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McCain Defends NAFTA in Canada

By Perry Bacon Jr.
OTTAWA, Canada -- Calling it "not a political campaign trip," John McCain emphasized the importance of Canada's relationship with the United States in a speech here.

"We've been through an awful lot together, Canada and America," he told an audience of several hundred at the Economic Club of Canada. "And together we have achieved great things. We have a long shared history to draw from, and deep reserves of good will and mutual admiration."

While not naming Barack Obama, McCain seemed to criticize his Democratic opponent, saying "for all the successes of NAFTA, we have to defend it without equivocation in political debate."

"Demanding unilateral changes and threatening to abrogate an agreement that has increased trade and prosperity is nothing more than retreating behind protectionist walls," he said, referring to Obama's statements during the primary campaign that the U.S should renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Along with speaking to the Economic Club, McCain is scheduled to meet with the Candian foreign minister, the chief of the Defense staff and a group of Canadian CEOs.

Aides said McCain had long wanted to make a Canadian trip during the campaign and it fit into his schedule today following an event Thursday night in Minnesota. He described it as part of a series of international trips he has taken this year, including stops in London and Paris.

In a press conference here, McCain repeatedly was asked questions about U.S. politics and batted them aside, saying "I will not" when asked if he would discuss how U.S. policy toward Canada would differ under a President McCain versus a President Obama. He refused to discuss a controversial incident involving Austan Goolsbee, one of Obama's economic advisers, who Canadian officials claimed had described Obama's anti-NAFTA rhetoric as purely politics. (Goolsbee denies the account.)

One of McCain's top political advisers, Charles Black, watched him from a few feet away.

While not playing up the NAFTA dispute in Canada, McCain used an op-ed in the Detroit News published Friday to highlight the issue.

"Those who would lead our countries must work to ensure that the benefits of NAFTA are understood throughout our countries, and not jeopardized through 'cowboy diplomacy,'" he wrote. "U.S. Sen. Barack Obama does not understand this. He has called NAFTA 'devastating' and 'a big mistake,' characterizations that are out of touch with the reality of NAFTA in Michigan. What truly would be devastating is to jeopardize the trade expansion of NAFTA through a misguided, isolationist impulse that would inevitably and understandably alienate a key partner like Canada."

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 20, 2008; 2:27 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain  
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Sorry, misspell in login.
What is he defending? He nor Obama have any right trying to support their political causes in Canada. You have enough smart people to make a change, and saying that, we the people will stick together and make it right for once. We are one and always will be,
Good luck to our friends. If you're not our friends, then stay off the blog. Our jobs are going to other countries also may I remind you.
Bless you all, and my donation of $50.00 dollars still stands true.
Just give me an honest organization to send it to, besides the RED CROSS

Posted by: justadad55+ | June 24, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

What is he defending? He nor Obama have any right trying to support their political causes in Canada. You have enough smart people to make a change, and saying that, we the people will stick together and make it right for once. We are one and always will be,
Good luck to our friends. If you're not our friends, then stay off the blog. Our jobs are going to other countries also may I remind you.
Bless you all, and my donation of $50.00 dollars still stands true.
Just give me an honest organization to send it to, besides the RED CROSS

Posted by: dad55+ | June 24, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Behind the veil "If Congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations".

Posted by: Keystone | June 23, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Senator John McCain's speech to the event was best-written and best-performed at the right time: Without free trade, what does America do? Close the border and remain within the territory? Senator Obama's trade policy does not make sense.

Since winning in November depends on whose party attracts more independents, including me, both candidates have to take their stances firmly on the "issues" that matter to the United States and the world after Bush.

Senator McCain has struggled with his connection with Bush, but Democratic Leaders have failed distancing themselves from Bush's foreign policy as well. If McCain maintains his own voice--instead of copying speeches from Reagan--and stand by his "principles," then he will win in November.

Note: Please do not mention "experience"--Americans are fed up.

Posted by: peace4world | June 23, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

This was such a brilliant idea - McCain going to Canada to defend NAFTA - that you have to wonder how they can top this.
How about a trip to Mexico City to defend immigration amnesty?

Posted by: Pragmatist | June 22, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

He has no dam reason to get Canada involved at this time, during a critical period for our American Friends. Yes, we are tied to the hip forever, but we, nor the world have any right in your future decisions. Preach at home Senator, and help your people. Heaven knows you people have much more to worry about. Good luck To our American brothers and sisters. Take over your country . From Canada.

