August 5th, 2007
02:15 PM ET
4 years ago

McCain: Obama is naive

McCain criticized Obama's comments on U.S. involvement in Pakistan.

WASHINGTON(CNN) - In a statement echoing the recent foreign policy quarrel between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, Republican Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain accused Obama of "naivete" in a newspaper interview posted online Sunday.

McCain made the comments to The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Arizona Senator was asked about Obama's speech last week in which he said he would possibly send U.S. troops into Pakistan to pursue terrorists, even without the approval of the Pakistani government.

"It’s kind of typical of his naivete," McCain told the newspaper. "If we go in, and maybe we should depending on the assessment, we would want to do it covertly and we would want to do it in coordination with Pakistanis covertly as well. It wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do to announce to the world we’re attacking another country."

–CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Adrian, NYC, NY

    Is this from the same guy who sang "Bomb, Bomb Iran"?

    August 5, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. JimmieFromDayton

    Wow! You know Senator McCain was my guy until he lost his audacity to hope.

    Drive on Senator Obama!!!!!!!!

    August 5, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Bernard, Scotch Plains, NJ

    At least OBAMA isn't naive or arrogant enough to blow millions of dollars on a campaign trail, come on CNN this is not news but more like an act of desperation on behalf of McCain to keep his name in the press...Seriously McCain can you please help me stop YAWNING every time I hear your name or a comment from you.

    August 5, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. Joe, York, VA

    The absolute disgust that I feel at McCain and Romney's comments towards Obama is overwhelming. They say things implying that Obama wants to go out and bomb the *government* of Pakistan, as if he's ready to send warplanes into the heart of Islamabad. Politicians like McCain and Romney are scum for twisting the truth to rally their base and we all see it. Obama is proclaiming we do EXACTLY what we did after 9/11 to capture and kill Al-Qaeda but failed to do because the U.S. managed to mess it up. As an American you probably are like me and want to wipe this small faction of religious slime from the map and Obama is saying we do just that.

    August 5, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Linda, Chandler AZ

    Again, McCain shoots his mouth off without getting his facts straight. Obama never said he would "announce to the world" that we were attacking anybody. The more these so-called "experienced" politicans try to make Obama look bad – the better he looks.

    August 5, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. JimmieFromDayton

    Know I'm kinda more like this. "After thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars spent, many Americans may be tempted to turn inward and cede our leadership in world affairs. But this is a mistake we must not make. America cannot meet the threats of this century alone, and the world cannot meet them without America. We can neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission. We must lead the world, by deed and by example." Sen Barack Obama

    August 5, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Ali A. Akbar, Fort Worth, Texas

    Bernard: You show the ignorance of the following.

    "At least OBAMA isn’t naive or arrogant enough to blow millions of dollars on a campaign trail" < What does that have to do with Foreign Policy. Oh thats right, politics as usual.

    This isn't an act of desperation. It's a Presidential hopeful commenting on a rival. That's the name of the game.

    You should read history: responsive statements and actions are how we know what a person will do in office.

    Senator Obama's Pakistan comments where out of line! It was a hype statement to rally people into believing he's the guy to get Osama. Who knows, nonetheless, it showed a lack of maturity.

    August 5, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. KebD

    McCain?? Who? Is he still even running for office?

    The fact that OBAMA wants to actually practice diplomacy and not continue the "usual course" that Bush/Clinton prefer - reinforces my support and vote for Obama 08!

    August 5, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Jerry, oakdale mn

    Hello McCain, It will be better for you to drop out of the race because you cannot even handle your campaingn team. How are you going to lead a nation of 300 million? America do not need your goverment of the few experience. we need to turn over a new page and Obama is the best candidate

    August 5, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Willie Rockledge, Florida

    Isn't that what bush did in Iraq? Announce our intentions with McCains' enthusiastic support?

    August 5, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Juanito, Washington, DC

    CNN....why is this a news story? I guess your agenda to continue smearing Obama as "naive" is really in full gear, eh? Obama never said anything about sending troops into Pakistan, and I guess since Hillary Clinton agrees with Obama, she's also "naive"?

    McCain calling someone else naive? That's funny...this from the guy who went into Iraq's streets with armed Humvees and air support and full Kevlar armor, and then told us Iraq was a vertiable utopia? Get real...

    I just watched Obama's speech again on CSPAN, and the more I watch this man speak, the more convinced I am that he's the right guy.
    He has proposed fundamental change, and these old establishment people do not like the change.

