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. Algernon

    Congressional Republicans have not been honest partners in devising or implementing solutions, nor have they consistently offered good suggestions to improve the majority party's initiatives, and this in spite of Obama making concessions and going to such lengths in the early months of his term that he earned criticism for it.

    Yet McCain claims, without honesty, that Obama has not made an effort to be "bipartisan." Of course McCain is being a sore loser. He can stop behaving that way any time he wants to, but at the moment the shoe fits.

    When the minority party wants to get serious about working with the administration, testing and challenging its ideas as a minority party ought to do, I think they will see greater bipartisanship. In other words, it is up to the GOP.

    June 21, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Carl Justus

    If Obama could wave his arms and fix all the problems facing this country the republicans would grumble because he did not bow to them so they could help him wave his arms.

    June 21, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. John

    Obama's policies have had no GOP support, because the GOP choses not to support any of his policies. There is no bipartisanship because the GOP refuses to participate. The Democrats do no have to accept a lot of GOP demands, because they have enough votes to go it alone. Even when the Democrats and Obama have agreed to some GOP consessions, the GOP has still not voted in favour of those bills. The GOP have created this partisan environment in this Congress, but somehow want the voters to believe that Obama has created this division.

    More spin with little factual basis.

    June 21, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Larry

    All Obama has to do is find a few SMART Republicans to help pass Americans agenda ...

    No easy chore when the choices include people like John McCain ...

    But Obama is an intellegent man ...

    He has my faith ...

    June 21, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. larry

    it takes two sides to be bipartisan.....the party of NO will never be bipartisan.

    June 21, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. annie s

    It's hard to be bipartisan when Republicans only seem to know the word "no" and are so stuck on their failed policies. I think the President honestly tried to reach a hand out to them – their response was to follow Rush Limbaugh in wishing failure on the Obama administration. True bipartisanship means both sides have to bend a little bit, something the Republicans have been firmly unwilling to do.

    June 21, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Fear based leaders/crooks

    There is not a dime'sworth of difference between McCain and Obama. They both believe in war, bailouts, spying, illegal immigration, etc. They are exactly the same.

    June 21, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Deb n Texas

    Who care what McCain – he said ANYTHING during his campaign to win and failed. Why wouldn't he say ANYTHING now?

    June 21, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Jim

    What's the point in being bipartisan. The reason there are two parties is that they have different ideas about how to run the country. Being a Democrat, Obama probably doesn't agree with most Republican political agendas. Democrats control the Congress. Why ,then, should he try to tailor his actions to be acceptable to Republicans? He doesn't need them !!!

    June 21, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Guillaume

    I find Mr. McCain admirable for his fair-play and objectivity. If more politicians were like him, we might have a better chance at true bi-partisanship.

    June 21, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Simmy

    I think it's very 'bipartisan' to 'pick off' Republicans......(Smiling)....(Now laughing).....Keep them close Mr. President......

    June 21, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Bill Sampson

    Obama cannot achieve a "bipartisan consensus" with the party of no, Senator McCain.

    June 21, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Susan from TX

    This is nice to hear for a change. I also think President Obama has done well considering what was handed to him. Although our country is suffering right now in so many ways and even though I am losing my job effective June 30th due to mass closings within my company, I feel hopeful. Isn't that odd?

    June 21, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Aspen Professor

    Congratulations Sen. McCain!

    Now if your cohorts in Congress and on the Fox Channel etc. could or would understand what the world is all about and how we need to end the economic crisis and the rapidly increasing health care cost fiasco, maybe those of us that are moderate Repuboicans would vote for them in the future.. At the moment, do not hold your breath waiting for my vote.

    Senator, if you have a minute, send a message loud and clear to Limbaugh, Cheney, O'Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, and Sen. Bachman in Minnesota to shut their mouths until they have something intelligent to say. I am not going to hold my breath on that one either.

    June 21, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Terrell

    Bless Obama and McCain. We need to remind ourselves that he still has over three years to go. He has accomplished alot in his first few months and for some reason, analysts and politicians are already trying to "grade" his presidency. Give him time and a chance. Pray for all of our government officials and leaders.

    June 21, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Les, Utah

    Congratulations to McCain! Maybe he's beginning to start realizing it's time to become more of the McCain we once admired so much. BUT, how the hell does he think Obama can be bipartisan when, as soon he (Obama) opens his mouth, and before he says anything, he is greeted by a chorus of Republican criticism and NOs, including by McCain, and then vote accordingly? In my 82 years, I've never seen that many people, especially Repupulicans, agree so completely on ANYTHING. Remarkable!! Don't blame the lack of bipartisanship on Obama, but on your group of idiots. The problem is, Republicans never seem to realize that bipartisanship is a two-way street!

    June 21, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. nan

    he's been more bi-partisian then the republicans who do nothing but whine and offer no plans.

    June 21, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Howard

    Calling the Pesident's foreign policy grade "Incomplete" is uncharitable at best, and curmudgeonly at worst. A fair and proper answer would have been, "It's too soon to tell." No President could possibly hope to achieve results with either Iran or North Korea in just 5 months.

    June 21, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. judesuper

    Wow, President Obama wins praise from McCain. That's like our president winning praise from the village idiot. Who cares?

    Tick-tock John. Your butt print on our senate seat is almost up. We are starting a movement here in your home state. Oh, just in case you have forgotten, it's Arizona. Since you don't ever do anything for us. We will oblige you and not for you. How's that?

    June 21, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. judesuper

    I mean, not, listen too, vote for, or tolerate your views.

    June 21, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Mberwa N.Y.

    I don't know about you guys but personally I think the situation in Iran was a big foreign policy test for our president, and his approach was definitely an A+..

    June 21, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Bill in Austin

    Let's see if I understand this. The GOP has played the obstructionist card at every opportunity and been the party of "NO" since day one and they say President Obama is not bi-partisan. Talk about "chutzpah". No wonder their polls are so low-they just don't seem to have a clue.

    President Obama reached out to the opposing party more in 5 months than President Bush did in 8 years.

    June 21, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Senator McCain, you lost. Get Over It!!

    North Korea and Iran began ramping up while Bush was in office, so what grade does Bush get for that, John?!

    And Senator, please explain how you qualified for flight school after Annapolis when you graduated at the bottom of your class, while the rest of us who went there had to rank higher just to be considered?!

    June 21, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. observer

    Must have been a slip of the tongue!

    June 21, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. didi

    good for mccain.....

    June 21, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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