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McCain Brings Back the 'Bitter' Controversy in Pa.

By Michael D. Shear
PHILADELPHIA -- If there was any doubt about how Sen. John McCain plans to campaign in the Rust Belt, he erased it at the beginning of his town hall meeting here this morning.

After promising to campaign through Pennsylvania on his trademark campaign bus, McCain immediately seized on comments about working class voters that Sen. Barack Obama made during his primary fight against Sen. Hillary Clinton.

"We're going to go to the small towns in Pennsylvania and I'm gonna tell them I don't agree with Senator Obama that they cling to their religion and Constitution because they're bitter," he said, misquoting Obama slightly. "I'm gonna tell them they have faith and they have trust and support the Constitution of the United States because they have optimism and hope... That's what America's all about."

Obama, during a private fundraiser before the Pennsylvania primary, talked about people in small towns there and in other states where residents had fallen through the cracks of the economy. "And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations," he had said.

McCain has seized on the statement as evidence that Obama is out of touch with working class voters. His campaign has signaled for weeks that they intend to cast Obama as an elitist from Hyde Park in Chicago who doesn't understand the values of blue collar and low-income voters.

But MCain's comments at the town hall were the clearest indication that the Republican nominee plans to use Obama's words against him in the very communities that Obama failed to win against Clinton.

At the town hall, McCain promised that Pennsylvania will once again be "a battleground state" and invited members of the audience to join him as he campaigns across the state later this year.

"I will compete and win in the state of Pennsylvania and we will win," he vowed.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 11, 2008; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain  
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Comments

There seem to be alot of Obama's flying monkeys around this site today, could this be part of his new campaign of posting Pro-Obama messages throughout the internet with his new CHAOS( a reference to Get Smart?) war room...first MSM gets duped ...then the internet.

Yep, Obama your lies and distortions are flooding the USA...but is that the "change" we can believe in??

Posted by: ford | June 13, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

How is giving a bigger tax cut to the rich going to help these people?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how the GOP create gimmick language from soccer Moms last election, to White blue collars workers, well blue collar workers they are the Most hurt by the GOP policies for last 7 years, they the onces who are the most hurt byt the 4.00 a gallon created by Bush/Chenney and the GOP in coordination with Goldman Sachs amd you poeple in the Media telling me that the White blue collars worker they are going to vote republican again, give a break, are you considering White man that stupid to believe you this time.

Posted by: Tony | June 12, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

McCain said "not too important" when American troops are withdrawn from Iraq. The man is a fool. Obama should have a TV commercial showing McCain saying "not too important" in every military town, McCain will lose the military vote when they hear he thinks them coming home is "not too important."

Posted by: Scott | June 12, 2008 1:57 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what's more funny here: that McCain thinks he can parlay these "bitter" comments of Obama's to a greater advantage than Clinton could, or that McCain is so naieve to think that the majority of Americans exhibit some bottomless well of faith, trust and hope in the American government's capacity to properly and fairly represent its citizens and their best interests.

After nearly eight years of our government lying to us, spying on us, utilizing torture to obtain information, abandoning any policy plans save one (war in the middle east), and eagerly pauperizing our nation by turning China into this country's personal lender, I can't say that average American citizens are teeming with goodwill and trust in terms of what a McCain-flavored America can do to better their lives.

Posted by: Piter | June 12, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

C'mon true and patriotic Americans. You got fooled in 2000 and 2004. Don't get fooled again by the Republicans (even though McCain is trying very hard to fit in with them). Time for a change.

Posted by: mountainman | June 11, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Gator-ron
I'm not a politician but worldly and opinionated. Indeed the Saudis have reached peak oil in the Ghawar field as they are pumping sea water to reclaim the remaining oil. And it's good of you to bring up the falling dollar and how that is directly attributable to the rising cost of oil. Fortunately for America though, we get MOST of our oil from Canada as well as Venezuela. And with Brazil's PetroBras recent announcement of huge reserves in the Tupi oil field, the world will have plenty of oil tapped and untapped for decades to come.
The biggest problem foreign oil companies have is that oil is tied to the dollar and the falling dollar is what is killing the price. I would venture to say that in the near future, oil will be traded in Euro's or perhaps British sterling. Unless America makes some drastic changes in the very near future, especially in regards to our enormous debt, woeful dollar and banking regulations we very well could be on the outside looking in. It's interesting to note that the current administration has dispatched envoys to the Middle East to secure investment monies to help shore up the leaking dam of the American economy.