    August 5, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Zack, Boston, MA

    Those who employ the use of "spin" inherently practice injustice toward all readers and listeners. It shows a complete lack of respect and a contempt for the intended audience. Using spin is a tactic used by those who have no respectable arguments with which they can make headway otherwise. So not only is it despicable, it is also desperate. After McCain loses the primary, perhaps he should apply to Faux News to engage in commentary in their spin room.

    August 5, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. Independent Voter, TN

    Too many Obama apologists out there.

    Truth is, he has raised a lot of questions about his political savvy and if you're an Obama follower, you have to man up and deal with it.

    Contrary to waht many of you think, I do not see any compelling candidates on either side. Once again I'm afraid many of us will be forced into voting AGAINST a candidate rather than FOR a candidate.

    August 5, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Mac, Severn, Md

    Barack Obama is naive about World affairs.

    August 5, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. ST from JC

    We're supposed to value the words of John McCain as wisdom? I guess going into Iraq wasn't naive.

    August 5, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. P.D. Iowa City IA

    Way to go, maverick. You just handed Pakistani radicals the conspiracy theory to delegitimize anything the Pakistani government does to help us in the war on terror. Naivete, indeed. There is a reason those things are covert, John.

    And are anti-Obama forces so naive that they do not understand the value the Pakistani government gains by being able to publicly voice its opposition to us?

    As each day goes by, my decision to support Obama gets easier and easier to defend.

    August 5, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Ernie, North Truro, MA

    He should talk of being naive, the guy who tried to tell us how safe it was in Bagdad.

    August 5, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. James , Collegeville, Pa

    Obama is right; McCain should get a spine. Pakistan is no friend of ours.

    It is very well known that pakistan is where the taliban were trained in the pakistani religous schools It is well known that the pakistani ISI has always had very heavy involvement supporting the taliban.

    It is the pakistani army that stood back and did nothing to stop Bin Laden and his cohorts from entering their country to escape our forces.

    It is the pakistani army that allows the taliban to rebuild in their country.

    The pashtun tribal areas inside of pakistan are very well known to harbor al queda members including men close to Bin Laden and probably Bin Laden.

    Musharaff has done little or nothing beyond token attempts to control the extremist with in the boundaries of his own country.

    The US must take action against the resurgent Taliban and Al Queda in pakistan if Musharaff will not.

    The confluence of extremists and pakistani nuclear technology are too much to ignore.

    August 5, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. JMP, Chicago, Illinois

    "I mean in one week he (Obama) went from saying he’s going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he’s going to bomb our allies. I mean he’s gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week.” Romney.

    This sums it all.

    August 5, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Carl, OH

    I think all the GOP presidential candidates got the memo to go negative at Obama,the strongest democrat they are likely to face. It's funny how they all agree with Barrack's position but disagree that he shouldn't have said it aloud.

    August 5, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Gopal Saraswat, New York, NY

    I don’t who’s being naïve here. If we suspect that the Pakistanis are shielding Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, then a covert operation in coordination with them is not exactly brilliant. I know Senator McCain is smarter than that.

    Maybe naïve is not the word. Disingenuous?

    August 5, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Joe, San Antonio, Texas

    This guy, McCain, is irrelevant now. Senator Obama shouldn't even respond.

    August 5, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Mike Brooks, Eugene, Oregon

    “naivete” ? Mr. McGoo...er, McCain, this is why you have lost! Naive, is thinking we can allow a safe zone for comabtants that can kill our soldiers. We tried that in another war – Vietnam. Frankly, the only candate that shows an ounce of common sense with regards to Iraq right now is Barak Obama, Democrat or Republican.

    August 5, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Lynn, Reno NV

    The WP just had a story how taking a tough stance on Pakistan is what is needed. Mushariff is unwilling to do anything but drag his feet on many different issues in his country, including Al Qaeda. He needs a kick in the butt to force him to act. That is why he is in trouble in Pakistan and his government is shak. It is Mushariff's own failings that cause the trouble, and Obama would try to force him to act with both carrots and sticks. If people would just look at the speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center website, they would see how distorted all these other candidates and the media are portraying Obama's ideas. It is a smear job that is for sure. Will the American public fall for it. I'm rooting for Obama. He is playing it straight. All the others are dancing around and being coy.

    August 5, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Cheryl Ohio

    Uh–Hello... McCain! Obama has much higher ratings than you have, so your critcism means absolutely nothing.

    Your campaign is done. Go home already.

    August 5, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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