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Reid Chastises McCain for Not Voting Since April

Roll Call Report Card


John McCain's Attendance


[Chart]

Barack Obama's Attendance


[Chart]

By Jonathan Weisman
With the Senate grinding on this week to a long, painful finish, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saw it fit today to take presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain to task for failing to show up for tough votes -- or any votes -- even as his Democratic opponent has been leaving the campaign trail to attend to Senate business.

McCain has not voted in the Senate since April 8.

"I should mention how glad my fellow Democrats and I were to have our nominee for president here to vote on these important bills. Senator Obama has come to work and taken tough stands. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Senator McCain," Reid groused. "Perhaps taking tough stands on important issues is not part of Senator McCain's campaign strategy. Perhaps he's just too busy on the campaign trail to do his day job."

Obama left the campaign trail this week to vote in favor of warrantless wiretapping legislation he was roundly criticized for supporting, and for legislation preventing a cut in physician reimbursements from Medicare. McCain expressed his opinion -- in favor of the former, against the latter -- but did not cast a ballot.

As of July 7, McCain had missed 61.8 percent of the roll call votes in this Congress, which made him the No. 1 absentee in the Senate (number two was Tim Johnson, who has been recovering from a brain hemorrhage). Obama missed 43.5 percent of the roll call votes.

McCain's performance, however, is not unprecedented. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) missed 488 votes -- 72.3 percent of the total -- during the 108th Congress in his failed bid for the White House.

Reid's criticism followed similar remarks Thursday by his lieutenant, Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the first senator to endorse Obama last year, about McCain's failure to vote Wednesday. "I believe John McCain should have been here. His vote could have made a difference.... I would like to know where John McCain stands" on the Medicare bill, Durbin told reporters.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 11, 2008; 5:49 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , John McCain  
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Posted by: qdakl eybvzgp | July 26, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Republicans make sure nothing gets done in the Senate. They have blocked any and all legislation that was important to the country. We are still in the gripe of this republican administration. There is no way a sane person who knows the make-up of the Senate would blame anyone but the filibustering republicans for the poor poll numbers or anything else that has not been done.

Posted by: Vicki | July 14, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Teflon John is being give a free ride by mainstream media. While everyone was lambasting obama about voting for FISA, no one mentiooned that mccain didn't vote on the bill at all. If you really want to know the true mccain story watch keith olberman on msnbc at 8pm EST. truth to power and leave "fixed noise" (fox news to the idiots)

Posted by: Anonymous | July 14, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Reid is an arse.

Posted by: Frank | July 14, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I am really more concerned with a vote that was put off by the Democrats on CAFTA. That agreement was fast tracked for a vote and Reid & Pelosi manuevered it off the floor for a vote after the general election. Why do you suppose that was done. So they could vote for it after the general election, pass it and have Obama sign it after he is safely in the White House. They did not really want us to know where Obama really stood on free trade until the election was over. This should have really been questioned more at the time but everyone was trying to help Obama win the primaries including the press. The Democrats are just as devious as the Republicans at shifting votes to a more convenient time for passage. Remember how Obama was shouting against NAFTA in the primaries but now is not going to try to renegotiate the terms. Gee I wonder why wink wink nod nod.

Posted by: flcracker | July 14, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

If I only showed up for work 38% of the time,
I would not receive 100% of my pay.
And I'd be replaced with someone who would do the job.
I propose that we pay congressmen 100% of their salary if they do their job 80% of the time.
That's a very good deal!
Working less than 80%, we reduce their salary in proportion to the time they work.
So working 38% of the time, he'd get 38% of his salary. And anyone working less than 80% of the time gets absolutely no tax-payer funded perks, like photo ops on a Baghdad street "proving it's safe." with 3 helicopters, 100 armed soldiers, and possibly the area cordoned off; and 21 people reported killed on that st the following day and the people were unhappy McCain had "honored" them with his presence.
As far as his record on veteran's benefits goes, trust the official record - not what he nor his spokeswoman says; he insulted a veteran who corrected McCain's statement with "well, your perception of my record...blah blah blah." What a disgrace for a man supposedly "honorable."

Posted by: Marrion Lewis | July 14, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The comparisons to Kerry or even JFK are not relevant in my opinion. Neither of them was running against a fellow senator. Nobody seemed to care that George Bush was ignoring his Presidential duties to campaign 24/7 in 2004. A President doesn't have a handy attendance record to numerically measure his performance.

For McCain the point is fair because Obama is a fellow senator, has the same campaign pressures, need for fundraisers and so on and yet he manages to make the key votes.

Let's also remember that the Republicans did make a big deal of the attendance records of Kerry and Edwards, including Dick Cheney's blatant lie that he attends every tuesday and never sees Edwards around. The Republicans even called on John Kerry to resign his senate seat while campaigning (Because then governor Mitt Romney would appoint a Republican to Kerry's seat of course). I don't hear anyone calling on McCain to resign, now that Arizona has a Democratic governor.

Also, McCain had his nomination wrapped up quite early in comparison to Obama and thus had arguably even more available time to attend the Senate. Yet Obama has the better record, despite the pressures of a tight primary campaign.

Posted by: Daniel De Groot | July 14, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

McCain has several times missed votes that failed by a single vote. Most recent was the week before last when he chickened out on a vote for a medicare funding bill that failed to invoke cloture by 1 vote.

Apparently the elderly citizens of Arizona don't need medicare anymore, so says their gallant Senator who had a much more important fundraiser to attend that evening in Ohio (such a long flight from DC in his wife's private jet).

I don't care about the percentage of votes cast, but McCain is skipping important, close votes on bills that matter to actual ordinary people. That should be noted.

Posted by: Daniel De Groot | July 14, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Afraid to go to the Senate and do your job McCain? Don't want to get caught-up with making legislative decisions consistent with your party identity?

The man who is the leader of the Republican party and who wants to lead young troops into war, doesn't want to try to exert a little Executive leadership for fear he will have to anwer too many questions during the general election debates.

Afraid to do his legislative work because may come back to haunt him in the general; get out of the way McCain, Barack will take it from here.

Posted by: Reggie Boykins | July 14, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: 3rc1ibvygn | July 13, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The old guy's lost the ability to multi-task.

Posted by: Cordelia Reagan | July 13, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

He's not even doing his job and he wants to be president?

Posted by: Nancy | July 13, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

McCain has more opinions than an editorial page, and that's the reason he is not voting in the senate---he does not want the American People to know his real thinking....He obviously thinks like Gramm and the other rich reps but goes about speaking down to the middle and working class....McCain, just as Bush and all other reps since Regan, is trying to win the presidency for the "republicans"....If he is successful, then the same old group of republicans, who have been in control since Gerald Ford, will be in control of the country for the next four years....The republicans dont change their policies, they merely change the face of their poster boy...

Posted by: Skyview | July 13, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow.. some of you all just need to get a life. Why is everyone attacking them.. instead of really wondering where our next presidents stance is on inportant bills that effect taxes and pollution? Hillary has no expierence either.. just because she sleeps with an ex president dosent make her experienced. Bill stated that clearly in his affair with Monica.. smh

Posted by: Wow..va | July 13, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Obama even knows how many members there are in Congress. There are 100 Senators, which John McCain is has 1% of the power, with the House of Representatives there are 435 Members, making the total 535 Lawmakers, making John McCain's total power less than .20%

Who's Senile?

Obama is Greener than the Grass in America's lawn!

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Posted by: jo6n47t3io | July 13, 2008 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Well with Congress being a Democratic Majority what the hell does it matter if McCain is there? Dumb-o-crats can't get it together for America. John is working on saving the country from a Black Nazi! Has far as John doing his job, HE IS!

Obama is a Black Supremist and if he would have actually had competition in his State Senate race there's a huge chance that he would NOT even be a Senator!

What did Obama do in that first run for political office?

A.) Registered more new voters than any Illinois State Senate candidate

B.) Vowed to never cast a "present" vote if elected

C.) Knocked all of his opponents off the ballot so he could run unopposed

D.) Ran with the slogan: "We did it for Harold, we can do it for Barack!"

(C) Is the correct answer!

Obama challenged the nominating petition signatures of the incumbent, Sen. Alice Palmer, and three other rivals

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-0704030881apr04,0,6468332.story

Seek the Truth, not what an entertainer says! If you don't know the truth and your opinions are borrowed, you're an idiot!

McCain 08' "Because there is No Other Solution!"

TEXT or EMAIL the above Chicago Tribune link to your friends and family! SPREAD THE TRUTH!

Posted by: Generation Y | July 13, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Ummm...I think we'd be better off paying our congressional people twice the money and have them all stay home. Only LIBERALS want them there making more laws to take money from those that achieve and REDISTRIBUTE to those that don't want to achieve. Get off your dead A$$ES and do something.

Reid and Pelosi...DUMB AND DUMBER.
9% approval rating for congress? The lowest ever recorded? Must be proud democrats.

Posted by: MakeUsProud | July 12, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I know that Harry Reid has to carry the banner of his nominee but it seems to be a bit of a stretch to say the Barack Obama who showed up for votes fifty three percent of the time is that much better than John McCain who showed up thirty eight percent of the time.

Maybe Harry should go and do some research and see how ofter JFK showed up in the Senate when he was running for president. This seems to be a pretty weak objection on Reid's part.

One of the votes that Obama showed up for was the FISA vote which passed 69 to 28 with Obama voting yes in what many people feel was a political vote to make Obama look tough. So what difference did it make for Obama to show up and vote on that legislation?

When a senator runs for president, he or she neglects his or her job in the Senate. Perhaps this could be solved by having a shorter campaign cycle but that is another issue.

Surely Senator Reid can find legitimate criticism of McCain without having to bring up this misleading argument about McCain's Senate attendence.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 12, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

couple comments

sammy: reid schedules the votes. he does not have to check with mccain's campaign for permission. if mccain doesnt care about the people's business he can retire from the senate like bob dole did when he ran.

machiavelli: you post is vulgar. no need to put "rat" in the quotes. nice partisan quote.

Posted by: will | July 12, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Why is Reid upset about McCain not voting? Let him continue and complain about it around election time.
Reid is not thinking that McCain will support a health care issue?

The only way that McCain is off the Bush path is torture.
All the real good issues like Habeas Corpus, Health Care, Wire Tapping, large Corporations rip offs ect. Carl Rove and other Advisers.
This is where Bush and McCain are clones.
This where Reid and the Democrats should be hammering McCain.
It is easy to tie Rove into everything short of shooting someone, just throw the VP in and you have a air tight case.
What in wrong with this bunch! The Democrats need to go for the throat, if the Republicans had 10% of the illegal and corrupt things that they have done on the Democrats you would never hear the end of it.
Look how far they went with Clinton over a woman that saved her dress with semen on it.
That could not have been a set up, every woman saves her dress with semen on it.
That would be the first thing they would think of Don't Wash That Dress.
The Republican Party has figured out that a large % of the Voters are brain Dead. You can Buy your way to the Top.
The Congress is just letting it happen.

Posted by: Charles Lopez | July 12, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

How many votes did the Democ"rat"ic senators miss who ran for President before they dropped out. ?

VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com

Posted by: VJ Machiavelli | July 12, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Senator Reid wants Obama to win.

So Senator Reid schedules votes around Obama's schedule not around McCain's schedule.

A vote was supposed to happen two weeks ago but couldn't because Obama couldn't make it so it was pushed back until Obama was going to be in DC.


If the leader of the senate was republican McCain would have had the same privileges.

McCain has campaigned on weekends.


During the primaries he did 6 events on weekends in new hampshire in the snow.


McCain has had town halls on the weekends.

McCain went to iraq on a weekend.

McCain was giving a speech last weekend.


Of course when Clinton and Obama were getting all the attention McCain wasn't campaigning on weekends.


Obama takes days off all the time during the week or on weekends.

Has this nation made Obama king.


It is like Obama is American Idol.


His supporters are worshippers and they are on these boards constantly.


It doesn't take experience to run just be american idol.

Obama tonight at a fundraiser joked along with a comedian calling women hoes.


Obama said don't do that then said just messing with you.

Posted by: Sammy | July 12, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

I made the same observation as beccajo @ 10;06PM, I think when there are debates with Obama there will be wireless communications between his three poodles, Cindy, Lieberman and Graham and him. He is addicted to their support. They almost seem like props.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 11, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhhh LMFAO! :-D

Like ANYTHING is getting done in Harry and Nancy's PATHETIC Congress anyway!

Other than WORTHLESS and WASTEFUL Congressional Oversights, and Showboating!

Dims! :-D

Posted by: RAT-The | July 11, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

The political agendas of misguided special interest groups combined with a lack of initiative in Congress has led to a global commodities and energy crisis that threatens economic stability and increases inflationary pressures.

http://www.beyondthemargin.net/2008/06/inflation-rears-its-ugly-head.html

Posted by: GoBoilers | July 11, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who has noticed that Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Lieberman are also in loving attendance on Sen. McCain? I do believe that Sen. Lieberman just likes to upset people and get his name in the papers and on TV, but honestly, Lindsey Graham is obviously in awe and in love with Sen. McCain. John McCain doesn't seem to pay any attention to him, but there is Lindsey just over John McCain's shoulder in every shot. Also, Mrs.McCain is always with her husband. Can he not travel without her, and doesn't she have children at home? Does he need a keeper at all times?

Posted by: beccajo | July 11, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't work out why McCain kept going home at weekends. Obama seems to be out there every day, introducing himself to voters, but I think McCain stayed home even on July 4.
Surely McCain doesn't think he doesn't need to work as hard as Obama to win the election. Or maybe his heart isn't in it.
But the anonymous comment at 6.37 may be right. At his age perhaps he just has to be careful, and his non-attendance at the Senate may be due to the same concerns.
I guess they'll be conserving his energy and that we'll see more of him in a few months. But if this is the best he can manage now they'll be worried about whether he can do any more.

Posted by: Klippa | July 11, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

"McCain's performance, however, is not unprecedented. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) missed 488 votes -- 72.3 percent of the total -- during the 108th Congress in his failed bid for the White House."

Ah, John Kerry.

Soon to be an itsy bitsy teeny weeny footnote in American History.

(Well, scratch the "soon".)

Posted by: Chuckamok | July 11, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Beware of websites linked in this comments section.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

It has already been determined by Mccains handlers he can't campaign and perform his duties as a senator. He is currently down to a 4 day work week as it is. He will be lucky if he is not dead by November much less able to fill the duties of president.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

A slightly better number would be Barak's and John's attendance on critical votes, cloture, final passage, and veto override votes. The numbers would be even ore divergent.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | July 11, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tomabrahams | July 11, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

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