June 29th, 2007
09:43 PM ET
4 years ago

McCain: "I am going to Iraq on Monday"

Senator John McCain, R-Arizona

(CNN) - Normally VIP visits to Iraq are kept under wraps, at least until the day of the trip. But Senator John McCain Friday night said he’s going to Iraq next week.

Responding to a question in Chicago about whether the Iraq strategy can succeed, the Republican presidential candidate said, “I understand the sorrow of the American people. I visit the wounded quite often at Walter Reed and Bethesda. I’m going to Iraq on Monday. And I’m going to be proud. I would rather spend the 4th of July with the men and women in Iraq than anywhere else in the world.”

McCain told reporters, “I’ll be at a re-enlistment ceremony for a large number of them who have decided while in combat to re-enlist because they believe in the mission. And they believe what they’re doing. And they believe the consequences of failure can be catastrophic.”

This will be McCain’s sixth trip to Iraq.

He was last there in April, shortly before he officially announced his candidacy, and came under criticism for comments on progress he said he saw in Baghdad. After a visit to an outdoor market under heavy military protection, McCain said, “I've been here many times over the years. Never have I been able to drive from the airport. Never have I been able to go out into the city as I was today." He later said he regretted the comments, telling CBS’ “60 Minutes,” “Of course I am going to misspeak and I've done it on numerous occasions and I probably will do it in the future.”

– CNN's Jamie Crawford and Steve Brusk


Filed under: Iraq • John McCain
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    So, here we go again with Senator McCain going back to Baghdad, to once again give us all "his" Situation Report." And, once again he will report "progess in the surge." Never mind that the success is minimal at best, McCain has become obsessed with Iraq, and regardless of the situation over there, 'his spin' will always be, "we're making progress." Despite the fact that Iraq has become a civil war, with sectarian factions fighting one another, McCain, and those who think like him, believe that there can actually be an American military victory over there. The overall US military commander in Iraq, has already said there cannot be a military solution in Iraq, and that there must be a political solution to the current situation. Of course, he is a General, and as such, he must follow orders from the "Commander in Chief." We all know who the Commander in Chief is.

    I would like to remind Senator McCain that victory in Iraq has already been achieved. May 1, 2003, on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, under a banner saying "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED," President Bush announced that combat operations in Iraq have ended. Bush said; "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

    So, what in the world are we still doing over there?? What a Tragedy!!

    June 30, 2007 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  2. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    I'm not a McCain fan, but actually that is pretty cool. The soldiers deserve a pat on the back, and press time for what the majority of those soldiers feel about their assignment.

    June 30, 2007 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  3. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Yes, the troops deserve a pat on the back, and even more! But I'd take an educated guess, that when they see McCain again, (for how many times now) they will of course show politeness, but in their hearts they are thinking, "oh no, not again." The troops over there aren't thinking about 'uncle sam' or 'moms apple pie' or 'July 4th fireworks' or about any dignitaries coming to see them. They are thinking about how to survive, how to look after their buddies, and themselves, so they can try and make it home. Forget about the Bush doctrine; soldiers have to take orders, that's how it's always been in combat, and politics do not matter at all, when the soldier is just trying to make it through each day, with death tugging at his side. The majority of the troops just want to get the **** out of there!

    June 30, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Will - Miami, Fl

    Keep your head UP traitor!

    By the way, as a former soldier I can tell you that I would tell McCain to kiss my a@# if he visited me on a deployment.

    He lost his "hero" title (to me)when he tried to screw EVERY American citizen with this immigration bill.

    June 30, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Will, I'm not sure I understood your first comment, but if you're calling me a traitor, you are grossly mistaken. Just because I disagree with the "bush doctrine" for Iraq, doesn't make me a traitor. I'm certainly not the only one in America that is against the Iraq war.

    As to your other comments, I happen to agree with them!

    June 30, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. fastneataverage, central valley, CA

    OK, I'm going to go out on a limb and toss this into the thought mix. McCain's campaign is on life support at best. Everyone knows that the surge isn't working, and McCain still has his close ties to W hanging around his kneck like a rotting fish. Maybe the ol' Maverick plans on doing a Lugar and is trying to get as much attention as possible before his trip, so that he can say that things are NOT going well, and we need to rethink the strategy. By making another trip, he can say that based on his recent observations, W's plan is just wrong, and that only the Maverick can make it right. It would give him some cover for supporting this debacle while still supportin' the troops, and allow him to attempt to join the majority who want us out of this mess. It's his last attempt to try to revive his campaign and hopefully save his ass for being tossed out as the AZ senator. Thoughts?

    June 30, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    Mike, I don't think Will was calling you a traitor. Normally, when people go into a war zone, they're told to "keep their head low". I think he was calling McCain a traitor and telling him to keep his head up, presumably thinking he might get shot. I don't like McCain, but I still don't wish that on anybody, not him or anybody else. Except maybe Hillary Clinton.

    June 30, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. MCD, San Francisco, CA

    Yes, please go and take all the other warmongers with you... maybe pitch in and help out a little.