Posted by: justadad55+ | June 22, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Some of you are just to dam sorry a Black man, which should make no difference, might be President. To Hell with you racists. Not meant for the majority of true Americans. You all will do just fine. for all of us.

Posted by: justadad55+ | June 22, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

I am not a Republican and have voted for the democrat nominee in most presidential elections. Not this time. I find some things about McCain that I do not agree with, however, he appears to me to be a principled individual. His stands on quite a few issues where he has gone against the right wing of his party speaks volumes about his integrity. Unlike Obama, he has voted his principles and has shown what I believe to be, a 'Profile In Courage." Obama has not shown me that he has the courage of his convictions, including on this issue where he pandared on the NAFTA issue to voters in Ohio, while his advisors were telling the Canadians, don't worry that's just for public consumption. This issue, as well as many others, have me leaning towards McCain. I like to vote for character, principle and honesty.

Posted by: migli3x | June 20, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping the Obama campaign has a tape of McCain's comments made in Canada offering unblemished support for NAFTA.

The comments, made into a 30 second political ad, should play well for Obama in Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and upstate New York.

Posted by: McCain Man | June 20, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

McCain and Obama are saying the exact same things about NAFTA these days. The only difference between the two is that Obama changes his rhetoric about NAFTA depending on which state he's in, and then sends his advisors to Canada to tell them "he doesn't mean what he says" when he badmouths the trade agreement. Lets just hope the Obamabots get the big picture before they make the mistake of voting for this guy.

Posted by: Publius | June 20, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Why does McCain go outside the United States to preach the virtues of NAFTA? Since he is shipping out our jobs he ought to be explaining why he is doing this to us right here at home where the pain he is inflicting is worst. Like in Michigan and Ohio.

Posted by: Jobless white guy | June 20, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Take off the caps lock, LINDA.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I stiil want to know what qualifies Obama to be president. The candidate of change?? Change from what to what? Is America such a bad country? Do we want a candidate (Obama) who so plainly hates his country, along with his angry wife? His time as a "community organizer" in Chicago was a sham. he scraped asbestos off a public housing project, and got summer jobs for kids. BIG DEAL. Then he was a state legislator during which time he accomplished nothing, and then he won a US Senate seat against an opponent any fool could beat. And, he has not even served one term as a US Senator. Where's the beef, Obama? There is none. Obama is a shameful, empty suit.

Posted by: James Easterly | June 20, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

His dentures are wrong, he needs to get a set that don't seem so...ferocious.

Apart from eliminating the Polident line, there are things an old guy can do to make his smile a little less creepy.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 20, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The media bias in this capaign is appalling. First they went after Hillary, now it's McCain's turn. When McCain changes his mind on the Bush tax cuts or on off-shore drilling it's called flip-flopping. When Obama goes back on his word to the American people in regard to public financing it's not hypocrisy but quite sensible because that way he'll beat McCain.
McCain changed his mind on the Bush tax cuts because to raise taxes on Americans as we teeter on the brink on recession would possibly propel us to a depression. The same is true of off-shore drilling. This country is facing a fuel crisis. Americans are having a hard time in finding the money to fill their gas tanks to get to work. This country has more undrilled oil than all of the Middle East but the Democratic Party consistently stands in the way of drilling in Alaska because it might hurt the animals and they also oppose off-shore drilling for environmental reasons even though the far more environmentally-conscious Europeans have been doing it for decades. That was the position of the Democratic Party twenty years ago and they are still all chanting the same mantra. They need Bill or Hillary Clinton to stand up and say "it's the economy stupid". Obama sticks to the party line regardless of the consequences for ordinary Americans while McCain adjusts to reality. Better a president who leads than one who just chants the party mantra.
In short, McCain shows some level of leadership while Obama is a hypocrite for opting our of public financing. Obama took this risk because he thinks the public won't notice since the applause of a biased media will drown out the criticisms from some brave members of what used to be a journalistic profession. I'm independent, but I'm fast leaning to the maverick on the straight-talk express.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | June 20, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Throughout the Bush administration, there has been a consistent pattern (obvious to those of us with memories) of jacked-up gas prices preceding Republican pushes for drilling in the Arctic and offshore of the US.

