February 7th, 2008
05:10 PM ET

McCain chooses not to make tough vote?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.<br />

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential front-runner, was missing in action yesterday when it came time to vote on the economic stimulus package.

McCain's problem was that the bill contained provisions that would make 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans eligible for rebate checks.

It was, granted, a tough decision for McCain. Whichever way he voted, he would have risked alienating people. If he voted "no" to the rebates, he would have denied benefits to Social Security recipients and disabled veterans... you know, people he's counting on to vote for him. Plus there are probably members of each of those groups in Arizona who could have used the money.

If he had voted "yes" he would have no doubt angered President Bush, Republican leaders and conservatives – some of whom aren't too happy with McCain to begin with.

It was one of those moments that says a lot about someone's character. What did McCain do? Nothing. He ducked. Instead of representing the people in Arizona who elected him, he simply chose not to vote at all. John McCain, pilot of the Straight Talk Express, wimped out.

And it's not the first time. Not by a long shot. In the last year, John McCain has missed more than half of all the votes cast in the U.S. Senate.

This makes it look like John McCain wants to be president, but can't bring himself to do the job of senator that he was elected to do by the people of Arizona. Just another politician choosing to do what's best for him instead of what's best for the people he was elected to represent. When it came right down to it, McCain didn't have the stomach for the tough decision it would have required to come down on either side of the issue.

Here’s my question to you: What message did John McCain send by choosing not to vote on a Senate economic stimulus package?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Paulette from Dallas, Pennsylvania writes:
It means that McCain choked! The U.S. cannot afford to have a spineless dummy representing it in this globalized world. We are just getting rid of one of those!

Brenda from Arizona writes:
John McCain has missed most of the votes he was elected to cast on behalf of us from Arizona. He cares only about John McCain. He doesn't care about his constituency AT ALL! He would be a TERRIBLE president!

Kathy from Stamford, Connecticut writes:
McCain sent a powerful message to disabled veterans. He'll trade on his status as a war hero, but the hell with the other guys. What a total hypocrite he is.

Christine from California writes:
He's totally out of touch and a weenie. He talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.

Ryan writes:
This is a cowardly move. He had a job to do and people to represent. Instead, he selfishly did not vote, caring more about his own political future than the people. The Democrats have the image of caring more about the people, and if the Republicans want to counter that image, their candidate must at least do the job he's elected to do.

Joe writes:
As a 100% disabled Vet and a registered voting Independent in Florida, I think Sen. McCain told me not to vote for him. As a (former) member of the military, I would think he would know what having one's back means.

Chuck writes:
Jack, He's a conservative now. Caring about the little people would be inconsistent with his newfound position.

The Grahams write:
Just reminds me of Obama, who either doesn't vote on issues or votes present just for political reasons. Stand up and be men! Or do we need a woman? Yes, we do!

Filed under: Economy • John McCain
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Ross Higgins


    McCain is trying to avoid a political misstep. If he votes for it, some conservatives are going to say that he is a big spending liberal. On the other hand, if he votes against it, it is going to make him look like he is unconcerned with the economy and the struggling middle class. Either way, he would take fire from one part of the fractionalized Republican party. So what does he do? Avoid it all together by not voting.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  2. Kenneth C. Kennedy (Ken)

    It says McCain isn't sure of the economics of the situation. Better not to vote than to vote the wrong way. This leaves it open for him to say once he feels a majority has agreed or not agreed that he was thinking to vote with the majority favorite.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  3. Tom

    If president he would sidestep the difficult decisions required by the office. Actions such as this are not leadership and what America needs is strong leadership.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  4. GR

    Is this indicative of what his presidency would be–a leader who is afraid to be "a decider?" You'd think he'd at least have the guts to vote "present" a la Obama.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  5. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    His decision not to vote just shows he is not the one we need to run our country, but I don't want Clinton or Obama either. If he is the Repub nominee, we are in SERIOUS trouble!

