April 18th, 2008
04:20 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain camp calls Obama 'recklessly dishonest'

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.

(CNN) - John McCain's campaign is crying foul over what it characterizes as repeated distortions from Barack Obama, saying on Friday the Illinois senator is "recklessly dishonest."

The most recent dustup comes after Obama criticized McCain earlier Friday for comments the Arizona senator made in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

"John McCain went on television and said that there has been quote "great progress economically over the last seven and a half years," Obama told a Pennsylvania crowd. "John McCain thinks our economy has made great progress under George W. Bush. Now, how could somebody who has been traveling across this country, somebody who came to Erie, PA, say we've made great progress?”

The McCain campaign immediately took issue with the comment, noting the Arizona senator also said he knows families are facing "tremendous economic challenges."

“American families are hurting and Barack Obama is being recklessly dishonest," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said. "It is clear that Barack Obama is intentionally twisting John McCain’s words completely out of context. Obama is guilty of deliberately distorting John McCain’s comments for pure political gain, which is exactly what Senator Obama was complaining about just yesterday."

The McCain campaign has long argued Obama has a habit of twisting the presumptive Republican nominee's words. Referencing McCain's comments earlier this year when he said he'd be okay with some troop presence in Iraq for 100 years, Obama has said the Arizona senator "wants to continue a war in Iraq perhaps as long as 100 years."

The non-partisan factcheck.org later called that characterization a "rank falsehood."

Obama has since dialed back from that characterization, saying Friday that McCain is "willing to potentially maintain the troop presence there for as long as 100 years."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (479 Responses)
  1. Veterans for Obama

    No Country For Old Men!

    April 18, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. jw, canadian,ok

    Headline: McBush loses by 20%.

    April 18, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. McCain or Hillary '08

    Go get him John. Show this newbie he doesn' t know what he's talking about.

    April 18, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Jeremy, PA

    I agree with John McCain. I am a democrat. Obama's secrets will come out and could cost 4 more years of Bush-like Politics. We need Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic Nominee!!!

    April 18, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. John

    media elite directly censor the news in favor of Obama. Just look at MSNBC, and CNN, then look at their owners.

    The eleven media organizations have interlocking directorships with each other through 36 other Fortune 1,000 corporations creating a solid network of overlapping interests and affiliations. All eleven media corporations have direct links with at least two of the other top media organizations. General Electric, owner of NBC, has the highest rate of shared affiliations with 17 direct corporate links to nine of 10 other media corporations

    Hillary 08

    April 18, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Marc, Tacoma Wash

    I don't get it. He did say even if it is up to 100 years. Where is Obama twisting his words. Didn't McCain say he knows nothing about economics? I wonder if Obama will be twising his words there. We don't need 4 more years of Bush. He didn't even want to have a National Holiday for MLK. No Way McCain. Thats going to be the new chant.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Bitter Voter

    Could John McCain just go somewhere and rock in his rocking chair. Come on, you talk about a person who is so out of touch with the general population, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't think there was a recession going on. Oh and by the way we couldn't sustain a 100 year war, even the General in charge said we can't do another two years. Wake up from your afternoon nap Mr. McBush and drop out of the race, pleeeeeease.

    April 18, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Getting Notes From Karl, Already

    And McCain wasn't dishonest when he had an affair, the minute he returned from captivity? You would think after 5 years, he'd be happy to have his wife and kids back–Not.

    If you want to talk about honesty, Mr. Straight Talk, let's talk about your wife's tax return. You can start with that, Mr. Slick.

    We are on to you, Mr. McGoo–you're a loser who just wants another war.

    OBAMA 08

    April 18, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. RYAN

    Americans 're smart...he can't change his position on 100 years war...it won't work this time.

    April 18, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Sallie Mae

    How is this dishonest? McCain wants us to believe that everything is great–which they McAIN'T!

    OBAMA '08

    April 18, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. citizenwells

    That is the understatement of the year.
    After much research I can state on authority that
    Barack Obama is a liar.