GOP = Gas Oil Petroleum

With the Bush presidency winding down, Big Oil and its representatives in Washington are making a no-holds-barred effort to maximize profits while there are still oilmen in the White House.

Taking advantage of the public outcry over gas prices, Bush, McCain, Charlie Crist, and the other neocons have been floating an assortment of gifts to the energy industry:
a) Drilling in environmentally-sensitive areas (while McCain calls himself an environmentalist)
b) More nuclear power plants
c) No-bid contracts to four western oil companies for control of Iraqi oil

In fact, some think that the drilling issue is simply cover for the contracts awarded to the Bush/Cheney/McCain cohorts, since the contracts confirm that the war in Iraq was about oil all along.

From lying us into war, to ensuring record profits for Big Oil, the Bush administration has certainly taken care of its friends at the expense of the American people.

How can anyone possibly consider voting for McCain, who consistently supports the Bush agenda?

Posted by: barbara | June 20, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Why oh why does McSame hate America so very very very much?

Did someone brainwash him when he was in Vietnam so that he'd cheat on his wife and two little girls and marry a strumpet?

Or was he just always an angry old man with dementia?

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 20, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama is flip flopping furiously on both campaign finance and Nafta. What's next? Everybody is starting to wise up to his deceptions.

Posted by: John | June 20, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The problem is not CANADA. Canada has the same or higher wages, labour and environmental standards as the US. If we can't compete against Canada, who can we compete against lol. The problem is MEXICO. Low wages, labour and environmental standards in Mexico create an uneven playing field that creates a giant sucking sound as our jobs head south. Unfortunately none of the politicians are brave enough to state the truth.

Posted by: Terry | June 20, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

WOW! All this diarrhea of the keyboard...

Posted by: Bored and Bored Some More | June 20, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Alice N. Wonderland said;
"Your recent press statement of " What's wrong with nuclear energy?"
has prompted me to gently remind you that last year the Pentagon
declassified a statement to the effect that we purchase from the
Russian government 50% of all uranium fuel rods used in nuclear
facilities throughout the United States: we rely on Russia's
State-owned gas monopoly for only 20% of our oil and gas needs.
The following briefing was released by the Russian government, as they are gearing up for endless world price increases
for hydro-carbon AND nuclear energy sources:
"MOSCOW, April 3 (Prime-Tass) -- Russia's known
energy resources may be exhausted in 10-15 years.............................................If you are elected as President, you are obligated to look past Bush
backers' interests in energy to observe and reason based on these
larger realities, INCLUDING PROJECTED LIMITED URANIUM SUPPLIES. The consequences of acting in favor of the
interests of a dominant and exclusive network of business partners grow increasingly
serious, and Europe already seeing the Bush Administration's motives
and error, is moving to try the Bush Administration for war crimes at
the Hague in World Tribunal Court. You must look into a new direction
ahead, support alternatives in energy where solutions lie, issue policy in the
larger interest of the nation, and never again exchange information
that a few investors dislike for unconscionably leading the public
into the incompetence of darkness.
Shame on you for "what's wrong with nuclear?"!"

Hello Alice N. Wonderland,
My own research indicates that in the long run we seem to not have a shortage of supply of uranium, its the short run, as nuclear energy industry was moribound for years and recycled warheads for fuel instead of expanding mines.

"In October 2006, disaster struck at one of the world's largest uranium mines--Cameco's Cigar Lake project. The underground uranium mine was completely flooded . . . and Cameco was forced to cease all production. This mine had been expected to supply 17% of the world's uranium demand. While Cameco hopes to resume production at Cigar Lake again in 2011, the outlook is grim. They're having a serious problem repairing the damage and may have lost the mine completely."

I believe large reserves of uranium, rich veins, are known to be in Australia, Canada, and Iran? The US also has it's own uranium mines, though of lower quality. They had stopped operations because of the nuclear warhead disposal program.
FYI uranium fuel is now about $260 a pound.
And lets not forget seawater..........

Facts from Cohen and others
How long will nuclear energy last?
These facts come from a 1983 article by Bernard Cohen.
Nuclear energy, assuming breeder reactors, will last for several billion years, i.e. as long as the sun is in a state to support life on earth.

Here are the basic facts.

In 1983, uranium cost $40 per pound. The known uranium reserves at that price would suffice for light water reactors for a few tens of years. Since then more rich uranium deposits have been discovered including a very big one in Canada. At $40 per pound, uranium contributes about 0.2 cents per kwh to the cost of electricity. (Electricity retails between 5 cents and 10 cents per kwh in the U.S.)

Breeder reactors use uranium more than 100 times as efficiently as the current light water reactors. Hence much more expensive uranium can be used. At $1,000 per pound, uranium would contribute only 0.03 cents per kwh, i.e. less than one percent of the cost of electricity. At that price, the fuel cost would correspond to gasoline priced at half a cent per gallon.

How much uranium is available at $1,000 per pound?
There is plenty in the Conway granites of New England and in shales in Tennessee, but Cohen decided to concentrate on uranium extracted from seawater - presumably in order to keep the calculations simple and certain. Cohen (see the references in his article) considers it certain that uranium can be extracted from seawater at less than $1000 per pound and considers $200-400 per pound the best estimate.

In terms of fuel cost per million BTU, he gives (uranium at $400 per pound 1.1 cents , coal $1.25, OPEC oil $5.70, natural gas $3-4.)

How much uranium is there in seawater?
Seawater contains 3.3x10^(-9) (3.3 parts per billion) of uranium, so the 1.4x10^18 tonne of seawater contains 4.6x10^9 tonne of uranium. All the world's electricity usage, 650GWe could therefore be supplied by the uranium in seawater for 7 million years.

However, rivers bring more uranium into the sea all the time, in fact 3.2x10^4 tonne per year.

Cohen calculates that we could take 16,000 tonne per year of uranium from seawater, which would supply 25 times the world's present electricity usage and twice the world's present total energy consumption. He argues that given the geological cycles of erosion, subduction and uplift, the supply would last for 5 billion years with a withdrawal rate of 6,500 tonne per year. The crust contains 6.5x10^13 tonne of uranium.
He comments that lasting 5 billion years, i.e. longer than the sun will support life on earth, should cause uranium to be considered a renewable resource.
Here's a Japanese site discussing extracting uranium from seawater.

Cohen neglects decay of the uranium. Since uranium has a half-life of 4.46 billion years, about half will have decayed by his postulated 5 billion years.
He didn't mention thorium, also usable in breeders. There is 4 times as much in the earth's crust as there is uranium. There's less thorium in seawater than there is uranium.
He did mention fusion, but remarks that it hasn't been developed yet. He has certainly provided us plenty of time to develop it.
The main point to be derived from Cohen's article is that energy is not a problem even in the very long run. In particular, energy intensive solutions to other human problems are entirely acceptable.

Cohen's web site contains links to many of his articles. He's a particular expert on radiation hazards. His 1990 book The Nuclear Energy Option is on the web page. Its chapter on solar energy is especially interesting in its description of the 1990 hopes for solar energy.

Up to: Energy FAQ
Bernard Cohen is Professor Emeritus of Physics at Pittsburgh University. He is former president of the Health Physics Society, the main scientific society concerned with radiation safety. He has written several books on nuclear energy.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The issue is not for Nafta or against Nafta but whether we give away far too much in our trade agreements and whether aspects of these should renegotiated if possible. In the abstract, free trade is always a good thing, but in reality there are always losers and the government has never really fessed up to how much damage these agreements have made to certain sectors of the economy. The govt never effectively helped these folks with a transition to new work. The hollowing out of America is true, and there are people who will never be able to recover thier prior standard of living. Now we just ignore them and glorify the winners from trade. The new American way, I guess

Posted by: nclwtk | June 20, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

McCain and BHO are basically the same when it comes to "free" trade. Anyone who thinks BHO opposes NAFTA only does so because Obama intentionally misled them:

Obama even supports Bush's highly questionable and secretive, aka "NAFTA on steroids".

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | June 20, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse


Capital punishment is reserved for extreme violent offenders who have taken the lives of other people, usually several people in a sadistic and disgusting manner. To compare that with killing an innocent child reveals exactly what your problem is.

Posted by: JT | June 20, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Senator McCain,

Your recent press statement of " What's wrong with nuclear energy?"
has prompted me to gently remind you that last year the Pentagon
declassified a statement to the effect that we purchase from the
Russian government 50% of all uranium fuel rods used in nuclear
facilities throughout the United States: we rely on Russia's
State-owned gas monopoly for only 20% of our oil and gas needs.

