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. carlo

    Shut up McTurkeyneck! You DID say that. Fact check said that you didn't mean it that way. You know, kind of like they do to Obama.

    April 18, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Rick in MD

    So be it...what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Afterall, turnaround is fair play. Go Obama and tell it like they tell it.

    April 18, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. JT

    McCain did say 100 years, and he did say we have made economic pregress during the Bush administration. He is calling Obama "dishonest" because he sees that America thinks Hillary is dishonest, and her stock is falling fast. Interesting that McCain is saying Obama "took his statement out of context." Geez. When Obama said that, he was vilified. So McCain did not think 100 years of war was OK; even now he says we might be there for that long, comparing it to our continued presence in Korea, Japan and others. Was that really the deal we were offered in 2003? Uh. . . No it was not. We were instead told by w (and McCain) that Iraq presented a "grave and imminent threat to the US," and that Saddam was "tied to" al quada and was "pursuing yellow cake from Niger." All flatly untrue. He also recently said "we are no longer looking into the abyss of defeat" in Iraq. That suggests that he now admits we previously were – but you never heard him or any other R say that at the time. Who is reckless again?

    April 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Hillary Lies!

    Now get ready to see the Clinton supporters side with McCain.

    April 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Sharon Olds

    I don't see how that is twisted. If you live in America, you don't have to be told about the worsening economic situation in the past 7 years, you live it every day. Mortgage crisis, gas crisis, food crisis, etc... McCain need not get it twisted.

    April 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Michael Lorton, Viriginia

    Words are always getting conventionalized to some secondary meaning for the political benefits of the candidates.

    April 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Norisha

    OBAMA plus millions of Americans are waiting for the debate against John Mc Cain.....He's done! It will be over for the republicans as soon as that fake Democrat, Hillary, hangs it up!!!

    OBAMA 2008!

    April 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. christi

    Republicans don't believe there is anything wrong in America.

    That has been obvious for a long, long time.

    April 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Baby Girl

    I am with Obama, where in the hllllllllll has John McCain been. John McCain is smoking something because the amount of food, oil and gas has gone up so high that people needs a horse and buggy to get to work. Don't he realize that we have to carpool because of the high price of gas. Because he is one of the rich kids money, food, oil and gas is not an objection.

    April 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Wally Beaver

    Golly Jeepers Fellas, I don't think John McCain could honestly make such a blooper. As far as Obama, he is twisting up the truth like Bill Oreilly sets up his daily trash show. Nothing can convince me that Obama is ready for the White House. Really audience, do you really want Oprah as your Secretary of State, and Fernie Mack as the Secretary of Defense.

    April 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Marlina

    It looks like John McCain is projecting himself. McCain is distorting Obama's words out of proportion. Quit it, John McCain.
    Obama 2008!

    April 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. zina

    Get off it, John. We democrats are not falling for anymore REPUB talking points...

    Obama '08

    April 18, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. dj

    Is that not the pot calling the kettle, black. When the words of McCain are twisted, then sound the alarm, but when the converse happens (elitist uproar).......john is proving that he offers "more of the same 'ole washington" ...the games, the spin, the "politics" NOBODY CARES about he said...he said...and she said. JUST STOP ALREADY!

    April 18, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Jack Pitzer

    I'm fed up with the name calling, negativity and he said she said of this campaign. It's just another symptom of how ugly our country is becoming.

    April 18, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. merle 7


    OBAMA 08!

    April 18, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. History buff

    He's No "Honest Abe", that's for sure!

    April 18, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Sue

    You did say that Senator McCain. You cannot jump on this as you did the bitter, without being substanive in your comments. I ffel you have no idea of the pain the American public is in. America needs help – not m=4 more years of Republican politics that are not about the people you are suppossed to represent.

    April 18, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. Tony Gonzales

    John constantly trips up his wording which is signs of old age. I think it is best if gets out of the race. We need a strong healthy presicent.
    He is totally out of touch with america.

