Archive for Thursday, July 17, 2008

McCain stresses energy policy in Kansas City visit

John McCain delivers a message about energy and foreign policy during a town hall meeting at Union Station in downtown Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday.  More than 900 people attended the standing-room-only meeting, which was open to the public.

John McCain delivers a message about energy and foreign policy during a town hall meeting at Union Station in downtown Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday. More than 900 people attended the standing-room-only meeting, which was open to the public.

July 17, 2008


— The Republican presidential candidate - at times at odds with his own party - showed enthusiasm as he shook hands with the people who swarmed him at Union Station.

Arizona Sen. John McCain had just conducted a town hall meeting Thursday and had shown some feistiness in criticizing one of the favorite campaign themes of his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

"What kind of change we are going to have is the right change and not the wrong change," he said in the middle of about 1,000 joyous supporters.

After it was over, the 71-year-old McCain shook hands and took photos with dozens of supporters as the song "Life is a Highway" blared over the loudspeaker.

He had answered questions about high gasoline prices, energy policy, the economy, the war in Iraq and health care for veterans.

"Sen. McCain is probably one of the most approachable candidates that I've seen in very many years," said Deb Hammond, of Parkville, Mo.

The same day that McCain called Missouri a swing state in the race, a Rasmussen poll showed the GOP presidential candidate with a 20-point lead in Kansas over Obama, who has family ties in the state and an endorsement from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Pundits say McCain's foreign policy stances, his experience and his willingness to seek middle ground on issues like campaign finance or climate change make Kansas comfortable territory for the GOP candidate.

"He has that capacity to appeal to more centrist voters," said Joe Aistrup, head of Kansas State University's political science department.

Lawrence Republican Rick Davis, who made the trip to Union Station, said he wasn't concerned that McCain lost the February Kansas caucuses to Mike Huckabee.

The nomination was already decided, and mostly conservative voters turned out, he said. In the next weeks of the race, Davis expects McCain to stress his foreign policy experience and support for the surge strategy in Iraq.

"I'd love to get him to the other side of the state line" for a visit, said Davis, chairman of the Douglas County Young Republicans.

Democrats, though, have said McCain's policies too closely resemble President Bush's time in office, and they're still confident Obama could make some noise in Kansas, where a Democrat hasn't won since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

McCain might turn people off with his recent comments about privatizing Social Security, said Jenny Davidson, a Kansas Democratic Party spokeswoman.

"They soundly rejected that in 2005, and I'm sure they'll reject that again," Davidson said.

Douglas County has typically been a political anomaly in Kansas. It and Wyandotte were the only counties John Kerry won in 2004. Obama's campaign also is built on enthusiasm from his February caucus victory.

"It's obviously not a given, but it's something that we think is possible," Davidson said.

Aistrup said McCain might appeal to moderate Republicans and independents in Kansas and would win the state, but he expected Obama to win in Douglas and Wyandotte counties.

Lawrence Republicans acknowledged the challenge here for McCain, but they said he could surprise some people.

Many national polls suggest Obama has the trust of more voters on the economy, while McCain's advantage seems to be foreign policy.

But Craig Campbell, chairman of the Douglas County Republicans, said as the economy and energy policy together become a major issue, it could help McCain.

"Things that are really impacting people's pocketbook are huge," Campbell said.

During his speech Thursday in Kansas City, McCain mentioned a gasoline tax holiday before he spoke about the Iraq war. He also called on Congress to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling, a stance he recently changed.

A previous version of this story incorrectly omitted a county from the list of Kansas counties John Kerry won in 2004.


Godot 9 years, 10 months ago

An observation of bias in reporting:"McCain has been trying to pit his foreign policy experience against Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama, who leads in most national polls."A non-biased wording would be:McCain, a veteran of several senate terms, touts his foreign policy experience against Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama who has less than six years' experience in the Senate. National polls show that the two candidates are tied, within the marin of error.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 10 months ago

'mentioned the benefits of nuclear power.'---yeah, more like tried to make it look like a band-aid. Just more proof for me that McCain isn't looking into the future; rather, he is projecting the past into it.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 10 months ago

"veterans a health card to use at any hospital"He just does not care enough about the current soldiers to vote for the new G.I. Bill.

