News / USA

Obama, McCain Have First White House Meeting Since 2008 Election

The White House
The White House

President Barack Obama and Republican Senator John McCain, have had their first face-to-face meeting at the White House since the 2008 presidential election.   The two men discussed a range of topics in the Oval Office sit-down, including domestic political issues and foreign policy matters including the situation in Egypt.

The White House did not grant media access, even for still photographers, to Wednesday's meeting in the Oval Office, which also covered the situation in Egypt.

After the meeting, a McCain spokeswoman issued a statement saying he and the president had a "productive meeting on a range of issues" including the situation in the Middle East, immigration reform, trade and budgetary matters, and that the senator looks forward to "working with the president to address issues of mutual concern for the welfare of our country in these challenging times."

The relationship between Senator McCain and President Obama was frosty after the 2008 election, particularly in 2009 and into 2010 as Mr. Obama pressed ahead with his health care reform effort.

In a now famous exchange during a health care summit with Republicans hosted by Mr. Obama at Blair House, McCain accused the president and Democrats of failing to live up to promises of an open legislative process, bringing this response from the president.


McCAIN:  "Treat all Americans the same under provisions of the law so they will know that geography does not dictate what kind of health care they receive."

OBAMA:  "Let me just make this point, John, because we're not campaigning anymore.  The election is over."

McCAIN:  "I'm reminded of that every day."


As he fought off a fellow Republican challenger in the run-up to last November's mid-term congressional elections, Senator McCain criticized the president on everything from health care to government spending and the need to reform U.S. immigration policies.

In one occasion, McCain also appeared with his former vice presidential running mate on the 2008 Republican ticket, Sarah Palin, who has been sharply critical of Obama administration policies and played up McCain's self-described reputation as a "maverick" politician.

However, McCain has also defended Mr. Obama in the face of a range of allegations, correcting opponents of the president who challenged his personal background or accused him of trying to flout the U.S. Constitution.

A turning point in the Obama-McCain relationship appears to have occurred after the shootings in Tucson, Arizona which killed six people and left 13 others wounded, including a U.S. congresswoman.

Senator McCain was among lawmakers attending a memorial event for shooting victims, at which the president spoke about a need for more civility and less "politics, point scoring and pettiness."

In a commentary published in The Washington Post recently, McCain said he disagreed with many of Mr. Obama's policies, but called him a "patriot sincerely intent on using his time in office to advance our country's cause, " and "rejected accusations that [Mr. Obama's] policies and beliefs make him unworthy to lead America or opposed to its founding ideals."

One topic President Obama and Senator McCain may have also discussed Wednesday is the ongoing hot political issue of "earmarks", special spending lawmakers insert in pieces of legislation to benefit their districts, and which Senator McCain has long opposed.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs noted that McCain was among those who stood and applauded when the president in his State of the Union Address vowed to veto legislation reaching his desk containing such special interest spending.

President Obama is likely to need McCain's help in coming months as he faces the need to work with Republicans who have narrowed the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, and have a strong majority in the House of Representatives.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs