politicsinarkansas.com » John McCain


Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Arkansas Poll

Arkansans appear ready to back John McCain for president on Nov. 4, according to results of the annual Arkansas Poll released Thursday.

The poll shows McCain with a 51 percent to 36 percent lead over Barack Obama among registered voters. The poll by the University of Arkansas has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

Results of the comprehensive survey can be found at the Arkansas Poll Web site.

When asked about Initiated Act 1, which would prohibit unmarried couples living together from adopting or foster parenting children, 55 percent of respondents said they opposed the measure proposed by the conservative Family Council.

Arkansans do seem to like Lt. Gov. Bill Halter’s proposal for a state-run lottery to fund college scholarships, with 65 percent of those polled saying they favored Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3.

An overwhelming 56 percent of respondents said the economy was the most important issue facing Arkansans today. Last year, about 29 percent cited the economy as the key issue,

“In our 10 years of polling, no issue has ever been ranked that high,” said Janine Parry, a UA political science professor and director of the Arkansas Poll.

Also, only 27 percent of Arkansans said they approved of the job President Bush is doing. That’s substantially down from the president’s first year in office, when 87 percent approved of his job.

Approval ratings for other politicians were: Gov. Mike Beebe, 74 percent; Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., 54 percent; Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., 56 percent; Rep. Marion Berry, D-Gillett, 50 percent; Rep. Vic Snyder, D-Little Rock, 57 percent; Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers, 52 percent; and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, 62 percent.


Lincoln: McCain move ‘distracting’

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., was critical Thursday of John McCain’s decision to suspend his presidential campaign to return to the Senate as Congress considers a massive bailout of financial institutions:

“I think he’s distracting things (with) the idea he’s got to stop what he’s doing and come back and rescue the Congress,” Lincoln said during a conference call with reporters.

McCain is a Republican senator from Arizona.

Lincoln said members of Congress have been working for nearly a week to find a solution to the nation’s economic crisis. The Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout proposal was met with tepid support on Capitol Hill.

“There’s a lot of us that have been working on this over the past five to six days,” she said. “We certainly hope Sen. McCain will come back and vote on it and participate if he wants. We’re doing that now. I don’t think he needs to halt this campaign.”


McCain speech spurs November predictions

Arkansans in the crowd for John McCain’s acceptance speech Thursday were so emboldened by the Republican presidential nominee’s remarks they predicted an easy McCain win in Arkansas in November.

Jonathan Barnett of Siloam Springs said McCain would win Arkansas by eight points.

“He is on a roll,” Barnett said as hundreds of red, white and blue balloons fell to the floor of Xcel Energy Center just after McCain’s address. “He’s going to be hard to beat in Arkansas.”

“I think we will bury him in November,” Jim Reavis, a Fayetteville delegate, said of Democratic nominee Barack Obama. McCain “showed his character and I think he has a lot more of it than McCain.”

Barnett said that, while the McCain and Obama speaking styles are different, McCain connects to average Americans.

“He’s got a little softer approach,” Barnett said. “He absolutely has a different style. He is just skilled differently.”

Bill Poynter of Texarkana said he fielded telephone calls all night from inspired viewers.

“They were saying how good everything was going,” Poynter said. “All of them were energized and excited, people from both parties.”

Jim Harris of Saline County, who is brother-in-law to former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, said: “I think McCain’s patriotism has come through. This speech is going to get people who were undecided to come into the McCain camp.”

Harris said undecided voters will be swayed by Republican policy on energy and oil exploration.


Political football

The NFL season starts in just a few minutes with a nationally televised game between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. The game may overlap with John McCain’s speech to accept the Republican presidential nomination.

Since Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers, is a huge football fan (and a former Arkansas player) the question was posed as to what he would choose to watch if a Razorback game was scheduled head-to-head with a presidential nomination acceptance speech.

Here’s what he said:

“If the Hogs were playing tonight, I’d probably have one eye on one thing and one on the other, but most of my time would be spent with the Razorbacks. There would be no doubt about that one.”

It’s a safe bet to say Boozman speaks for his constituents on that issue.


Arkansans like Palin

Arkansas delegates, like other Republicans in the convention hall Wednesday, had only good things to say about Sarah Palin’s vice presidential acceptance speech.

Delegates had been excited all week about John McCain’s surprise choice for a running mate. They said Palin kept impressing with her remarks.

“It was awesome. She hit it out of the park and it’s still going,:” said Robin Lundstrum of Springdale. “She hit all the right notes.”

Lundstrum said she was pleased to hear Palin’s assurance that America would become energy independent during a McCain-Palin administration. She also was satisfied that Palin talked tough on taxes.

“I’m just so pleased, she didn’t talk over all the issues. She just told you what she thought. She doesn’t talk out of both sides of her mouth,” Lundstrum said.

During a week where the McCain-Palin campaign announced that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter was pregnant, Arkansas Delegate Joseph Wood of Fayetteville said he thought it was important Palin didn’t gloss over her family issues.

“She said what she needed to say about the challenges her family has faced and she did a good job,” Wood said. “She didn’t go into all the dirty details.”

Palin, too, struck the right tone on Democratic candidate Barack Obama, Wood said.

“She didn’t go after Obama. She just went after his record,” Wood said.


Huckabee speech text

Here’s the text of Mike Huckabee’s remarks, as prepared for delivery Wednesday at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

As much as I appreciate the opportunity to speak tonight, I really was originally hoping for the slot on Thursday called the acceptance speech. But I am delighted to speak on behalf of my 2nd choice for the Republican nomination for President, John McCain — a man with the character and stubborn kind of integrity that I want in a President.

I grew up at a time and in a place where the civil rights movement was fought. I witnessed first hand the shameful evil of racism. I saw how ignorance and prejudice caused people to do the unthinkable to people of color not so many years ago.

So, I say with sincerity that I have great respect for Senator Obama’s historic achievement to become his party’s nominee — not because of his color, but with indifference to it. Party or politics aside, we celebrate this milestone because it elevates our country.

But the Presidency is not a symbolic job, and I don’t believe his preparation or his plans will lift America up.

Obama was right when he said this election is not about him, it’s about YOU.

When gasoline costs $4 a gallon, it makes it tough if you’re a single mom to get to your job each day in the used car you drive. You want something to change.

If you’re a flight attendant or baggage handler and you’re asked to take a pay cut to keep your job, you want something to change.

If you’re a young couple losing your house, your credit rating, and your American dream, you want something to change.

John McCain offers specific ideas to respond to this need for change. But there are some things we never want to change — freedom, security, and the opportunity to prosper.

Barack Obama’s excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don’t even vote or pay taxes here.

It’s not what he took there that concerns me. It’s what he brought back. Lots of ideas from Europe he’d like to see imported here.

Centralized governments may care for you from cradle to grave, but they also control you. Most Americans don’t want MORE government — they want a lot less.

Abraham Lincoln reminded us that a government that can do everything FOR us can also take everything FROM us.

I really tire of hearing how the Democrats care about the working guy as if all Republicans grew up with silk stockings and silver spoons. In my little hometown of Hope, Arkansas, the 3 sacred heroes were Jesus, Elvis, and FDR, not necessarily in that order.

My own father held down two jobs, barely affording the little rented house I grew up in. My Dad worked hard, lifted heavy things, and got his hands dirty. The only soap we had at my house was Lava.  Heck, I was in college before I found out it wasn’t supposed to hurt to take a shower.

I’m not a Republican because I grew up rich, but because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me.

John McCain doesn’t want the kind of change that allows the government to reach deeper into your paycheck and pick your doctor, your child’s school, or even the kind of car you drive or how much you inflate the tires.

He doesn’t want to change the very definition of marriage from what it has always meant throughout recorded human history. It is not above John McCain’s pay grade to grasp the simple fact that human life begins at conception, and he is committed to protecting it.

Maybe the most dangerous threat of an Obama presidency is that he would continue to give madmen the benefit of the doubt. If he’s wrong just once, we will pay a heavy price.

John McCain will follow the fanatics to their caves in Pakistan or to the gates of hell.

What Obama wants to do is give them a place setting at the table.

John McCain is by far the most prepared, experienced, and tested Presidential candidate. Thoroughly tested.

When John McCain received his country’s call to service, he didn’t hesitate, and he didn’t choose the easy path. He sat alone in the cockpit, taking off from an aircraft carrier to fly in unfriendly skies, knowing he might not make it back.

And one day, he didn’t make it back. He was shot down and captured. He was brutally tortured.

He could have eased his own pain and even cut short his imprisonment by uttering a few simple words renouncing his country. But he loved his country and knew that to return with honor later was better than to return without it now.

Most of us can lift our arms high in the air to signify that we want something. His arms can’t even lift to shoulder level, a constant reminder that his life is marked not by what he wants to receive, but by what he’s already given.

Allow me to tell you about someone who understands this type of sacrifice better than anyone.

On the first day of school in 2005, Martha Cothren, a teacher at Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock, was determined that her students would not take their education or their privilege as Americans for granted. With the principal’s permission, she removed all the desks from her classroom. The students entered the empty room and asked, “Mrs. Cothren, where are our desks?”   “You get a desk when you tell me how you earn it,” she replied.

“Making good grades?” asked one student.

“You ought to make good grades, but that won’t get you a desk,” Martha responded.

“I guess we have to behave,” offered another.

“You WILL behave in my class,” Mrs. Cothren retorted, “but that won’t get you a desk either.”

No one in first period guessed right. Same for second period.

By lunch, the buzz was all over campus… Mrs. Cothren had flipped out ….wouldn’t let her students have a desk. Kids had used their cell phones and called their parents.

By early afternoon, all 4 of the local network TV affiliates had camera crews at the school to report on the teacher who wouldn’t let her students have a desk unless they could tell her how they earned it.    By the final period, no one had guessed correctly.

As the students filed in, Martha Cothren said, “Well, I didn’t think you would figure it out, so I’ll have to tell you.”

Martha opened the door of her classroom. In walked 27 veterans, some wearing uniforms from years gone by, but each one carrying a school desk.

As they carefully and quietly arranged the desks in neat rows, Martha said, “You don’t have to earn your desks … these guys already did.

They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have.

No one charged you for your desk. But it wasn’t really free. These guys bought it for you. And I hope you never forget it. ”

I wish we all would remember that being American is not just about the freedom we have. It’s about those who gave it to us.

Ladies and Gentlemen, John McCain is one of those people who helped buy the freedom that we enjoy and the school desks we had.

It’s my honor to do what I can to help him have a desk that he has earned one in the Oval Office.


Gustav scraps Monday speaking schedule

The threat of Hurricane Gustav prompted Republicans on Sunday to cancel most activities associated with Monday’s first day of the Republican National Convention.

GOP delegates will conduct only official business — establishing a quorum and adopting a party platform, among other parliamentary moves — on Monday. The session is expected to last about 2 hours, instead of the 7 hours that were planned.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney earlier Sunday told the convention they would not be in St. Paul, Minn., so that they could follow Gustav as it rumbled toward the Gulf Coast.

In a statement via video feed to reporters at the convention, presumptive presidential nominee John McCain said his party needed to put the welfare of America ahead of its convention.

“Of course, this is a time where we have to do away with our party politics and do what’s best for America,” McCain said from St. Louis, Mo.

Officials said they would decide “day to day” how to proceed with the rest of the convention. The only other official business that must be completed this week is the formal nomination of McCain for president and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for vice president.


Gustav may impact convention

As thousands travel to the Twin Cities in Minnesota this weekend for the start of the Republican National Convention, GOP officials are keeping an eye on the Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Gustav churns toward the coast.

Republicans could delay the convention’s start if Gustav threatens. Otherwise, Republicans may be criticized for celebrating in Minnesota during a disaster elsewhere.

One Arkansas convention delegate said she thinks Republicans should press on with their convention, regardless of what happens with Gustav.

“The world doesn’t stop revolving on its axis because we have a hurricane. Neither does the United States,” said Anne Britton of Faytteville.

Britton said she was sympathetic to those in the storm’s path, but that “we need to show the world we’re capable of doing two things at once.”

Britton has been in Minneapolis-St. Paul for almost a week already to attend GOP caucus meetings.

To Joseph Wood, a Fayetteville delegate for John McCain, that the presumptive presidential nominee is even considering a delay shows his presidential ability.

“It’s him stepping out and acting as president,” Wood said. “He’s saying, ‘Hey, this is coming. We need to be ready.’”


Huckabee reacts to Palin pick

Here’s Mike Huckabee’s response to John McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, as his running mate:

“Sarah Palin is a pleasant surprise for those of us who had hoped that Sen. McCain would pick a principled and authentic conservative pro-life leader and Sarah Palin is. As a Governor, she also brings an important balance of understanding of the critical domestic issues that is needed and that the Democrats have ignored in their ticket.

“Gov. Palin is smart, authentic, tough, and a dynamic choice that will remind women that if they are not welcome on the Democrat’s ticket, they have a place with Republicans.”

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, lost his bid for the GOP nomination to the White House this year. He had been considered a contender for McCain’s VP spot.


Palin is McCain’s VP pick

Multiple news organizations are citing Republican sources that confirm Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska will be named this afternoon as John McCain’s running mate.

The news broke just as a cramped jet filled with weary participants from the Democratic National Convention landed in Minneapolis. Nearby St. Paul, Minn., is the site of the Republican National Convention starting Monday.

Palin took office as Alaska governor in 2006.

It was a surprise pick for McCain. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge were all considered to be on the vice-presidential “short list.”

It’s safe to say Arkansas Republicans don’t know much about their apparent vice presidential nominee from the Land of the Midnight Sun.