a sore loser.

Seven months after Barack Obama defeated him in the U.S. presidential election, the Republican senator from Arizona said Sunday he thinks his former Senate colleague is making things happen in the White House.

"I think he's done well," McCain said on the CBS program "Face the Nation."

"He has achieved literally every one of his legislative accomplishments," McCain noted in reference to the economic stimulus package and other measures passed by Congress in recent months.

However, McCain said, the same partisan divisions remain in Congress despite Obama's campaign pledges of seeking bipartisan solutions.

"Unfortunately, it's by picking off a couple of Republicans" to support his measures instead of gaining real consensus, McCain said. "It's not been bipartisan."

On foreign policy, McCain offered Obama a grade of "incomplete," noting the North Korean and Iranian nuclear threats.

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. Tomas E

    Like do nothing republicans in congress are even going to appear like they are attempting to work in a bipartisan way. No wonder they got defeated last November or maybe they still aren't aware of that.

    June 21, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Wilfredo

    Bipartisan ship works both ways. It doesn't matter what the President does, the republicans reject it just to reject it so all that rhetoric doesn't matter.

    June 21, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Donkey Party

    THAT'S THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS ACCUSATION I'VE EVER HEARD!!!!!! If anything, President Obama has been trying to be TOO bi-partisan. I'm so sick of the phoney outrage of disgraced politicians like McCain trying to portray themselves and their fear-mongering, racist, hate-spewing, obstuctionist party as victims. The only Republican that still has any credibility is Colin Powell, whom the right-wingers have tried to throw to the lions. I hate them all.

    June 21, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Paul

    Real consensus is impossible with the degree of intransigence displayed by most Washington Republicans. And McCain may not like it, but bipartisanship comes a distant second to the president enacting the agenda he was elected for.

    June 21, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Arlene, Illinois

    After watching John McCain on "Face The Nation" this morning
    America should thank their lucky stars this man is not our

    June 21, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Donkey Party

    Most Americans would also give McCain's thought process a grade of "Incomplete" any time he opens his ignorant old mouth.

    June 21, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Seth in Jacksonville, FL

    It's a two-way street. For Obama to be bi-partisan doesn't mean he has to do what the GOP wants. More often than not, they need to do what he wants. The people voted for him and his agenda, not the GOP and theirs.

    June 21, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. james

    He has achieved evrything he set out to do, and that the American people elected him to do except for bipartisanship? Huh?
    Bipartisanship, by definition, is a two-way street. Obama has also kept the promise of reaching out to the Republicans. It is the Republicans that don't understand the concept of bipartisanship.
    And, foreign poilcy, by it's very nature is always incomplete.
    It would be too much to expect McCain to change his tune now, but I'm glad he's not our President.

    June 21, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

    If President Obama offers Republicans seats at the table and a chance to look for COMPROMISE and they bring the same tired "solutions" that won Democrats a clear and GROWING majority in the house and senate, what EXACTLY should the President do?
    Continue the programs that worked against the people and kick us to the curb or, at the very least, try NEW/DIFFERENT policies that at least TRY to help the people?
    As one of "the people," I pick the latter.

    June 21, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. LINDA

    President Obama has bent over backwards trying to be bipastisan. It's the Republican party who does not want to work with the President. They want it their way or no way.

    June 21, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Carole

    CNN if God forbid McShame had won, would you be getting Obama's input on every move? I just wonder.

    McShame needs to sit down and shut up. The Iranian people have said they KNOW the Rethugs are using them as a cheap political gain. The Iranian people remember McShame saying 'Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran'. The nerve of these Rethugs. Like they care about people of color. Same way they cared about Iraqi citizens being murdered while Bush golfed. Obama is practicing diplomacy.

    The WORLD is now on to the Rethugs and how they will lie about anything for votes. Stale, Pale, and Male = Republican Party.

    **Thank you Bill Maher for supporting David Letterman. I will no longer eat at the Olive Garden.

    June 21, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    While I admire and respect Senator John McCain as one of our heroes, I can't help but feel that had he been elected President, we would be involved in WWIII right now with North Korea and of course, China.

    Senator McCain would have used Nukes in this war and the entire world would have gotten involved.

    June 21, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. mike,texas

    There is no bipartisan from a party that only says no.They still vote down party lines when did a republican ever care about what a democrat wanted.

    June 21, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Ron

    It takes a big man to support the President as McCain has. He has set a good example and now we all need to follow it.

    June 21, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. Hawaii gal

    Why can't McCain ever give a real compliment to Obama? He says Pres. Obama has gotten things done, but not with the republicans....well if the republicans could stop criticizing him long enough to listen to what he proposes, perhaps we could have more bi-partisan support. No matter what Pres. Obama says the republicans immediately take the opposite side, no matter what. They are acting like a bunch of children.

    June 21, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. John

    I think it would be brilliant if Obama could get McCain to work with him on the national stage at getting bipartisan support. Is McCain up to the challenge? Would McCain put his country first?

    June 21, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Deborah Black

    What a liar. You are the ones who are not willing to be at all bipartisan. Whatever the President suggests, you condem without even bothering to have a plan of your own. Americans are tired of that and are beginning to hope that President Obama and the Democrats just go ahead and push through their plans despite you; just as Republicans did when they were in power.

    June 21, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. RDNC

    thats why he should be president

    June 21, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Clint

    With the exception of Senator McCain's comments about President Obama not trying to reach bi-partisan consensus on issues and his handling of North Korea and Iran, I agree with him. In my opinion each time President Obama has attempted to include the Republicans on issues they have rebuffed the offer in some sort of partisan way. I think that President Obama's handling of North Korea has been good. When the times comes for the US to deal with North Korea militarily no country will be ever be able to say that we did not try peaceful means first, and the same goes for the on-going Iran problem.

    June 21, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Keeth in California

    Mr. McCain needs to understand that caving to GOP demands is not the definition of "bipartisanship". When the GOP offer true alternatives, then maybe we can actually see some real bipartisan work and legislation for all Americans - not just Republicans, and not just Democrats.

    June 21, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. yoyolite

    Nice gesture, but thank God we don't have this war monger leading our foreign policies. He reacts from the gut and not the brain. Been there, done that.

    June 21, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    and since when does any Republican know the meaning of the word "bipartisan" ? Doesn't old McCain remember Bush's rotten 8 years?


    June 21, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. mark ferbet, kansas city, mo.

    Mr. McCain,
    It is your job to make the leadership of your party come half way. When they truly show they are interested, then President Obama will reach out. But saying NO to everything that is proposed, and an unwillingness to compromise is the fault of the minority party... which will only hurt Republicans. No, is not the answer. Your party lost its way, and lost the election. You have to prove your ability to reach a bipartisian compromise.... Not Mr. Obama

    June 21, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. democrat no mas

    I really like McCain as a person, however he wasn't the right man to be president. It will be interesting to see if his health holds up until 2012. Palin in 2nd place was almost as scary as Biden & Pelosi.

    June 21, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Limbaugh is a liberal

    That's a such a pretentious response. To blame Obama solely for the lack of bipartisanship? What has McCain done? What has his party done to reach across? All they've ever done is whine, whine, and offer no viable alternatives at all! Worse, their leaders such as Cheney and Limbaugh have even tried to push legitimate republicans such as Collin Powell out of the party! The republicans are in no position to criticize others for partisanship!

    June 21, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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