Obama Accuses Reporter of Serving as McCain's 'Proxy'

Aside from being tagged a racist, it now appears that any press member who dares ask presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama a tough question will be accused of acting as a proxy for John McCain.

Such was the case Tuesday when the junior senator from Illinois was being interviewed on Las Vegas's CBS affiliate.

The video embedded right along with the following transcript show a very testy and almost offensive candidate that appears uninterested in being challenged on his energy positions:

JON RALSTON, CHANNEL 8 POLITICAL ANALYST: Senator, thank you for being here.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Thank you.

RALSTON: This energy story seems to be changing every day, I want to make sure I have it straight. It has been played up a lot in stories that you were against drilling, and tapping the petroleum reserve but you have reversed on that and now you are for both. You want to compromise on energy, so you don't really favor drilling but for political reasons you are going to change your position. This is change we can believe in Senator?

SEN. OBAMA: Well John, I think as usual you have been provocative but misstated my position. What I have said is that we can't drill our way out of the problem and that is what I have said from the start. What I have also said is the we've got to focus on alternative energy, in Nevada solar is obviously critical, wind power, bio fuels, making energy efficient cars, plug in hybrids that can get 150 miles per gallon, making sure that we've got the kind of energy efficient buildings that can be designed right now, all of which could bring a much more energy efficient economy than we have right now. Hold on John. You asked the question, let me finish. That is what I am going to do. What I have also said is that there is room for domestic production in the overall energy mix, using the 68 million acres of leases that have already been given to oil companies, making sure that we are using the oil fields that exist to potentially get more oil out of them. If we do all those things, if I've got a comprehensive package that is moving energy efficiency forward and the gang of ten, this group of Senators on a bi-partisan basis say we want as a part of that some limited increases in drilling then I am not going to be dogmatic about it, that is not being political, that is common sense John. To give relief to the American people, but more importantly to set ourselves on a path of energy efficiency over the long term.

RALSTON: I guess what the American people want to know though Senator, is what is the real difference between you and John McCain. You are running this ad tying him to the industry saying that he has taken all of these contributions, but as you well know there is a story out today about how you supported the Dick Cheney bill and he opposed it. That bill gave subsidies to the oil and gas companies, John McCain opposed the bill saying those are tax breaks for those companies, Barack Obama favored it.

SEN. OBAMA: Hold on a second John, I thought I was talking to you instead of debating John McCain, but I am happy to let you serve as his proxy. The fact of the matter is that I supported that energy bill saying at the time that those tax breaks were wrong but also recognizing that this was the largest investment in alternative energy in history. And that it was important for us, for the solar industry to get off the ground in places like Nevada, for to get wind kicked off the ground, that that was something that we had to do and I immediately said during that time and subsequently that we should strip out those tax breaks for oil companies. I would point out that in December of last year, we had a vote to strip out those tax breaks for oil companies, there was one Senator that did not vote on that measure, and that was John McCain. And that money would have gone to alternative energy. But look, people aren't interested in this sort of tit for tat, there're interested in figuring out how we actually are going to get something done. And I have consistently supported fuel efficiency standards on cars, John McCain opposed them, I have consistently supported solar power, John McCain opposed them, I have consistently supported wind power, John McCain opposed it, I have consistently supported bio fuel development, John McCain has opposed it. There are some differences, just for example John McCain is in favor of Yucca Mountain, I am opposed to it. There are some clear contrasts here, but the notion that there is somehow no difference between John McCain and myself on energy policy is simply not true.

RALSTON: Of course that is not what I said. But at the risk of being called...

SEN. OBAMA: I thought that is what you said. You said, what was the difference.

RALSTON: I was playing devil's advocate, which I will do again at the risk of being called John McCain's proxy yet again. I'll ask you, you know this Senator, you say tit for tat, you talked in your whole campaign about rising above politics as usual. You yourself also know that there is a fine line between flip-flopping and flexibility on policy. Maybe if there is a crisis in the future with nuclear waste storage, maybe you will just say to the Nevadans, well I was against Yucca Mountain but guess what, now I am for it.

SEN. OBAMA: John, don't put words in my mouth or anticipate what I am going to do. I've been opposed to Yucca Mountain from the start so if the suggestion is that John McCain who is in favor of Yucca right now should get a pass on that. Whereas I, who am adamantly opposed to it, somehow might be second guessed, I think that doesn't make sense. Look that fact of the matter is, I think that there is room for nuclear power in the overall energy mix but the key is that we do have to figure out a safe storage strategy. Yucca has proven to be poorly designed approach to the problem. And one of the things I want to do is to work with the nuclear industry, scientists and engineers, to find out what is a safe and appropriate approach to nuclear waste, if we want to expand nuclear waste overall.

RALSTON: All right Senator, as always good to talk to you. I hope your coming back to Nevada soon, you might have heard that we are a battleground state this year.

SEN. OBAMA: John, you know I love Nevada and more importantly I love debating you on your show.

I guess it's clear why Obama doesn't want to do town halls with McCain, wouldn't you agree?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.