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November 3rd, 2008
12:03 PM ET

McCain in Florida today

John McCain speaks at a rally in Florida on Monday.

John McCain speaks at a rally in Florida on Monday.

Ed Henry
White House Correspondent

- Sen. McCain’s first rally today in Tampa outside Raymond James Stadium only drew about 1,100 people. Local reporters noting that at almost the same spot just before the 2004 election, President Bush drew about 15,000 people.

- May mean lack of enthusiasm in key state, or maybe not since CNN’s poll of polls now has this state at just a 2-point advantage for Obama, and that's within the margin of error.

- Also interesting that Florida Republican Gov. Crist had previously agreed to do interviews with CNN and various local affiliates, but just bolted right after the rally with no explanation, didn’t do any of the interviews. Odd to pass up a chance for free media on eve of election.


Filed under: 2008 Election • 360° Radar • Barack Obama • Ed Henry • John McCain
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. nelson

    Well I'm sure that those of you with these bitter and angry comments on wed. will be asking the country to come to gether and uniting behind our president , and if the Obama/Biden ticket loosess you will be bitter and angry for another 4 yrs. just as you've been bitter and angry for the past 8 yrs. it appears that you did not learn that important lesson back in grade school and that was to learn how to share your toys.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 am |
  2. dskinnison

    Well, he did it. Just when I thought McCain couldn't stoop any further, he did. I have been watching CNN since 10:30 pm CT. and I have seen at least 4 ads refering to Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright. McCain, has maintained for months that he would not play the Wright card, but obviously he is so desperate, he will do anything, including lie, and go against his own word. I wonder what he would do if he were backed against a wall were he President. Lie, Cheat, go against all he has stood for to assure he gets his way? Why does any person have to work so hard to make someone else look bad in order to make themselves look good? Something is wrong. He obviously can not stand on his own 2 feet. And he said he wasn't Bush.
    And Palin, oh my God, has she ever told the truth. I can't bear to even listen to her any more. I hope when this is over she goes back to A laska and will once again return to the unknown she was before. I am so glad this election is upon us and I pray Obama prevails.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:35 am |
  3. Laurent

    Americans, we in Europe are overwhelmingly hoping for an Obama win. If he does, there will be rejoicing in the streets of every city, fireworks in London and Paris and Prague and Barcelona, in Dublin, Rome, Athens and Amsterdam, because our old friend America will be back with us. The whole world needs a new politics, of co-operation, friendship and joint action against the dangers that threaten each one of us. Your vote can bring change to our countries too. As you cast your vote for Barack Obama , imagine a vast crowd of people from every nation, applauding you and thanking you for helping create a new future for all of us.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:58 am |
  4. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    @ Mindy Chatsworht CA: Thanks for the comment about you and your family! I believe that one reason that Republicans will lose (God willing) is due to their vile campaign! There is a new attack everyday, a new lie and new smear.

    I believe that the vast majority of Americans despise the lies, hate, fear and division being spewed by the Republicans! And it will backfire on the GOP.

    Last week the Republicans tired to connect Sen. Obama to a so-called-PLO man, who turned out NOT TO BE a PLO guy, but a Palestinian! The Republicans shut-up FAST, when the media told us the FACT that McCain & the International Republican Institute had donated to Khadili (sp?) .........$450,000 in 1998 & another $$$ in 1993! Such hypocrisy!

    THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS VOTED & WILL VOTE!

    ************STOP THE HATE****************STOP THE LIES***********

    November 3, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  5. Dr, Hook and the Medicine show

    Did sarah bring her medical records?
    We know more about Bin Laden's health than we do about Gov. Palin's health!

    November 3, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  6. Franky

    "Sen. McCain’s first rally today in Tampa outside Raymond James Stadium only drew about 1,100 people. Local reporters noting that at almost the same spot just before the 2004 election, President Bush drew about 15,000 people."

    Once again, Senator MCCain does not have the mystique or the character that some people might like!! Gov Palin is gonna have to be the one to rely upon when it comes to substance or trait. Senator McCain is beloved and he better hope that they are not only voting against him, but are voting with him. That's when Gov. Palin comes in and tries to heal that chemistry. The question will be how much she helps him instead of hurting him...

    November 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  7. Joy, Fort Gordon, Georgia

    So according to some of you on this blog the reason McCain had a small number of people was because his supporters were at work, so what is the explanation for Palin drawing larger crowds when she shows up in the same places, Oh she must be drawing in the unemployed, WHAT NONSENSE!

    November 3, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  8. Vegas

    Mindy Chatsworth, Ca.

