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. IVANI

    It seems to me to be a double standard for JOHN McCANN to want an appology from mr. obama for calling what JOHN McmCANN said, and what his plaform is all about is repeating the vary same thing as PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH SAID,DID AND STILL DOING.IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK LOOKS LIKE A DUCK TALKS LIKE A DUCK......in my mind IT'S A DUCK.

    April 5, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. tired

    How many times are we going to have to hear someone apologize for what someone else is saying. Give me a break. McCain need to stop being so sensitive. "Soft Soap" Now let's see who will apologize for that. LOL!

    April 5, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Nice try, McCain

    Nice try, McCain. This is not the same as you standing on the stage with Bill Cunningham. Nice try, Rove and your goonies. Obama wasn't even present when this guy spoke and he is not a part of the campaign.

    Get over it. Is this the best you got?

    April 5, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. OBAMARAMA

    MAYBE MCCAIN SHOULD STOP MONGERING WARS IF HE DOESN'T WANT TO BE CALLED A WARMONGER!

    WAKE UP AMERICA!

    April 5, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Jeffrey

    This is getting ridiculous. The speaker is not part of Obama's campaign & he was not even invited by Obama's campaign to speak. Why should Obama apologize for Schultz's comments?

    Yes, McCain denounced the radio talk-show host who called Obama "Hussein", along with several derogatory remarks, but that talk-jock was well known as inflammatory before he spoke at the campaign event. Why was he even there in the first place?

    If someone is officially a part of someone's campaign, then maybe an apology or disciplinary action is called for, but let's not expect apologies for anything any supporter says. That's pretty thin-skinned.

    April 5, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Greg Turner

    Anytime someone says something about this guy, his campaign crys about it..I thought he was a tough "war" guy. If he can't handle words in a campaign, what will he when the "enemy" calls him worse? This guy is lame. I predict a democratic landslide, he is out of touch with reality..Obama 08

    April 5, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Diane

    My my, touchy. The Republicans made a big show after 9/11 of being the great patriots, but everything they've done has been BAD FOR THIS COUNTRY, including this war. I used to like McCain and his fiscal responsibility, until he: 1. Wouldn't stand up to Bush's attacks on him 2. Started buying votes by kissing the butts of fruitcake evangelicals, and 3. Supported this decidedly non-fiscally-responsible war. I don't think he's the brainless sociopath that Bush is, but I see four more years of the same direction, which so far has been downhill.

    (sociopath: a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.)

    April 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Mike

    Remember when McCain had an "unofficial" supporter call Obama by his middle name? McCain did not hesitate for a second to denounce it immediately, without provocation.

    Obama instead had a spokesperson give a backhanded apology, where they say he isn't a "warmonger but supported the war." What kind of statement is that? An old political one. Karl Rove would be proud.

    Either that or Obama shows that he is once again a weak, wishy-washy man that doesn't stand up to things he opposes. Jeremiah Wright would be proud.

    April 5, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Aaron in Virginia

    How is McCain not a warmonger, exactly? I'm surprised he's even offended by the term.

    April 5, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Kimberly in Texas

    Obama walks the walk....so no need to worry Mr. McCain.

    We know, its GW that's the "warmonger," right? wink, wink....

    April 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Bob In Oklahoma

    "Warmonger" may be a stretch (but what's a better term?) in describing a man who suggests we remain in Iraq for a hundred years and gruesomely sings idiotic ditties about "bomb, bomb, bombing" Iran.

    April 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. James

    This is just politics as usual. The problem I see here is the media not the candidates. The three players are trying to run a campaign while the media is using everything they can to "spin" in what ever direction they want to see things to go. That is in the direction of creating the most impactive and emotional reaction they can get from people that are dumb enough to let this back and forth steer them. The media spins facts, colors conclusions, and unfortunately, dismisses a great deal of information about these flawed candidates that would help, what I still feel is a patriotic country, make a hard decision as to who should take over the stewardship in these trying times. Since this takes a slice at the media and points out facts, it probably won't be allowed to become public. But you never know.

    April 5, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Alston

    HUH!?!?!? Read this carefully..

    McCain isn't a warmonger ... He is a supporter of the war.

    April 5, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. William Day

    Well, what else should you call someone who has condoned a war of choice for five years now and only sees it continuing as far as one can see? It might be blunt and direct, but I find it hard to take issue with the terminology, given the facts!

    April 5, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Corey, Maryland

    Well Mr. McSame, you wanting to keep our troops in Iraq is exactly what that speaker said. You and all republicans ARE Warmongers, so dont try to run away from the truth John.

    Obama Richardson 08!!!

    April 5, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Tim

    Are you kidding me? He is a warmonger and there is no shame in calling him that.

    April 5, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. beth

    Keep spin Obama, until you fall!

    April 5, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. Yes We Can

    Get over it John. We are a party of tomorrow not yesterday

    April 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Jan Marie

    Obama always comes out smelling like a rose, because he has everyone else do his dirty work.

    He is not trustworthy, his campaign advisors are very sneaky in the
    way they do things. They probably had had Rev Wright as their mentors and advisors.

    April 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Nina

    Same old politics...Obama is no different then the rest of the canidates. I guess anyone that was supporting the war when it first begun is a warmongerer. If that is the case then I guess you feel I am also a warmonger for serving in a war you disagree with! If this is the case why should you be cammander in cheif over the the military? What makes you deserving enough for it? Have you served your country? Really I would like to know how all these people can vote for a man who is so bitter. You don't stay 20 years in a church you disagree with in teachings. You don't fool some of us with your lies. You are no different then the others that came before you and I will never vote for you. As an independent, it will be Clinton or McCain.

    April 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. John WA

    Mc Same sings "bomb-bomb-bomb--bomb-bomb Iran" and he is upset somebody called him a warmonger?

    April 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Lynda West Chester, PA

    Isn't that basically what McCain is...he is "selling" this war to us. Aside from that, this wasn't an Obama surrogate and he was not speaking on behalf of the Obama campaign. Why would the McCain camp expect Obama's camp to do anything about it. Ridiculous.

    April 5, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. George, Dallas, Texas

    Though Sen. John McCain is not a warmonger, some Republicans and Right-Wingers, particularly those in the Radio are fearmongers using their radio shows to spread fears every chance they get.

    April 5, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Walt, Belton,TX

    What do you expect from a pro-muslim organization? Add the support and endorsements of the like of John Kerry and Jane Fonda and you have a big red flag waving. Hopefully, never over the White House.

    April 5, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. Terrence Keeley

    The candidates and media alike could do the country a great service by focusing solely on substantive differences on the issues and their proposed resolutions. The public interest cannot be served by misleading voters on what candidates really think or what they would actually do.

    April 5, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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