    June 30, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Jason, Buffalo, New York

    As a former Airman I can tell you that they are spinning this reenlistment ceremony as something more then it is. Everyone who decides to stay or has no other options has to reenlist. So they save a few for a Military PR moment. Also, a visit from a VIP as the article is calls him is nothing short if a pain in the butt. Anyone, who may have had some time off is now going to have to clean up the area,( cause heaven forbid the VIP see a dirty war zone), and then wait around for the VIP to come in for his 15 mins of TV time and then leave for his 5 star hotel.

    Stay home and save tax payers money because we already know what you are going to say.

    June 30, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Ryan, Gardner, Mass.

    I used to love this guy. So sad.

    Ron Paul only choice in 2008.

    peace.

    June 30, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. GLH, Altoona PA

    Waste of Money. Instead of McCain, why don't we send a nuke? BTW, I'm also a former Airman, And visits by VIP's are the biggest dog and pony shows I have ever seen. Clean up the base, rake the sand, hehehhehe. Maybe McCain is going over to offer Amnesty to all the ragheads. He needs to quietly disappear from the presidential race...please go away.

    June 30, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  12. Sylvester King Sonor Ky.

    Another political stunt, as for the courage of our Military personel, never in question, heros one and all. It's the stupidity of our leaders that is in question.

    June 30, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  13. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Bill, thanks for the clarification on what Will said. I don't know why but somehow i missed that one. After re-reading it for a few times it does make sense, and having served in the military myself I should have "caught it."

    I don't wish anyone harm that puts themselves in harms way, including any of the VIP's that go visit the troops. I think that we all get so caught up in our passions and beliefs sometimes, that we all say things we don't really mean to say. I know that to be a fact especially for those of us who have been in the service, or those who are currently serving. The mere mention of Iraq, just like the mere mention of Vietnam, evokes strong emotions, and always will.......

    June 30, 2007 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  14. Sandeep, Olathe, KS

    Mr. McCain

    Can you go to Iraq on Monday and just stay there. Please!!
    We are just tired of you and your attitude towards Americans. We will never forgive you for your stand on immigration.

    Good luck with your election. I for one am not going to vote for you.

    June 30, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  15. A. J. da Silva

    Yet another photo-op for McCain's presidential campaign? John, don't use the shoulders of our troops to further your political ambition.

    July 1, 2007 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  16. Robert Bateman, Weaverville, CA

    Sen. McCain:
    I hope you come back in one piece, but I don't think it is wise for a candidate for the US Presidency to keep going to such a dangerous place.

    July 1, 2007 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  17. aiden Lambert New York NY

    Well, presumably Senator McCain will revisit the market there in Baghdad which he or one of his compamions described 2 months ago as being as safe as a Saturday afternoon market in Indiana, of all places. Given that the same market has been bombed three times, with huge loss of life, since then i won't be visiting Indiana anytime soon.

    July 1, 2007 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  18. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    fastneataverage, You raise some very interesting points on McCain. But I think this man is just as brainwashed as bush is. I have no doubt, that just like bush, he actually believes (mind, heart, body, spirit) in a US military victory in Iraq. Now how and what that victory is suppose to look like, is beyond any conceivable scenario, in my humble opinion.

    I don't think McCain cares about playing politics, and perhaps that point should be to his credit. Even with his own presidential campaign, and his own senatorial seat, he is willing to sacrifice both for what he believes in. I just don't happen to share in those beliefs, along with the majority of the American people.

    Watch for both Bush and McCain, to continue with their "stay the course" attitude, as sad as that attitude is!!

    July 1, 2007 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  19. James West, Manassas, VA

    Why is McCain spending the tax payer's money by going to Iraq...for the sixth time?
    What does he think he will accomplish?

    July 1, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  20. JOHN P. DEAN NORTH PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

    MR. McCAIN, TO SOLVE AMERICA'S SICKNESSESS, MAINLY CAUSED BY GEORGE BUSH AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU, YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO TO IRAQ. MR. McCAIN, YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT BEFORE THE WAR NOT AFTER LOOSING 3560 AND PLUS YOUNG GI'S, THE BEST OF AMRICAN SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN. THIS SHOWS McCAIN IS THE SAME BORING AND MISGUIDED PERSON AS KING GEORGE BUSH. WITH McCAIN'S PERSONALITY AND ATTITUTE, WE DONOT NEED TO HAVE AND EVEN CONSIDER McCAIN A PERSIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. SHOULD YOU DECIDE TO GO TO IRAQ, MR. McCAIN, YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER TO STAY IN IRAQ AND TRY YOUR LUCK IN IRAQ SINCE YOU HAVE FAILED TO BE CONSIDERED AN AMERICAN LEADER, LIKE YOUR PRESIDENT KING GEORGE BUSH. MR. McCAIN, YOU BELONG TO THE PAST. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY AND YOUR ENERGY ON LOST CAUSES, NAMELY, THE WAR IN IRAQ AND THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING CONSIDERED A PRESIDENCIAL CANDIDATE. MR. McCAIN TRY TO ENJOY YOUR RETIREMENT SOMEWHERE IN ARIZONA. WASHINGTON DC HAS NO ROOM FOR YOUR, ESPECIALLY THE WHITE HOUSE.

    July 1, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |