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. Eric

    Don't cave to this one, he is a warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Shoulda Said....

    They should have just said, "mccain wants to bomb bomb bomb Iran, and is fine staying in Iraq for 100 or 1,000 years." That's not a warmonger...just someone who doesn't mind being at war. A warnotminder.

    April 5, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Hill Girl

    When Senator McCain was introduced by an extremist talk show host who insulted Senator Obama several weeks ago at a campaign appearance, the very first thing Senator McCain did was to apologize. That showed strength of character. He apologized on the spot. Senator Obama did not show the same strength of character. An Obama campaign spokesperson is now stating after the event that Shulz does not speak for the Obama campaign. That is pretty weak.
    I think Senator Obama should have spoken up right away – just as Senator McCain did for him.

    April 5, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. MD

    Don't get upset when people call you what you are, McCain.

    Why should Obama denounce other people's comments all the time? What will that do for your "image?" Besides, doesn't First Amendment apply when people voice their views about McCain?

    I voted for McCain in the Primary, but when he started back peddling just to sew up the nomination, and now that he has the nomination, abd Bush's endorsement, he is once again taking the liberal view on several issues such as torture.

    A president should first and foremost have backbone. Bush has been, and still is, wrong on many issues, but at least he has backbone, and uncanny stick-to-itness rarely seen in other presidents. McCain listens to the last person he talks to.

    April 5, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. nanging

    Your Tax Rebate:

    The federal government is sending each and everyone of us a $600 rebate…
    some more & some less. However, if we spend that money at Wal-Mart,
    the money will go to China. If we spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs.
    If we purchase a computer it will go to India.
    If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.
    If we purchase a good car it will go to Japan.
    If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan…and none of it will help the American e conomy.
    The only way to keep that money here at home is to buy prostitutes, weed, beer, and tattoos since these are the only products still produced in the USA. Thank you for your help & please support the USA.

    April 5, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Fendley

    Silver tongue, no substance, racist, unpatriotic Obama delights in the idiots calling McCain a warmonger. He is a closet Muslim, and is trying to make us think he does not support the war, but you can bet your socks he does. McCain is 100 times the man Obama will ever be. Why didnt Obama serve in the military?

    April 5, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. alice

    Mr. McCain will lose the general election, he has become overconfident to the poing that he is invisible. The bias media has ingrave Mr. Obamas in peoples mind already. Sorry Mr. McCain I think you are reacting way to slow.

    April 5, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. TRACY ADAMS

    Barack Obama does not need to say anything about this. He didn't say it, someone else who is not even a part of his campaign did. Anyway, everyone already knows that McCain IS a warmonger – he tells us that himself every day with every speech he makes.

    April 5, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. Hoosier who votes May 6th!

    According to Merriam- Webster: one who urges or attempts to stir up war. Considering McCain has certainly helped begin this war, and now he is trying to keep it going for "100 years."
    I'd call him a warmonger too.

    April 5, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. rocky balbaldie

    McCain is pulling straws again. When will he and Clinton focus on themselves instead of throwing darts at Obama.

    April 5, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Debo

    Once again, we have to correct Sen. McCain. This is NOT the equivalent to the fool who introduced you at YOUR RALLY. This was someone who was asked to speak at the state's Democratic Party event. Sen. Clinton was there too. Should she apologize as well? What a jerk. Can't figure out whether this was a senior moment or a stupid one.

    April 5, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Jason Perry

    Sen. McCain has just lied on tv, saying that Sen. Obama called him a "warmonger". I can not believe how many comments which are made by other people, but are continually forced into the mouth of Sen. Obama. It is almost as if Sen. Obama has to be accountable for the words of his friends, while Sen. Clinton doesn't have accountability for the words she says.

    April 5, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Evan

    I guess John McCain will find out how fast his buddies Hillary and Barack keep to the higher standard. McCain might be willing to throw people under the bus that support him but he will find Hillary and Barack will only throw him under the bus while making a joke about his age.

    April 5, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Bayou Joe

    Clinton: Define Official. As in unauthorized or we just haven't brought him onboard yet. Underlings doing the work while he pretends to be above the fray.

    Have the guts to make your own statements and focus on the Primary.
    You haven't got it locked up yet.

    This is typical of the Obama supporters. Any lie will do. I guess they learned it from the Clinton's.