    February 7, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  6. Terry North Carolina

    By not voting for the economic stimulus package McCain has sent a message to the voters that along with a large percentage of the American people he doesnt believe that this will help the economy. A handful of change will not help the average American climb out of the hole their already in.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  7. Kirk

    I think they've forgotten who McCain is on the senate floor. He hasn't shown up for a vote in so long his seat has cobwebs and there's a For Rent sign hanging on it. He obviously is only paying lip service to his "economic" stance and really doesn't care one way or the other how the economy is as long as he is the Republican nominee for President.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  8. Jordan

    I think that McCain simply reinforced what his Republican critics hate him for; his inability to choose a stance on a position until it is safe to do so. If you ask me, it would appear that he wants to see the aftermath of the stimulus package before he states his 'past' position on it. Remind you of another McCain controversy? Three words: Bush Tax Cuts.

    -Jordan from Kentucky

    February 7, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  9. Eugene in Northern California

    Jack, that's "the hair that broke the camels back," for me. There's no excuse, for the candidate that say's he's ready, on day one, to make the tough decisions, to become president, to duck the economic stimulus package vote. What else will he duck, as president.? His responsibility, to American citizens, when he gives the ranch away, to illegal aliens. It's either vote for Mitt or quit, for me.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  10. Gary

    Jack, By choosing not to vote on this he is showing that he cares more for his career than the people he represents. I'm sure a Mccain presidency would reflect more of the same. It has become the American way of government.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  11. D.J.Lauter

    It just proves again that McCain has lost the wheels on his "straight talk express bus". By hiding, he proved that he is afraid to choose who he will aleinate. His approval rating is low anyway. And we are paying him for a job that he isn't doing?

    February 7, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  12. Amy S. in Washington

    He sent the message that the Washington GOP elite matter a lot more than the "little people" he is supposed to represent. I guess mavericks don't need the support of ordinary citizens.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  13. W B in Las Vegas

    looks like another wheel falling off the "Straight Talk Express". if a Senator always playing the "I'm a Vet" card doesn't have the guts to vote FOR disabled veterans, it speaks volumes about his lack of character.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  14. Michael C in Lorton, Virginia

    It quite obvious, "that no vote on the stimulus package" is a vote. He doesn't support it, and to be honest, I don't think that this stimulus package will cause any impact on the ecomony...it surely will not have any impact on the majority of the American people. It is a "token gesture" of a lameduck president, and I do mean "lame."

    February 7, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  15. Scott

    well it depends, but if he refused to do so because he didn't want to barrow the money from china i can under stand that.

    bowling green,mo.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  16. Jim Sluder

    "My friends," it says John McCain is looking out for number one and that he cares nothing for the American People. It was a calculated political move and hopefully it will be just one of the many things that come back to bite him on the ass in the general election and send him to the worst political defeat in American History.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  17. Chuck in Oregon

    Jack, if Mr McCain does not have it in himself to take a stand on something that is this important to the American People and our economy; I strongly question his ability to manage, lead and guide our nation through what appears to be an economic down turn. I also now question his ability to make those tough decision when it comes to foreign policy and international issues. If you are unable to stand tall on something this simple yet complex, you sure can not be depended to stand tall on critical issues involving our national security and Americas image within the international community.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  18. Bill PA

    I think it says if he is unwilling to make a tough vote as the senator, then he might have have a reel tough time making one as our president.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  19. John

    That he doesn't care anything about the american people, just himself. He's a republican isn't he? If the plans approved that will take away money that can be used on a war that Bush lied about. McCain wants to countinue that process.

    February 7, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  20. Susan

    John McCain's message is loud and clear, he comes from a State that has a large population of seniors and veterans. This only proves he cannot represent the people of Arizona, how can he represent the masses of the US.

    This man is dangerous and does not deserve to be President. His answer, how long will the US be in Iraq, 100 years.

    I personally know someone in the Army who has been deployed to Iraq twice. He claims we should have been out of there two years ago. His quote "The Iraqi People Don't Want Us There", and they feel they have greatly sacrificed, loss of jobs, no power, unsafe streets, etc.

