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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."

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 2, 2008; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Comments

I'm glad he's worried about the important issues.

Has it occured to anyone to ask what article of the Constitution authorizes the President to regulate the National Collegiate Athletics Association through his execitive orders?

Posted by: Swmorgan77 | October 9, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I cant stand twittering, I like watching Biden and Palin both Practice for the Debate, http://www.watchdebate.com Tonight will be awsome!., Watch Video from all the debates including old palin and biden debates WatchDebate.com

Posted by: pastor123 | October 2, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Ogman, I think Obama was joking about the BCS. If he's elected, however, expect abortion numbers and drug use to go way up. Culture of Death, here we come.

Posted by: MarkInAustin
*******************************
Sadly, you managed to squeak in before those numbers went up. And if hillbillies like yourself are going to react to his presidency by indiscriminate fcuking and drug use, well good luck. Maybe you can go into business finally.

Posted by: LABC | October 2, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Gee, what a surprise - the a$$hats are out in force with their pissy "Obama and high school drug use" meme. Very good boys, you all win McCain toasters. Well, gulp down a lot of your adult beverages tonight asthe McCain campaign casket gets some new nails on it.

Posted by: LABC | October 2, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

There should not be many hearings on the subject without coming up with legislation to do something about. By holding hearings, allowing Roger Clemmens to come to congress and lie about his use only rewards the behavior that McCain says he is against. If McCain had made a serious effort to do something about the problem then those who are anti-drug like I am would have a point to make.

Grandstanding was all that McCain ever did about this. So in view of how the situation was handled in the final outcome I agree with Obama. I was in favor of it at the time but when Clemmens got away with lying the whole thing became a sham and was to the detriment of the anti-drug cause.

This is not a political issue though if you heard the House hearings as I did, you might have thought it was a political issue with Republicans supporting the drug using Clemmens and Democrats attacking him. The hearings were a disgrace.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 2, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Is there one person who can get his history so consistently wrong as DaveBronx? Let's get this straight, Clinton refused to take Bin laden into custody when offered by the Somali govt., but Bush is incompetent? Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and other Democrat congressmen and senators blocked the McCain bill that would have increased regulation of Fannie mae and Freddie mac, while shoveling millions in campaign contributions from Freddie and Fannie into their pockets, but the Republicans are singularly at fault (and not both parties)? I wonder if dimwit Dave is aware of the fact that the Democrats retook controlof congress two years ago AND HAVE DONE NOTHING. If the dems have all the answers, where have they been? The president does not pass laws, CONGRESS DOES. Oh yeah, I forgot, the Democrat Congress has spent two years passing stupid resolutions like "national watermelon month" while ignoring the mortgage crisis, the energy crisis, Iraq, etc. C'mon Dave, grow up...both the Dems and the GOP have been guilty, and it is stupid to just look at one partyand not the other. The real danger (as bad as Bush and a GOP Congress) is a repeat of the problem with Obama and a Democrat Congress. I think we need to keep the three branches of govt in opposing party hands just to keep the balance true. I do not particularly like McCain, but a Pelosi-Reid-Obama regime is terrifying in the extreme.

Posted by: MARKM2 | October 2, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama's lackadaisical attitude towards drugs is hardly a surprise given his history of criminal cocaine use while in NYC. Steroid use is a very real problem and a threat to the lives and health of our youngsters and every candidate ought to be concerned. (But then, Obama also supports aborting physically imperfect kids, so what's the difference, eh Barack?) Do not be troubled, however, because Obama will change his position if the feedback on this is negative, and then the little megalomaniac will swear he never said anything like this. Furthermore, the media and his brainless followers will agree with him.

Posted by: MARKM2 | October 2, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Having listened to M&M this morning, as I always do, my thoughts:

a) LISTEN to the interview before you react to how the Post describes it:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/player?context=podcast&id=3621191

It takes 5 min. He's in the first segment.

A lot of the Post article sounds makes it sound like the candidate is stating public policy whereas it came across to me as the usual banter between guys who like sports, shooting the breeze.

b) Where is the Post's story on John McCain's appearance on M&M on September 18th?

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/player?context=podcast&id=3595301

Let's play nice now. It's SPORTS, for gosh sakes.

Posted by: 742evergreenterrace | October 2, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Having listened to M&M this morning, as I always do, my thoughts:

a) LISTEN to the interview before you react to how the Post describes it:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/player?context=podcast&id=3621191

It takes 5 min. He's in the first segment.

