Granite State Progress - Senator McCain Campaign Has Difficult Time Controlling Supporters

Series of events mars Rochester stop for McCain camp


Rochester, New Hampshire – Senator John McCain had his hands full during his stop in Rochester today. While his campaign promotes McCain as a versatile speaker willing to take on the hard questions, some of those questioning him today were his own supporters:


McCain Volunteer Publicly Announces McCain's NH Staff Failing at Job


McCain calls on a woman wearing a McCain button. She pulls out a piece of paper. "You are, without a doubt, a true American hero, and we all thank you for that." She begins to give a speech. "I'm going to do a little straight talk," she says. "Mine is not really a question. It's a statement about a lot of your campaign staff members. I can tell you right now that I am going to be right on top of their shit list." McCain: "Sssh!"She says that she and other volunteers work harder than his staff. McCain jokes that a lot of his paid staff "are on work release program." "I'd believe it," the woman says. McCain "has gotta make some changes." [Marc Ambinder/The Atlantic, 7/22/08]


McCain Supporter Questions McCain's Health Care Plan


A man asks McCain about his health plan b/c there's "a lot of buzz on the internet that your plan doesn't cover pre-existing conditions" and a friend of his with lupus. Man says he's "making his evaluation on character." McCain describes his health care credo. "But there are citizens that have pre-existing conditions. My proposal is very clear: we create government-approved plans. The state and federal government join together, create risk polls...come up with sufficient funding .. so that .. these people are taken care of." Says the federal government "will have to make a significant investment." [Marc Ambinder/The Atlantic, 7/22/08]


Granite State Progress note: Sen. McCain ducked on the health care question. Why not just come out and prevent insurance companies from discriminating against individuals with pre-existing conditions? Why throw the bill back to the government instead of making the insurance companies do their job?


McCain Has Difficulty Getting Crowd to Follow His Lead on Iraq War Questions


An anti-war critic questioned U.S. presence in Iraq and ran through a list of domestic priorities, asking McCain, "Isn't it time to end the occupation?" Senator McCain had to stop the crowd from heckling the woman, and worked to maintain crowd engagement as he spoke back-and-forth with her despite audible moans from the audience.


And, Outside Event: McCain Supporter Tackles Activist Holding Sign

Andy Kaplan, a Portsmouth resident who works in Rochester, stood outside the Rochester Opera House before the event began and waved to cars with his homemade signs. One had McCain's name on it, with a crossed-out line over it, and the other stood on a placard with a picture of McCain and the words 'The emperor has no clothes.' Kaplan was tackled to the ground by a man standing in line to go inside the campaign event, and the police had to intervene.


Kaplan, who voted for McCain in the 2000 primary, said, "At one time, [McCain] stood for principles." Kaplan is disillusioned that McCain changed his mind on torture laws, adding, "That's just the beginning, never mind endorsing just about every Bush policy that has come out."


Kaplan was not connected to any group protesting. No charges have been filed yet against his attacker.


Kaplan's contact information available. Video forthcoming at