    Please, let us bring our Troops home.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  21. Greg from PA

    You are right on the money, Jack. I used to support Maverick McCain until he started pandering to the Bush wing of the Republican party. This latest move speaks volumes about his character. America needs a President with principles who stands up for all Americans, not a pretend neo-conservative sycophant.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  22. Jeff K.

    I guess a vote of "present" like Obama has done many times, would have been better than not showing up at all. At least showing up would have demonstrated interest in the bill. A bill that would have helped the people he wants to help him become President. At least it shows his true colors are not really "Red, White, and Blue". His only interest seems to be getting what he wants.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  23. Patricia

    That McCain can't vote without a score card. He needs to be able to use either Obama's vote or Clinton's vote to make points with the "right wing' NEO-CONS.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  24. john j. grimes

    What's new? Same old political gamesmanship despite all of the promises to the contrary. We must remember those simple words that Will Rogers spoke many years ago. "The short memories of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office". Case closed!

    February 7, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  25. Scott

    The message is this: Preserve the Bush tax cuts but stay the course on letting the middle income folks suffer.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  26. jim barry

    I think it is disgraceful that he wouldn't vote on the biggest issue of probably all year. Your summation as to why he didn't vote was probably right on. I am so sick of him talking about Iraq and his footsoldiering that I probably will not vote for him. It takes a man with guts to make the tough choices and he just proved to me that he has none. And he was in Washington too.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  27. Michael

    It's probably best that he didn't vote as his vote would have been an uneducated one. He has displayed a complete lack of understaning in economics. With the economy in the shape that it is in, we need someone who understand the economic ramifications of our debt based currency. His name is Ron Paul, and he is running for president.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  28. Joanna

    I hate that all of the candidates can't seem to do the JOBS WE ELECTED THEM FOR!

    But McCain by far is the worst offender... WHAT'S UP McCAIN? STRAIGHT TALK YOUR DECISION FOR NOT DOING YOUR JOB!

    February 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  29. Karen Las Vegas

    He sent me a clear message that american citizens are not his concern. His only concern is to fight whatever enemy he can find. He is a paranoid delusional war-mongering facist that does not deserve to be the leader of anything, forget about the USA.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  30. AndyZ

    McCain's message is very simple: He won't be blamed when this package fails miserably. Sometimes not making a decision is the loudest decision one can make.

    Fairfax, VA

    February 7, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  31. june

    Hi Jack,
    He's saying that in addition to not caring about seniors and disabled veterans, he doesn't care about the American economy. That affects all of us.


    Danville Virginia

    February 7, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  32. David Richards

    John McCain has been missing Senate votes for more than a year now. Why should it be a surprise when he misses a vote on an issue he admits he knows nothing about?

    February 7, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  33. Joy

    Other than his stand on the war, McCain can be bent like a pretzel. This can't be news, he's proven it ovwer and over again. He's flip flopped as much or more than Romney. God forbid he'd go against the Republican vote right now! The hell with the Americans that need help, it's the will of the party that counts!!!!

    Joy, Morrisville, N.C.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  34. George Wilson

    The fact that McCain didn't vote on the stymilus package shows that he doesn't really care about the people, and he didn't won't all America see him cast a NO VOTE on it, and he is too damn selfish to care what happens to ordinary citizens, and it will come back to bite him. He can take his "straight talk express" anywhere he wants to, but he will be greeted with protesters. This vote didn't maen anything to him, but he voted for the war, and that is his baby.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  35. Tina

    Tells me that he is a true Republican that once again screws over the old folks. I am still waiting on my other 2 tax rebates and I am positive I will once again have the screws tightened tighter. Can we can the law and make Mr Bush our fearless leader for a lifetime? He has done so much for everyone and both McCain and Mrs Clinton will be just like Georgey Porgie. I think I will vote for change and pick Barack.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  36. Cecilia

    Jack, the message is the exact same thing you expressed. He's not doing his job as a Senator from Arizona. Wake up, guys (I mean the people who are supporting him now.)

    February 7, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  37. Raphael

    Jack, McCain showed the country that, unlike the will of the voters, he considers our economic needs secondary to his overseas ambitions. He prefers to see our troops continue to be killed and billions of dollars spent on a needless war while so many are starving without homes or jobs.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  38. JL

    It means a vote for John McCain would be a vote for more of the same, Jack... just more of the same.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  39. Jason (Visalia, CA)

    It's simple, there is no way to positively spin ducking a hard decision.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  40. Dick

    he doesn`t have an economic plan, his only plan is to keep us in Iraq for another 100 years.
    Congress is now considering the stimulus package to include an additional $9 billion which will allow for social security recipients and disabled veterans to be included. How generous of them spending my grandson’s future as they add to the ever escalating debt. The $9 billion additional cost struck me as odd. The cost to the American taxpayer last year for American armed forces in Germany last year was $9 billion. I guess we are their economic stimulus.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  41. Raphael from New York NY

    Jack, McCain has shown that in his future priorities he fails to recognize the desires and needs of the population. He would prefer to see us bogged down in a useless war costing many lives and billions of dollars while so many citizens have no homes, no jobs, and no medical care.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  42. Ruby Coria, CA.

    Jack, dirty laundry is going to keep coming out, but at this point there is no point, because John is not going to win and if he does well who cares the war will happen here at home and that one he can't win.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  43. gigi

    It shows that when it comes to the right but tough decisions, he's out to lunch.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  44. Ann

    Too bad John Mc Cain doesn't have to try and survive on Social Security like the rest of us "seniors". I am 71 and still have to work to keep my head above water. We could use that money and so could the disabled. Since he is a veteran, I would think he would also think of his fellow disabled veterans, since he praises them so highly. His character is showing and not to his advantage. Why should he really care what Bush thought if he voted for it? I thought he was own man, or is that just words? Don't count on my vote!

    February 7, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  45. Anne

    The message McCain sends is that he is first and foremost, a politician. The straight shooter has disappeared from view, never to be seen again until after the elections..


    February 7, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  46. Wise Merlin

    If the vote is NOT on the record, he can lie about his position. It is a typical Repig maneuver to hide their true colors. This nation cannot endure another Repig.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  47. Julia Hamilton

    I think it is about the same as Obama voting present the one hundred and something times in the state legislature except worse. I know that campaigning is very important, but isn't it important to do the job which the people voted you in to do in the first place? The tax payers are paying you to give corny thumbs up and say "well friends" every five seconds. They are paying you to be present and vote on the issues that matter RIGHT NOW! What a shame.

    Clemson, SC

    February 7, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  48. Badetito Obafemi

    I am 100% sure that he will not represent us when or if he gets to the white house. This shows that he can only represent his party, not the American people.

    February 7, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  49. Carl

    At least he could have voted 'present.'

    February 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  50. Kevin- Webster, MA

    John McCain is tired of the Senate always stalling and adding to every bill that comes to the floor. While I believe he has nothing against the elderly and the veterans but the constant squabbling and earmarks. He is taking the Obama approch and voting "present"

    February 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  51. Linda Pomeroy

    I think that John McCain is a good man and I trust his judgement.
    I feel like he had thought about his decision on the bill and decided
    he would lose either way right now so he would be best to just
    not vote. I know he cares about the American people or he would
    not be running for President.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  52. Paulette Bent Dallas,PA

    It means McCain choked! TheU.S. cannot afford to have a spineless dummy representing it throughout this globalized world. We are just getting rid of one of those!

    February 7, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  53. Larry from MO.


