Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Wheat, Silver and Nuclear Waste: McCain Takes Questions In Nevada

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., points to supporters before speaking at a town hall-style meeting at the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, May 28, 2008, in Reno, Nev. (Associated Press)

Updated 5:18 p.m.
By Juliet Eilperin
RENO, Nev. -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) proved one thing this morning as he addressed a crowd of hundreds at the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows: He can pronounce this state's name like a local.

"It's wonderful to be here in Ne-veh-da," he declared, obviously pleased that he did not commit the error of calling it "Ne-vaah-da." So he said it again -- three times -- drawing appreciative applause from the crowd. "Ne-veh-da, Ne-veh-da, Ne-veh-da."

Speaking before an enthusiastic and partisan crowd of at least 600 -- an unusually large gathering for the McCain campaign -- the presumptive GOP nominee devoted most of his opening remarks to attacking Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.). He started off by mocking the recently passed farm bill, questioning why it would devote $20 million to collect seeds for research and $35 million to develop "hard, white wheat."

"He wants to continue this spending spree, he wants to continue this waste of your tax dollars on these unnecessary, pork barrel projects," McCain said. "I would veto a bill such as this farm bill. ... Republicans have got to stop joining with big-spending Democrats." The crowd responded with loud cheers and whistles.

Continuing with his line of attack, McCain questioned why Obama has only visited Iraq once, and why he has refused to sit down with Gen. David Petraeus to discuss the war effort.

"My friends, this is about leadership and learning. Why did I do that? Because I learned, I learned from the men and women of the military," he said. Obama, by contrast, "has not held one single hearing on Afghanistan, where American men and women are in harm's way."

The fact that Obama sees the war as a failure and has refused to travel with him to Iraq, McCain said, "that is a profound misunderstanding of what's happened in Iraq, and what's at stake in Iraq."

Later in the day, the Obama campaign responded forcefully. "On the day after the former White House press secretary conceded that the Bush administration used deception and propaganda to take us to war, it seems odd that Senator McCain, who bought the flawed rationale for war so readily, would be lecturing others on their depth of understanding about Iraq," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton. "Senator Obama challenged the President's rationale for the war from the start, warning that it would divert resources from Afghanistan and the pursuit of AlQaeda and mire us in an endless civil war. Senator McCain stubbornly insists on pursuing the failed Bush policy that continues to cost so much, while Senator Obama believes it's time to begin a deliberate, careful strategy to remove our troops and compel the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future."

The audience at the event, which asked uniformly conservative questions, gave the senator a standing ovation when he vowed to "never surrender" in Iraq, and applauded fiercely when he said he opposed abortion and believes the right to life -- as in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" -- applies "to the unborn as well the born."

For a few minutes the senator waded into the politically sensitive question of whether to store the nation's entire nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain: A questioner gave a lengthy speech on why it make more sense to "divide it up" and store it in 10 underground nuclear repositories across the nation.

"I cannot push for that many," McCain said, and instead he floated an idea he had just raised yesterday in advance of his Reno visit. "I can push for an international -- some place internationally where we could ship nuclear waste and have it stored."

The rest of the questions were non-confrontational, though they often veered to the right of McCain's own positions. One audience member suggested McCain throw out the current Mexican government in order to halt illegal immigration; a young boy suggested the country stop using paper money and revert to silver in order to curb inflation. A third person questioned whether "the administration, and maybe this is classified, has calculated what the daily losses would be under a retreat plan under Obama."

McCain tactfully deflected most of these questions, saying the Mexican government faced a difficult drug war, he doubted the United States would start using silver dollars, and that he would continue to press for victory in Iraq.

"My first priority is the security of this nation, as it should be," he said. "But my second priority is we never send our men and women into harm's way unless the mission is clear and the cause is justified."

Then McCain left the stage, without indicating whether he would have sent troops into Iraq in the first place.

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 28, 2008; 4:00 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Poll: Majority of Californians Back Gay Marriage
Next: Obama Looks to the Southwest


It just sound's like a bunch of liberal assed democrat's sarcastic remark's with no respect for a real leader as Sen. John McCain is!
I respect such a great leader as Sen. John McCain is! I believe him to be a man of great experience, knowledge, integraty an respect, that can a will lead our great nation in way's that can an will make us all proud to call ourselve's American's!!!!
I will not, nor would I ever vote for a liberal democrat under ANY CIRSTANCES WHATSOEVER!!!!

Posted by: Ray | May 30, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Shipping Nuclear waste is not the answer. If it must be disposed of, it needs to be on our own ground.

Our country maintains, develops and surveys nuclear waste/data better than any country is capable of. Considering it was one of the first to harness this, it also knows how to care for it. With environmental governing and scrutinized policies, we can only guarantee that the waste will not become a hazard to third-world countries which we have no way of policing.

Would we rather hand over dirty material to places that we can not govern; or keep it in an area that is barren, guarded and surveyed daily.

Areas such as Tuba City; Fernald, OH; Weldon Spring, MO; Grand Junction, CO. and more were old nuclear sites which have become preserves after being decommissioned. They're heavily monitored and maintained as with countless other sites.

If nuclear waste is to be disposed of, it is best that we take responsibility and keep it on our own land. We have the technology and power to do so, more than anyone else.

Posted by: Matt | May 29, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I used to work at TWP, and I have to say that aside from the grunt-work IT and Advertising crew, the rest of the place smells of arrogance, such as this writer. They were once the cream-of-the-crop at their small town paper, and now they're at a big name where political bias and a loud mouth is praised by the rest of the blind around them.

The fact is, there were mentions of "wmd's", Saddam and Iraq, before the God-Forsaken Bush administration was ever in place. Records, video, clips and more.. show even the likes of Hillary Clinton saying that Saddam must be stopped. Like a fart in a windstorm, they'll sway to whatever side the media and public wants. Even when the proof is seen in video, they know that the average shmuck will still believe what they see on TV now, than what was recorded.

That said, I still wouldn't vote for McCain, and I don't think Bush is the greatest president.. but you've got to be pretty Naive to believe he came up with the whole thing himself and performed it with no support whatsoever (on the brain that everyone laughs at SO much.)

The way things stand, your president's thoughts go to the highest bidder. McCain will be another Bush. Hillary is downright too extreme and unpredictable. Obama is smart, but there's something about a person that doesn't have enough will-power to quit smoking, even if it meant being the so called, "leader of the new world".

Vote Ron Paul. Yeah, the guy who you didn't hear about because he didn't wear knee-pads to get there.

Posted by: Mat | May 29, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Nuclear Energy:
It's clean !*

*Except if you live in Ne-veh-da

For people to make decisions that last for 1000's of years beyond their own lifetimes
is irresponsible , and arrogant.

Posted by: geeyermo | May 29, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

yeah lets all go out and vote for HILL-O-BAMA. Lets all surrender on our knees to OSAMA BIN LADEN our new real boss. Then AL-QAEDA can convert us all to ISLAM. Those who refuse...OFF WITH YOUR HEADS.

Posted by: Tom Shea | May 29, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The writer of this piece is biased to the left. Notice how she remarks on the types of questions posed to senator McCain as being "conservative". The writer is an obvious Hill-0-Bama supporter. THE PRESS BLOWS TO THE LEFT IN THIS COUNTRY.

Posted by: Tom Shea | May 29, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

So McCain complains about $55 million in "pork-barrel projects" in a farm bill, but doesnt flinch at spending $200 million every day on a groundless war. Interesting math there...

Posted by: Ragnor | May 29, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: HOLDEN | May 29, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

McCain can't win. He's just another Republican lefty who happens to like ill-defined 'wars of liberation' like the soviets used to love, and sending paycheques to every American citizen from the government, socialist style(Paid for by stealing from your kids, because 'tax and spend' is evil, but 'steal from your kids and spend' is good!).

I agree with Ron Paul on the proper action plan. Eliminate the IRS and replace it with nothing. Eliminate personal taxes and replace it with nothing. Reduce the federal budget to 1997 levels. Reduce the size of government by phasing out programs not authorized by the constitution. Eliminate inflation caused by the federal reserve bank taxing us by eliminating it and make our present fiat currency based on a real physical standard again. Pull out of our foreign entanglements around the world, including places like Japan and Germany, where we don't really need bases and they're just wasting money on what amounts to a well-hidden welfare state, as well as Iraq -- a war which has no real purpose, isn't making us safer, is costing us millions of dollars a day.

Posted by: Jay | May 29, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"He started off by mocking the recently passed farm bill, questioning why it would devote $20 million to collect seeds for research and $35 million to develop "hard, white wheat."

The reason for wheat research is that there is an international grain shortage. I'm surprised that McCain isn't aware of that.

Posted by: Larry | May 29, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

well, McSame proves he is rigid on issues when he isn't flip flopping.

Posted by: SUSA | May 29, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I love that so many of you are using "Grandpa" as an insult for McCain. Keep those coming, I would be happy to elect my Grandpa to be the President...he would do a much better job than I would. I encourage you to read some news other than just the politics page; there is a lot of good information out there:

"Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain"
-- headline, New York Times 5/23/08

Posted by: Josh Dobbins | May 28, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

About an hour ago I heard an audio clip of McSame's local appearance, & in a couple of parts boos were very easily heard.

By the way, the 1st 'a' in Nevada sounds like the 'a' in act, as in act like you know what you're doing, not like saying 'aaahhhh' for the doctor when they use the tongue depressor.

I'm blogging to you from Sparks, & as the old saying goes, "Reno is so close to Hell you can see Sparks."

