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. Bob

    Schultz was way out of bounds. Obama should set the example and apologize. Instead his people excuse him by calling Schultz "not and official supporter" – whatever that is. Maybe Ed Shultz should be offended – seems like Obama has rejected his support. Seems like Obama is rejecting the North Dakota Democratic Party, too, since by asking Shultz to speak, they obviously approve of him. Obama never really apologizes or takes responsibility for the disgusting and many times hateful things his supporters say. He could put a stop to it if he would show a little character and speak out against it.

    April 5, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Lee

    Ed Schultz is his own man. If the McCain campaign has issues with the statement, they should take it up with Ed Schultz.

    It would be like the Obama or Clinton campaign taking the McCain campaign to task over something Rush Limbaugh says.

    April 5, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Jack

    It's a shame that some people feel a need to place titles on candidates. I am so glad that the Senator's campaign was willing to give such a quick response. It would have been much nicer if we could have had a statement from the Senator himself. Titles and labels needs to be avoided in this campaign. There is far too much at stake.

    April 5, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. Nate

    John McCain isn't a war monger, he simply lives and breathes war. He grew up into the Navy, and his status as a "war hero" has defined him ever since. It's all he knows (he can't even be bothered to know about "issues" like the national importance of Martin Luther King, Jr).

    We've seen what the "war is the answer" mindset has gotten us for the last eight years and I hope we don't repeat the mistake by electing John McCain to serve out George W. Bush's 3rd term.

    April 5, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  5. Shannon

    typical Obama, more politics of hope and change!!!! LOL!

    April 5, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. aware

    Good for you Senator McCain!

    But, Obama's so called "spirit" is a sham. He is a down and dirty, obfuscating, power-hungry, ego driven and arrogant politician. He is also lopsided in his racial ideology, and is extremely divisive. :(

    Hillary the HOPE of 08 or McCain! :)

    April 5, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. HILLARY!

    Someone is actually CRITICIZING obama??????? What will he do????? Wait, where is the MEDIA to protect him?????????? Hurry someone take care of this so he doesn't have to deal with it!!!!!

    Where are ALL the stories about all his LIES on the campaign trail about the info in his books being FABRICATED????
    SELMA, THE MAGAZINE ARTICLE, THE KENNEDY'S ROLE IN HIS FATHER GETTING TO THE U.S.?????

    April 5, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. Mike in CA

    What I find interesting during this campaign season is how much finger-pointing is going on with regard to what one person says to another. Is this not still a free-speech nation where people are still free to speak their opinion, provided they're not inciting violence in doing so? Someone says that McCain is a war-monger. Well, from McCain's perspective that might not be true, but it's certainly hard to argue that McCain is DISCOURAGING war. Someone called Hillary Clinton a "monster." Well, that's certainly open to debate as well, keeping in mind that the secondary definition of "monster" is "a threatening force."

    Obama's reputation has gotten dragged through the mud this past month, ALL on account of the words of OTHER people. The gaffes for which the Clinton and McCain campaigns are earning their grief came directly from the mouths of the candidates themselves.

    April 5, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. jaylo

    Obama likes to have it both ways. Let the voters be heard-vs-not recognizing the voters in Mi and Fl. He didn't say a word about his supporters suggesting Clinton step down until it appeared there might be a backlash.
    Also, he is running ads in Pennsylvania and Indiana that Newsweek calls misleading since he claims he doesn't take any money from oil and gas companies.
    According to the Center for Responsive Politics-none of the candidates can take money directly from gas/oil companies because of a law. However, they all take money indirectly, including Obama-over 200 grand.
    Two of his top money bundlers are executives for oil companies.

    April 5, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. victoria

    There is no comment. He is the best and smart, clever enough. He can't be judge for another people's feelings. It just show how people love him and we DO LOVE him. He is our future president. NO question and doubts. And yes, I AM white colleague educated woman. With all our community staying and voting for Barack. He IS unique and THE ONE.