    He sends a huge message to the American people. The straight talk express just crashed. The real message is, My friends, I cannot take the time to vote in order to get your rebate checks in the mail. I want to be President and I cannot step on anybody's shoes. My friends you are not important enough for me to risk my reputation on such a small matter.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  54. Steve in Idaho

    For years has been a fairly moderate Republican who always stuck to the best interests of the majority of the people in this country. But since running against Bush four years ago, he started getting the "Hillary Mentality" of switching issues toward whatever's popular. At one time he was a good man, but like all other Republicans, he lost his soul to the extreme right wing machine.
    He should shake off the pressure of all those right wing wackos like Rush Limbaugh, because it's those extreme views that have led to the decline of the Republican Party.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  55. Kass

    He is positioning himself to WIN. This is, after all, politics. Obama voted "present" to avoid controvery and it is working for him; I guess the MAC is just doing what he sees working accross the street.

    I just watched the CPAC speeches on CNN – and I must say – there is something to this guy.


    February 7, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  56. Cathy Norem

    What he is saying is what I have known about McCain for a long time, he doesn't really care about the citizens of this country. He wants them to vote for him so he can take up residence in the White House, but he won't vote to give them a little spending money to try to help the struggling economy.
    He is exactly like Bush.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  57. Tom Huntington,NY

    McCain is between Iraq and a hard vote. So rather than show some leadership, he punted. This is what you can expect from a good "Bushie"

    February 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  58. Ron Russell from SF

    Rename that Bus the "Double Talk Express".

    February 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  59. bnthdntht

    Someone forgot to put him on the right plane let's face it at seventy -two years old
    people are going to have to do a lot of thinking and decision making for him and when he gets pissed off watch out Vietnam.


    February 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  60. Richard Sternagel

    Jack,His not choosing to vote is a choice in and of itself! By not choosing he is aligning himself with the Bush supporters that just want to screw the poor and working class under guise Republican "principles." This choice of his shows that he doesn't want to be President of all Americans! President of special interests for sure!

    February 7, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  61. Toby

    Although he was a "NO Show" for the vote in the senate I am sure that the disabled veterans and the senior citizens were in his prayers just like the victims of Katrina. Once Social security was a sacred cow that no one would dare touch or cut back. With the republicans it's a sacred cow alright and it's on the alter to be sacrificed. I see a country that is divided and it's not along party lines. It seems between the haves and the haves not. John McCain is not the average republican he has reached across party lines irritating conservative republicans. Now he has to osculate them, maybe even where the sun doesn't shine, in hopes to assuage their fears.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  62. Cale Forty(D)

    Well clearly we see your view and i definitely agree. I can understand not voting on an issue if it furthers something greater in some way, but otherwise, you're getting paid to sit on your ass and vote on what's best for the people, not yourself. I believe in the heat of making some huge mistake that would sky rocket Huckabee[by some divine miracle] ahead in the GOP nomination, he ducked out. This shows a terrible sense of tact that doesn't sit well in my stomache.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  63. Jeff in Connecticut

    Probably a slight pang of conscience shining through from the old John McCain, you know what I mean. The John McCain we loved before he drank the Bush/Cheney Kool Aid.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  64. Mark Rhoads

    For both parties, so much depends on matters that are beyond their control. What happens with the economy affects everyone. If Al Quaeda comes back stronger in Iraq it could wear out war-weary Americans, even those who beieve that battling terrorists overseas is necessary.

    But the Republicans do have an advantage in that President Bush still has the bully pulpit and can help to shape the agenda in a way that a challenging party cannot. By most measures, this would be a clear Democratic favorable year but the fact that the race is competitive is surprising and not good news for uniting the Democrats.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  65. Scott B

    It says politics always take a priority over the people of the USA

    February 7, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  66. Ron SD CA

    Hi Jack:

    The message it sends is: He does not want to be held accountable for voting the wrong way. He tends to change his position too much on very important issues. I wouldn't trust him as a presidential candidate.