The following briefing was released by the Russian government, as they are gearing up for endless world price increases
for hydro-carbon AND nuclear energy sources:
"MOSCOW, April 3 (Prime-Tass) -- Russia's known
energy resources may be exhausted in 10-15 years,
Deputy Natural Resources Minister Alexei Varlamov
said Thursday, ITAR-TASS reported.

"In several years we might come to the verge of
exhausting mineral resources," he said at a round
table talk. "Everything we're currently
developing was discovered in the Soviet period."

In particular, Russia's known uranium resources
may run out in 2017, while its oil reserves may
be depleted in 2022 and its natural gas and coal
reserves may be exhausted in 2025, he said.

Varlamov said he was unhappy with the slow rate
of resource exploration in Russia and called for speeding it up." ===
Keep in mind that Medvedev has admitted the gas industry to be "in a
catastrophic state", even in light of world record high prices,
sighting the lack of electricity, water lines, and necessary road
infrastructure cutting across eight time zones and thousands of miles
of frozen tundra, (tundra thawing onto bogs and watery sinkholes due
to global warming), cutting through expanses of forested land, and
harsh weather conditions that will impede labor for road workers in
winter. These are the very same factors that also bankrupted oil
explorer Armand Hammer ( a wealthy American named after the "arm and
hammer" symbol of the Socialist Labor Party) in this same part of the
world at the turn of the 20th Century. An old story mostly forgotten
is repeating itself for today's energy investors in Russia, and the
Russian government is admitting to it. Medvedev estimated that it
would take 7 to 10 years to complete necessary roadwork to begin
exploration in projects we have already invested into, multi-billion
dollar projects subsequently expropriated in exchange for inefficient
and inadequate State control.
To provide some scale for comparison, the Dallas Northwest Expressway
crosses 36 miles of flatland and took so long to complete that people
were born and lived out their entire lifespans before it was

If you are elected as President, you are obligated to look past Bush
backers' interests in energy to observe and reason based on these
larger realities, INCLUDING PROJECTED LIMITED URANIUM SUPPLIES. The consequences of acting in favor of the
interests of a dominant and exclusive network of business partners grow increasingly
serious, and Europe already seeing the Bush Administration's motives
and error, is moving to try the Bush Administration for war crimes at
the Hague in World Tribunal Court. You must look into a new direction
ahead, support alternatives in energy where solutions lie, issue policy in the
larger interest of the nation, and never again exchange information
that a few investors dislike for unconscionably leading the public
into the incompetence of darkness.
Shame on you for "what's wrong with nuclear?"!

Posted by: Alice N. Wonderland | June 20, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Why should this lose McCain Michigan and Ohio? Obama is saying virtually the same thing. The only difference is that during the primaries, when he wanted Ohio's votes, he talked about the evils of NAFTA non-stop.

Oh wait, please ignore that clear fact and start bringing up how I'm racist and sexist. Can the dems put forth one candidate that doesn't consistently get caught in so many lies?

Posted by: Jonathan | June 20, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't vote republican if you paid me... and I mean paid me a lot. I used to kinda like him several yrs. back, but now he's McSame as far as I'm concerned. We need to get rid of special interest groups and I think we have a better chance with Obama. And I agree with the statement above about Republicans becoming racists, sexists..they don't believe in abortion, but capital punishment.. I never did understand that you can't have it both ways! They are so rightious and think they're better.. then they're supposed to be religious and when you talk to some and they are racists.. it's just wrong! I feel like Obama talks sense .. commom sense and I haven't heard that for a long, long, time. We've sent so much money out of our country it's pathetic and we have so many middle class who are truely suffering. Republican's don't have a problem bailing out Bear Sterns and big conglomerates, but God forbid we should help a working person improve their life Enough is enough!!!

Posted by: Kathy | June 20, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Why are you people siding with McCain..I don't understand it!! He flip-flopped to get on the right side of Bush's donors..don't you get it!....He's going to take us the same road that this administration has taken us for the past 8 years...If you like the past 8 years vote for McCain...Stop voting against your own interests!!!

