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. George

    I would not call McCain a warmonger He served our country with pride & honor. If Mr . Schultz would read his Bible he would know there would be wars & rumors of wars.

    April 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. The Mispeak Corrector

    . . . .Why does Senator Obama have to take the blame for what someone else said. Why don't they ask Shultz about his own comment?
    Gee, you have to wonder if McCain is really the tough Republican.
    He and bush are both war mongers.

    April 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Lisa

    McCain, war heroes should not have to cry to another candidate when someone hurts your feelings or calls you a name. Obama didn't do it, he is not your bodyguard. Either ignore the comment or stand up for yourself. Jeesh, at 72 years old–be a man, not a crybaby.

    April 5, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. gus

    McCain is a warmonger. He's surprised by being call that?

    April 5, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Dan

    If this country thinks we can sustain a war with the current economic conditions, then they will turn out like the former USSR. I cannot believe that anyone could forget Vietnam, plus turn around to allow this! If this country doesn't wake up, it's too late! McCain will finish us off! Clinton winning the democratic race will give the race to McCain. LOOK at the dirty Clinton laundry, BEFORE you vote. God bless Obama, he is our only hope!

    April 5, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Change08

    Why should Obama denounce comments made by someone who isn't apart of his campaign?

    April 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Jason

    He is a warmonger, plain and simple. There is nothing to condemn, it's the truth. Being PC is the last thing we need to do, we cannot afford to put this country in the hands of another Bush like old warmonger. Obama is the only candidate who can save our failing nation.

    April 5, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. joyce

    this is not obamas fault what the man said. he does repu it as he should, i am a obama supporter and i do have respect for john

    April 5, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Wilfred

    Better a "warmonger" than a "wimp"

    April 5, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Joshua Ludd

    Well, why should he back away from a statement that is absolute fact? After all... what do you call a man who sings "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" with ZERO presented proof that Iran has done anything to merit such drastic action but a warmonger?

    April 5, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Christi

    McCain is not a warmonger. And water-boarding is not torture.

    April 5, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. MK, Los Angeles, California

    Perhaps McCain will reconsider signing about invading Iran to the tune of "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and think twice before going around and saying he is willing to fight the war in Iraq for a 100 years. He set himself up for this.

    April 5, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Mark - Findlay, Ohio

    I guess the truth hurts, doesn't it. McCain is just another Bush.

    April 5, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. MK, Los Angeles, California

    Perhaps McCain will reconsider singing about invading Iran to the tune of "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and think twice before going around and saying he is willing to fight the war in Iraq for a 100 years. He set himself up for this.

    April 5, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. sacto joe

    McCain is not a war-monger. Dick Cheney, on the other hand....

    I would LOVE a campaign where the rhetoric is elevated. Maybe that's what this country will have in a McCain vs Obama election.

    When's the last time we saw two candidates actually REASON with one another?

    On hindsight, Senator Clinton would have done MUCH better for her chances by taking that route. As it is, she's not only losing the nomination, she's arguably decreased the Democratic nominee's chances of winning the general election – whoever that turns out to be.

    Not a good start if that's the way her Presidency would be run....

    April 5, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Chris in Va.

    As Bob Marley said, "Who dem cap fit , let dem wear it."

    April 5, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Le troubadour

    He is a warmonger. Schultz is not an advisor to the Obama camp, therefore does not speak for the campaign. Mr. Schultz is an American with same rights that Limbaugh and Coutler have. Mr Obama, do not denounce Mr. Schultz.

    April 5, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. The truth

    Sometimes I wonder if Clinton and McCain are fighting against Obama or if they are fight against Obama's supporters.

    It looks that none of them is able to fight Obama himself.

    Maybe because Obama's is such a superior candidate...
    I mean: he is not a pathological liar and he is not a fearmonger (yes, McCain is not a warmonger but he is INDEED a fearmonger, just like Clinton is – check her 3 a.m. add...)

    April 5, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. edith mcneill

    Good point, I am an Obama supporter, I believe Obama should denounce the slight "warmonger" comment made. Even if it was not his own staff person. It was at his speech.

    April 5, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Mrs. America

    MCain's not a warmonger because he will not personally benefit from the war, unlike Bush and Cheney who do. But Obama didn't say it, and he hasn't sat through 20 years of sermons listening to that kind of talk like he had with the Rev. Wright's bigoted anti-American rhetoric. Move on. It's a minor detail.

    April 5, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. jp/michigan

    I wonder what real obama would have done if he was in the senate, and recieved the same info, everyone else got. Since being in the Senate , he has voted the same as Clinton!

    April 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Aneesh S.

    I think that people are making too much out of something so little. Words are words and it is known by any knowledgeable person that every politician puts spin into his/her comments. McCain's camp should not be one to be pointing fingers.

    April 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. ellianna

    Just another "media" spin to try to "disadvantage" Obama!! Here I am sitting on a Saturday afternoon, watching CNN Cable TV, and I'm tuned right in to ANOTHER HILLARY SPEECH!! According to my count right now - Obama has received about (5)MINUTES OF COVERAGE this afternoon, and Clinton has received about (45) MINUTES OF COVERAGE – and you say you are not BIASED??
    Give me a break!!

    April 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. j gannon

    Mr. Schultz is right!.

    April 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Tom Michelin

    Truth hurt, McCain???

    April 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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