February 20th, 2008
12:15 PM ET
3 years ago

McCain, Obama campaigns go on the attack

(CNN) - The campaigns of frontrunners John McCain and Barack Obama continued to battle Wednesday morning, as staffers followed a night of tough speeches with morning disputes over campaign finance and foreign policy.

Both men won the Wisconsin primary Tuesday night, and used their victory speeches to take aim at each other. Obama said the Republican senator represented the past; McCain said the Illinois Democrat’s views on foreign policy were "no more than a holiday from history.”

Wednesday morning, the McCain called Obama "naive" for saying he'd be willing to use military action against "our ally in Pakistan."

Obama said earlier in the campaign that he would consider using military force in Pakistan against terrorists without the permission of the Pakistani government.

One of the Obama campaign’s senior foreign policy advisers responded by once again linking McCain with George Bush – a frequently-used recent campaign trail theme.

On a conference call with reporters, former Clinton administration official Susan Rice said that McCain's "approach to foreign policy is very much a continuation of the flawed Bush policy - he really is in many respects just four more years of George Bush."

Rice added that "it's a strange contrast: he says that somehow it's naive for a presidential candidate to outline how he would deal with that crucial national security challenge, but it's appropriate for him to joke about starting another war."

Before the New Hampshire primary, McCain responded to a foreign policy question with a refrain of "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," sung to the tune of the Beach Boys hit “Barbara Ann.”

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Almo

    You can stop an invasion but not the IDEA whose time has come – Aristotle.

    CHANGE – YES WE CAN.

    Go Obama, we are with you.

    February 20, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Obamacan

    McCain has too many years of the same BUSH/CHENEY experience. No more Bush-Cheney-McCain

    February 20, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Frank, San Diego

    Interesting that McCain would criticize Obama for saying he would use force to protect our national interests in Pakistan even without the agreement of their government.

    Are we to conclude that McCain will be asking the Pakistanis "mother, may I?" if we spot Ben Laden?

    I think the butter is slipping off the old senator's noodles.

    February 20, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Sue, Michigan

    So McCain will ask permission before he bombs Iran?

    February 20, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Steven

    A little too early for Obama to be concerned with McCain. Hillary is stil lrunning and it isn't over yet! Stay focused on the Dem nomination process first! McCain can wait!!

    February 20, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Wayne, Greenville TX

    >i>Before the New Hampshire primary, McCain responded to a foreign policy question with a refrain of "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," sung to the tune of the Beach Boys hit “Barbara Ann.”

    One of dozens of reasons why John McCain does not belong anywhere NEAR The White House.

    Except as a tourist.

    February 20, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Ecks.......

    And to think that McCain will chew up Senator Obama if he is the candidate and spit him out. Hope the voters wise up and realize that good talk will not get the job done....nor will uniting the Democrats....if Senator Obama continues to leave the voters of Michigan and Florida in the dust – he will NOT be able to make up the loss. McCain will win and then I for one will have the bumper sticker that reads...'Don't blame me, I voted for Hillary'

    Hope people wake up and understand what is at stake!

    February 20, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. changing times

    This is why McCain scares the crap out of me. I know he's a national hero because he fought wars. But I really believe there's something wrong with him with respect to his love affair with war. Maybe he's never gotten over his capture and he's out to take it out on any country he doesn't like. How can you sing "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" How disturbing.

    February 20, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. lc

    MCCAIN SOUNDS LIKE HILLARY ALREADY!!!!

    "Naive" PERSONAL ATTACKS ALREADY- WHAT A DISGRACE.

    politics as usual for McCain.

    February 20, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. rudy W

    This really proves that Hussein Obama is naive. He doesn't even belong in the senate, The white house is a no go for him.

    February 20, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Pat M Canada

    I whole heartedly agree with Susan Rice. Susan Rice said that "McCain's approach to foreign policy is very much a continuation of the flawed Bush policy — he really is in many respects just four more years of George Bush."

    If McCain is elected it will definitely be another four years of Bush Policies, Strategies, Ideals, and more importantly COSTLY MISTAKES. McCain was Bush's greatest Supporter during his run for the White House. What could be clearer?

    McCain is the second worst thing that can happen to the US.

