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. CBH from California

    McCain is losing his mind. Why should Obama apologize for comments that he nor his campain made? Is McCain goint to apologize to Obama for all the negative and often racist comments he receives from Fox News?

    April 5, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. Ethel

    Whatever happened to my comment. Told the truth, huh? Fox will beat you out with an up to date report on the goofs of Barack Obama.

    April 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. J. Forbes, Texas Independent

    I sure love your headline CNN. McCain "criticizes" Obama over speaker.

    Check what McCain said:

    "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."

    How does this criticize Obama in any way? It simply asks Obama to denounce the comments made by someone else.

    April 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. O. Lavell

    Well, excuse me. But McCain *is* a warmonger, and he knows it. He wants to sell a 100 years war in Iraq to the American people and to the world. He may think that such language as "warmonger" is unnecessary, but since when has it been unnecessary to call a spade a spade?

    April 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Nancy,

    He is a warmonger, and a one note candidate. There is no question in my mind we will go to war with Iran, which is what the Middle East wants us to do. So we will be fighting three wars.

    Obama 08

    April 5, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. McSame

    John McCain supports being in Iraq for another 100 years, so whatever you want to call it, he's a war hawk! Sure, elect McSame so we can continue to pour billions of taxpayer dollars each month to Iraq while our own economy implodes! Do you realize how much of an economic stimulus package Congress could have implemented to actually solve some problems in this economy with the half billion dollars that has been spent thus far on the Iraq war? It's pathetic. John McSame will be another 4 more years of George Bush's third term.

    April 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. John Novak

    The American Heritage Dictionary defines warmonger as :a person who advocates war or warlike policies. Poor little Johnny!! Guess he doesn't like the shoe fit!!

    April 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. MD

    I'm not a McCain supporter, but why don't we just confine radio talk show hosts to radio.

    April 5, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  9. Deana

    Vote against MLK
    Vote for war
    McCain is a "warmonger"

    April 5, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. Phillip

    I didn't hear McCain say anything about the Rep. Steve King when he spoke about who would be jumping up in the streets if obama wins.

    April 5, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. AJ - Winston-Salem, North Carolina

    Have you ever noticed that Sen. Obama only denounces things when they are against him?

    Can you imagine what life would be like if this man was allowed to be President denouncing everything! OMG

    Hillary 2008

    April 5, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. Enrique

    I'd say if you plan on keeping our troops in Iraq for 100 years and sing about bombing Iran, you're a warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. karl From: Congo

    whatever grandpa

    April 5, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Kate

    Anyone who thinks it's ok to be in conflict for the next 100 years or bites at the bit to attack another country (Iran) is definately a warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. George

    Big surprise that Obama again uses the "I wasn't there and didn't hear it" defense

    April 5, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. T. Rice

    Well yes, I find nothing wrong with this statement. McCain might have been exposed to war system in his time, but he still feels that we should keep going with this ongoing Iraq war. I am fully against the war, but I feel there is no end to the East problem. They have and had war since the old Testament-Bible times.

    Obama made his statement that he thought is right, at least he is honest about the way he feels. No I am not an African-American.
    Thumbs up !!!

    April 5, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Mary Sue

    But McCain IS a warmonger. Webster's definition: "one who urges or attempts to stir up war." McCain's whole record is war. McCain's whole platform for candidacy is war. Schultz spoke the truth.

    Obama was too quick to repudiate Schultz's remarks. McCain was playing petty politics to try to make himself look like a man of integrity. If this is the only trick McCain has in his bag, his campaign is already in trouble. Sheesh.

    April 5, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  18. David

    warmonger -a person who advocates war or warlike policies.

    This word actually describes Sen McCain's position on the war & the future of the war. Does it not?

    -David

    Dumfries, VA

    April 5, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. DM Arlington Texas

    Senator John McCain,

    Sometimes the truth hurts. How do you think the troops dying in IRAQ feels. The purpose of the US Military is to protect the US not to fight in someones Civil War.

    April 5, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. Wilma, Georgia

    I KNOW CNN WON'T PRINT THIS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO BIAS BUT I WILL GIVE IT A TRY ANYWAY:

    IT SEEMS THAT OBAMA IS ALLOWED TO SAY AND DO ANYTHING AND PEOPLE JUST OVERLOOK IT OR HE COMES UP WITH SOME KIND OF ANOTHER LIE FOR AN EXCUSE, THEN IT IS JUST FORGOTTEN ABOUT. HOW MUCH MORE DO WE NEED OF OBAMA.
    HE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF THE RACE ,NOT HILLARY, IT'S TIME FOR THE DEM PARTY TO ASK OBAMA TO STEP DOWN !
    OBAMA MAKES ME SICK !

    April 5, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Paul from Texas

    McCain denounced such comments immediately. But Obama true to his pattern did not denounce such characterizations. He is good about letting others say something and then will respond only when pushed by either another candidate or by public opinion.

    I am not a McCain supporter, but what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Apologize Obama.

    April 5, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. ObamaSupporter

    It is obvious that Sen. Obama does not feel that this comment accurately describes Sen. McCain. His campaign has always taken a higher road . It is a distraction from the issues at hand to ask a candidate to constantly spend time cleaning up after loyal but over-zealous supporters.

    April 5, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. CA

    If the shoe fits, Senator McCain, if the shoe fits.

    April 5, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  24. Russ

    If Hussien didn't get offended by 20 years of "God Damm america" U.S. of the KKK" why would he be offended by his people calling a real american hero a "war monger.?" His hero is the reverand and Louis.

    April 5, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. Chris Banner

    So,
    How can a candidate be responsible of comments made by the public?
    I don't think McCain has got it right, whoever asked the question was wrong but the blame doesn't have to go to Obama.Simple as that

    April 5, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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