McCain Gives Obama High Marks, Criticizes Spending

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the 2008 GOP nominee for president, gave former rival President Barack Obama high marks for his speech Wednesday night but said Democrats continue to spend too much.

McCain told CNN's John Roberts Wednesday morning that Obama "laid out the challenges that we face yet gave Americans a sense of strength and optimism that we will get through this and we will get through it."

But McCain also criticized Obama's vow to cut the deficit in half by the end of the first term. With the way Obama plans to spend money, McCain said, that goal is not achievable. "I am still having trouble doing the math here, he said he was against earmarks and yet, on the floor tomorrow and the next day in the Senate, will be a bill with 9,427 pork barrel items," McCain, who emphasized reducing government spending during his campaign last year, said.

"Spending has gone completely nuts here...and to somehow say that we're going to be able to cut the deficit in half, which would then bring it down to only $650 billion dollars does not make any sense."

Pressed on what Obama could do about the bill, which is actually a holdover from last session, McCain said Obama could put a stop to it. "If he threatened to veto it...as he should, given these hard economic times, then I think it would have some beneficial effect," he said.

One can't help but recall this staple from McCain's campaign after hearing that: " I've fought the big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, and the first big-spending pork-barrel earmark bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. I will make them famous, and you will know their names."

Check out the video below:


jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com