    April 5, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. AC

    Obama, this is the man that said he will be the unifier and not run a nasty campaign. What was that Mr. Obama? He accuses Mrs. Clinton for throwing the kitchen sink at him, while he has thrown the entire kitchen at her. And what a weakling to act as a cry baby. I guess he is too used to being treated as a star. NOT.
    Anyway back to McCain the first Republican Presidential Canadidate that I will vote for in my lifetime. A BO vote='s a vote for McCain. Listen Hillary supports: McCain will only be a one term president who is not a Bush Conservative Republican. I rather a vote for Rebublican experience than a vote for Obama

    April 5, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Sue in Fl

    I have been watching CNN today....(beach closed rip tides)

    John McCain was asked by a reporter during this press conference, "The General is going to ask you next week to send more troops to Afganistan, isn't that going to be a further strain on our military?" " How are we going to handle that?"

    His answer was VERY ambiguous. PLEASE, CNN ask him if he plans on activating the draft. I have one son draft age, and one that will be in May. You don't have to post this,,,,,,just please ask him for me? I am really scared.

    April 5, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. laverne

    I think the campagne should continue and allow the voters to decide who they would like their nonimee to be, in order to mantain legitimacy to the process but when it ( the campagne) has ran it's course, the people should not be denied the nomination of the candidate of their choice.

    April 5, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. vic nashville,Tn

    Sen.Mc Cain sorry
    We know what you did in Ohio
    But You can’t expect the same from Chicago politician and who grow with Rev. Jeremiah Wright
    Hillary 08

    April 5, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. wes

    Since when is speaking the truth so wrong?

    April 5, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. ALECO NOKOMIS, FLORIDA

    THE TRUTH IS-JOHN McCAIN IS A WARMONGER. SINCE McCAIN DOES LIKE THAT COMMENT, WE WILL IT AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.--I REPEAT–McCAIN IS A WARMONGER.

    April 5, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. osirisravanz

    Give me a fracken break! Let me get this strait John Mcsame who's Grandfather was a Admiral and sent many soldiers to heaven or hell take your pick and who's father was also an Admiral did the same,who faught in veitnam and said he will always hate gooks until the day he dies, who voted for the Iraq war and for the surge and is now pushing for a war with Iran expects people to actually believe he is not a WARMONGER give me a fracken break

    April 5, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Jerome Jackson

    John McCain is a warmonger.... how is a denounciation needed?

    April 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Moe, NY

    McCain, in my opinion is a warmonger. Must be the saying that "the truth hurts" is for real.

    April 5, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. Rosario Gingras

    How can anyone believe that McCain is a warmonger? That he believes that the US is entitled to strike at a country that has yet to be proven to be a menace to the US is OK. That does not make him a warmonger-a jingoist maybe, but certainly not a warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Matt

    Sen. McCain- hears someone criticize Obama in a backhanded way by bringing up his birth name...condemns the guy personally to the ire of some of his supporters that very campaign stop.

    Sen Obama- hears someone totally misrepresent McCain, and insult him and sends a peon to say, that's a bad supporter, a day later after being called on it. He had to be called on it by the other guy before he would respond. McCain heard it happened and wouldn't even let the press conference start before condeming it. How's that for sticking to your guns Obama?

    Obama needs to to learn that if he says he wants to run a clean campaign, or be President, it takes the leadership and integrity to do what McCain did. It takes the leadership and integrity to walk away from a church when you disagree with the pastor(don't give me the BS about not hearing him talk like that before 20 years you heard a bunch of stuff, if that's the stuff we have on tape I'm sure theres much worse). And it takes the leadership and integrity to hold up to an agreement you asked for on using federal funding, and not abandon it when it becomes convenient. I wonder which candidate is the one for change. The one who's a politician who keeps his word, is frank and candid, and is willing to back up his words with action. Or is it the one who can't seem to remember agreements he makes with other politicians, or won't stand up for a clean campaign when it isn't convenient for him. If you want to know why I won't vote for Obama, it's because he talks a great fight, but he doesn't live up to his end of the bargain. Who doesn't respond personally and immediately to those comments, especially when its targeted against a guy who has shown you nothing but respect. If Obama wants a campaign of insults fine, he's a coward who cant stand up for his convictions when he's presented with a challenge. I don't want him answering the little red phone at 3pm with a cabinet to consult let alone 3am.

    April 5, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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