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. Ray Ito

    McCaim should not be looking for any conceivable opportunity to criticize Obama for what just anybody in the democratic camp does.

    Is McCain a warmonger? Yes he is. He wants U.S. troops to be in Iraq for 100 years and he's a strong advocate of the surge.
    Let's call a spade a spade.

    April 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. Ed

    McCain is a warmonger. Why apologize for saying the truth? He's going to send you to die for big oil, have a nice day, Republicans!

    April 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  3. Joe Black

    Here we go again, with another round of denoucing, distancing, repudiating and rejecting.

    HERE IS HOW IT WORKS PEOPLE: When some Yahoo gets on the stage an HOUR before a Candidate speaks, HIS WORDS ARE NOT THAT OF THE CANDIDATE!

    SHEESH!

    You can't keep bootstrapping other people's comments onto Obama.

    You know, I heard the guy who mows his lawn has racists views. Must be Obama is a racist too! After all he hired the guy to mow his lawn, right? Has Obama repudiated his comments yet? See, he's a racist, too!

    Let's get beyond this silly nonsense. Window dressing intended to distract voters from the real issues.

    Like MONEY. BIG MONEY and LOTS OF IT from BIG CORPORATIONS and FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS!

    It's not like the guy gave Obama $1,000,000 to lobby for a free trade agreement or something! Or paid his spouse $50 million dollars in speech fees.

    Like somebody we know....

    April 5, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. KE

    Actually it is good to see who supports Obama and which super delegates suports Obama. It gives us clear picture of what Obama campaign represents.

    I've have seen many of the party leaders who supports Obama used very offensive words most of us hasitant to use to discribe both Hillary and McCain.

    Go, Hillary. Stay on facts and figures.

    If we count Michigan and Florida votes, here are the stats.
    Hillary is winning in popular votes.
    Hillary is winning in pledged delegates by winners take all.
    Hillary is winning in super delegates.
    Hillary is winning in most primaries.
    Obama is winning in pledged delegates.
    Obama is winning in most caucuses.

    April 5, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  5. Dennis Fort Myers Fl

    Hey you know the old saying The truth hurts well here's another for McSame if the shoe fits wear it !!!! if he's hurt by the name do something about it and listen to what is it now 72 % of americans who thinks this war is not worth it and a bad idea.

    April 5, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. Kevin

    Yah! With what is going on right now, If BHO win the nomination, this will be the begining of the end. HILLARY OR MC Cain for 08 or my whole family will leave the country!!!

    April 5, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. Andrew

    Why does CNN never approve my comments?

    I'll try again.

    I am a Hillary supporter. But I must be fair in my comments on this. Obama cannot be held responsible for what someone not part of his campaign says.

    Obama was not even there.

    I disagree with the opinion of the speaker in regards to McCain being a Warmonger though. But it can't be used as part of an attack coming from McCain no more than Obama can attack McCain for saying he would be okay with having troops in Iraq for 100 years without keeping it in context with what was fully said (Korea, Japan, Germany, etc).

    But don't worry McCain.

    If Hillary is not the nominee you have my vote and millions like me who will not vote for someone who didn't earn the nomination of the Democratic party Obama has had the media and the radicals in the Democratic party handing the nomination over to him.

    It is unethical for the media to be bias, and the likes of John Kerry and Bill RIchardson being opportunists is a slap in every Democrats face.

    April 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. shirley.roybal,surprise,az.

    shows how presidential obama really is,McCain will win, kerry is not doing obama any favors,it was wrong,and not proffesional in any way he should apologize.McCain is sharp and does talk the talk but also walks the walk,we will vote for him if hillary is not running.we need someone that is proven and tested,and really knows the issues.

    April 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Christopher

    My comment is in regards to the statement by Mr. Bounds. I don't know what you mean when you say walking the walk and talking the talk but if I remember correctly Mr. Obama said that he appreciated Mr. McCain's remarks and that the election process can be intensely competitive. He also said that all the candidates including himself would attempt to keep it respectful and focused on the issues. How many times should Mr. Obama publicly come out and say the same thing over and over again? Do you like hearing yourself all the time? Let's stick to the issues that are plagueing this country and the rest of the world and not some name-calling antics that you'd find on a playground full of five year olds. One more thing. Let's not forget while McCain was on stage he said nothing after Mr. Cunningham made his comments. It was only after the fact. And you want to talk about quickness?

    April 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. Chris

    *gasp* Another excuse for Barack Obama and his campaign. Wow, he's got a way out of everything except the war in Iraq and fixing our economy/healthcare.

    April 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. FashionPolice

    Now McCain is whining about being called something? Holy God! I was getting used to the whining from Hillary, but I thought McCain was tougher than that.

    I hate to tell them both that I've heard them both being called a lot worse than a "monster"and a "warmonger".

    Those words are mild compared to what I've heard otherwise.

