April 5th, 2008
04:58 PM ET
4 years ago

McCain criticizes Obama over speaker

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Obama campaigned in North Dakota Friday.
Obama campaigned in North Dakota Friday.

(CNN) - John McCain criticized Barack Obama Saturday for not denouncing comments from a speaker at a North Dakota Democratic Party event calling the Arizona senator a "warmonger."

The comments in question came Friday evening at an event in North Dakota where Barack Obama also spoke. Radio talk show host Ed Schultz addressed the crowd, during which he criticized McCain's support of the Iraq war and called him a "warmonger." Obama was not present for Schultz's comments and spoke later at the event.

"I hope that in keeping with the spirit of Sen. Obama, that they condemn, that Sen. Obama will condemn such language since it was a part of his campaign," McCain said. "But that kind of language is unnecessary for this campaign. I think its very clear how I feel about war and my experiences with it."

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday McCain should not have been described that way.

"John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such. He's a supporter of a war that Senator Obama believes should have never been authorized and never been waged," she said.

Obama's campaign also notes Schultz is not an official supporter of the campaign and was asked to speak by the North Dakota Democratic Party, not the Obama campaign.

Meanwhile, the McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds noted the Arizona senator denounced a radio-talk show host last February who at a campaign event repeatedly referred to Obama's middle name, Hussein, while criticizing him.

"The quickness he showed in rejecting the charged environment should reinforce in the minds of voters that there are some elected officials, like John McCain, that walk the walk, and others that are only talking," Bounds said.

(3:45: Updates with McCain comments)


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (447 Responses)
  1. Prayu

    Wahh.

    John McCain is more than just a warmonger. He's a dolt who knows nothing of the economy and connects with no one under the age of 40. He's often clueless to important distinctions between various groups in the middle east and has been caught on camera nodding off on the job. He supported, and still supports, the foreign policy behind one of the greatest blunders in US military history.

    Are there really that many people interested in 4 more years of garbage and lies from the GOP?

    April 5, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Brad

    "Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran".....those are your words McBush, I don't believe you to be a Warmonger "per se" but I think I've had enough of your generation screwing around with our global image...you seem to view the world in black and white. Unfortunately we are not "saviors of the universe blessed by god" but a deeply flawed country trying to do its best in a complex world.....step aside old man, your generation had its chance, its time for change.

    -Obama 08

    April 5, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Dennis

    Warmonger literally means one who sells war. I can't think of a better description for John McCain who will have us in Iraq for 100 years. Really, these candidates have got to shed their thin skins and talk about the issues.

    April 5, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Rita

    I used to listen to Ed Schultz on most days. I quit because of his emotionalism and lack of fairness. He tries to convince listeners to vote for Obama while attacking other candidates on silly things like McCain's temper or Cllinton crying. Schultz used to discuss issues and inform listeners. Now he is not better than Bill O'Reilly or Limbaugh. I am not surpized he blew it. He thinks that he is such a big shot now, and his rude style is catching up with him now.

    April 5, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Meredith

    Just as Mr. McCain got an introduction a few weeks back from someone a "over the top" who McCain had to denounce, the same just happened to Obama. Knowing his speeches, dialogue and press releases, this type of rhetoric is neither encouraged or tolerated in his camp.
    My apologies to Mr. McCain who is a respected rival in this race.

    April 5, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Tim in Canada

    I sure think that there is a difference tween a Hopemonger and a Warmonger. One gives and the other takes.

    April 5, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    How is this statement different in harshness to the vitriol spewed daily by the right wing radio folk ... ?

    April 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. R Cooper

    It amazes me how McCain and Clinton are quick to criticize Obama for something they think he should say or do. Yet you haven't heard Obama criticize McCain for voting against MLK holiday and for some strange reason decides to apolize after 40 years nor has Obama criticized Hillary for getting fired during the Nixon administration when she deceived her supervisors even though I'm sure he knew about it. Obama has more integrity in his ring finger than McCain, Hillary, and Bill Clinton combined!

    April 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Katy Hill Prescott, Az.

