March 3rd, 2008
04:23 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain: I am the best at 3 a.m.

 McCain said Monday he's best equipped to handle a 3 a.m. crisis.
McCain said Monday he's best equipped to handle a 3 a.m. crisis.

(CNN) – Each of the two Democratic presidential contenders said this weekend they were best-suited to handle a foreign policy crisis should the phone ring in the White House at 3 a.m. On Monday, John McCain said they were both wrong.

"I would believe that my knowledge and experience and background clearly indicates that if the phone rang at 3 a.m. in the White House, and I was the one to answer it, I would be the one most qualified to exercise the kind of judgment necessary to address a national security crisis," McCain said at a campaign stop in Phoenix.

"I've been involved in every major national security challenge for the last 20 years that has faced this country," he added. "I look forward to having that debate as to who's most qualified in the event of a national crisis and the phone ringing at 3 a.m. in the White House."

McCain's comments follow dueling campaign ads from Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that pose the scenario of a foreign crisis in the early morning hours. Clinton's ad, which launched first, argues the New York senator is more experienced to handle such a situation. Hours later, the Obama campaign launched a spot in response that says his initial opposition to the Iraq war proves he has the better judgment to deal with 3 a.m. emergencies.

– CNN's Tasha Diakides contributed to this report


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    Yes, his at his best sleep.

    3AM

    74 YEAR OLD MAN

    THE PHONE RINGING

    IT TOOK HILLARY 6 RINGS TO PICK IT UP, IT WOULD TAKE McCAIN 206 RINGS.

    THATS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT.

    Why don't McCains people tell him when he sounds like a moron, he goes off script and sounds like exactly like a bumbling moron.

    Kind of like saying Obama is the candidate of the past, this coming from an old pale white guy.

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaah

    March 3, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Percy F. Lage, Oklahoma

    "I've been involved in every major national security challenge for the last 20 years that has faced this country"=======

    Wouldn't a real "red phone moment" leader have found a way to keep us out of some of them? Iraq was one of those he might have helped us avoid, ya think?

    March 3, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. TerryD

    JOHN MCCAIN SURE IS A JOHNNY COME LATELY WITH A STATEMENT LIKE;

    "I AM THE BEST AT 3 A.M."

    IT TOOK HIM TWO DAYS TO COME UP WITH THAT RESPONSE..........

    GOD HELP AMERICA!

    March 3, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. LadyLeo

    I love my country to, but when I get 71 I hope to be retired and enjoying my country. I know McCain feels 20 but no body can beat the time clock and everyones body goes throught the process of getting old there is nothing you can do to stop it, If McCain wins the election he will be 75 at the end of his first term. I admire McCain but I don't know any 71 year old that I think could run our country.

    March 3, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. bond

    McCain's judgement is worse than Clinton's. Invasion of a country who doesn't want us there, 4000 dead soldiers, loss of credibility with the international community, wasting $12 million a month, for what? The answer is the for the love of war and oil. I only phone McCain should answer at 3am is Domino's Pizza.

    Texans for Obama

    March 3, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. Brendan

    This 3 Am thing is a joke. Hillary made a commerical about it, it was a dumb fear tactic and Obama and McCain follow up with these kind of things. I want politics to represent the potential and beauty I see in the world. Instead it represents Americans.

    March 3, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. linda hemmingsen

    The republicans have destroyed the image of america, they have sqaundered millions in Iraq.They had no bid contracts for Katrina and Iraq were they ripped people off. They have used torture in abu gray in Iraq and the white house has been the most corrupt in history and you think another republican should be elected?i don't think so.

    March 3, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Jane

    Billary would not have a sleeping chance against McCain.

    And this comes from a Democrat who would never vote for Hil-Liar-y.

    March 3, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. AL

    sorry McCain your EXACTLY what America does NOT want in 08
    more of Bush, more fear tactics, etc etc
    Everything that comes out of your mouth will come back to haunt you
    bomb bomb Iran, wishing castro dead, insinuating Russia had illegal elections
    dont you get it....Americans are sick and tired of War mongering and
    finger pointing at your enemies!!!
    why do you think they are coming out in the tens of thousands for Obama!
    they want DIPLOMACY .you know trying to talk to your enemies for a change!!
    down with McCain !!

    March 3, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Nick

    Phone rings at 3am; President McCain, it's time...to change your Pampers!

    March 3, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. mr hansen

    why not, she's a mean evil woman – just like ann coulter and he is... spreading falsehoods and manipulative!

    March 3, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. ABC=Anybody But Clinton

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
    This is his best work yet!

    March 3, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  13. Charlotte

    Obama claims to have good judgement on the Iraq issue from the start. He now says as far as the Rezko issue, he made an error in judgement. So I don't want him answering the phone. As Ann Richards said, "That dog won't hunt."

    March 3, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. think

    LOL!!!

    March 3, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. Pedro Baum

    When Hillary's phone rings at 3am, you know it's going to be someone asking if she knows where Billy Jeff is.

    March 3, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. Bayou Joe

    You young ones have no clue. Us Old timers are awake at 3:00 a.m.
    going to the bathroom. So when the phone rings we are already awake. Plus we have the knowledge and wisdom that comes with age that allows us to make decisions and the foresight to know when we are over our head. The young ones make quick and rash decisions and later realize they made the worng ones. We were young too and many of us wish we could take back some of those bad choices. I'll take the old man over Obama or Clinton anytime.
    At least I can count on him to make the decision on what is best for his Country. The United States of America.

    March 3, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. Trang, Fremont, CA

    For someone who wants the 100 years war w/ Iraq and sing – 'Bomb bomb Iran' for fun – no, I don't want him to make a decision on that 3:00AM call.

    March 3, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. Steve

    Another call that McCain might get in the middle of the night is one telling him of the death of one of the moderate/liberal Supreme Court justices.

    If that happens, Roe vs. Wade is history, and women will die.

    Vote Democrat in 11/'08. If your candidate doesn't win the nomination, hold your nose and do it anyway.

    March 3, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. MikeSmith

    Why are Latinos voting for Hillary? She has never shown that she has their best interest at heart. She can't even articulate her ideas on immigration, for goodness sakes!

    Obama is by far the best candidate, his policy ideas are much more realistic than hers.

    March 3, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. Dan

    Very funny.

    John McCain wouldn't even hear the phone ringing. And, his support of the Iraq invasion ought to remove any question about his poor judgment.

    The only call McCain will be getting after he gets blown out in the generals is the 3am phone call from his wife wondering why the hell he's still at the club drinking away his loss.

    March 3, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. david

    HILLARY IS THE SMARTEST AND STRONGEST OF THE 3 CANDIDATES.

    I READ THIS HEADLINE AND HAD TO LAUGH. ELDERLY PEOPLE DO HAVE ERRATIC SLEEP PATTERNS. I KNOW...BAD JOKE.

    March 3, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. John

    Obama's answer to everything is the vote for the Iraq war, which he didn't even vote for b/c he wasn't in the senate at that time. This argument is getting old!!!

    March 3, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. chsw

    Most 3am calls that Hillary has taken so far allegedly involve Bill saying "don't believe what you read in tommorow's papers."

    Most 3am calls that Obama has received allegedly involve Rezko saying that the check has cleared.

    March 3, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. dricks

    Clearly, Rush is still an idiot.

    March 3, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. Joey

    This is exactly the problem with the 3 a.m. thing. The Dems arn't going to win by nominating mini-McCain (Clinton) for her favorability on national security. Dems need to nominate Obama who can fight McCain on a whole different battlefield and make McCains "time-in-washington" argument meaningless.

    March 3, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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