    April 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. ben

    campaign for real truth

    April 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. Lancaster John

    Time to reel in some of these comments! The Obama now are trying to come up with excuses as to why these types of comments are not their fault. I am also tired of the Obama campaign accusing Hillary Clinton of not telling the truth. Granted she has made some big mistakes but lets look at Obama's mistakes (I said mistakes to avoid saying lies). He has continually said that he has NEVER taken lobbyist money or oil money. He also states that he has never come out against ALL HANDGUNS. However, ABC news has shown proof that big oil executives have donated the maximum amount allowable by law to the Obama campaign. On the gun issue Obama said he never came out again handfuns and that nothing has ever come across his desk to that effect (i.e. he has never seen papers to that effect). But ABC-TV NEWS has documents showing that Obama came out against all handguns and has signed documents to that effect. I'm sure the Republicans are going to have a field day in November showing misstatements and outright lies that have come from the Obama campaign.

    April 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. caroline, los angeles

    oh god...why are the candidates so sensitive...every time someone says something, they whine and whine...McCain IS a warmonger...why does he get mad when the truth is spoken...deal with it you old fart!!!

    April 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  15. Jason Jackinsky

    Respectfully Mr. Mccain must realize that he has been the Vice President of this great country for the past 8 years. In that time we the people have seen our rights diminish under a rule that bases its law under fear. What should we think? I respect the right of our elected government to make decisions. What should we think though that through my experience in these past 8 years that our rights as americans which our soldiers through history fought bravely for in the face of Death have been taken away. Some died. I would like to know some things that he has not addressed or I have not heard. I respectfully think that he will win the elections. I am from Alaska where we get very few electoral votes. The leading candidates do not visit the states where the electoral votes have little effect understandably. Why should they when when these states mean so little? The majority votes mean nothing and I feel this has been orchestrated by entities that wish to control the election. I applaud them. They are very wise because this works. If we as the people of the United States of America, The land of the free and the home of the brave are to ignorant to address the issue of fair elections, than anyone whom the richest of our lands chooses to elect should be elected. I am impressed extensively at the creativeness of people in high places to take advantage of ignorance. You are wise people. It is sad that all people do not think into the workings of election as others do. I say let the best man win. I am disgusted by the ignorance of many in this country. Cheney will probably win. Congratulations and I respect the think tanks that be. I hope that Mr. Cheney will rule in dignity and wisdom. God Bless the USA. Sincerely Jason V.W. Jackinsky Pursue Peace my Friends

    April 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. Scientific

    If I hear anything more about someone being called a name and another candidate having to apologize for it, I'm going to put my fist through the TV set. Enough already.

    Schultz is not an Obama campaign surrogate. He's not Senator Obama himself. He is an Obama SUPPORTER, like myself. What if I make a derogatory comment about Sen. McCain or Sen. Clinton? Does Obama have to apologize for me, too? Obviously, I'm taking it to the next level – but where will this stop?

    When will we become a serious country again, one better equipped to deal with REAL American problems and less so to engage in this fifth-grade nonsense? CNN, you can do better. This is not news.

    April 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  17. Alison, FL

    Seriously...this is ridiculous!..Why don't all of the people at the event apologize to McCain then???....Whatever grandpa!

    April 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. g e

    Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday [4/5/2008] 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.

    Well…

    ==> If Obama can be a ‘HOPEMONGER’

    Then

    ==> Why can’t McCain be a
    “President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years — McCAIN: Make it a hundred. We’ve been in South Korea … we’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me. As long as Americans … MONGER”

    How about that McCAIN FOR A QUOTE, can’t challenge that

    ***

    April 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. Teddy Bancroft

    Anyone who advocates 100 more years in Iraq, while 'bomb, bomb, bombing' Iran is indeed a warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. melikeyhill

    whats to apologize for? he obama already put out a statement condemning the statements, mccain is indeed a war monger!!! why???? because everytime he opens his mouth to sabre rattle on iran, the price of oil goes up, making bush and his republican oil buddies richer!!

    April 5, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. Larry

    yawn...

    April 5, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. toldyouso

    McCain may not be a warmonger but just because he was a prisoner of war does not make him an expert on foreign affairs. Remember back in the sixties when the people of the United States were brainwashed into believing that if communism wasn't stopped in southeast Asia it would follow us home? Well, that wasn't the truth and neither is it that Islamic jihad will come. The twin towers attack was radical Islam's demand that the United States get out of the middle east and stop interfering with that part of the world. McCain and many others want to continue the war in Iraq that the IDIOT got us into. Just get out!! And McCain – open up that tiny brain of yours and see what is going on. Quit following blindly the IDIOT.

    April 5, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. reyor

    That's all Obama is a talker. Talk, talk, talk, that's all he does. What a fraud!

    April 5, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. Jason Jackinsky

    okay I was thinking of cheney sorry:(

    April 5, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. Mike J

    So let me get this straight, anything that is said that someone doesn't like, you should blame Obama?

    I mean honestly, he should denounce everything said at any time where he was in the area, please.

    April 5, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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