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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid