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Preview: RealClearPolitics - Articles - John McCain

RealClearPolitics - Articles - John McCain





Last Build Date: Tue, 04 Nov 2008 20:36:03 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2009
 



McCain's Concession Speech

Tue, 04 Nov 2008 20:36:03 -0600

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving. This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight. I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound. A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now ... Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth. Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise. Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face. I urge all Americans ... I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited. Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that. It is natural. It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again. We fought - we fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours. AUDIENCE: No! MCCAIN: I am so... AUDIENCE: (CHANTING) MCCAIN: I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends. AUDIENCE MEMBER: We do, too (OFF-MIKE) MCCAIN: The road was a difficult one from the outset, but your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you. I'm especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother ... my dear mother and all my family, and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign. I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me. You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate's family than on the candidate, and that's been true in this campaign. All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude and the promise of more peaceful years ahead. I am also - I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I've ever seen ... one of the best campaigners I have ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always [...]



McCain's Midnight Rally in Miami

Mon, 03 Nov 2008 02:23:33 -0600

"We're going to cut taxes for working families. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America. Senator Obama's massive new tax increase would kill jobs and make a bad economy worse. I'm not going to let that happen. We need pro-growth and pro-jobs economic policies, not pro-government spending programs paid for with higher taxes. "If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Senator Obama will. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes. "I'm not going to spend $750 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. Senator Obama will. I'm going to make sure we take care of the working people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. "I have a plan to fix our housing market, to get home values up and keep people in their homes. That's the American dream and I'm going to protect it. "Democrats are talking about taxing your 401k contributions. I'm going to protect people's retirement, not tax it. I'm going to protect Social Security. I'm going to protect Medicare. And I'm not going to let this Congress tax away your retirement savings. "If I'm elected President, we're going to stop spending $700 billion to buy oil from countries that don't like us very much. We are going to create millions of new jobs with alternative energies. We will lower the cost of energy with every energy alternative - wind, solar, tidal, hybrid cars, clean coal, safe nuclear power, and environmentally safe offshore drilling. Senator Obama opposes drilling. When I am president, we will drill offshore, and we will drill now. "Senator Obama told Joe the Plumber - or as they say in little Havana: Pepe el Plomero - that he wants to quote "spread the wealth around." He's running to be Redistributionist in Chief. I'm running to be Commander in Chief. Senator Obama is running to spread the wealth. I'm running to create more wealth. Senator Obama is running to punish the successful. I'm running to make everyone successful. "This is the fundamental difference between Senator Obama and me. We both disagree with President Bush on economic policy. The difference is that he thinks taxes have been too low, and I think that spending has been too high. My friends, I'm not George Bush. If Senator Obama wanted to run against George Bush, he should have run four years ago. "If we are going to change Washington, we need a President who has actually fought for change and made it happen. The next President won't have time to get used to the office. We face many challenges here at home, and many enemies abroad in this dangerous world. "Senator Biden has warned that Senator Obama would be tested with an international crisis, and at the same time, Democrats in Congress are talking about deep defense cuts. We have troops fighting in two wars, and their answer is to lower our defenses and put someone in office who our enemies will test. "I've been tested, and I've passed that test. Senator Obama hasn't. He's been wrong during this whole campaign. He said he would sit down unconditionally with dictators like the Castro brothers. When Russia invaded Georgia, Sen. Obama said the invaded country should show restraint. He opposed the surge strategy that has worked in Iraq and will work in Afghanistan. When I am president, we are going to win in Iraq and win in Afghanistan, and our troops will come home with victory and honor. "Let me give you some straight talk about the election. America faces a big choice, and there's just 1 day left. The pundits have written us off, just like they've done before, and my opponent is measuring the drapes in the White House. They may not know it, but the Mac is Back! And we're going to win this election! "I'm an American. And I choose to fight. Don't give up hope. Be strong. Have courage. And fight. Fight for a new direction for our country. Fight for what's[...]



McCain's National Security Remarks in Tampa

Wed, 29 Oct 2008 20:34:51 -0600

But when that day arrives, and the worries of financial crisis have fallen away, we will find awaiting our country all of the same great challenges and dangers that were there all along. They mattered before the economic turmoil of the present. They will matter still when it has passed. And in a time of war ... at a moment of danger for our country and the world ... let it not be said of us that we lost sight of these challenges. Today I consulted with a number of distinguished citizens who know, from experience, what matters most in the affairs of our country. They understand that no responsibility of government is more fundamental than protecting this country from the threats of the world. They are trusted friends and advisors of long standing, including Dr. Henry Kissinger -- a man whose diplomatic experience includes helping to secure the release of me and my fellow POWs from Hanoi. By phone, I conferred as well with former Secretaries of State Shultz and Eagleburger. These gentlemen are always good for sound advice, and, as president, I would be relying on men and women of their caliber and experience. These statesmen and those who have joined me here today are supporting my candidacy because we share many of the same convictions, and the same assessment of the national security challenges before our country. And with good reason, they question whether my opponent in this election has the wisdom or judgment to serve as commander in chief. Victory must still be secured, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senator Obama opposed removing the dictator in Iraq, and now obstinately opposes the need to defend the young democracy in that country -- even with victory so clearly in sight. He cites as his most courageous moment in public life a speech he gave in 2002 -- against a war resolution on which he had no vote, on a matter of national security for which he bore no responsibility. He hopes you will forget the votes he cast when he actually did have responsibility ... his votes to prevent the strategy that is leading to victory, and to deny funding for the troops who are gaining that victory. And now he hopes that in the cloud of crisis at home you will forget the stakes in Iraq -- the disaster and tragedy that would follow if American forces leave in retreat. With terrorists still plotting new strikes across the world, millions of innocent lives are still at stake, including American lives. Our enemies' violent ambitions must still be prevented -- by American vigilance, by diplomacy and cooperation with our partners, and by force of arms as a last resort. In his four years in the Senate, two of them spent running for president, Barack Obama has displayed some impressive qualities. But the question is whether this is a man who has what it takes to protect America from Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and other grave threats in the world. And he has given you no reason to answer in the affirmative. Senator Joe Biden has a way of straying off message and stumbling on the truth, and his most recent warning bears close attention. He cautioned us -- in fact, he guaranteed his listeners -- that because he is untested Barack Obama would only invite an international crisis. And we know well what one of those crises could be -- the success of the Iranian regime in its program of acquiring nuclear weapons. If such a thing were to happen, our troubles of today would dramatically escalate, as a nuclear-armed Iran threatened Israel or sparked an uncontrollable nuclear arms race across the region. In the same way, my opponent assumes far more good will than is warranted from Kim Jong Il, the tyrant of North Korea ... Hugo Chavez, the leader of Venezuela who wishes to export instability to neighboring countries ... and the Castro brothers, who have given Cuba fifty years' worth of socialist misery and are still at it. In each case, Senator Obama presents his plan for direct talks as if no one before had ever considered that. He seems unaware that mere talk has been tried many times, to no ava[...]



McCain on the Stump in Hershey

Tue, 28 Oct 2008 15:21:04 -0600

I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home. We're going to double the child deduction for working families. We will cut the capital gains tax. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America. Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy. If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Senator Obama will. And he can't do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do. I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes. I'm not going to spend $750 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take care of the working people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. I have a plan to fix our housing market, so that your home value doesn't go down when your neighbor defaults, and so that people in danger of defaulting have a path to pay off their loan. If I'm elected President, we're going to stop spending $700 billion to buy oil from countries that don't like us very much. Senator Obama will argue to delay drilling for more oil and gas and against building new nuclear power plants in America. If I am president, we will start new drilling now. We will invest in all energy alternatives -- nuclear, wind, solar, and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex fuel and electric automobiles. We will invest in clean coal technology. We will lower the cost of energy within months, and we will create millions of new jobs. We've learned more about Senator Obama's real goals for our country over the last two weeks than we learned over the past two years, and that only because Joe the plumber asked him a question in Ohio. That's when Senator Obama revealed he wants to quote "spread the wealth around." Now, Joe didn't ask for Senator Obama to come to his house, and he didn't ask to be famous. He certainly didn't ask for the political attacks on him from the Obama campaign. Joe's dream is to own a small business that will create jobs, and the attacks on him are an attack on small businesses all over the country. Small businesses employ 84 percent of Americans, and we need to support small businesses, not tax them. After months of campaign trail eloquence, we've finally learned what Senator Obama's economic goal is: to spread the wealth. In a radio interview revealed this week, he said the same thing -- that one of the quote, "tragedies" of the civil rights movement is that it didn't bring about "redistributive change." You see, Senator Obama believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. He said that even though lower taxes on investment help our economy, he favors higher taxes on investment for quote "fairness." There's nothing "fair" about driving our economy into the ground. We all suffer when that happens, and that is the problem with Senator Obama's approach to our economy. He is more interested in controlling wealth than in creating it ... in redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity. I am going to create wealth for all Americans, by creating opportunity for all Americans. Senator Obama is running to be Redistributionist in Chief. I'm running to be Commander in Chief. Senator Obama is running to spread the wealth. I'm running to create more wealth. Senator Obama is running to punish the successful. I'm running to make everyone successful. Senator Obama has made a lot of promises. First he [...]