jhwk2008 9 years, 10 months ago

dialupandy (Andrew Stahmer) says: "I also haven't seen him (as of yet, or maybe I missed it) prove himself to be a racist, a bigot, a sexist or an elitist-actually I'll withdraw 'elitist' every politician has that to some extent-but Obama has quite a surplus of it!!"Do you not watch the news? And how has Obama proven himself to be any of these things? ByRacist: "I hate the gs," McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live." Feb. 2, 2008(The LJ World won't even let me say the word.)Bigot: Actually, I can't find any instance where McCain has been a bigot. (See, this is where I don't mention the bigoted pastors Hagee, Parsley, or Falwell. These people don't speak for McCain.)Sexist: "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c." (McCain has never denied this.)"Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'"McCain has never denied this either. His spokesperson yesterday: "He's long said that he's said and done things in the past that he regrets," Rogers said. "You've just got to move on and be yourself - that's what people want. They want somebody who's authentic, and this kind of stuff is a good example of McCain being McCain."Elitist: McCain and his wife own 8 houses. 1. A $4.7 million, 6,000-square-foot condo in Phoenix. 2. A $2.7 million beachfront condo near San Diego. 3. Another $2.1 million beachfront condo near San Diego. 4. A $1.8 million, 15-acre creekfront ranch in Yavapai County, Arizona. 5. A $1 million beachfront condo in La Jolla, California. 6. A $850,000 condo in Arlington, Virginia.Bonus property excess: * The McCains bought their daughter Meghan a condo, in cash, for $700,000 when she graduated from college last spring. No word on who pays the association fees.The McCains also own a rental condo which they are currently trying to sell. It can be yours for $730,000.The total value of McCain real estate is $13,800,000.What were you saying again? Can you quote anything Obama said directly?

bluerose 9 years, 10 months ago

he is really a frightening guy.not just his thoughts and words, but his gestures -

Jim50 9 years, 10 months ago

You will never see a gas tax holiday. It is pandering by McCain, he knows it is a very bad idea and will never be passed by CongressThe media never asked McCain when he is going to propose the law. Why hasn't he prosed a bill? Because he will get very few votes for it, including Republicans. It will hurt state budget and line the pockets of the oil companies, Listen to the video below. The interviewer starts with a question about Senator Bond, (R-MO) not agreeing with the gas tax holiday.The audience was very pro Iraq war. Several questions appeared to be planted, such questions where the person gives an opinion that matches McCain. One example was a question about health insurance. The questioner said he did not agree with Obama that health care need more government oversight, it should work on a free market principle.McCain made several false or incomplete statements in Kansas City today: "If you like high taxes then Senator Obama is your man." McCain did not ask anyone if they made more than $250,000?When did McCain propose a bill for the Tax holiday? It is strange that the media never asked him. Video KC Star Interview Watch McCain stammer, get nervous, and make false statement.The interviewer pressed McCain about how long the gas tax would last. In the video above McCain would not even say how long a gas tax should last. More than a week, but no other estimate. Does not sound like a very well thought out idea, which he knows Congress will not pass. Claims he has never flip-flopped, only Obama has. Obama has the most "extreme" voting record, he is even to the left of someone that is a declared socialist. Obama has never worked across the isle. Obama sponsored the "Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008" A bill to strengthen transparency and accountability in Federal spending. There are two Republican co-sponsors, one being John McCain. Using data from the American Conservative Union (probably no friend of Senator Obama), I find that the Illinois Senator ranked 32nd of the 51 Democratic Party Senators for 2007 for being liberal. That means about 60 percent of the Senate Democrats were more liberal than he was last year. Most liberal? Depends how you tally It's a line you'll hear many times from Sen. John McCain over the next few months: "In just a few years in office, Sen. Obama has accumulated the most liberal voting record in the Senate." But McCain's campaign also pointed out recently that Barack Obama votes with President Bush about half the time. So the biggest liberal in the Senate is a solid supporter of President Bush? What gives?

jaywalker 9 years, 10 months ago

bluerose, Not sure what you mean by his 'gestures', he's stroking his jaw while pondering a response in that Youtube link. I believe he was on a train or plane in transit, not in front of a crowd, so it's a more relaxed Q and A atmosphere.If you're looking for an answer to why Viagra is covered and birth control is not, the simplest explanation would be that Viagra is for a medical condition. Birth control is a choice.

Rickyonealku 9 years, 10 months ago

My vote will be going for McCain why like bluerose posted...if McCain is frightening to you then how do you think the governments from Iran, Iraq, china and other governments view and worry if McCain is our next elected President??? When Ronald Reagan was elected President, The Russian Government took a hard look at the relations between the USA and Russia for the better I might add. McCain will do the same with a NO bolony stance dealing with IRAN and others.

Boeing 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm a McCain supporter, and will most likely vote for him come November, but I disagree with the gas tax holiday concept. I am worried that everyone is all caught up in the "lower prices NOW" mindset...conservatives and liberals. Drilling, reducing taxes, and basically (in my eyes) making it easier to get and use oil without coming up with solutions to the crisis. I'm willing to pay a little more for gas now if it means finding a solution (for my wallet and my planet). Now, if we get up to $10/gallon like the UK, I may change my mind...but at $4/gallon (or $3.93 or whatever it is in Lawrence now), I think the lower consumption in the US right now is nothing but a good thing for the future. That's my two cents at least.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 10 months ago

McCain's Lack of concern for vets goes back a few years.He must have forgot.....

Mario 9 years, 10 months ago

The author knows nothing about geography. McCain was speaking in Kansas City, MO, but most of the story is about how Kansans feel. Just FYI, Kansas City, MO is not in Kansas.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 10 months ago

McCain doesn't know what his economic policies are or should be.An economic "plan" based upon tax cuts for the wealthy, a continued expensive war, balanced by cuts in "wasteful pork barrel spending". Ridiculous.Just ask Kit Bond about what is and is not "wasteful pork barrel spending".McCain is lost. He doesn't know whether or when to trust the free market or to impose regulation, to things he ha spoken favorably of in the past.

jayhawker85 9 years, 10 months ago

So, in essence, you're voting for "McINsane" too. Go figure.

jayhawker85 9 years, 10 months ago

No, I'll just vote for McCain. It'll make you feel good.

jayhawker85 9 years, 10 months ago

Hey logrithmic, my vote cancels out your vote.Jayhawker85- 1 vote for "McINsane."logrithmic- 1 vote for Obama

Siouxhawker 9 years, 10 months ago

I find it ironic that McCain would have a town hall style meeting at Union Station, but has repeatedly tried to abolish Amtrak.

Satirical 9 years, 10 months ago

Anyone else hear about how Obama removed from his website a couple days ago his opposition to the surge in Iraq, and all his claims that it would fail? Flip flop. He needs about 10 more years (or maybe even finishing HALF of his FIRST term in the Senate) of experience before being seriously considered for President.

Satirical 9 years, 10 months ago

logrithmic..."Not voting for either"'I hope this means you are not voting at all. Every person I can persuade not to vote makes my vote matter that much more. I plan on writing to Nickelodeon and Comedy Central to get a Sponge Bob Squarepants and a South Park marathon going to distract all the idiots who are too uniformed to be voting anyway. If all else fails I will distract these people with something shiny.

beatrice 9 years, 10 months ago

McCain a racist?In 1983, McCain voted against law creating national Martin Luther King Holiday. In 1987, he supported Arizona governor's effort to rescind the holiday. (Governor Evan Mecham was later impeached and removed from office.) In 1989, McCain changed his views on a state holiday, but continued to oppose the Federal holiday. "I'm still opposed to another federal holiday. . .but I support the (Arizona) Martin Luther King holiday because of the enormous proportions this issue has taken on as far as the image of our state and our treatment towards not only blacks but all minorities." [Phoenix Gazette, 5/2/1989] (Arizona is the first state in which an MLK holiday was approved by voters.)In 1994, McCain voted to prohibit federal funds for the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. In 1999, and again in 2000, John McCain said he wasn't offended by the flying of the Confederate flag in South Carolina. Then, on "Face The Nation" in 2000, McCain said, "The Confederate flag is offensive in many, many ways, as we all know. It's a symbol of racism and slavery." [CBS News, Face The Nation, 1/9/00]A day later, aides said he misspoke. "McCain reversed himself and called the flag 'a symbol of heritage':Aides said he had misspoken in the television interview." [New York Times, 1/12/2000]Then, in 2006, McCain reversed himself again (what some might call "flip-flopped") and conceded he lied in 2000 to win political points, calling it "An act of cowardice." McCain admitted, "I feared that if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary, so I chose to compromise my principles. I broke my promise to always tell the truth." Speaking on the incident in 2006, McCain went further, saying, "The flag in South Carolina. I said that that was a state issue [in 2000]. It's not a state issue. It's a symbol that should not fly over the state capitol anywhere in America. : I said that it really wasn't any of my business, was basically what I said. That was an act of cowardice." [New York Times, 4/20/2000; CNN, 5/24/2006]Does all of this indicate that John McCain is a racist? No. But it does demonstrate a history of being on the wrong side of some racially sensitive issues. It is worth considering (especially if others are wanting to question an undergraduate paper written by Michelle Obama!).

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