Posted by: Ed | June 20, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

A Timeline Of Reversal

ARLINGTON, VA -- Throughout this campaign, Barack Obama has campaigned on his pledge to take public financing in the general election. However, today, Barack Obama has shown himself to be a typical politician. Please find below a timeline of Barack Obama's support for public financing and subsequent reversal:

JUNE 2006: Barack Obama Says "I Strongly Support Public Financing." OBAMA: "Well, I strongly support public financing. And I know [Senator] Dick [Durbin] does too. He's going to have some things to say about it because when we were having - as you'll recall - the major debates around lobbying reform, one of the things that Dick, I think, properly pointed out was that you can change the rules on lobbying here in Washington, but if we're still getting financed primarily from individual contributions, that those with the most money are still going to have the most influence." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Constituents Breakfast, 6/29/06)

· Please Watch Barack Obama Here:

JANUARY 2007: Barack Obama Says "I'm A Big Believer In Public Financing" And "The Presidential Public Financing System Works." KING: "Senator Clinton, by the way, has decided to reject public financing for her campaign. Are you going to do the same?" OBAMA: "Well, you know, this is something that, obviously, we are going to have to take a careful look at. I'm a big believer in public financing of campaigns. And I think that for a time, the presidential public financing system works." (CNN's "Larry King Live," 1/24/07)

FEBRUARY 2007: Barack Obama Petitions The FEC To Clear Way For Deal To Preserve Public Financing For the General Election, Pledging To Do So If He Is The Nominee. "Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, issued an unusual challenge to his rivals on Wednesday. He proposed a voluntary agreement between the two major party nominees that would limit their fund-raising and spending for the general election. ... In a Feb. 1 filing with the Federal Election Commission that was made public on Wednesday, Mr. Obama said that he, too, would seek enough private donations to remain competitive, but with a twist. He asked the commission if he could begin soliciting private donations with the understanding that he might later return the money to his contributors. If he won the Democratic nomination, he could then strike a deal with the Republican nominee to return their private donat ions and use only public money for the general election. For 2008, that would limit each general election campaign to about $85 million. 'Should both major party nominees elect to receive public funding, this would preserve the public financing system, now in danger of collapse, and facilitate the conduct of campaigns freed from any dependence on private fund-raising,' Mr. Obama's filing said." (David K. Kirkpatrick, "Obama Proposes Candidates Limit General Election Spending," The New York Times, 2/8/07)

· McCain And Obama Agree To Preserve The Public Financing System. "Senator John McCain joined Senator Barack Obama on Thursday in promising to accept a novel fund-raising truce if each man wins his party's presidential nomination. The promises by Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Mr. Obama, Democrat of Illinois, are an effort to resuscitate part of the ailing public financing system for presidential campaigns. ... On Thursday, a spokesman for Mr. McCain said that he would take up Mr. Obama on a proposal for an accord between the two major party nominees to rely just on public financing for the general election. ... The manager of Mr. McCain's campaign, Terry Nelson, said he welcomed the decision. 'Should John McCain win the Republican nomination, we will agree to accept public financing in the general election, if the Democratic nominee agrees to do the same,' Mr. Nelson said." (David D. Kirkpatrick, "McCain A nd Obama In Deal On Public Financing," The New York Times, 3/2/07)

· The New York Times: "McCain And Obama In Deal On Public Financing." (David D. Kirkpatrick, "McCain And Obama In Deal On Public Financing," The New York Times, 3/2/07)

FEBRUARY 2007: Barack Obama Co-Sponsors Legislation To Keep Current Public Funding System Relevant. "Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) added his name to legislation overhauling the public financing of presidential elections this week, earning him plaudits from watchdog groups. ... Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer yesterday urged Obama's presidential rivals to follow his lead and cosponsor this session's bill from Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). It would raise significantly the spending cap for candidates accepting public funds during their White House campaigns in an effort to keep the system relevant." (Elana Schor, "Obama Co-Signs Bill To Publicly Fund Campaigns," The Hill, 2/16/07)

MARCH 2007: Obama Spokesman Bill Burton Said Barack Obama "Will Aggressively Pursue An Agreement" On Public Financing. BURTON: "If Senator Obama is the nominee, he will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." (Jim Kuhnhenn, "Federal Regulators Rule Candidates Can Return Donations For General Election," The Associated Press, 3/1/07)