    Wait until the LA times releases the video of Obama ... maybe it will be him saying something nice about Israel... don't know... but have my doubts... I'm sure it will be released after voting is done... you know... when it's too late.

    Best wishes...

    November 3, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  9. Sandy, Arkansas

    Susan, about your comment on Fox being for McCain 24/7. I watch all the news programs...network and cable...and if McCain has one, he is still at an extreme disadvantage since all of the others are decidedly biased in favor of Obama. I long for the days when we could really get fair and balanced news and political coverage. This entire election process has made me sick. The money that has been spent on this election could have gone a long way toward educating our children. I suppose that if we will just sit down and listen to the media we won't need an education – they will just tell us how to vote, how to think, etc. Wake up America! This great country is going to go down not up if we don't.

    November 3, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  10. Sam

    If Americans truly want change, then their choice for a President that would take them in a new direction is obvious. McCain is a very experienced candidate, however his experience is only important if the country wants to stay on the same path. Ever wonder why Obama is favoured around the world? If the United States wants to improve it's image in the world, then they must chose a leader that appeals to the rest of the world.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  11. Gus Roncaglia

    It is sad that some of these elder jewish community wont vote for Obama just because of his skin color. Perhaps the hispanic segment will make up for it. All not 100% caucasian should see in Obama an opportunity to brake this segregation and racial issue. It shouldn't matter the outer image when the brain is what governs.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  12. Jeremy

    I was for John Mccain all the way until he hired Sarah Palin period! He blew the race right then. There is no way that a woman like Sarah Palin could ever run our country! And the fact that people support her like she can is very scary! Even more scarier than bush supporters!

    November 3, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  13. Bev

    Frankly, I am tired of hearing McCain tout the fact that he was a POW in Vietnam. There were many others, who had it FAR WORSE than he did. And that's about all he's done too. He has had nothing to say except negative things; he doesn't care about ordinary people. I never see it mentioned about how he voted AGAINST the new GI Bill. And he touts his military service? Just like a republican – nothing inside.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  14. Mindy Chatsworth, Ca.

    To Susan –

    You are absolutely right! I am Jewish and my Mom lives in West Palm Beach, Florida. Yes, she was right in the middle of all the controversy in the 2000 election. She has been telling me some disturbing information.

    Even though she is a registered Democrat, she received one of those Republican robocalls telling her about Obama's aunt being in this country illegally. When I called her a few days ago to tell her how upset I was about the vicious and vile names that that the McCain/Palin ticket was calling Barack Obama, she told me that it's much worse over there. She tried to listen to the radio and the filth and disgusting things that were being said about Obama, made her literally sick to her stomach. She wouldn't even repeat them to me, for fear of upsetting me even more. So she knows exactly how dirty it's getting in Florida.

    As far as the lame attempts by the McCain/ Palin ticket to label Obama as anti-semitic, yes my family and I are outraged and insulted. It's the very worst kind of pandering. The simple truth is that the Republicans don't give a damn about the Jews, they just want to demonize Obama. My mother is still very active in the Democratic party and she said that none of the Jewish retired people are being fooled by this at all. It is indeed a shameful attempt to manipulate my people into voting for the Republican ticket, but it will not work. In fact, it may well backfire on them.

    My Mom desperately wants to see Barack Obama win Florida and the presidency. She said they are all working as hard as they possibly can to help him win big in Palm Beach County. But she said it may well take a small miracle for him to pull out Florida. The Republican hate machine is out in full force.

    Thanks so much for your insightful comments.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  15. smith

    "I don’t need someone telling me what they think, when what I think is probably as accurate as their guesses."

    Well said lets eliminate all the pundit chat 24/7 on all the news channels too. Its hard get some worth while news these days without putting up these so called experts.

    November 3, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  16. Holly

    This is what gives me hope that Obama will win. Obama gets huge ,very enthusiastic crowds who will stand in the freezing rain and mud for hours to see him, and are obviously reacting to him with no prompting. The news cameras can pan the whole crowd and you can see that it is real.

    But when you see McCain at an event, it looks as if the camera men were told to keep the cameras on McCain and just pan the crowd close to him – because if they show much more it will be evident just how small the crowd is. And McCain's audiences seem to be screened and orchistrated.

    I think that the whole country knows that they need Obama, who has obviously put together an excellent campaign which stayed on message, were extremely organized, and had basically no leaks. They conducted themselves with elegance and grace. All of which signals that he will be able to put the right people in place to accomplish the needs of the country when he is president (unlike the mess that George Bush made).

    The question is will all the voters really get to vote, and will all the votes really and honestly be counted??