Redistributing Wealth vs. Creating Wealth

Mon, 27 Oct 2008 13:48:37 -0600

That is what change means for Barack the Redistributor: It means taking your money and giving it to someone else. He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. He is more interested in controlling wealth than in creating it, in redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity. I am going to create wealth for all Americans, by creating opportunity for all Americans. We've all heard his campaign trail promise: he says he only wants to tax the rich. But these unscripted moments and his record tell a different story. He supported the Democratic budget plan passed just this year that called for raising taxes on people making just 42,000 dollars per year. And Senator Obama has voted 94 times for tax increases or against tax cuts. Senator Obama may say he's trying to soak the rich, but it's the middle class who are going to get put through the wringer, because even the tax increase he admits to misses the target. To pay for nearly a trillion dollars in new government spending, his tax increase would impact 50 percent of small business income in this country, and the jobs of 16 million middle class Americans who work for those small businesses. Whether it's Joe the Plumber here in Ohio or the working men and women across this country, we shouldn't be taxing our small businesses more as Senator Obama wants to do, we need to be helping them expand their businesses and create jobs. America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by giving our money to the government to "redistribute." In this country, we believe in spreading opportunity, for those who need jobs and those who create them. And that is exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States. My opponent's massive new tax increase is exactly the wrong approach in an economic slowdown. The answer to a slowing economy is not higher taxes, but that is exactly what is going to happen when the Democrats have total control of Washington. We can't let that happen. We need pro-growth and pro-jobs economic policies, not pro-government spending programs paid for with higher taxes. This is the fundamental difference between Senator Obama and me. We both disagree with President Bush on economic policy. The difference is that he thinks taxes have been too low, and I think that spending has been too high. Senator Obama's priority is not to get spending under control, it is to spend more, and if he has to tax you to do it, he's shown in the past that he doesn't have a problem with that. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: spending ourselves into a ditch and hoping that the consequences don't come. We need to get our government under control, and we need to get our economy moving again. We have to act. We need a new direction, and we have to fight for it. I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to shake up Washington and take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it. I'm not going to spend $750 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take care of the working people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home. We're going to double the child deduction for working families. We will cut the capital gains tax. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America. Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy. If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Senator Obama will. And he can't do that without rai[...]



McCain's Economic Remarks in Denver

Fri, 24 Oct 2008 12:25:23 -0600

Senator Obama may say he's trying to soak the rich, but it's the middle class who are going to get put through the wringer, because a lot of his promised tax increase misses the target. To pay for nearly a trillion dollars in new government spending, his tax increase would impact 50 percent of small business income in this country, and the jobs of 16 million middle class Americans who work for those small businesses. My opponent's massive new tax increase is exactly the wrong approach in an economic slowdown. Just yesterday, we received news that jobless claims have increased by 15,000. And yet, just this week, Senator Obama announced that his plan would have a work requirement, meaning that those who are unemployed will receive no help under the Obama plan, while Senator Obama's tax increases would put even more people out of work. The answer to a slowing economy is not higher taxes, but that is exactly what is going to happen when the Democrats have total control of Washington. We can't let that happen. We've already seen a preview of their plans. It's pretty simple and pretty familiar: tax and spend. When the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee says that they are going to, quote, "focus on an immediate increase in spending," We should take him at his word And when he says that there are, quote, "a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax," It's safe to assume that means you. We know it means you because the Democratic budget plan they passed just this year -- with Senator Obama's help -- called for raising taxes on people making just 42,000 dollars per year. No wonder they think there are a lot of "very rich" people out there -- Rich for Senator Obama and the Democratic Congress means change in your pocket. Senator Obama assures us that he has a very clear target of just the top five percent of income earners. And anytime you hear talk of a targeted tax increase, you might want to double-check the skill of the marksman -- the U.S. Congress has been known to fire wildly. Remember the Alternative Minimum Tax? You probably do if you're one of the more than 30 million Americans currently threatened by it. That "targeted tax" was originally aimed at just 155 specific people. Once enacted, taxes have a way of spreading and rising. And that is why, as president, I am going to put a stop to the out of control spending, so we can keep taxes low. The McCain-Palin tax cut is the real thing. We're going to double the child deduction for every family. We will cut the capital gains tax. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America. As Joe the Plumber and small business owners across the country have now reminded us all, America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by giving our money to the government to "spread the wealth around." In this country, we believe in spreading opportunity, for those who need jobs and those who create them. And that is exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States. The next President won't have time to get used to the office. We face many challenges here at home, and many enemies abroad in this dangerous world. This weekend, Senator Biden guaranteed that if Senator Obama is elected, we will have an international crisis to test America's new President. We don't want a President who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars. Yesterday Senator Obama tried to explain away this warning by saying that his running-mate sometimes engages in "rhetorical flourishes." That's another way of saying that he accidentally delivered some straight talk. My friends, Senator Biden referred to how Jack Kennedy was tested in the Cuban Missile Crisis and I had a little personal experience in that. I was a Navy pilot on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, and I was ready to go into combat at any minute. I know how close we ca[...]



