April 18th, 2008
04:20 PM ET
7 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. Dianna Flower Mound, Texas

    This coming from a man who jets around with a pretty lobbyist! Who was involved in the Keating savings and loan scandal!!

    Hmpph!!

    April 18, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Obama 08

    So what does the McCain camp think? the economy is doing good? They are not serious. They can attack Obama as much as they want but the truth is the truth and Obama does not need to tell the common person that truth. It is there.

    April 18, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Deema

    The key phrase is "... the Arizona senator ALSO said..." which means that he still also said the other quote. So how does repeating that make Obama dishonest? Gee, I don't know. McCain is just another alpha-male wannabe (like Bill Clinton) who is threatened by Barack Obama.

    April 18, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Brooke

    Obama will say anything to get elected. And, any issue that is worth debating or discussing, is pushed aside with the comment, "That's old politics and we need to move forward."

    April 18, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Scott C

    He quoted McCain directly... He DID say the economy has improved...

    *looks for distortion of truth*

    *Finds none*

    April 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Obama 08

    Obama did not twist any words. He disputed the notion. McCain camp is very despiteful and arrogant bunch of old people who have no idea what low income people are going through and they can surely say what they want but they (republicans) wrecked the economy.

    April 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. smokesignals

    Hardly!
    McCain is the one who is outta touch.
    Tell this struggling business/home owner that things have improved over the last 7 years and she'll tell you that she doesn't want to continue this war-mongering Republican empire!

    April 18, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Samson

    It's quite obvious that all 3 candidates have been dishonest. Obama is neither Satan or Saint in this campaign. This politics, and anyone able to get to the stage all of them are at had to have compromised their integrity at one time or another.

    April 18, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Diego

    Thanks for reporting that somewhere something happened. How about a little analysis? Who is right and what was the context of each statement?

    April 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Ig

    Oh yes, like telling us that everything in Iraq is rosey.

    April 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Bukky

    Ummm how is repeating his exact words a "rank falsehood" There is video of McCain saying stuff aboput 100 years of war. McCain actually said that the economy was doing better... how is this twisting words?

    April 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. DemsV

    Finally someone said the true!!!

    April 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Marty

    Wow, is McCain and his campaign really that stupid? It doesn't matter that he said that "some families are going through economic hardships." The fact of the matter is that he still said that the economy has been improving when it has been steadily declining for some time. It doesn't matter that he acknowledged "some families" because, in reality, most Americans are having some kind of economic hardship, not just a few like McCain makes it out to be. If McCain is elected, the economy will get even worse and this proves it. McCain and his campaign are simply trying to cover up a political blunder.

    April 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. Kelley

    The actual comment that Sen MCcain said,People were facing challenging times, but went on to say,"You could make an arguement that there's been great progress economically over that period of time. Just words Sen McCain, during this campaignyou had better not mix your words and only state the facts.

    April 18, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. seyi

    I mean, just look at the pictures CNN posted. A sick person that wakes up from a coma would know who to vote for immediately. McCain is crying foul! I am laughing foul. Obama 08/12

    April 18, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Kelley

    The actual comment that Sen MCcain said,People were facing challenging times, but went on to say,"You could make an arguement that there's been great progress economically over that period of time. Just words Sen McCain, during this campaign you had better not mix your words and only state the facts.

    April 18, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Barb

    Obama has done this to Clinton for the entire race. He is a liar! If he is caught he just laughs it off as if it a JOKE. Being the President of the United States is NO JOKE! We don't need a Jester with no experience in the White House!

    Barb-Id

    April 18, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Tex

    Okay, here is EXACTLY what McCain said:

    "I think if you look at the overall record, and millions of jobs having been created, etcetra etcetra, you could make an argument that there's been great progress economically over that period of time." [meaning the period since George Bush took office]

    I fail to see any dishonesty at all. Obama quoted him quite accurately.

    April 18, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. Milan N

    It is amazing that Obama supporters don't see through Barack's distortions and dishonesty. He claims to want to end this type of politicking when he and his campaign are right in the forefront of it. Hopefully the fairy dust will wear off in time and people will finally see he is just like any other politician, except with far less valuable experience, who is willing to say anything and even lie just to get elected. I am an Independent voter that leans Democratic and would never vote for John McCain but in the same way, I would never vote for Barack Obama either.
    His dismal performance in the last debate, when he finally got some heat, displayed exactly how his elegant demeanor and oratory skills evaporate without a teleprompter. He has proven that he is not of presidential caliber.

    April 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Real Deal

    Like McCain even is aware of what the average American goes through!!! Has he ever lived wondering how to keep his home, job or even afford gas to get to the job. What has he even said to indicate that he cares about the stress we Americans are living with trying just to keep up with the economic problems that we the people did not create. I've not heard one thing in his campaign that even indicates that he is aware of what is really happening in America. He has lived the good life of a millionaire, not even aware of what we are striving to do to just survive. It's apparent with his continuous Bush kissing remarks about the past seven and a half years that he is blinded by what is real.

    Then I hear the remarks made by some Democrats that they would vote for McCain unless THEIR candidate won the Democratic Bid. Oh, yeah, that will fix everything.

    I hope that we the people can stuff our childish complaints, sneering, blaming, and negativity and come together to elect The One that cares first of all for us, we the people, and commits to the action necesary to lift us up again before it's too late. Yes, it can get lotsa worse. And we hold the ballot.

    April 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. joann

    I am a Hillary supporter but I agree with Mccain. Obama keeps distorting everyone's words but his own to fit his situation. "a different kind of campaign" my foot!

    April 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. alexander

    mccain doesnt know what he is saying obama all the way

    April 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. JG

    McCain: I know little about the economy; married to beer queen; and only recently acknowledged economic issues but still would like to reward the wealthiest individuals and corporations. By maintaining tax breaks for the few he is in fact demonstrating a belief that the Bush bonazaga for the rich is the way to go.

    No thanks; time for change that is true; time for honest, tough and empathetic president; Obama's got my vote.

    April 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. David

    It's fine that people support Obama and are going to vote for him. And he may well win the election. But can drop the charade that he is a uniter?

    April 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. This Montanan Loves Barack Obama

    I heard John McSame say this comment.. Barack is right...

    McCain is wrong and certainly twisting and distorting his own words to match a campaign slogan..

    Sorry Ole' Johnny boy, I'm not buying it...

    McCain has certainly jumped on the bandwagon with his own remarks when it suits him and tries to Swift Boat when it doesn't..

    America is okay with you being VP John.. so sit back and relax and enjoy the ride.. You will GAFF soon enough.. You always do!

    Yes We Can in 2008...

    April 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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