    April 18, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Tiffany J, Cinci

    The only one running for president that I trust is Obama. Period. I don't care what the other candidates say: their own actions have already spoke for themselves.

    Perhaps they should be spending more time speaking about themselves. What can Clinton and/or McCain do for us? Who knows... All they talk about is Obama. That doesn't tell me patooey about them.

    I'm voting for the one who has done their best to be honest, well-spoken, blunt, and the least negative.

    Mr. Obama, you have my vote.

    CNN, would you post this?

    April 18, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Fred

    Come on, can't people see the light.. Obama acts like a child under attack. He is reckless. Can't anyone see that.. I am for Hillary, but
    truly along with my family would in fact vote for John McCain if Obama won the Democratic nomination. Many American's would do the same. I thank the news should quite giving Obama so much praise.
    The news is really afraid to say what they feel so it doesn't get turned racially against them. I thank this man is very dangerous and lacks the experience to lead this country. Somebody else would be pulling his strings if he were to ever win. Hopefully Not !!! Again and I've said this before, anyone that goes to the same church for 20 years and says he was ready to leave if his pastor hadn't retired has to be full of it. He should have left years ago. But that is not the only issue, His stance on many things that he wants to do. His put down of the working people of Pennsylvania. And to turn around and say his words were twisted.. Hey come on. Lets get this down. Either Hillary or McCain.. Looks like McCain right now as far as the news is depicting things with Hillary.. The Polls this , The Polls that. I would like to really see who you ask your questions to. I ask my neighbors who they are voting for and they tell me Obama ( I live in a 90% black neighborhood ) I ask why .. They say he represents the black man. I say what does that have to do with running a country.. They say all they care about is he is black. Now there is a poll. Nobody can even tell me that they are voting for any other reason without saying he is black as the reason. We don't need this. So you go McCain, the truth is he is reckless and as far as honesty goes, out the door.

    April 18, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. An Agnostic Democrat

    So says the patriotic war hero ( Who, by the way, does deserve respect for his service and honor for his POW status ) who can't even find a way to support or afford the returning vets the benefits of a new GI bill, decent care at the V.A. hospitals, or the safety to bring them out of a civil war zone. You sent them "to war" based on the ever-changing rationale (Read: lies of the Bush administration) in the first place! That's recklessly dishonest Mr. McSame! And now you have the cajones to go around with your lapel decorated with flag pins selling your pseudo-patriotism and beating the same old false, everybody-but-me-hates-America drum as your predecessors.

    April 18, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. MickyD10

    wow!! Twisting someones words. Taking something out of context????? Oh heavens, no!! I'm shocked. That never happens in poltitics, never!!! Who would ever do that???? Oh yeah, wait. We're talking about Republican tactics here aren't we.

    Never mind.

    April 18, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. David

    A republican complaining about someone else being dishonest and distorting the truth! What's wrong John? Worried that someone may be playing in the distortion sand box other than your hero George Bush and a majority of the repulican party? What a hoot!

    April 18, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Rena

    Nothing is twisted about Obama repeating just what McCain said. He said that our soldiers could be in Iraq for 100 years. What would they be doing over their if they are not going to be fighting Al Quida? What sitting around twindling their thumbs; I don't thinks so. He said it now face up to it. McCain also said that we have made great progress under the Bush administration which is a lie. McCain is another Bush he say things then run and hide because he don't want to face truth. Our country is a disaster!!!! We need to get it out of the hands of people like McCain and Bush. I most certainly don't want to see my husband over their again for the 3rd time. AMERICAN VOTE TO BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME THEY ARE TIRED AND BURNED OUT. HALF ARE COMING HOME FACING REAL SERIOUS ISSUES AND OUR GOVERNMENT DOES NOTHING TO HELP THEM. THEY KICK THEM OUT ON THE STREETS AFTER THEY HAVE LITERALLY DESTROYED THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES.

    April 18, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Tony Gonzales

    See I am 65 and tripped up my words!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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