McCain's Speech in Goffstown, New Hampshire

Wed, 22 Oct 2008 14:10:01 -0600

Every so often, my opponent gives us all a little glimpse of what an Obama presidency would be like in the real world. And last week his campaign actually found itself on a detour into the real world -- in the driveway of Joe the Plumber. Now, Joe didn't ask for Senator Obama to come to his house, and he didn't ask to be famous. He certainly didn't ask for the political attacks on him from the Obama campaign. Joe's dream is to own a small business that will create jobs, and the attacks on him are an attack on small businesses all over the country. Small businesses employ 84 percent of Americans, and we need to help small businesses, and not raise their taxes. As it happened, the Obama tax increase is just what Joe had on his mind. So Joe showed the Obama traveling press how to ask a tough question, and get an answer instead of just another talking point. Thanks to him, we've finally learned what Senator Obama's economic goal is. As he told Joe, Barack Obama wants to, quote, "spread the wealth around." In other words, Joe and guys like him will earn the wealth. Barack and politicians like him will spread it. Joe didn't really like that idea, and neither did a lot of other folks who believe that their earnings are their own. After all, before government can redistribute wealth, it has to confiscate wealth from those who earned it. And whatever the right word is for that way of thinking, the redistribution of wealth is the last thing America needs right now. In these tough economic times, we don't need government "spreading the wealth" -- we need policies that create wealth and spread opportunity. It was a candid moment for Senator Obama, in the presence of a skeptical voter. And in a campaign as disciplined and careful as my opponent's, the worst missteps come when the candidate says what he really thinks. We've seen this before. In a debate with Senator Clinton, he was asked why on earth he wants to raise capital gains taxes, when history shows that cutting that tax rate actually yielded more revenue to the government. Rates were cut in the Clinton years -- revenue went up. Rates were cut in the Bush years -- revenue went up. My opponent's answer was that taxes still had to be raised as a matter of, quote, "fairness." Let's think about this very carefully. Here we have a case where increasing taxes would decrease the funds available for all the spending government does. But Senator Obama insists on a tax hike, as a matter of principle. And the principle seems to be the redistribution of wealth as an end in itself. Apparently, as my opponent sees it, there is a strict limit to your earnings and wealth, and it's for politicians to decide. The proper amount of wealth is not what you can earn, but what government will let you keep. My opponent has spoken about the reluctance of citizens and business owners to part with their earnings. He understands that when it's time to spread the wealth around, quote, "They are not going to give up those profits easily." And readers of his book "The Audacity of Hope," might recall that he wrote about the need to "spread the wealth around" there, too. He writes of the need for "labor laws and tax laws that restore some balance to the distribution of the nation's wealth." He has talked elsewhere about how, in our day, "the distribution of wealth is even more skewed, and levels of inequity are now higher." What are really skewed in all of this are my opponent's priorities. He talks about our economy in a detached and academic way, forgetting that the goal is not to redistribute wealth but to create it. And one thing academics are good at is inventing and redefining terms, which is what he's up to with that phony income tax cut for 95 percent of the American people. When a politician tells you he's going to cut income taxes for 95 percent of all Americans, it's reasonable to wonder how he's going to do that for the 40 percen[...]



