Tales from the Trail

McCain says he’s opposed to raising taxes

July 31, 2008

comics.jpgKANSAS CITY, Missouri – Republican presidential candidate John McCain is tangling with taxes again.
 
The Arizona senator found himself in hot water with conservatives after telling ABC’s “This Week” last Sunday that “nothing is off the table” in trying to protect the Social Security benefits system for seniors.
    
At a town hall meeting in Aurora, Colorado, McCain said: “I want to look you in the eye: I will not raise your taxes nor support a tax increase. I will not do it.”
 
He added, “I am opposed to raising taxes on Social Security. I want to fix the system without raising taxes.”
    
That statement earned the praise of the conservative Club for Growth organization in Washington, whose president, Pat Toomey, called it “exactly what the country needed to hear.”
    
McCain, at a fundraising event for his campaign, returned to the subject. “I am opposed to raising taxes. I am opposed to raising taxes,” he said.
    
“And any negotiation that I might have when I go in, my position will be that I’m opposed to raising taxes. But we have to work together to save Social Security.”
    
“This young man standing right in front — Social Security beneifts won’t be there for him when he retires. Is this right for us to lay off to the next generation of Americans a burden that we imposed on them? No. And it’s not America, it is not America,” he said.

McCain crew finds Obama’s big flaw: He’s way too popular

July 30, 2008

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama can’t seem to please the folks running John McCain’s campaign for the U.S. presidency.
 
They criticized the Democratic candidate for not visiting Iraq, but then he spent nine days abroad, visited both fronts in the U.S. war on terror, didn’t make any fatal rtx855v.jpgmistakes and drew 200,000 people to a speech in Berlin.
 
Now the Republican’s campaign has a new beef against the Illinois senator — he’s way too popular, the most popular celebrity in the world, bigger even than Britney Spears or Paris Hilton.
 
It’s a point McCain makes in a new TV advertisement.
 
“I would say that it’s beyond dispute that he has become the biggest celebrity in the world. It’s a statement of fact. It’s backed up by the reality of his tour around the world,” McCain adviser Steve Schmidt told reporters in a conference call.
 
“They have more fans around the world than Britney Spears does. I make that bold blank statement,” added McCain campaign manager Rick Davis.
 
But McCain traveled around the world and met leaders too, so isn’t he a global celebrity as well? What’s the difference?rtr20ejt.jpg
 
“We see him more as a global leader than a global celebrity,” Davis said. “When people in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, want to talk to somebody who has a leadership and knowledge of positions around the world, they talk to John McCain. I contrast that with Barack Obama’s own trip to Europe. The focus on media, the focus on events and activities, is much more something you would expect from someone releasing a new movie than running for president.”
 
McCain’s crew sees devious motives behind the cultivation of popularity. Davis said it lets Obama “create a fan base around the world that allows him to get a lot of media attention and avoids him having to address the important issues of our time.”
 
But won’t people see the ad as negative campaigning?
 
Barack Obama started it, Davis said. He attacks McCain harshly every day on the campaign trail. Plus he was the first to turn to negative advertising, both in the primary and in the general election.
 
“I’m going to do everything in my power to protect my candidate,” Davis said.
 
“I’m going to let the American public decide what is negative or not negative.”

Obama meets on No. 2 pick: Kaine? Biden? Bayh?

July 29, 2008

WASHINGTON – With the clock ticking on his hunt for a running mate, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama spent nearly three hours on Monday meeting with his vice presidential search team and campaign advisers.obama-mon.jpg

How to choose a VP? For McCain, rule one is “do no harm”

July 29, 2008

mccain-vp.jpgBAKERSFIELD, Calif.  – John McCain may not be giving any clues about who he wants as his No. 2, but the Republican presidential candidate does have a few ideas about how to choose. 

Former smoker McCain talks cigarettes, cancer with Lance Armstrong

July 25, 2008

posterobamamccain.jpgCOLUMBUS, Ohio – Republican John McCain  added a pledge on Thursday to his list of goals if he wins the White House: help people quit smoking. 

from Ask...:

Can a new president repair relations with Europe?

July 24, 2008

A man holds a banner reading 'Obama For Chancellor' before a speech of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama during his visit in Berlin July 24, 2008.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke at the "Victory Column" in Berlin's Tiergarten park in front of thousands of Germans and tourists in his only formal address during his week-long foreign tour. He called on Europe to stand by the United States in bringing stability to Afghanistan and confronting other threats from climate change to nuclear proliferation.

Obama’s Berlin speech echoes Democratic victory address

July 24, 2008

BERLIN – White House hopeful Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin urging Europeans to do more to help confront global security threats included some echoes of another Obama speech: the one he gave on June 3 when he clinched the Democratic nomination.

Following McCain’s path, Obama visits rocketed Israeli town

July 23, 2008

SDEROT, Israel – Barack Obama pledged his support for Israel Wednesday while standing in front of a pile of rocket and mortar casings in a town repeatedly attacked by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.rtr20giw.jpg
 
“I am here to say as an American and as a friend of Israel that we stand with the people of Sderot and all of the people of Israel,” the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate told reporters at the town’s police station.
 
Sderot has been a popular stop on the U.S. campaign trail this year. Republican presidential contender John McCain visited the town in March — but with a smaller press contingent — and also spoke to reporters in front of the piles of rockets.
 
“If people were rocketing my state, I think that the citizens from my state would advocate a very vigorous response,” McCain said at the time.

Democrats see post-election pressure to produce

July 23, 2008

rtr20gfs.jpgWASHINGTON – Democrats seem well positioned to increase their control of the U.S. Congress and win the White House in the November elections. But with such success will come pressure.  

As Obama heads to Germany, Republicans appeal to U.S. Berliners

July 23, 2008

WASHINGTON – With Democrat Barack Obama trying to look presidential abroad and soon to face friendly crowds in the German capital, the Republican National Committee has decided to strike back by appealing to Berliners closer to home.
rtr20gha.jpg 
The party will air radio advertisements Thursday in Berlin, Pa., Berlin, Wis., and Berlin, N.H., bashing Obama’s voting record on defense issues, accusing him of choosing “Washington politics over the needs of our military.”
 
“Obama said that nobody wanted to play chicken with our troops on the ground,” an announcer intones. “But when it came time to act, he voted against critical resources: no to individual body armor, no to helicopters, no to ammunition, no to aircraft.”