    Ron K. San Diego

    February 7, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  67. gene rummage sr

    I guess we will have a democrat for president!!! I would not vote for Jonh Mc. fo a dog catcher. He has voted more with the demo's than the republicans,he has everytime dodged the Illegal immigrant issue,and we all know what that is. The only people he reaches are the corp. elites,and they are breaking all tme profit records financialy while the average american suffers!! Gene rummage sr

    February 7, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  68. DAK

    He sends the same message he has sent over and over! Did Mr. McCain show up during the 2007 Dec. passage of massive spending bills such as the Omnibus Appropriations Bill with thousands of earmarks attached? NO SHOW, Jack! Did he vote against the earmarks in the Veterans Bill when Jim DeMint tried to attach an amendment to REMOVE these earmarks? NO SHOW! Isn't part of his position AGAINST PORK BARREL SPENDING?? Just look into this Senator's record of NO SHOW!
    So Mr. McCain's "straight talk" isn't so straight when it comes to actually showing up to VOTE.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  69. Debbie

    Is this what we can expect from a McCain presidency? If its to political he'll stay in bed with the covers up over his head? Sorry John, you better quit your day job.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  70. pam holt


    February 7, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  71. steve

    McCain represents business as usual. The Republicans have shown me consistantly that they are for illegal immigration, loss of jobs, huge deficits, high
    health care costs, inflation, and so on because they have turned their backs on the American peoples needs repeatedly. McCains no show vote is a prime example...
    Steve from Ohio

    February 7, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  72. suzie from Atlanta, GA

    It says that the McCain we so admired before he got swift boated by Bush, the old McCain who was honest even if it was not easy, is gone. He has decided that he must win at any cost, even if it means hiding his real views, what ever they are, and he is no longer a man we can believe in.
    I had more respect for the other GOP-Er's, even though I did not agree with them, because at least they let us know their real programs and how they saw the world.
    MY bet is that Ron Paul will run as an Independent, and will have the money to do it, and the GOP will be the dust of yesterday.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  73. Rory, Nashville, TN

    McCain is allowing his disconnection to show! Why would anyone, especially a "Republican" not want their own money back? It makes no sense that he would stand down and allow the Democrats to show compassion and let them be the ones to give us OUR MONEY back!! It's our money!!

    February 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  74. JC from Lexington, SC

    The message it sends is this: “I care more about my Political career and aspirations than I do about disabled Vets and Seniors!" No one should be surprised; McCain is one of the best Flip Floppers in the game.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  75. earl illingsworth

    McCain skirts the issues,once again masking the vote to his conservrative stance on wasteful government spending, while leaving 250,000 disabled veterans still out in the cold, never mind those just living off a social security check! He knows the Jackal will veto it, thus causing no waves, and staying in good graces with his mentor! Oh, what a web we weave, when we deceive ,and unfortunately it looks like McCain has woven himself into a cacoon. This, "my friends", as Johnny says; is coming back to bite him!!!

    February 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  76. Bill

    So senator McCain, with his strong, unwavering convictions does not want to be ‘on the record’ for fear of offending someone. Makes you wonder how strong his convictions really are.

    When I was a small child my grandfather was in local politics, he always said “say what you believe, and believe what you say”.

    So we have a senator running for the President of the United Sates, and he doesn’t want to say anything. Sorry, but I don’t have a good feeling about a person like that.

    Charlotte, NC

    February 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  77. Will a Veteran in Florida

    By abstaining his vote for the stimulus package due to the incentives that would be provided to both seniors and disabled veterans, John McCain has sent a clear message: clearly the wheels have fallen off the Straight Talk Express. Maverick, indeed. Perhaps, the conservative base have their man.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  78. Jayson from Indiana

    It is clear that he does not support the stimulus package. If he does support it, he should have signed it! Simple as that. He was scared that he would offend some conservatives. Well, some conservatives already don't like him. He was scared to stand up for what he believed. Now can we have a president like that?

    February 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  79. Derek in Arkansas

    I'm a Democrat, but in fairness, I would be interested in hearing his reason for not placing a vote. You're probably right Jack, it was likely a political cop out. But Senators who decide to run for president often get a raw deal when it comes to their voting records though. Example, Hillary's attempt to twist the voting record of Barack Obama's as an Illinois senator–without acknowledging that voting "present" was common legislative practice there.