Little Scottie McClellan, whoda thunk! Guess he's a little more worried about his soul than I gave him credit for, lol.

Posted by: 2by2 | May 28, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Erik-Patriot-Janet - You are treading on my turf. Take your sock puppets somewhere else. The Obama campaign pays me good money to puppeteer this site. I have it well in hand with 750 sock puppets and nearly twenty five thousand canned responses at the ready. Check with HQ before freelancing your sock puppets on a site of this size.

Posted by: Blogger | May 28, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

McCain seems to be in his own little world. If we vote him into power, we can be assured that the next 4 years will be tough for the USA.

Posted by: Eric | May 28, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Ne-veh-da..Ne-veh-da.. is that what makes you happy? fine! we can change the sign to welcome to Ne-veh-da :-)
let's take this war for another 100 years :-)
and guess what!? your grandpa want you to pay as much as you can for education, health and gas...
ask McCain why did we start this war? for iraqui freedom? WMD? because of 9/11? non of those terrorist were from Iraq!
today one of bush's spokesman confessed about how this administration used propaganda to go for the war.....
wake up people :-)

Posted by: patriot | May 28, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh wow! Grampa could remember how to pronounce the name of a state he was visiting. With a mind that sharp, he's clearly fit to lead. And I am sure the armed forces had a great day as undoubtedly those 600 attendees registered their children for the service to fight his promised future wars.

Posted by: Janet | May 28, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Bikash - John McCain is the ranking member of the US Senate's Armed Services Committee. I can't think of a better way for a Senator to spend taxpayer's money than by spending it to do his job.

Jay - I grew up in Nevada and I have lived in 3 other states and internationally, and I must say that I agree with you, the way that we say Ne-veh-da does sounds odd. The point is that McCain, the effective politician that he is, is showing us that he understands us, locally. That is important to all Americans.

Posted by: Josh Dobbins | May 28, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Joe Davis and Ken, I'm going to guess you've never served. When serving away from home and specifically overseas, it is easy to start feeling a little bit forgotten. When any "big-wig" visits and you see them or hear that they met with brass, it is a nice reminder that your country hasn't forgotten you. Whether or not you agree or disagree with this or that policy doesn't really matter. the fact that they reminded you that they haven't forgotten and abandoned you in some far off place means a lot.

Posted by: Bruce lancaster | May 28, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Dear John,

I gave Rudy a reading list for the summer - he didn't read his assignment and he's now begging for money to repay his campaign debt.

Here's your reading assignment -

The Revolution - A Manifesto.

See you in St. Paul for the convention.

Posted by: Ron Paul | May 28, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"One audience member suggested McCain throw out the current Mexican government" This is what awaits US Americans if they vote McInsane - more war,more intervention, a bigger depression than what's coming. Vote at your own risk.

Posted by: Awakened American | May 28, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

McBush is not fit to be president. He doesnt represent the past, HE IS THE PAST. This is the 21st century, we need an international thinker, not an old man who views the world threw a 20th century prism. He lacks COMPLETE cultural knowledge. Completely. He has ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE. NONE about the outside world. Welcome to the 21st century people!


Posted by: George, Falls Church, VA | May 28, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Why would any presidential candidate have to travel to a war zone? The president sets policy - he doesn't need to consult with the military - gee whiz? Up is down, down is up. Also noticed that he never said he would support only constitutional wars...only "justified" ones. Question: Justified by whom? NATO, United Nations? The same neo-cons that cried WMD in Iraq?

Posted by: Not a Neocon | May 28, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Iraq is not a red carpet and John McSame should be ashamed for treating it as such. If he wants some photo ops he should just head to Hollywood with his million dollar wife. Obama doesnt need photo ops to know the fierce battle on the ground or how McBush is bankrupting us at home.

Posted by: Ken, Alexandria, VA | May 28, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Even a "small boy" recognizes the danger in FIAT currency that is printed out of thin air - I would go interview that boy, he's on to something - do you think he's worried that his generation will end up paying for the Republicats big spending?

Posted by: Marcelo | May 28, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

What would you rather have, McWar or Hope for America?

Posted by: Louis Nardozi | May 28, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

As a Democrat I hate to admit it but what McCain will do in office will probably be better for us as well as for the Country than whatever Hillary or Obama would do. In fact being able to do my job without a lot of political hassle to interrupt and to distract me might be better for my employer and my future as well - so long as there is not embargo on my mp3 player... in which case they can unclog pipe without me. ;-)

Posted by: Joe Davis | May 28, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Very Sad! Every time McCain went to Iraq he was surounded by our boys.Every times McCain went to Iraq he wested tax payers money.

Posted by: Bikash | May 28, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The difference in ways of saying Nevada is related more so to linquistics and how one says their "a's". I must say that the "correct" way sounds quite odd.

Posted by: Jay | May 28, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company