February 4th, 2008
06:27 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain says popularity is due to Iraq surge

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Monday, he owes his support in the presidential race to a successful troop surge in Iraq.

“If the surge had not succeeded I don’t think that I would have political viability,” the Arizona senator told CNN’s Dana Bash adding, most experts would agree with him.

The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows 45 percent of registered Republican voters support McCain for their party’s nomination. Mitt Romney trails behind with 24 percent of support.

When questioned about recent criticism that he doesn’t have the temperament to be president, Sen. McCain used the opportunity to tout his conservative record and Republican support.

“We wouldn’t be winning these elections if I had any significant opposition anywhere in the party."

Related video: Watch a clip of Dana Bash's interview with Sen. McCain

- CNN’s Emily Sherman

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Lev Klinemann, CA

    Fortunately Iraq will also be McCains albatros.
    Thank you for your service and good ridance grandpa.

    February 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Ca Native

    Don't count your political Chickens, yet, McCain. THIS conservative will vote Obama over you. If it's Hillary v. McCain – I will vote 3rd party – whoever that is. There is NO difference between McCain and Hillary.

    February 4, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    I can't believe people are stupid enough to think America is doing a good job over there. The past 50 years we been messing up.

    February 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. Sandy, KS

    Can you tell me why are we in Iraq at the first place??

    February 4, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. Jacque Bauer

    McCain's support of Bush's surge is all that he can glom on to. Every other activity he can point to is right from Hillary's handbook (Teddy's Amnesty and Open Borders; Constitutional rights for terrorist combatants; Gore's Global Warming nonsense; Tax hikes for all; Feingold's Free Speech Restrictions; etc. etc.).

    HE'S NOT OUR REPUBLICAN! Romney has him beat 12 ways to 1 in every other category, and I know he will also be striong on the war, too.


    February 4, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. curtis

    Sorry, Mr McCain, but your increased popularity is due to good teams in the field (kudos) and the profound lack of palitability of the other candidates. Unfortunately for you, when the general election comes around you are going to find just how much the American people find how unpalitable your prostituting yourself to Bush truly is.

    February 4, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Billy


    February 4, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. Laurinda

    McCain is an out and out liar. Who wants an old man rebubliacabnjm,

    February 4, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. BlackHouse

    Let McCain win the Republican primary, since OB will make McCain shamed for himself during the real election. OB will make change to the White House that not even JFK could. McCain will not be able to stop that!

    February 4, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Mike

    McCain, a fly by the seat of your pants maverick with one year executive leadership experience, has inferred that military operations don't work on plans linked to time. In 22 years of military experience, including combat, I have never been involved in an operation that was not linked in some way to a time frame, we just don't tell the enemy what the plan is.

    I will be voting for a Commander in Chief with over 20 years of proven successful executive experience, Mitt Romney. No other candidate comes close to his executive experience.

    February 4, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. Garry

    The reason McCain is ahead of Romney is because Huckabee won't pull out and it is causing a split vote. Much like Ross Puroe causing Bill Clinton to get elected.

    February 4, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  12. Darth Vadik, CA

    I just heard McCain say (I'm paraphrasing) that he needs translators to understand what Lindsey Graham says.
    I know its a joke, but people in the South will not take that as a joke.
    I have a feeling he will fizzle out faster than Giuliani.
    Stay tuned...

    February 4, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Mary Davis

    John McCain is my candidate because he is a man of honor. I do not agree with many of his positions but the bottom line for me is his character, fired in the cauldron of life's experience. I am distressed to hear that he loses his temper on the Senate floor. I equate losing one's temper with immaturity. Surely that couldn't apply to John McCain. When has losing one's temper ever brought about the desired result?

    February 4, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. Susan

    McCain better check the voters barometer. If he thinks he can win with an unpopular war because the "surge" is working, he might be entering senility. He should be planning how to end the unnecessary cost in lives and dollars. We need our states National Guard for natural disasters now occurring more frequently and the flow of tax dollars is seriously affecting our economy. His arrogance is amazing considering he was out of it a short time ago. Tell him to talk to his mother. At least she appears to be a realist.

    February 4, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. Jennifer

    McCain rocks. The dilemma that I have as a Hispanic female voter is that as a Hispanic I have to chose between Hillary or Obama, I wish I could vote for both, however, after meeting Hillary in person yesterday, I find her to be very smart, warm, intelligent and very capable to run this country from day one. About McCain, I also admire him, but because of this dilemma I must vote of either a woman or a minority man. This time my vote is for Hillary Clinton.

    February 4, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. Russ

    Anyone thinking of voting for McCain should read Pat Buchanan's book " Day of Reckoning"
    A vote for McCain is more of the same!

    February 4, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  17. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    There is a very good discussion between Senator Jim Webb of Virginia and Tim Russert (Meet the Press) regarding the erstwhile peace in Iraq – particularly in Al Anbar province. Check it out if you can.

    February 4, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Duh. What's with all these people who say "we're winning in Iraq"? What are we winning, eh? What's the objective and more importantly, can you explain why we're REALLY there? How does it feel to be duped and manipulated?

    February 4, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  19. Spirit of America

    Yes, the surge is working in Iraq just like all the escalations worked in Vietnam. The question is for whom? Undertakers and merchants of death are doing a booming business. They are working overtime. But millions of Americans are out of work and out of funds. Like the lies that have started and continued this war, the idea that the surge is working is just another lie.

    February 4, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Jake, Las Vegas, Nevada

    I didn't think it could get worse than Bush and Kerry, but a McCain and Hill Billy ticket would be the worst.

    February 4, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  21. anyone but huckabee

    California and other western states will vote for Romney. We know how important it is to secure the borders, fix the economy, and reign in the OUT OF CONTROL ENTITLEMENT SPENDING. Go Romney!!

    February 4, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. Bill B - Columbia, MD

    Senator McCain is not popular because of the surge. He is popular because of h is character. For goodness sake CNN, get it right. Why do novices like me always have to school you guys. Afterall, you're the ones getting the big bucks for pontificating on such matters. Honestly!!

    February 4, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The surge is not the measure for why we're still in Iraq. One American soldiers death is no measurement for the success of the surge. There still is no Iraq government in place and the Iraqis claim they still can't defend themselves. This war is an economic disaster and is taking a surge on our economy. We are borrowing money from countries all over the world to pay for this war and to purchase oil from the mideast which goes in their coffers.

    February 4, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  24. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    How delusional!

    Dude, you are simply the least offensive of a group of non-viable candidates!

    November can't come soon enough!

    February 4, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. NickNasc

    Just what we need ANOTHER guy trying to Butch up by running a war.

    February 4, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
1 2 3 4