    Piggott, AR

    February 7, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  80. cn

    McCain like most Republicans does not understand the economy. Best to chicken out and do the least damage.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  81. LeeAnn/PEI Canada

    Hi Jack – sounds like he took this tactic from Barack Obamas playbook ...Present

    February 7, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  82. Tom

    You said it all Jack. U dah man! I sure wouldn't want to be in a foxhole with the man let alone having our troops fate in his hands . He just proved his decision making abilities.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  83. Tony,....Ky.

    Jack.......By not voting on the stimulus package, that tells me that he doesnt care about the elderly, or the disabled veterans, or the unemployed. He's afraid to lose their vote. But Im sure he's all for the illegals that will profit from it, as is both democratic candidates.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  84. Alan-Buxton, Maine

    You already answered the question. "Just another politician choosing to do what’s best for him instead of what’s best for the people he was elected to represent." McCain would be the biggest disaster since "W" himself. He is a Bush clone who would cost us trillions in a failed, illegitimate war and more trillions in paying for social services for the millions of illegals he would give sanctuary to. What he doesn't seem to realize is that this is not to his advantage either but that is par for the course for a politician. As you well know, this stimulus package would do China more good than it would us but he could at least try to help.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  85. Dennis


    It is extremely disappointing that McCain ducked this and other pivotal votes. However, it is up to THE MEDIA to corner him on the campaign trail and at debates and force him to go on the record with a clear comment on those votes he missed.

    If he fails to give a straight answer ... well, that tells the country all it needs to know about John McCain.


    Philadelphia, PA

    February 7, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  86. Jenn

    This is the very thing for which Democrats have been criticized in the past. People need to start making decisive, logic decisions (imagine?). These candidates need to stop trying to earn the vote of EVERYONE and start discussing their plans and ideologies. For God sake: say something and mean it regardless of whom may be watching. McCain has been praised for his consistent stance on "the issues." Now, as a front runner, he is unable to take a stance because he may not come across in a way that pleases everyone. No vote is far worse than a disagreeable vote (unless your Bush). This country does not need passivity right now – we need change and we need now!

    February 7, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  87. john

    He probably though the rebate to seniors and disabled vets was more about the democrat’s bribing prospective voters than stimulating the economy by helping people that actually work and pay taxes.

    February 7, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  88. Edward Southwick Jr.

    It's simple, Jack. Just analyze the actual effect. Since his vote for the extra stimulus would have given the 60 majority to pass it. His not voting killed it. Since he knew this, the message everyone should understand is that he was AGAINST it (or if he believed otherwise, he was just FOR his own career).

    February 7, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  89. Chase Hardin

    Jack, McCain didn’t send any sort of message. He, Clinton, and Obama have been missing votes in the Senate since all this began, so I don’t know why you annoying bullies in the press choose to single-out McCain.

    Chase, Goodyear AZ

    February 7, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  90. Russ in PA

    Just six words: Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul...

    February 7, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  91. Diane N. Stuart FL

    I guess the Straight Talk Express has broken down on the side of Campaign Road with a complete set of flat tires. He's making it easy for the Democrats in November!

    February 7, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  92. Damian

    Mmmmm... not committing to important votes?
    Sound's like someone else we know.
    Obama has more in common with McCain than he realized!

    Looks like it's gonna' take a woman to clean up the white-house!

    February 7, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  93. Joe


    Congradulations, the entire revenue of our whole country, for the month of January, went to pay the interest on our National Debt. Not a dime ln the Principle. That is 8.5% of the years budget. I would love to trade you one of our Senators or Congressman, boy, would you get stung on that deal.

    Joe Evansville, IND

    February 7, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  94. Dolores Ward

    Sounds like obama, no vote for yes or no, just present....maybe the two of them should run together.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  95. Jerry Wilson

    By choosing not to vote on the stimulus package, Mc Cain sent seniors the message, after me you come first. Most seniors should find voting for John difficult after this betrayal. What in the world was he thinking?