Posted by: Stormkrow | June 11, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

The people in PA if they vote for McCain can take a $1000 and give to a hedge fund manager. That is because that is exactly what John McCain will do, take their tax rebate away so that the hedge fund managers and CEO's get their tax cut. And John McCain calls Obama an elitist. Only a Republican would have such chutzpah.

Posted by: G8tr | June 11, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

One of the causes for high oil prices is the fall of the dollar which is related to the huge deficits that George Bush and the Republicans caused.

Secondly and more importantly is the rise in world wide consumption. A third possibility is that the Arabian oil fields have reached peak production and the Saudi do not release information on the state of their oil field production..

The production from domestic oil fields may help stormkrow and his employer but that production will never be more than 10% of our needs. Stormkrow you may work in the oil fields but you sound like a politician to me.

Posted by: Gator-ron | June 11, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"You can blame the Democrats for the price of oil, not the republicans.For weeks now the repubs in the senate have been trying to convince the dems that it is time to tap our own resources to no avail."
I work in the Oil industry, in Saudi, Kuwait, Brazil, Venezuela Africa..
The supply is the same as it has always been and the demand in the US has actually declined recently. The problem is there are no regulations on the traders short and long selling oil futures. The Dems had a plan in place to tax the hell out of the oil companies forcing their hand in regulating the traders, BUT the repugs thwarted that because we all know who they represent? Hint: Big Oil

Posted by: Stormkrow | June 11, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Aw, poor old guy. He just mixes up his words so much lately. We should help him.

Constitution: A really important document that it's okay to cling to. Not something one needs a laxative for. I know, lots of people mix that one up.

Google: A search engine. Not a rinse for dentures.

Bill: Two meanings; a debt hard-working Americans pay daily to survive or a piece of legislature. Not a beer. Unless one has been named after Clinton recently. Bill Beer has a nice ring to it.

Faith: Personal beliefs. Not that girl from'68.

Posted by: Diana G. | June 11, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

You can blame the Democrats for the price of oil, not the republicans.For weeks now the repubs in the senate have been trying to convince the dems that it is time to tap our own resources to no avail. If you asked the american people to vote on this, it would be a majority in favor of utilizing what we alredy have to increase the supply while at the same time developing alternatives which could be years down the road.The alternative is to do nothing to increase the supply of oil and say goodbye to our economy.

Posted by: alc | June 11, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Should not President have better knowledge than average Amercan. Bush is a educated fool and MacCain is not much better Chose a selfmade man rather thar one born with a Silver spoon in his mouth and golden spoon in wife,s mouth

Posted by: Rachhpal S Kukreja | June 11, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

DEAR WASHINGTON POST AND OBAMA SUPPORTERS:

As an Irish-American I'm deeply offended by the slanderous term Mc and or Mic whatever.

If you study both American and European History you would understand the strife our people have overcome only recently (if it sticks) has numerous points of similarity to that of African-Americans.

Please check your comments before posting the hatred you portend to despise.

Yours in kind-

The Irish

Posted by: Offensive Language | June 11, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

SeekTheTruth
I'm not sure which America you're living in, but it isn't one that I think anyone can recognize. Bush has done more to destroy America and the American Image than anyone in the history of our nation. And I dispute your bold claims of GDP vs Inflation in the Bush era; when every single economist on the face of the planet says otherwise.

Learn internet etiquette as well and turn of the CAPS LOCK.

Posted by: Stormkrow | June 11, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Who cares you talk or dont with Ahemdinujad, It's the economy stupid and the skyrocketing gas prices. Dont make an issue of nothing keep talking domestic policies and how can you better the peoples life. C

Posted by: JR | June 11, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

It's worth remembering that Obama was also talking about focusing more energy on solving the economic problems in Pennsylvania when, in this same speech, he said

"So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government ... Here’s how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government ... But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

This does not strike me as someone who is looking down on the unfortunate citizens in Pennsylvania. Rather it appears to that Obama is trying to understand the issues and solve the problems. Remember, Obama said "the places where we are going to have to do the most work" at the beginning of the speech. Context matters. Also, note that Obama never talked about the Constitution in this speech at all. He has, however, taught the history of the Constitution to college students while working at the University of Chicago. I bet Obama understands the Constitution much better than McCain does.

Posted by: Maureen Moore | June 11, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

WOW! STRUCK A CHORD WITH YOU NEO-MARXISTS.

FLAILING FROM NAME-TO-NAME.

OBAMA REPRESENTS THE CONCEIT THAT HE AND HIS KIN KNOW MORE ABOUT HANDLING OTHER PEOPLES LIVES THAN THEY THEMSELVES KNOW.

GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND STOP TRYING TO KILL THE FREE-MARKET GOLDEN GOOSE.

ALSO, IF ANY OF YOU STUDIED ECON 101... BUSH HAS MADE ALL OF US BETTER OFF FINANCIALLY. YES. LOOK UP BOTH GDP & AVERAGE INCOME AFTER INFLATION.

EQUALITY AT THE EXPENSE OF LIBERTY IS COMMUNISM.

Posted by: SeekTheTruth | June 11, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"I will compete and win in the state of Pennsylvania and we will win," he vowed.
Why vowed?-----------

Democrats have the audacity to hope; Republicans have the temerity to vow.
If a Democrat vowed, we'd call it a promise; if a Republican hoped we'd recall it on a safety issue.

Posted by: Zorba | June 11, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations," he had said.

Let's put that into the proper context. As long as the repugs have been in office they NEVER address the actual issues facing Americans. All they have ever done is distract Americans with nonsensical issues that strike some chord with people.
The damn gays getting married.
A brain dead woman in Florida.
Flag lapel pins.
Freedom fries.
The damn Mexicans stealing our jobs.

It's called a three card Monty and it's the oldest trick in the book. We as Americans are bitter and if it were really up to US the people; we would impeach EVERYONE in Washington, imprison ALL of the lobbyists, abolish the 2 party system and Electoral college and return our beloved society to path more in line with the constitution.

Posted by: Stormkrow | June 11, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess McCain isn't going to read the blogs and take my advice. I told him already from page to page that the negative campaigning seemed to this year have a rebound effect, hurting the source more than the target. One might want to blame it on sexism BUT what if things are changing? What if a new day IS dawning? What if it just hurts YOU when you try to hurt someone else? I have given my advice and counsel to no avail. What will happen is that McCain will find a home with some Republicans but he has to get a lot more if he wants to win. I thought that Clinton should pay attention to Obama's style. That she needed to articulate her vision and not react to him. She made him the star of her show. Now here goes McCain making the same mistake. Of course I only have one vote. Opinions, no charge.

Posted by: Gaias Child | June 11, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

No one is alarmed how he can add "constitution" to Obama's speech and get away with it?! I was a little embarrassed for Obama when he made that speech, but if he had said people "cling to their constitution," I would've loved him for it. If there's one thing EVERYBODY should cling to, it's their constitution!! What a marvelous document!