    April 5, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. TF

    Why would Obama disagree with the truth. If McCain actually saw up close the people he killed during war instead of from 30 thousand feet he wouldn't be such a warmonger. The fact that he was held in prison camps so many times only makes him more apt to pay people back.

    A vote for McCain is a vote for more death and terrorist attacks on the US.

    April 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. Lifelong Democrat

    In the words of Bill Clinton "who cares?"

    that's politic's baby!!!

    April 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. powwow500

    But McCain is a warmonger. That's the truth.

    April 5, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. Laffincrow

    Hmm....maybe now McCain & Obama are even after the radio guy gave Obama crap. Did McCain tell the radio guy to say that stuff? Probably not. Did Obama tell his guy to say that stuff? Probably not. It's a non issue and the media is desparate for news. Let's talke about whether Hillary has a pattern of unethical behavior and lying. There's stories flying around on the internet about how she was fired for such behavior. Seems it's still going on today.

    April 5, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Mark Wilson

    Why does warmonger McCain object to being called a warmonger. What is warmonger McCain's problem with being referred to as a warmonger. Is it the truth that warmonger McCain is a warmonger? Does warmonger McCain prefer being called a flip-flopping warmonger or a lying warmonger? Warmonger McCain just apologized for being a bigoted warmonger. Is that the point? We are supposed to wait years and years for him to apologize for being a warmonger before we can stop calling him a warmonger? Do we have to keep losing American lives in this war, throwing away our economy, fostering terrorists just because warmonger McCain doesn't like being called a warmonger. Warmonger McCain, why don't you apologize for being a warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. Indy for Obama

    Are you kidding? Obama responded every bit as quickly as McCain did. And in addition, Obama did not come out himself demanding McCain apologize for something one of his supporters said. And lastly, this guy is not one of Obama's supporters at all, but Obama apologized anyway.

    April 5, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. ann

    No,,,,,

    Say it isn't so.....Obama...the Uniter...the Hopeful one attacking the personal character of other candiates?

    Get used to it McCain.......this is typical Obama.

    Of course you know as soon as you respond to his comment, you will then hear the Whiner start with the poor me....he's attacking me....it's a racial thing, etc.

    Don't forget to him....you are just another typical white person.

    April 5, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  18. Amy, Kazoo

    We should rename the Primary Season the Season of Denouncing and Rejecting.

    April 5, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. Tom

    I respect McCain for his military service to this country. But the following are quotes from his mouth: "100 years" of war in Iraq. "Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb Iran" (sung to the tune of a Beach Boys song). Sounds pretty warmongering to me.

    April 5, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. loli

    like Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz is another radio talk show host from Air America , you cannot put them in front of a crowd, they loose their minds, I used to listen to them, not anymore.

    April 5, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. treasure in seattle

    but wait he is a warmonger isn't he.... he is committed to 100 more years in Iraq.

    April 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. carlo

    I think that there is a HUGE difference between Schultz, who is not even an Obama surrogate, saying something about McCain at an even not sponsored by the Obama campaign and McCain allowing that goon in Tennessee to speak ill of Obama at his own campaign rally. This should not even be an issue connected to the Obama campaign. After everything is said and done, people have been trying to finds errors in Obama's character, and all they have been able to come up with is attacks against people who know him. Why can't the media accept the fact that perhaps, just maybe, this guy might be an okay person?

    April 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. H

    WE KNOW THAT SCHULTZ SUPPORTS OBAMA AND THIS WAS DONE ON PURPOSE. JOHN MCCAIN IS A WAR HERO, MR. SCHULTZ AND MR. OBAMA. MR. OBAMA FOR ATTENDING A CHURCH FOR OVER 20 YEARS THAT PREACHES HATE FOR OUR COUNTY YOU SHOULD BE CALLED A NON PATRIOT CITIZEN (AND THAT IS BEING SAID IN A POLITE MANNER). OBAMA LOVES THIS TYPE OF NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING.

    April 5, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  24. Dan

    Yet another Air America Hatemonger.

    April 5, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  25. Richard

    If you walk like a duck and quack like a duck, don't get offended when someone calls you a duck.

    April 5, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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