    Jerry Wilson

    February 7, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  96. Rick

    Jack, I voted for McCain in the 2000 primary, he was the only qualified republican. Today all he does is kiss the butt of the far right. My big question is can we start a petition to send Glen Beck to the "F Channel"?

    February 7, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  97. mike studders

    you said it best jack, it is a wimp out....quite frankly i am older and i'm going to take my check and probably spend it but this is terrible policy...as a nation we would have been much better off spending it on infrastructure. romney said, " it would take to long to buy right away, do engineering, blah, blah." i am a retired road agency man. i wouldn't hesitate to say every city, township, town and state have plans ready to go, they just need someone to blow the dust off them. we need investment immediately in roads, bridges, water and sewer and it would have made jobs, helped slowing businesses. how can an administration say it would not work here while they build a 135 mile roadway in afghanistan putting the locals to work.150 billion dollars, give us a break. someone democrat or republican or independent must inject some rational thought into the debate.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  98. Rex

    McCain ducked a vote! Wow! Imagine!

    Incidentally I didn't even know that I, as a senior, would not get a rebate check. Now that I know I thank, for the first time, Sen. Reid.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  99. Paulette Bent Dallas,PA

    It means that McCain choked! The U.S. cannot afford to have a spineless dummy representing it throughout this globalized world. We are just getting rid of one of those!

    February 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  100. Donald, Butte Montana

    Just like he failed to vote on the Attorney General he's failed to vote on this issue.

    Not only did he not vote last night, but I'm waiting to see if he even voted today on the final package. If not, then that shows his indecisiveness and isn't fit to be President much less a US Senator. As a matter of fact, his 47% draw from his own state of AZ earlier in the week reflects that a majority of Arizonians dissaprove of him and he wouldn't have been reelected.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  101. Kathy Lewton

    McCain sent a powerful message to DISABLED VETERANS - he'll trade on his status as a war hero, but the hell with the other guys. What a total hypocrite he is.

    Kathy Lewton
    Stamford CT

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  102. Tim Draw

    He's a whimp – you don't need someone like McCain that only thinks of one thing – himself!

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  103. Chuck

    Jack he's a conservative now.
    Caring about the little people would be inconsistent with his newfound position.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  104. kyle s

    i think this may be one rung lower than obama voting 'present'. again, can we trust either of these two to make the tough decisions?? i think not.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  105. James from Cape Coral, FL

    He's sending the same message he's been sending from the very begining of this race, he is ready on day one to be commander and chief. Sadly, this country needs more than another war hungry general. We need a President who will represent the American people and face the tough issues even at the risk of upsetting his own party. McCain has been loud and clear, he will defend us from,"Radical Islamic Extremism!" But we need so much more!

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  106. Brenda

    John McCain has missed most of the votes he was elected to cast on behalf of us from Arizona. He cares only about John McCain. He doesn't care about his constituency AT ALL! He would be a TERRIBLE President! Of course, we've already got one, so what else is new?

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  107. CIA

    The Senate needs to add a "Present" vote. Other candidates get a free pass for not voting on particular issues, why not McCain?

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  108. Jonathan

    What it says is that John McCain is willing to upset those voters, to make his chance of winning better. However, I beleive that John is running for the good of the country. So either way he loses, except this way. He is willing to upset those who voted for him in order to make this country a safer place. It's just a little sacrifce for those from Arizona to secure the future of America.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  109. Dan

    Stimulus package?? You mean the one that we will borrow money from China to pay for and further burden our kids and grandkids with debt? Maybe he made a good move....for a Republican that is.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  110. shawnpetriw

    By not voting on this bill, he simply said "Vote for a Democrat this November."

    Perhaps he secretly wants to join those other retired folks from his home state.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  111. Tom D

    He is no leader. He is a professional politician. I am voting for Hilary or Obama , they will lead.

    February 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |