August 2, 2008
Good morning, this is John McCain. The differences between my opponent and me are coming into sharper focus. As the day draws closer, the choice becomes clearer.
One difference is our willingness to break ranks with our own political parties when principle and good sense demand it. When a Republican administration was making terrible mistakes in Iraq, I spoke up against it. And I spoke for the new strategy that has saved us from a catastrophic American defeat in the Middle East. This was back when Senator Obama was speaking as if Iraq was a lost cause, confidently declaring the surge would fail and calling for an immediate withdrawal of our troops no matter how disastrous the consequences. I have seen war up close. I know its terrible costs. And, as president, I am going to end this war - by winning it.
My independence hasn't always made me friends in Washington. It hasn't always done much for my political prospects, either. The pundits and pollsters have written me off many times - and, now and then, they seemed to be on to something. But I don't answer to the pundits and pollsters. I answer to you. And even when we don't agree, you will always know exactly where I stand.
For his part, Senator Obama is an impressive orator, and it's a lucky thing for me that people aren't just choosing a motivational speaker. Washington is full of talented talkers. And Senator Obama is one of the best to come along in quite a while.
Unfortunately, on issues big and small, what he says and what he does are often two different things. Senator Obama says he's going to change Washington. But his plan to raise your taxes and expand the federal government is not exactly my idea of a solution to what troubles Washington. In fact, it bears a suspicious resemblance to the problem. Real change in Washington requires a top-to-bottom review to root out wasteful spending, and a willingness to veto bills with useless and costly earmarks. Senator Obama himself has requested more than a million dollars in pork per working day since he arrived in Congress. That is just the kind of abuse we need to end in Washington, and I know how to end it.
Senator Obama says he will raise taxes only on the rich. But in the Senate, he voted for tax hikes that would have impacted those taking home just $32,000 a year. He has proposed tax increases on income taxes, capital gains taxes, dividend taxes, estate taxes, and Social Security taxes. All of these tax increases are the fine print under his slogans, and they add up to more than a trillion dollars in new taxes over the next decade.
Raising taxes in a bad economy is about the worst thing you could do because it would kill more jobs in an economy thats already losing too many. I'm going to keep current tax rates low, and cut others, not because I want to make the rich richer, but because low tax rates keep jobs in America and create new ones.
Senator Obama says he wants energy independence, but he doesn't support anything that serves that goal. He is opposed to new domestic drilling, opposed to nuclear power, and wants to add taxes to coal producers. He has said the high cost of gasoline doesn't bother him, only that it rose too quickly. He believes every domestic energy source has a problem. I believe every energy source needs to be part of the solution.
We need to develop new advanced alternative energies like wind, solar, tide and biofuels, but we also need to develop more existing energies like nuclear power and clean coal. And we need to start drilling and producing more oil at home, and bring down the cost of gasoline that is killing our economy.
To summarize the Obama agenda: Government is too big, and he wants to grow it. Taxes are too high, and he wants to raise them. Congress spends too much, and he proposes more. We need more energy, and he's against producing it. We're finally winning in Iraq, and he wants to forfeit.
With an agenda like that, a knack for rhetoric comes in mighty handy. But good speeches aren't everything in politics - good judgment matters too. And that's what America is going to need from the next commander in chief. Thanks for listening.