Attack the Policies McCain!

By Matt Knipple


So the first two presidential debates are over as well as a vice presidential debate and ever since the post-Republican National Convention and selecting Sarah Palin as the vice presidential nominee bumps Obama’s lead in the polls have widened a little for various reasons.  So what should John McCain begin to do to regain his position in the polls now?  People have suggested that he should continue to attack Barack Obama’s character but that is not the answer anymore, if it ever was.  The answer isn’t even to attack his inexperience because McCain picked a very inexperienced vice presidential candidate in Palin.  He needs to attack Barack Obama’s policy stances.  He needs to make the race between him and Barack Obama, not McCain and Palin against Barack Obama (I rarely hear Joe Biden’s name ever).


Obama’s campaign has branded his future as a president with the term “change”.  Not many people know what change is though with Barack Obama.  He is relatively inexperienced in the Senate and there is not much of a record with him.  With the budget deficit growing and the economy being in shambles right now, McCain should attack Barack Obama’s spending plans. Here are the priciest parts of Obama’s spending plan:


  • A $65 billion-a-year health plan
  • $15 billion in green energy spending
  • $85 billion in tax cuts and credits
  • A $25 billion-a-year increase in foreign aid
  • $18 billion a year in education spending
  • $3.5 billion for a national service plan


What this all amounts to is a spending plan around $200 billion, which equates to $800 billion over four years. 


Another issue that should be near and dear to McCain’s heart is defense spending.  With all of the spending Barack Obama does want to spend on, he wants to cut spending in defense during a very vulnerable time in America’s history.  Here is a short video of Obama talking about the Iraq war and defense spending, the part I want to point out is :07-:30:



Is there really a point of cutting defense spending right now?  We are very vulnerable economically and as a percentage of GDP defense spending right now is at 4%, well below the 45 year average of 5.5% which in the end will leave America even more vulnerable.  Here is a graph:



So, in short, McCain needs to start attacking some of the spending policies and defense cutting of Obama.  His term of Maverick (who voted with Bush 90% of the time) against Obama’s slogan of “change” is going to be a losing argument for McCain.  Attack what the “change” is!  Is change cutting defense spending and weakening our military in a time of uncertainty at home and overseas?  Is change adding billions of dollars into new entitlement programs that will push us more into a recession and add to our record deficit?


With Democrats almost certainly going to gain seats in the Senate and in the House, McCain needs to pull a miracle out of his hat in order to keep the systems of checks and balances in place.  Democrats do not need to control everything, throw us a bone here!


Filed under Democratic Party, McCain, Obama, Republican

2 responses to “Attack the Policies McCain!

  1. Tony Robinson

    I think you’re on the right track Matt. Recent polls show that things got worse for McCain whenever he stepped up personal attacks, such as the Ayers stuff and saying Obama pals around with terrorists, etc. That kind of distracting swift-boat stuff just isn’t selling this year–I’m sure the economic situation and unpopularity of Bush plays into the disinterest of the public in personal attacks on Obama (or McCain)–but I also think that the long primary season, which really tested Obama, also helped inoculate him againt more personal attacks today (because we’ve already heard it all…).

    The post would be even better if you had some polling results or some other supportive data showing that people actually would find your policy advice persuasive. What evidence do you have that people are concerned with the costs of the Barack plan, or that they might be?

    Also, you mention that Barack’s defense cuts aren’t needed–but this is a bit of a strange point, since McCain himself has proposed major cuts in defense. So I don’t think McCain could critique this element of Obama’s plan very well…

    The defense spending chart is very interesting and informative though.

  2. Stephen Noriega

    I also agree that the issues are the more fertile grounds for attack. The character attack actually got out of control and started to inflame the fringes of the right. McCain had to rebuke members in his own audiences and all of this sent the campaign in worthless circles.

    Obama has vulnerabilities within the issues. His tax plan can be debated as irrational in a time of economic upheaval. I won’t repeat your good points about this. I believe that the McCain campaign really blew it with this one.

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