    McCain is a WARMONGER! What does he think bomb bomb Iran was ? Just another lame joke?

    April 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  10. fergusparent

    AAaaawwwwwwwwww poor poor Mc Cain, the truth really does hurt, don't it? So sad......

    April 5, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. Jeffrey

    If the shoe fits...

    April 5, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. Lloyd

    When are you going to do the same for McCain

    April 5, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. A Bag of Chips

    Lets go Hillary supporters! Time to degrade Obama over this story, although it is clear neither he nor his campaign had anything to do with this speaker. On your mark, get set, GO!

    April 5, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. Yemi

    But he is a War Monger

    April 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. barry...dana pt....calif

    Hey Sen. McCain...I be upset too if I were a warmonger

    April 5, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Anthony D

    Well if the shoe fits...

    April 5, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  17. jimmy velman

    SENATOR MCCAIN IS A DECENT MAN AND A WAR HERO. HE WOULD BE A SHOE-IN FOR THE PRESIDENCY WERE IT NOT FOR THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION FAILURES THAT ARE NOW AFFECTING OUR COUNTRY'S FUTURE AND GOTTEN OUR
    COUNTRY INTO A RECESSION ..THERE HAVE BEEN SO MANY JOBS LOST IN MANY STATES AND THE NUMBER OF WORKERS
    WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS IS MOUNTING. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS AN UPHILL AND DIFFICULT ROAD FOR MCCAIN TO WIN THE PRESIDENCY. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO REAL PLATFORM ON WHICH THEY CAN MOUNT AN IMPRESSIVE
    CAMPAIGN TO IMPRESS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT THEY HAVE SOLUTIONS TO REVERSE OUR COUNTRY'S PROLEMS..

    April 5, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Jake, California

    It's too early to start complaining about little things like these....
    If this is the tone of the general elections then I can see the whole exercise being pathetic.
    People have to be dismissed or denounced for every little comment they make, has the US elections now become a child play or what?

    April 5, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. Joe

    If the shoe fits ...

    John McCain has been all over the map when it comes to Iraq. But of course, he's been all over the map on a lot of issues. He's a lot like Hillary Clinton because they'll both say anything to win an election.

    I certainly don't think I could ever trust John McCain after I've seen him try to hard to suck up to the conservative wing of the GOP just to win the nomination. It has been disappointing because I think a lot of people thought McCain was a man of principles.

    April 5, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. OH LORD!!!

    YOU ARE A WARMONGER. IF THE TRUTH HURTS....

    April 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. Michael

    The dictionary defines "warmonger" as one who advocates war. Ed Schultz is just calling it as it is.

    April 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Bill-S

    Poor old Bomb Bomb McCain may not be a warmonger, but he is a military person, and as such his only solution to problems is to bomb people. Does he ever feel remorse for the people he killed in Viet Nam? He was only acting on orders, but over a million people, real human beings, men, women and children were killed for questionable purpose. If we make him president, God help the world.

    April 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. Bryan Kirchoff

    I appreciate the speed with which the Obama and McCain campaigns seek to tone down commentary. I think it bodes well for this campaign season.
    No doubt numerous posters here will try to claim "if the shoe fits..." However, Mr. McCain has seen the worst side of war and has had a son at risk in the current one, so I am sure he lacks the bloodlust that the term "warmonger" implies.
    It would be very interesting to backtrack through the slogans of the last few presidential elections to see how military experience has been treated before. I think we would find it funny how our parties no doubt presented military experience as invaluable when their candidates had it and not nearly so important when they didn't.

    Bryan Kirchoff
    St. Louis

    April 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. len

    Until Obama or his surrogate has to run from a burning fighter jet on a flight deck while his fellow sailors fight the fire, they should be very careful how they use their 1960s leftist rhetoric. It blew McCarthy and Humphrey out of the election then and it will again.

    Respect, people. Service to our country is never wrong and never a dishonor no matter how intensely we object to the war.

    April 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Michael

    The dictionary defines "warmonger" as one who advocates war. Ed Schultz is just calling it as it is.

    April 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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