McCain's Speech in Belton, Missouri

Mon, 20 Oct 2008 23:04:30 -0600

After months of campaign trail eloquence, we finally learned what Senator Obama's economic goal is. As he told Joe, he wants to quote "spread the wealth around." He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans. Senator Obama is more interested in controlling who gets your piece of the pie than he is in growing the pie. This explains some big problems with my opponent's claim that he will cut income taxes for 95 percent of Americans. You might ask: How do you cut income taxes for 95 percent of Americans, when more than 40 percent pay no income taxes right now? How do you reduce the number zero? Well, that's the key to Barack Obama's whole plan: Since you can't reduce income taxes on those who pay zero, the government will write them all checks called a tax credit. And the Treasury will have to cover those checks by taxing other people, including a lot of folks just like Joe. In other words, Barack Obama's plan to raise taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it's just another government giveaway. The Obama tax increase would come at the worst possible time for America, and especially for small businesses like the one Joe dreams of owning. The small businesses Senator Obama would tax provide 16 million jobs in America. And a sudden tax hike for those businesses will kill jobs at a time when need to be creating more jobs. I'm not going to let that happen. America has an alternative to the phony tax cut my opponent started talking about only months ago. The McCain-Palin tax cut is the real thing. We're going to double the child deduction for every family. We will cut the capital gains tax. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America. As Joe has now reminded us all, America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by giving our money to the government to "spread the wealth around." In this country, we believe in spreading opportunity, for those who need jobs and those who create them. And that is exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States. The next President won't have time to get used to the office. We face many challenges here at home, and many enemies abroad in this dangerous world. Just last night, Senator Biden guaranteed that if Senator Obama is elected, we will have an international crisis to test America's new President. We don't want a President who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars. What is more troubling is that Senator Biden told their campaign donors that when that crisis hits, they would have to stand with them because it wouldn't be apparent Senator Obama would have the right response. Forget apparent. Senator Obama won't have the right response, and we know that because we've seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign. He opposed the surge strategy that is bringing us victory in Iraq and will bring us victory in Afghanistan. He said he would sit down unconditionally with the world's worst dictators. When Russia invaded Georgia, Sen. Obama said the invaded country should show restraint. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: hoping for our luck to change at home and abroad. We have to act. We need a new direction, and we have to fight for it. I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to shake up Washington and take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it. I'm not going to spend $750 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take car[...]



McCain's Speech in Miami

Fri, 17 Oct 2008 20:48:56 -0600

The response from Senator Obama and his campaign yesterday was to attack Joe. People are digging through his personal life and he has TV crews camped out in front of his house. He didn't ask for Senator Obama to come to his house. He wasn't recruited or prompted by our campaign. He just asked a question. And Americans ought to be able to ask Senator Obama tough questions without being smeared and targeted with political attacks. The question Joe asked about our economy is important, because Senator Obama's plan would raise taxes on small businesses that employ 16 million Americans. Senator Obama's plan will kill those jobs at just the time when we need to be creating more jobs. My plan will create jobs, and that's what America needs. Senator Obama says that he wanted to spread your wealth around. When politicians talk about taking your money and spreading it around, you'd better hold onto your wallet. Senator Obama claims that wants to give a tax break to the middle class, but not only did he vote for higher taxes on the middle class in the Senate, his plan gives away your tax dollars to those who don't pay taxes. That's not a tax cut, that's welfare. America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by redistributing wealth; we became the greatest nation by creating new wealth. This is the choice that we face. These are hard times. Our economy is in crisis. Americans are fighting in two wars. We face many enemies in this dangerous world, and many challenges here at home. The next President won't have time to get used to the office. He won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts. He will have to act immediately. And to do that, he will need experience, courage, judgment and a bold plan of action to take this country in a new direction. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. We have to act immediately. I said it at the last debate: I'm not George Bush; if Senator Obama wants to run against George Bush, he should have run for President 4 years ago. We need a new direction now. We have to fight for it. I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it. I'm not going to spend $700 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take care of the people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. I'm going to spend a lot of that money to bring relief to you, and I'm not going to wait sixty days to start doing it. I have a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him. I have a plan to let retirees and people nearing retirement keep their money in their retirement accounts longer so they can rebuild their savings. I will protect Social Security so that retirees get the benefits they have earned, and I will bring both parties together to fix Social Security so that it is there for future generations. I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home. Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy. The explosion of government spending over the last eight years has put us deeper in debt to foreign countries that don't have our best interests at heart. It weakened the dollar and made everything you buy more expensive. If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your mon[...]



John McCain at the Al Smith Dinner

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 20:14:30 -0600

Events are moving fast in my campaign and, yes, it's true that this morning I have dismissed my entire team of senior advisors, all of their positions will now be held by a man named Joe the Plumber. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) MCCAIN: Already -- but already, my friends, my opponents have been subjecting Joe to their vicious attack machine. (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: His veracity has been questioned by Barack Obama's running mate, Joe the Six-term senator. He claims that this honest, hard-working small businessman could not possibly have enough income to face a tax increase under the Obama plan. What they don't know, what they don't know, is that Joe the Plumber recently signed a very lucrative contract with a wealthy couple to handle all the work on all seven of their houses. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) MCCAIN: This campaign needed the common touch of a working man. After all, it began so long ago with the heralded arrival with a man known to Oprah Winfrey as the one. Being a friend and colleague of Barack, I just called him that one. (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: He. (APPLAUSE) MCCAIN: Friends, he doesn't mind at all. In fact, he even has a pet name for me -- George Bush. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) MCCAIN: It's been that kind of contest and I come here tonight to the Al Smith dinner knowing that I'm the underdog in these final weeks but if you know where to look there are signs of hope. There are signs of hope. Even in the most unexpected places, even in this room full of proud Manhattan Democrats. I can't -- I can't shake that feeling that some people here are pulling for me. (APPLAUSE) MCCAIN: I'm delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary. (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: Where is Bill, by the way? (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: Can't he take one night off from his tireless quest to make the man who defeated his wife, the next president? The man is a relentless advocate for the Obama campaign and he has a subtle approach to making the case. When reporter asked him if Senator Obama was qualified to be president, Bill Clinton pointed out, sure, he's over 35 years of age and a U.S. citizen. (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: He was pandering to the strict constructionist crowd. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) MCCAIN: He's also been hammering away at me with epitaphs like "American Hero" and "Great Man," and with all the cameras running, he warmly embraced me at that global initiative of his. My friends, this is nothing but a brazen attempt to suppress turnout among anti-Clinton conservatives. (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: Finally when Larry King asked President Clinton a couple of weeks ago, what was the delay and why he wasn't out there on the trail for Barack, Bill said his hands were tied until the end of the Jewish High holidays. Now you've got to admire that ecumenical spirit. (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: I just know Bill would like to be out there now stumping for Barack until the last hour of the last day, unfortunately, he is constrained by his respect for any voters who might be observing the Zoroastian New Year. (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: You know? Some. (APPLAUSE) MCCAIN: Some advocates for Senator Obama are less restrained in their enthusiasm even in the media. All right, he usually is at table 228, for example. My old friend and green room pal, Chris Matthews. He used to like me but he found somebody new. Somebody who opened his eyes, somebody who gave him a thrill up his leg. (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: And we've talked about it. I told him maverick I can do, but messiah is above my pay grade. (LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: You know. (APPLAUSE) MCCAIN: . it's going[...]



McCain's Remarks in Downingtown, PA

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 15:33:47 -0600

Senator Obama told Joe that he wanted to spread his wealth around. America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by spreading the wealth; we became the greatest nation by creating new wealth. This is the choice that we face. Three weeks from now, you will choose a new President. Choose well. There is much at stake. These are hard times. Our economy is in crisis. Financial markets are collapsing. Credit is drying up. Your savings are in danger. Your retirement is at risk. Jobs are disappearing. The cost of health care, your children's college, gasoline and groceries are rising all the time with no end in sight. While your most important asset -- your home -- is losing value every day. Americans are fighting in two wars. We face many enemies in this dangerous world, and they are waiting to see if our current troubles will permanently weaken us. The next President won't have time to get used to the office. He won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts. He will have to act immediately. And to do that, he will need experience, courage, judgment and a bold plan of action to take this country in a new direction. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. The hour is late; our troubles are getting worse; our enemies watch. We have to act immediately. We need a new direction now. We have to fight. I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it. I'm not going to spend $700 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take care of the people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. I'm going to spend a lot of that money to bring relief to you, and I'm not going to wait sixty days to start doing it. I have a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him. I have a plan to let retirees and people nearing retirement keep their money in their retirement accounts longer so they can rebuild their savings. I have a plan to rebuild the retirement savings of every worker. I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home. Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy. The explosion of government spending over the last eight years has put us deeper in debt to foreign countries that don't have our best interests at heart. It weakened the dollar and made everything you buy more expensive. If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money, on top of the $700 billion we just gave the Treasury Secretary, as Senator Obama proposes. Because he can't do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do. I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes. If I'm elected President, I won't fine small businesses and families with children, as Senator Obama proposes, to force them into a new huge government run health care program, while I keep the cost of the fine a secret until I hit [...]



