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. Leah DiMarco, TX

    Everyone needs to stop trying to put the blame on Senator Obama for things that HE has NOT said!

    Obama '08

    April 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Ian

    So what term would be appropriate for a man who sings "Bomb bomb Iran"? How about Psychopath?

    April 5, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Bob

    All candidates should refrain from bad rapping the war; all of the middle east is victomized by it as well our servicemen. Let's not alienate our differnces more than what they already are. It's obvious that Iraq and Afghanistan are making a grand effort to mobilize and gain control of their independence.

    April 5, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Don

    Here comes the Obama "two-step" . . . when are you going to learn this guy is a flash in the pan.

    McCain in 2008

    April 5, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Chanda-Cincinnati Ohio

    Webster's dictionary definition of warmonger- a person who advocates war or warlike policies. As long as he continues to walk in the policies of George W.... that shoe may actually fit.

    April 5, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Michele

    I am wondering if Senator Obama is going to condemn Air America's Randi Rhodes for the disgusting remarks she made about Hillary Clinton. Those remarks were made at an event for Obama headlined by Rhodes and advertised on his website for supporters to attend. Although he was not present, one would think that since it was an event held for his supporters and promoted by his campaign, he would be the politician he claims to be and quickly distance himself from this woman and apologize for the comments to Senator Clinton.
    With reference to this story here about McCain, why hasn't Obama come out personally to denounce such statements made like McCain did last February. Why is a spokesman for the campaign making the apology?

    April 5, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Stamford

    John McCain is a lot of things. As a Democrat, I can say that he is not a warmonger. I have watched him for years and have had a tremendous amount of respect for him. Oh...if Hillary is not the Dem candidate, I will be voting for McCain for President.

    April 5, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    "Bomb bomb Iran, bomb bomb Iran!"

    McCain IS a warmonger. If he doesn't want the label, singing about bombing other countries isn't the way to go.

    April 5, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Fair America

    Don't denounce his comments. Didn't McCain sing "Bomb Iran"? Isn't he the candidate FOR war? That makes him sound like a warmonger to me...but what do I know? I'm just a voter...

    April 5, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. micahel

    Can't handle the truth much eh Mcsame?

    April 5, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. Lynn in NM

    Has Ed Schultz ever been to war, or even served in the military? Only people who have no idea what this entails would ever call someone who was a POW and served in the military a "warmonger". Military members do not WANT war!! They do their job to keep those free who can't be bothered.

    April 5, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Skeeve

    Definition, taken from dictionary.com
    "Warmonger – a person who advocates war or warlike policies"

    Definitely, McCain is not a warmonger he just advocates war and warlike policies.

    April 5, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. jones

    true statement ...... You have to call it like you see it!!

    April 5, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Raum

    Come on McCain.... be serious. This wasn't an Obama event, nor was he speaking on behalf of Obama.

    Criticize the man whose mouth it came from.

    April 5, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Canonsburg, PA

    How about this? Bush IS a warmonger and a monster...and McCain supports Bush's war policy in Iraq. So what does that make McCain? If McCain would like to explain how he should not be depicted as a 3rd Bush term, I would like to hear his explanation. I am still open-minded for who I will vote for in November.

    April 5, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. joseph

    Obama is a warmonger, he plans on leaving troops in Iraq, what happened to ending this war like he said, I guess with time everyones vision is diminished. obamabots pay no attention to the fact that Barack Hussein Obama is going to leave troops in Iraq and harp on McCains 100 year comment.

    April 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Vivian

    Shutup Mcain and leave Obama alone! He didn't even know that guy was speaking. And there were huge differences between that guy who said racist hateful things and Ed's TRUTHFUL COMMENT

    April 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. GT in CA

    Dictionary definition: "Warmonger – someone who is eager for war". Didn't McCain say we could be at war in Iraq for 100 years? Didn't he vote to go to war with Iraq?

    April 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. CarlS

    Go McCain. Its too bad when the Obama team takes big swipes at Hillary the media won't publish any criticism of Obama. His "new style" politics means he can do and say whatever he wants through his surrogates and then apologize and then follwo up by calling for his new style politics from his opponents who are apparently not allowed to criticize him.

    April 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Amy

    I was at the event in North Dakota and am a frequent listener of Ed Schultz. I see no problem with calling a spade a spade. If McCain doesn't like this characterization, maybe he should do something to change it!

    April 5, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Peggy Greensboro NC

    Despite McCain's insistence that he hates war, I haven't yet seen any indication that he's ever met a war he hasn't liked. Look at his record. He has enthusiastically supported any military action that has come along while he has been in office. Bomb bomb bomb Iran indeed

    April 5, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Bob Stephens

    McCain doesn't want to be called a " War Monger"?? That is like OJ saying that he doesn't want people calling him a "murderer"....

    April 5, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Dana in Maryland

    Senator McCain is an honorable man, and Senator Obama has said as much. My question is , How many more Amercans and innocent Iraqis (given that probably 100 of them die for every American) will have to die for the sake of Honor, ours or anybody else's? Shouldn't we maybe ask them if they'd rather live instead? Perhaps for some people Honor is something worth dying for as "face" can be for some in the East. It is certainly something to be respected, but even if it is worth dying for, is it worth Killing for? Perhaps people could try learning the art of apology and forgiveness instead. Bush's war has cost a lot more lives than 9-11 ever did.

    April 5, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Cal Jim 2

    If Senator McCain thinks that the Obama campaign intends to be of good caricature, sorry, he's mistaken about that. Obama is always just off to the side of such issues, and never takes responsability for them. My advice to McCain is to pay Obama, the same respect diserved. Nail him. There are plenty of truths, about Obama, that should be told. 'The Truth Hurts', the most. I expect, Senator McCain will get around to, the truth about Obama, very soon.

    April 5, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Whatever McCain

    Give me a break McCain! Stop trying to play the "holier than thou" role with Obama. Not only are you a war monger, but you are a senile old man who would like to see all your enemies in hell with Karl Marx! America doesn't want a sellout, and that is all you are.

    April 5, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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