    February 20, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. RuthieM

    Why is all the media letting Washington State primary go? Looks like Obama also won this Washington State primary last night even if it's only a 'beauty contest' they say. But votes were cast and Obama was ahead, so it's another win for him - 11 straight. And why not? Florida and Michigan were also supposed to only be 'beauty contests' yet all the media announced "Clinton won Florida, Clinton won Michigan" and Clinton herself has been bragging about 'winning' those states and now even wants to seat those delegates when she agreed they would not be seated in the beginning. So congratulations Senator Obama on 3 straight wins last night! Obama '08!!!!.

    February 20, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Jean M Fevry Calgary Alberta

    Do not worry Obama if you can defeat the Clintons Mc Cain would be as easy like "Bonjour". I love your speech last night.

    Go Go Obama! Obama for 2009! Obama for America!

    I am proud of you!

    Jean

    February 20, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Ms. Mack

    McCain's eye blinking is concerning. Is he on medication?

    February 20, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Peter Canada 4 Obama!

    Everyone likes to join the winning side.

    February 20, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. RuthieM

    Gee, if I was running for president against McCain I'd make the greatest of ads of his " Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran" so the American people can see what a nutjob they'd be getting in the white house if they elected him. He'd make George Bush look like Boy George.

    February 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Veteran21

    Wayne, you're absolutely right. Why doesn't he mention this? Obviously, it would show how flawed his thinking is and how much it does reflect on the broken Bush policies. How can you even make a joke about bombing another nation??

    February 20, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. floydfix

    obama is better then that . she's free falling. thanks to her husband and stuipd attacks. free trade just say no. its cost us dearly. The rep. I was one a year ago SO i changed. but I seen this coming. so he black and Iam white who of thought.. he will not sale our country short . if anything he wil bring respect too it.

    February 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Mike

    3 things...

    1. Obama NEVER said "bomb" Pakistan...Wheels fell off the straight talk express!

    2.Bush JUST struck a target in Pakistan, the SAME DAY McCain says it's reckless!! ( killing a top Al Queda member!)

    3. McCain needs a BRIEFING!

    February 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. James

    !!! THE PROSPECT OF JOHN MCCAIN BEING COMMANDER IN CHIEF SCARES ME MORE THAN ANYTHING. THIS IS AN HONORABLE MAN, NO DOUBT. BUT THIS IS A MAN WITH AN UNPREDICTABLE TEMPER WHO WAS TORTURED IN A WAR. I CAN SEE THE SCENARIO NOW WHERE A SMALL INTERNATIONAL ISSUE COMES UP THAT CAN BE EASILY SOLVED WITH DIPLOMACY ANF HE TURNS IT INTO THE NEXT WORL WAR. !!! THERE IS A REASON WHY HIS OWN PARTY REJECTED HIM SEVERAL OTHER TIMES THAT HE RAN FOR PRESIDENT AND ITS NOT BECAUSE HES NOT AN HONORABLE MAN !!

    February 20, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Kiran, CA

    It is utterly displicable for a Presidential Candidate to make light of a war, any war. Our troops are dying in Iraq and Afganistan and McCain is SINGING about another war....it's just offensive. War hero or not, NO ONE should make light of a war.
    It also suprises me that just the other day Cindy McCain touted how she is more of a patriot than Michelle Obama is...well Mrs McCain you and your retoric is the exact type of divisive poltics that got us into war and will continue to keep us at war. This type of retoric is what has been dividing us and will keep us divided. NO MORE OFTHE REPUBLICAN'TS,

    February 20, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Here in Britain

    "Obama said earlier in the campaign that he would consider using military force in Pakistan against terrorists without the permission of the Pakistani government.2

    So all you anti-war people who are backing Obama – what's your response to this?

    February 20, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Cph9680

    Before the New Hampshire primary, McCain responded to a foreign policy question with a refrain of "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," sung to the tune of the Beach Boys hit “Barbara Ann.”

    ...Not only that, but that was done 20 years ago, how unoriginal can McCain get?

    February 20, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Di

    Get Obama McCain!!!

    If Hillary doesn't get the nomination, you will be the first Republican President I have voted for in my 58 years!!!

    February 20, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. onenibble

    Obama doesn't have a clue about foreign policy. John McCain has adopted the failed foreign policy of George Bush. Hillary Clinton is very knowledgeable about foreign policy and she has Bill for advice. Hillary is the "MAKE IT HAPPEN" candidate.

    February 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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