    November 3, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  17. Barb, Des Plaines

    If McCain can't figure out how to run a campaign, why the heck should voters be enthusiastic about showing up to his rallies? Without the side-show Palin and Plumber element McCain just puts voters to sleep.

    Anyone else ready for some fresh air?

    November 3, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  18. rotto rutter ralph

    Everyone should have the opportunity to see McCain spill his guts after just a short time in prison. Other notables that i think respected our country and a code of conduct as prisoners are the 8 or so men captured by The Japanese from the Doolittle Raid. Others include 58000 dead from the Viet Nam war. They never had a chance to sell out their country to save their lives.

    November 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  19. Ralph

    I've read and listen to both McCain and Obama regarding the direction in which they want to take this great nation. As a retired US Nave vet, Obama has and continues to bring that message to the Amercian people. As for McCain, it's the same song and dance. Alot of what he will do, but nothing on how he intends to do it. With that being said, he has no new direction or plans besides those plans that are currently in place. Continued large tax breaks for the rich, while making the middle class pay for it. Enough is enough, please Amercia get out and make your vote count. Change is coming and it's not with the McCain/Palin ticket..........My vote is for Obama!

    November 3, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  20. Tywon

    I keep hearing McCain say that he's been tested. But what was the test and what was his letter grade. I have heard that he was a P.O.W. in Vietnam but other than that what has he done? Other than that what makes him relevant? I'm almost 30 years old and that's the only thing any one can really tell me about him.

    November 3, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  21. Denise

    The fact that McCain only drew 1000 at a political rally says nothing except that most people who will support him tomorrow are working, running the businesses that Obama promises to bankrupt. Or perhaps they are working in jobs that they sacrificed and educated themselves to do in order to live the American dream and make more than their parents did. Mr Obama attracts tens of thousands who apparently had nothing better to do than to coo over Washington's newest rock star. After all, he promises to pick the pockets of those of us who have worked hard to make more than $250,000.00 per year and deposit it into the pockets of "the world owes me a living" liberals. It's a classic "anything to get elected" scenario. He has no earthly idea about how to run a business, let alone a country! God help us if he wins.

    November 3, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  22. Vickster Knows

    It's so obvious that McCain and Palin are catering to all the stupid people of the world and think there is more of them than smart people out there! Think about THAT! I have come to this conclusion because I cannot fathom why they seem to be throwing this election away with their focus and Obama instead of the issues. All they do is complain!!!!!

    Go Obama!

    November 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  23. Ruth

    Can you blame them?

    November 3, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  24. CitizenVoter

    1100 people.... all the others must have been out trying to figure out a way that FL can mess up another Presedential election.

    November 3, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  25. Susan

    Don,
    You are not hearing that story about the coal industry for from what I just heard, McCain has always supported the same legislation that Barrack was noting in that interview last year, so McCain can't use that but Fox can be used to spread it one sidedly to only use against Obama... nice having an entire 24/7 network to do your dirty work and misrepresentations distortions and slander for you... dems really have to get them one of those for next election time!

    November 3, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  26. Susan

    I wonder if Jewish people are insulted by McCain/Palin and the way they try to bait them with lies about Obama to make him look antiIsrael... for using them like that in my opinion makes McCain/Palin the real antisemites for they are trying to instill fear in them and those pulling the muslim, terrorist, socialist, the no friend of Isreal etc card, are lying and trying to pitch it to retired people in Florida in a way to me just seems wrong and I hope is transparent to those who they are targeting with that fear mongering... shame shame shame on McCain/Palin if you ask me!

    November 3, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  27. Don Snyder

    Whay are we not hearilng the story aboiut Obama promising to Bankrupt the coal industry?

    November 3, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  28. Malena

    The Republicans will find the way (as in 2000 and 2004) to prevent minorities from getting to their preceint on time or at all. We all have to fight for a paper ballot, for all states. Voting machines are built by republicans for republicans.

    November 3, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  29. Misiri

    That just shows that florida is going for obama if MCcain can only draw 1,100 people in a rally in the last day of the campain. MCcain will loose florida.

    November 3, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  30. Tim F.

    Are these "Institutes" and "Centers" for this, that, or the other funded by Tax Dollars? If so, lets eliminate funding for guesses by so-called experts who do nothing more than squander OUR money ... for their 2 seconds of "fame". I don't need someone telling me what they think, when what I think is probably as accurate as their guesses.

    November 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  31. Cindy

    UMM...don't people work!? That would explain people not being there. It really doesn't matter how many show up at a rally. All that matters is voting.

    Cindy...Ga.

    November 3, 2008 at 12:29 pm |