Posted by: franglais | June 11, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I am totally surprised that McCain actually remembered the bitter comments himself. He can't seem to remember his votes, he can't seem to remember if it's the Shi'ites or the Sunni's, he can't seem to remember if he's with Bush or against Bush, he can't seem to remember that he threw his handicap and very sick paralegic wife under the bus after she waited for him while being captured as a POW, he can't seem to remember sleeping with all of those young blue eye, blond hair, barely 18 years old girls while being married to his cripple wife with young kids, he can't seem to remember leaving his cripple wife for his new drug addicted wife Cindy who was only about 22 years old when his almost 50 year old behind married her, he can't remember Cindy stealing all of those donations to her fake a$$ charities for drugs, he can't seem to remember Cindy (his current ugly wife) in and out of rehabs constantly, but he can remember the Bitter comment. I smell a rat somewhere, hmmm maybe it's Hillary.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

4.25 for a gallon of gas..almost 5 bucks for a gallon of milk..almost 4 bucks for a loaf of bread,,screwing the american people for 8 years..i am past bitter mccain,,i am so past bitter;; i hope my 1 vote puts obama in the white house,,i hope the republicans lose every house and senate seat..and yea i am a republican..last time i voted was for reagan..but you better believe i'm voting this year.

Posted by: bitterwhiteguy | June 11, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Typical Repub..can't run on their record for the past 7 1/2 years because their record is a down right disgrace! So what do they do...they use pitiful and pathetic campaign tactics.. They're like smelly dogs always running to the trash can for garbage. You gotta love these jokers. They are hillarious! It's rather sad though, how they really intimidate the most ignorant and racist voters with fear...fear of the black man, fear of hamas, fear of Iran, fear of taxes, fear of Michelle Obama, fear of the black man walking down the street with the hoodie over his head to keep from getting wet by the rain, fear of this and fear of that and then the Repubs turn around and tell these idiots that Mr Obama said that you were bitter and clinging to this and that and these jacka$$ believe it! This shows the world just how retarded a lot of Americans are and how they have allowed the right wing fear, war and whor$ mongers to scare the heck out their silly behinds to vote for them...Sad day in American if these fools don't wake up..Gotta pray for the oppressor and the oppressee! Geez!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

john mccain, defender of the status quo. welcome to a hundred more years in iraq and continued tax breaks for oil companies. have to be brain dead to vote for this guy.

Posted by: bobby | June 11, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Just more Clinton Chronicles (youtube it) techniques.

Posted by: MissClarity | June 11, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

McCain has been drinking from the well of the top 1% for 30 years..flying on Cindy's private plane..eating lobster and sipping champagne..wondering which one of their 6 vacation homes to fly to..and deciding what to tell the cook to make for dinner..if anyone thinks McCain is going to be for the regular guy or girl..you better think twice., he's as out of touch with our struggles as bush is..

Posted by: americafirst | June 11, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I love when reporting becomes stenography. Did you just print up the McCain press release on this?

McCains economic plan: I dont much about the economy, but Barack said "bitter," plus you know some of his supporter drink Starbucks, BE AFRAID!

Posted by: Julian | June 11, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

McCain doesn't care about how long he leaves our soldiers to die in Iraq but he does care to misquote Obama regarding how bitter many of us are. It is the likes of McBush that have made us bitter. What a sad campaign this fool McBush is running. Now I am hearing rumors that he won't even get the nomination but will be replaced at the last minute.

Posted by: Jim B | June 11, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"AK" Stop Hating...McCain only has about 10,000 supporters and Hllary only had about half of those 18,000,000,000 supporters. 1/4 of them were operation chaos who'll probably stay home in November because they don't like McSlime Ball and wouldn't have voted for Shillary in Novemeber ANYWAY. Another 1/4 of Hillary's supporters were unfortunately racist, rural, ignorant and unintelligent white folks who wouldn't vote for a black candidate, even if it was Tarzan with black paint on him (ROTFLMAO). That's just how dumb and ignorant they are. The remaining 9 million of her voters, a good 69% (per the pollsters) will vote for Obama. So you see Obama's 18,000,000,000 and this number isn't including the caucus states are consisten, die hard supporters (which the Shillary's and the McSlime doesn't understand) and they WILL vote for Obama in November. Hillary just may loose her senate seat...that will be interesting to see. If she run's again and has cost Obama any grief or this election, her a$$ will pay for it in 2012 and she'll be right back where she's at but there will be campaigns out there to stop her dead in her tracks, because she's a dirty politician and what she did to her democratic opponent was dirty and tasteless. Shame on her..I don't feel sorry for her and use to be one her staunch supporters...hmmm...maybe it was because of Bill which could explain why I supported her because come to think of it, I always thought that she was a sneaky slimeball! Oh well, such is life!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

so much for the new McCain..this guy is a joke..why doesn't McCain tell us how much money his wife is making..tell us how your going to be different then bush McCain..you can't..your the second coming of bush..McCain..same failed foreign and domestic policies..if mccain is elected ..lets start a pool..to see how long before we bomb iran for the welfare state of israel..i give him 4 months..

Posted by: tom | June 11, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Just goes to show you how tired and uninspired McCain's campaign is.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama has eighteen billion supporters? Jesus only has two billion followers.

Posted by: AK | June 11, 2008 3:07 PM
----------------------------------
AK, I think they meant 18 billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"I will compete and win in the state of Pennsylvania and we will win," he vowed.


Why vowed?

"But MCain's comments at the town hall were the clearest indication that the Republican nominee plans to use Obama's words against him in the very communities that Obama failed to win against Clinton."

This is all Clinton's fault. She spent a year and a half undermining him at every turn. She is pure evil.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"I'm gonna tell them they have faith and they have trust and..."

pixie dust?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

But you can best believe that those 18,000,000,000 Obama supporters will NOT forget.

Barack Obama has eighteen billion supporters? Jesus only has two billion followers.

Posted by: AK | June 11, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

John McCloneBush can say anything he wants, and he does!!!

But his bs and warmongering won't fool many. Who wants their kids to die for nothing? Who wants to lose their job, or pay $5.00 a gallon for gas, just so hedge fund managers can pay no taxes?

Posted by: jeffp | June 11, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

McCain isn't supposed to speak about comments made by Obama while he was campaigning? It's disgusting how Obama, his campaign and supporters cry foul play every time somebody utters a truth that they don't like. They don't even want negative things Obama and his wife have said while campaigning to be repeated. Why? If they think their comments were so bad as to not be repeated why did they say them? Sorry, it's appropriate and fair for McCain and anybody else to repeat them. Same thing with McCain.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

This "bitter statement" is old and useless. For McBush to re-implement this nonsense is the hopes that he can resurrect those racist rural undeducated folks who would NEVER vote for Obama any way. This is the doing of the Clinton's campaign which we all knew she gave McBush the republican chess pawns to use against Obama. Hillary could plan to run in 2012 if she wishes. But you can best believe that those 18,000,000,000 Obama supporters will NOT forget. Especially if he by some chance looses to McBush. Hillary won't get elected because the same way that Obama will need some of her supporters, Hillary will need some of his supporters and payback's a b#tch!

Posted by: Alice | June 11, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

This "bitter statement" is old and useless. For McBush to re-implement this nonsense is the hopes that he can resurrect those racist rural undeducated folks who would NEVER vote for Obama any way. This is the doing of the Clinton's campaign which we all knew she gave McBush the republican chess pawns to use against Obama. Hillary could plan to run in 2012 if she wishes. But you can best believe that those 18,000,000,000 Obama supporters will NOT forget. Especially if he by some chance looses to McBush. Hillary won't get elected because the same way that Obama will need some of her supporters, Hillary will need some of his supporters and payback's a b#tch!

Posted by: Alice | June 11, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The biggest problem we have in this country is the economy. McCain opens his mouth on the economy and gets a poor response so he changes the subject, to bitter. That is not the kind of change we need.
We are all bitter about the inattention to anything but Iraq by our president. It's time we had a president whose focus is people and not the corporations.

Posted by: Gator-ron | June 11, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Will McSame be discussing those blue collar values about not knowing which one of the 8 houses you own to stay in? Yeah...he is in touch

Posted by: McCain: Change you put in your pocket | June 11, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"McCain's comments at the town hall were the clearest indication that the Republican nominee plans to use Obama's words against him...."
Well, duh.
-Wm Tate,
http://www.atimelikethis.us/

Posted by: Wm Tate | June 11, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

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