    April 18, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Scott ATL

    whooooooooo... He said , "Yo momma!!!" If you're baaaad, I betcha you won't knock this stick off his shoulder??? You folks at CNN need to stop instigating and start investigating...

    I'll bet you won't post this...

    OBAMA 08,12

    April 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. real change

    He either said it, or he didn't! Looks like he did as a McCain supporter has come out and said..."HE ALSO SAID...." No twisting here, just same old "politics as usual". Obama speaks it how it is, he isn't dishonest, he just failed to mention that you also said what this report entails. What happened to not running a NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN as you so elequantly put it on Hardball the other night McCain. What a joke!


    April 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Dan J

    Well, yeah, he is dishonest, and cheap. Obama donated less than .6% of his income to charities. His excuse was that he had a child on the way and college loans. He made more than 98% of Americans, and the average American donated twice as much as he did. He's greedy and cheap.

    He lied during the debate about not criticizing Clinton on Bosnia unless provoked, he lied about his gun control positions, and he flip-flopped on several issues.

    Obama is neck-deep in these silly political issues he claims to be above. Change? Yeah right!

    April 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. April in Texas

    Ummm McCain is your memory already going? You did say that as its on tape... You dont care how long the war goes on as long as it keeps going and going and going no matter what the cost financially or the loss of lives.... This is an unwinnable war.....

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. sozzi

    NO McCain is being dishonest to the People of the United States of America.

    April 18, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Tom in S.A.

    He's a liberal, of course he's twisting words, he twists more then Chubby Checker ever did!

    April 18, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Tim

    It's so obvious Republicans want Hillary to win b/c she is the weaker candidate...

    This is from the NY Times today:
    In response, an Obama spokesman, Hari Sevugan, said Thursday: “Since Feb. 5, Senator Obama has garnered the support of 80 superdelegates to Senator Clinton’s 5. We’ll let the results of Senator Clinton’s ‘kitchen sink’ strategy speak for themselves.”

    Seems like that speaks volumes.

    April 18, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Max, OH

    NEWSFLASH–troop presence in Iraq means war. Mr. McGoo is not talking straight. The Straight Talk Express must have derailed.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Voice of Reason

    Let the 2 on 1 season begin. Both McCain and Clinton are trying to sink Obama.

    C'mon Dems! Let's get behind one candidate or the other so they dont have to fight two battles at once.

    I think it's too late for Hillary to gracefully bow out, but not too late for her to slink away. (But i still have a picture of her in my head at someone else'e inauguration, still staunchly maintaining that it's not over yet...) Maybe she's just trying to get a head start on the 2012 election...

    Maybe Obama needs to just start ignoring everything that HRC says/does/etc, and begin acting like the presumtive nominee that he says he is...

    As long as McCain (W's Mini-me) doesnt win i'm fine...

    April 18, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Bob (PA)

    Obama is certainly a silver-tongued devil who has a lot of innocent people fooled.

    Wouldn't you just love to know what kinds of things he says about America behind closed doors when he thinks no one is listening? I know I would.

    April 18, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Zoinks

    100 years of great economic progress! KABOOM!

    April 18, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Republican Pete

    You did say those thing Mr. McCain and you have lost my vote.

    April 18, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Carl

    Can't wait to here the McCain bashing from ignorant people and the other way around.

    They are politicians. They all lie through their teeth. Obama proved he can't handle the situation after that horrible display at that so called "debate."

    The truth is this: if they actually talked about the economy, you would turn it off because, as a society, a great many of us dont' care or lack the education to understand.

    So for that, a great many of Americans will blindly vote based on catchy slogans or how they bowl... I think Amercians generally forget how well we have it...

    April 18, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. Alex

    Beyond the fact that Obama is a charlatan, what of the fact that in all reality, as a whole, there has been economic progress in this country? Minus the past 5-6 months where things have been dipping, can anyone deny the fact that this country has experienced economic growth?

    April 18, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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