A lot of the Post article sounds makes it sound like the candidate is stating public policy whereas it came across to me as the usual banter between guys who like sports, shooting the breeze.

(AG on a college football playoff system? Pleeease. You can
b) Where is the Post's story on John McCain's appearance on M&M on September 18th?

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/player?context=podcast&id=3595301

Let's play nice now. It's SPORTS, for gosh sakes.

Posted by: 742evergreenterrace | October 2, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Most of the people posting here are sick and bigotted, true GOP people. Lots of us think that Congress, yes the one run by the GOP for 6 years should have spent more time with checks and balances on the Administrative branch than worrying about what baseball players were doing to win the game. Had the GOP paid attention to what Bush was doing and not give him carte blanche we wouldn't be in the Iraq war, we would have caught Bin Laden by now and we would not owe china for the war in Iraq either. As far as I can tell the only objection a lot of these people have to Obama is his race. I do agree with the poster who said the Republicans are stupid. Look at what they done to our economy, our military, our environment and the only reason these posters continue to bash Obama is two fold, Obama is not WHITE and they listen to drug addicted crazy right wingers like Limbaugh and take everything he has to say as gospel. I do not know who will win the election, I just hope it is Obama because he is the smartest and best person for the job. Of course if the GOP can roll out another Kathleen Harris to subvert the upcoming election we will be stuck with another four years of Bush and right wing politics. By the way, Bush did his share of drugs as an adult back in the 70s and you jerks still voted him in office and why, because he is as white as I am.

Posted by: DaveBronx | October 2, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

SavageNation, I'm afraid they will get first-time voters out there to vote early and vote often. This may be a lot closer than either of us will feel comfortable with. I still remember that LONG November of 2000.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Not surprising from someone who admits they used Cocaine in HIgh School.
Having done that, in his mind, Steroids probably seem minor in comparison.
Besides Big 'O' is trying to seem 'super cool' for the Gen-X/NeXt MTV generations.
There aren't enough average Americans who will buy into his Carter II socialist mentality to carry him to victory.
He (and the DNC) are about to be embarrassed to the tune of a Mondale/Ferraro level defeat, regardless of what the Snake Fascinated media tell you.

Posted by: SavageNation | October 2, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Ogman, I think Obama was joking about the BCS. If he's elected, however, expect abortion numbers and drug use to go way up. Culture of Death, here we come.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't have a problem with illegial drugs. He used them a lot himself.

Also, Obama doesn't really see the need for Congress to spend time doing much. In fact as a Senator he has done next to nothing.

Obama == lazy druggie

Just the facts.

Posted by: dpand1 | October 2, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are just "Palin" stupid when it comes common sense issues.

I hope you are excited about what your G.W. Bush has done to our country... the worst president ever.

Posted by: fzelaya1 | October 2, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight: a college football playoff is more important that ridding sports of steroids?

Posted by: Ogman | October 2, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

if I believe obama, he will not only cut my taxes, but give me money back that i didnt even pay in, while spending 960 million dollars on new programs to help me.
why doesnt he just say'
Im Obark Bebama, and I have a money tree
for every american.
no personal responsibility is needed,
buy things you have no intention of paying
for, and the democrats will bail you out.
we encourage minorities and women to support us.. snicker snicker..

Posted by: USA3 | October 2, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama would say anything for a vote.
obviously congress is a total joke,
they cant even pass a bail out bill
without adding 250 pages of tax breaks
for companies that have 'paid' for their
support.
washington is broken, obama and pelosi
and reid would legislate away the freedoms
inherent in a government of, for, and by
the people.
SayAnythingForYourVote
Nobama!

Posted by: USA3 | October 2, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

One of the few things George W. Bush did that I agree with was the creation of a Little League baseball diamond on the South Lawn of the White House.

And now Obama hints at legislating a NCAA football playoff and a ban on domes? This is perfect!

Glad to have a little levity a month before the elections . . .

Posted by: chrisduckworth | October 2, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I thought last week that a President has to be able to do two things at the same time?

Posted by: JakeD | October 2, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse
--------------
Yes. That's why the Palin/McCain administration are so abysmal as a one-trick-pony.

Posted by: hayden1 | October 2, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I thought last week that a President has to be able to do two things at the same time?

Posted by: JakeD | October 2, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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