McCain's "Pension and Family Security Plan"

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 15:02:23 -0600

If I am elected president, I will help to create jobs for Americans in the most effective way a president can do this - with tax cuts that are directed specifically to create jobs, and protect your life savings. I will stand up to the corrupt ways of Washington, the wasteful spending and the abuses of power and I will end these abuses, whatever it takes. I will lead reforms to help families keep their homes, and retirees to keep their savings, and college students to pay their tuition, and every citizen to afford health care, and America to reclaim its energy independence. These will be my priorities. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. The hour is late and our troubles are getting worse. We have to act immediately. We have to change direction now. We have to fight. That is what I will do in my term as president, and when I leave office I can promise you that this nation will not be on the same path it is today. I will not play along with the same Washington games and gimmicks that got us into this terrible mess in the first place. I am going to Washington to fight for you. I will begin by making certain that the 700 billion dollars already committed to economic recovery is not used to further enrich the very people and institutions that invited these troubles with their own reckless conduct. Instead of just propping up institutions deemed "too big to fail" in this crisis, we will use more of this public money to help businesses and homeowners that may be too small to survive. This financial crisis started with our housing crisis, and we cannot fix our markets and the economy until we fix the housing crisis. My plan will protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him. I will direct the government to refinance troubled mortgages for homeowners and replace them with mortgages they can afford. This is what we did during the Great Depression and we can do it again. Helping families who face default, foreclosure, and possible bankruptcy helps all homeowners, and will begin the process of recovery from this crisis. With so much on the line, the moment requires that government act - and as president I intend to act, quickly and decisively. When the government does provide funds to shore up companies, the terms will be demanding, there will be complete transparency and the safety net for our financial system will not become a golden parachute for failed executives. Moreover, we will not merely inject billions of dollars into companies and walk away hoping for the best. We will require that those companies be reformed and restructured until they are sound assets again, and can be sold at no loss - or perhaps even a profit - to the taxpayers of America. And when that is accomplished, in each instance, government will relinquish its interest in these private companies. We're going to get government out of the business of bailouts and equity stakes, and back in the business of responsible regulation. We will learn from this crisis to prevent the next one, with much stricter oversight. No more wild overleveraging, no more liabilities concealed from the public and from shareholders, no more bundling of assets to maximize profit by assuming insane risks. Those days are over on Wall Street. With new rules of public disclosure and accounting, my reforms will make certain these betrayals of shareholders and the public trust are never repeated. We must restore trust to our financial system. On my orders, the Department of the Treasury will guarantee one hundred percent of all savings accounts for a period of six months. This will[...]



McCain's Speech in Virginia Beach

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 10:58:25 -0600

The next President won't have time to get used to the office. He won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts. He will have to act immediately. And to do that, he will need experience, courage, judgment and a bold plan of action to take this country in a new direction. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. The hour is late; our troubles are getting worse; our enemies watch. We have to act immediately. We have to change direction now. We have to fight. I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it. I'm not going to spend $700 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take care of the people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. I'm going to spend a lot of that money to bring relief to you, and I'm not going to wait sixty days to start doing it. I have a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him. I have a plan to let retirees and people nearing retirement keep their money in their retirement accounts longer so they can rebuild their savings. I have a plan to rebuild the retirement savings of every worker. I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home. Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy. The explosion of government spending over the last eight years has put us deeper in debt to foreign countries that don't have our best interests at heart. It weakened the dollar and made everything you buy more expensive. If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money, on top of the $700 billion we just gave the Treasury Secretary, as Senator Obama proposes. Because he can't do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do. I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes. If I'm elected President, I won't fine small businesses and families with children, as Senator Obama proposes, to force them into a new huge government run health care program, while I keep the cost of the fine a secret until I hit you with it. I will bring down the skyrocketing cost of health care with competition and choice to lower your premiums, and make it more available to more Americans. I'll make sure you can keep the same health plan if you change jobs or leave a job to stay home. I will provide every single American family with a $5000 refundable tax credit to help them purchase insurance. Workers who already have health care insurance from their employers will keep it and have more money to cover costs. Workers who don't have health insurance can use it to find a policy anywhere in this country to meet their basic needs. If I'm elected President, I won't raise taxes on small businesses, as Senator Obama proposes, and force them to cut jobs. I will keep small business taxes where they are, help them keep their [...]



