Obama Differs With McCain on Steroids
Updated 11:57 a.m.
By Ben Pershing
Sen. Barack Obama appeared to take a swipe at Sen. John McCain's activism on the subject of steroids in sports this morning, suggesting that the topic should not be a high priority for Congress or the federal government.
Appearing on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" program, Obama did not mention the Arizonan by name. But the Democratic presidential nominee did make clear that he would steer a different course than McCain has in the past when he was asked "how much government should be involved with sports and performance-enhancing drugs."
"I gotta admit that seeing a lot of congressional hearings around steroid use is not probably the best use of congressional time," Obama said.
McCain has long been closely identified with efforts on the Hill to expose steroid use in baseball. In 2004, when McCain was chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, his panel held a high-profile hearing on the subject, and McCain's scrutiny helped force Major League Baseball owners to implement a new drug-testing policy.
McCain said the following year that the league "can't be trusted" to handle the issue on its own, and threatened to write legislation cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs. A House committee also held highly publicized hearings on steroids in baseball in 2007.
But Obama suggested this morning there were more important things on which the government should focus.
"Kids are watching sports. They're modeling themselves on athletes," Obama said. "It's a serious problem, but it's one that you want to see the leagues themselves handle in a more appropriate way. We've got nuclear weapons and a financial meltdown to worry about. We shouldn't be worrying about steroids as much as I think sometimes we do."
Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said the Democrat's comments were not intended as a dig at McCain.
"Senator Obama has been saying this [about steroids] for years," Vietor said. "We face a big set of challenges, from the economy to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that the government should be focusing on."
The McCain campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Although he says government should be more hands-off on steroids, Obama did suggest other sports areas in which his administration might meddle.
"I would have my attorney general investigate the possibility of instituting a college football playoff system through executive order. I'm tired of this nonsense at the end of every college football season," Obama said.
"Thank you! Thank you!" yelled co-host Mike Golic.
On the NFL, Obama also made clear that he was opposed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing in a domed stadium. "Unless you're in Minnesota or Wisconsin you're not allowed to have a dome," he said, suggesting, tongue firmly in cheek, he would pass a law to formalize that policy.
Obama's beloved Chicago White Sox have Game 1 of their playoff series today, and the Democrat seemed to hesitate when asked whether he would watch that game or tonight's vice presidential debate between Sen. Joe Biden and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. "Biden might be listening," Obama joked, before confirming that he would in fact watch the debate. (Fortunately for Obama, the White Sox play at 2:30 p.m. ET, more than six hours before the debate is scheduled to start.)
Obama also revealed that he would continue his tradition of past election days by playing pickup basketball on Nov. 4.
"No doubt about it," he said. "On Election Day, you gotta have a game. ... I haven't been playing lately, because I figure if I show up with a broken nose or a missing tooth during the debate that might not be so good. But I figure on Election Day it's too late. By that time everybody will have made up their minds so it doesn't matter if I get hurt."
Posted by: Swmorgan77 | October 9, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pastor123 | October 2, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: LABC | October 2, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: LABC | October 2, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Gator-ron | October 2, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MARKM2 | October 2, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MARKM2 | October 2, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 742evergreenterrace | October 2, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 742evergreenterrace | October 2, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DaveBronx | October 2, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SavageNation | October 2, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dpand1 | October 2, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fzelaya1 | October 2, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ogman | October 2, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: USA3 | October 2, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: USA3 | October 2, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: chrisduckworth | October 2, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: hayden1 | October 2, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: JakeD | October 2, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.