NOVEMBER 2007: In Response To A Midwest Democracy Network Questionnaire, Barack Obama Said He Would Accept Public Funding In The General Election. Question: "If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?" Obama: "Yes. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests." (Sen. Barack Obama, "Presidential Candidate Questionnaire," Midwest Democracy Network,, 11/27/07)

· Barack Obama Even Referred To His Plan As A "Fundraising Pledge" For His Opponents To Accept. Obama: "In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge." (Sen. Barack Obama, "Presidential Candidate Questionnaire," Midwest Democracy Network,, 11/27/07)

FEBRUARY 2008: Barack Obama Writes An Op-Ed In USA Today Stating That He Would "Aggressively Pursue" An Agreement With The Republican Nominee Guaranteeing "A Publicly Funded General Election In 2008 With Real Spending Limits." "In 2007, shortly after I became a candidate for president, I asked the Federal Election Commission to clear any regulatory obstacles to a publicly funded general election in 2008 with real spending limits. The commission did that. But this cannot happen without the agreement of the parties' eventual nominees. As I have said, I will aggressively pursue such an agreement if I am my party's nominee. I do not expect that a workable, effective agreement will be reached overnight. The campaign-finance laws are complex, and filled with loopholes that can render meaningless any agreement that is not solidly constructed. ... I propose a meaningful agreement in good faith that results in real spen ding limits. The candidates will have to commit to discouraging cheating by their supporters; to refusing fundraising help to outside groups; and to limiting their own parties to legal forms of involvement. And the agreement may have to address the amounts that Senator McCain, the presumptive nominee of his party, will spend for the general election while the Democratic primary contest continues. In l996, an agreement on spending limits was reached by Sen. John Kerry and Gov. William Weld in their Massachusetts Senate contest. They agreed to limits on overall and personal spending and on a mechanism to account for outside spending. The agreement did not accomplish all these candidates hoped, but they believe that it made a substantial difference in controlling outside groups as well as their own spending. We can have such an agreement this year, and it could hold up. I am committed to seeking such an agreement if that commitment is matched by Senator McCain. When the time co mes, we will talk and our commitment will be tested. I will pass that test, and I hope that the Republican nominee passes his." (Barack Obama, Op-Ed, "Opposing View: Both Sides Must Agree," USA Today, 2/20/08)

FEBRUARY 2008: Barack Obama Says "I Will Sit Down With John McCain" To Address Public Financing. NBC'S TIM RUSSERT: "So you may opt out of public financing. You may break your word." BARACK OBAMA: "What I -- what I have said is, at the point where I'm the nominee, at the point where it's appropriate, I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody." (Democratic Presidential Debate, Cleveland, OH, 2/26/08)

· Please Watch Barack Obama Here:

APRIL 2008: ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports That Barack Obama Is Previewing Arguments To Opt Out Of The Public Financing System. "Despite his previous pledge to enter into the public financing system should he be the Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has recently been reluctant to re-commit to entering the system. This reluctance has coincided with his primary, caucus, and fundraising successes. For that reluctance, Obama has been hammered as hypocritical by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., not to mention impartial observers. Tonight at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of Women in the Arts -- at a $2,300-per-person event for 200 people held before a $1,000-per-person reception for 350 people -- Obama previewed his argument to justify this possible future discarding of a principle." (Jake Tapper, "Obama Prepares Argument To Discard Public-Financing Principle," ABC News, 4/8/08)

· The Washington Post Highlights The Test Confronting Barack Obama: "When it was in Mr. Obama's interest to present himself as the ethical savior of an imperiled campaign finance system, he was happy to do so, especially since it didn't seem especially likely at the time that he'd be the nominee. But the real test of a candidate is whether he will stick by an announced principle even when that's against his own interest. Now Mr. Obama could become the first nominee since Watergate to run a campaign fueled entirely by private money." (Editorial, "A Lapsed Principle," The Washington Post, 4/14/08)

APRIL 2008: Barack Obama Says "I Have Promised That I Will Sit Down With John McCain And Talk About Can We Preserve A Public System." FOX NEWS' CHRIS WALLACE:" Wall Street Journal says that you are prepared to run the first privately financed campaign, presidential campaign, since Watergate. True?" OBAMA: Well, look. We've done a wonderful job raising money from the grassroots. I'm very proud of the fact that in March -- in February, for example, 90 percent of our donations came over the Internet. Our average donation is $96, and we've done an amazing job, I think, mobilizing people to finance our campaigns in small increments. I have promised that I will sit down with John McCain and talk about can we preserve a public system, as long as we are taking into account third party independent expenditures. Because what I don't intend to do --" (Fox News' "Fox News Sunday," 4/27/08)