McCain Proposes 401(k) Rule Changes

Fri, 10 Oct 2008 15:13:39 -0600

In this time of crisis, we must go to the heart of the problem, and right now that problem is a housing crisis. And so, in the debate this week with my opponent, I proposed a plan to help home owners across America, Under my orders, as president, the Secretary of the Treasury will carry out a Homeownership Resurgence Plan. The United States government will support the refinancing of distressed mortgages for homeowners and replace them with manageable mortgages. The funds aren't new, but the priorities will be when we put the financial strength of our government back on the side of working families. With so much on the line, the moment requires that government act - and as president I intend to act, quickly and decisively. We must also protect investors - especially those relying on their investments for retirement. Current rules mandate that investors must begin to sell off their IRAs and 401Ks when they reach age 70 and one half. To spare investors from being forced to sell their stocks at just the time when the market is hurting the most, those rules should be suspended. In so many ways, Washington is still on the wrong track. We need change and I know how to deliver it. The status quo is not on the ballot. We are going to see change in Washington. The question is: in what direction will we go? Will our country be a better place under the leadership of the next president - a more secure, prosperous, and just society? Will you be better off, in the jobs you hold now and in the opportunities you hope for? Will your sons and daughters grow up in the kind of country you wish for them, rising in the world and finding in their own lives the best of America? And which candidate's experience - in government and in life - makes him a more reliable leader for our country and commander in chief for our troops? In short, who is ready to lead? In a time of trouble and danger for our country, who will put our country first? In 21 months, during hundreds of speeches, town halls and debates, I have kept my promise to level with you about my plans to reform Washington and get this country moving again. As a senator, I've seen the corrupt ways of Washington in wasteful spending and other abuses of power. As president I'm going to end these abuses - whatever it takes. I will propose and sign into law reforms to bring tax relief to the middle class and help to businesses so they can create jobs.... I will get the rising cost of food and gas under control.... I will help families keep their home, and help students struggling to pay for college.... I will make health care more accessible and affordable. ... I will impose a spending freeze on all but the most vital functions of government. I will review every agency of the federal government, improve those that need to be improved and eliminate those that aren't working for the American people.... I will confront the ten trillion-dollar debt that the federal government has run up, and balance the federal budget by the end of my term in office. This is the agenda I have set before my fellow citizens. And the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent. We have all heard what he has said, but it is less clear what he has done or what he will do. Rather than answer his critics, Senator Obama will try to distract you from noticing that he never answers the serious and legitimate questions he has been asked. He has even questioned my truthfulness. And let me reply in the plainest terms I know. I don't need lessons about telling the truth to American people. And were I ever to need any improvement in that regard, I probably wouldn't seek advice from a Chicago politician. What was my opponent's actual record in[...]



McCain Talks About Mortgage Plan in Bethlehem, PA

Wed, 08 Oct 2008 15:15:26 -0600

Under my orders, as president, the Secretary of the Treasury will carry out a Homeownership Resurgence Plan. The United States government will purchase mortgages directly from homeowners and mortgages services, and replace them with manageable mortgages. The dream of owning a home should not be crushed under the weight of a bad mortgage. The moment requires that government act - and as president I intend to act, quickly and decisively. In so many ways, Washington is still on the wrong track. We need change and I know how to deliver it. The status quo is not on the ballot. We are going to see change in Washington. The question is: in what direction will we go? Will our country be a better place under the leadership of the next president - a more secure, prosperous, and just society? Will you be better off, in the jobs you hold now and in the opportunities you hope for? Will your sons and daughters grow up in the kind of country you wish for them, rising in the world and finding in their own lives the best of America? And which candidate's experience - in government and in life - makes him a more reliable leader for our country and commander in chief for our troops? In short, who is ready to lead? In a time of trouble and danger for our country, who will put our country first? I set out on my own campaign for president many months ago. I promised at the beginning to be straight with the American people, knowing that even those who don't agree with me on everything would expect at least that much. In 21 months, during hundreds of speeches, town halls and debates, I have kept my promise to level with you about my plans to reform Washington and get this country moving again. As a senator, I've seen the corrupt ways of Washington in wasteful spending and other abuses of power. As president I'm going to end these abuses - whatever it takes. I will propose and sign into law reforms to bring tax relief to the middle class and help to businesses so they can create jobs. I will get the rising cost of food and gas under control. I will help families keep their home, and help students struggling to pay for college. I will make health care more accessible and affordable. I will impose a spending freeze on all but the most vital functions of government. I will review every agency of the federal government, improve those that need to be improved and eliminate those that aren't working for the American people. I will confront the ten trillion-dollar debt that the federal government has run up, and balance the federal budget by the end of my term in office. This is the agenda I have set before my fellow citizens. And the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent. We have all heard what he has said, but it is less clear what he has done or what he will do. What Senator Obama says today and what he has done in the past are often two different things. Rather than answer his critics, Senator Obama will try to distract you from noticing that he never answers the serious and legitimate questions he has been asked. He has even questioned my truthfulness. And let me reply in the plainest terms I know. I don't need lessons about telling the truth to American people. And were I ever to need any improvement in that regard, I probably wouldn't seek advice from a Chicago politician. What was my opponent's actual record in the years before the great economic crisis of our lifetimes? This crisis started in our housing market in the form of subprime loans that were pushed on people who could not afford them. Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a [...]