· Barack Obama: "I Would Be Very Interested In Pursuing Public Financing..." "MR. WALLACE: "If you can get that agreement, you would go for a publicly financed campaign?" OBAMA: "What I don't intend to do is to allow huge amounts of money to be spent by the RNC, the Republican National Committee, or by organizations like the Swift Boat organization, and just stand there without -- (cross talk)." WALLACE: "But if you get that agreement?" OBAMA: "I would be very interested in pursuing public financing, because I think not every candidate is going to be able to do what I've done in this campaign, and I think it's important to think about future campaigns." (Fox News' "Fox News Sunday," 4/27/08)

· Please Watch Barack Obama Here:

JUNE 2008: Barack Obama Tells The USA Today That He Would Pursue A Public Financing Agreement With John McCain. "On campaign finance. Obama said he'll accept public financing for his campaign -- which would limit the amount of spending -- only if McCain agrees to curb spending by the Republican National Committee. 'I won't disarm unilaterally,' he said." (Kathy Kiely, "Obama Reaching Out To The White Working Class," USA Today, 6/6/08)

JUNE 2008: Barack Obama Has Declined Public Financing In The General Election, Calling It A "Broken System." "In a web video emailed to supporters, Obama asks his supporters to help him 'declare our independence from a broken system.' Of course, it's not so much a broken system that explains why he's passing on the FEC's $80+million. He will easily raise more than he could ever get in public funding." (Jonathan Martin, "Obama Opts Out Of Public Financing," The

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

McCain should not be spending considerable time and effort on an issue where he is on the opposite side of most voters. This gives Obama a boost in states like Ohio and Michigan.

Posted by: matt | June 20, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JOSH | June 20, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama couldn't win Ohio in a million years.

Obama calls the DC gun ban constitutional.

Obama is for higher gas prices as long as it is gradual.

Obama now says his nafta rhetoric was just overheated politics.

Obama is against border security construction.

Obama is a left wing marxist.

Did you see how bad Obama did in Ohio against Clinton.

Obama does horrible in appalachia. Obama is not a good candidate for Ohio.

Obama will get crushed in the appalachia counties of ohio.

Also remember in the polling against Clinton Obama always polled better than he did on election day.

Obama will lose a state like minnesota too.

Obama's polling numbers are going to be way off on election day. Remember how in the primaries they had Obama beating Clinton by 12 percent in South Dakota and then she went on to beat him by 10 percent.

Posted by: Jeff | June 20, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Go McCain. I am so looking for to the McCain presidency. As a political hostage in Chicago whose three children have been abducted by the Osama Bin Laden Campaign and their terrorist Chavez drug cartels, it will be a relief to know that the Gonzalez's and Chavez's no longer have access to the highest office of the greatest country on earth which will not pander to terrorists such as Condoleeza Rice has done (only to further advance the terrorist elements within the African community and promote Osama career). Furthermore, the recusitation of the greatest document on earth, the US Constitution, will be a victory against these terrorists who have fraudulantly utilized it to advanced their state-sponsorship of terrorism within the United States.

Posted by: Eileen Doherty, Chicago | June 20, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama has flip flopped constantly on Nafta.

Obama in 2004 said nafta had been good for illinios.

Obama then railed against hillary for nafta.

Obama now says he won't unilaterally change nafta like he said in the primaries.

Obama now says his talk was just overheated politics.

Obama's top advisor samantha powers called the people of ohio obsessed with trade.

Obama hired an economic advisor recently who loves nafta.

Obama is for trade deals. Obama voted for Peru trade deal.

Obama is a globalist. Obama loves to talk how he visits kenya and grew up in indonesia.

Obama loves trade and helping third world countries.

Obama has decieved a lot of democrats.

But make no mistake about it Obama is a great supporter of Nafta.

Posted by: Jeff | June 20, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Way to lose Ohio and Michigan moron! Add that to his Florida-destroying drilling debacle and you can throw that state to Obama we well.

This is gonna be a blow-out come November. McPander just keeps digging and digging.

Posted by: Shawn | June 20, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: LINDA | June 20, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

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