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. GRR

    Obama has picked up some pointers from Hillary. Obama is either dishonest or maybe he doesn't listen.

    April 18, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. OlvrWhit

    Obama has some nerve. He is complaining about the debate, his supporters as well, when niether had a problem when Hillary was and still is under attack over trivial issues.

    Obama needs to man-up and answer these questions, and the mainstream media needs to get off the Obama bandwagon and do their jobs. Thank you ABC for having the guts to ask some tough questions. Obama looks to be our nominee. He and his campaign have used the character and judgement argument, so those questions were more than fair. Its not ABC's fault that you lost the debate on those questions and on policy issues as well. You are playing a game of distraction again.

    If the MSM would get off the Obama Cult bandwagon, then maybe they would realize that they have failed to do their jobs. If he can't answer tough questions now, he should not be running for President.

    April 18, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Rich M

    It getting ridiculous . McCain never said he wanted to be in Iraq a 100 years and Obama knows that. As a test of character Obama's comments are proof that he is unworthy of being President because he is intellectually dishonest.

    April 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Susan

    Obama is MORE than recklessly dishonest!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. pakuna

    Barack Obama is being recklessly dishonest he has proven it over and over again. I just hope the Republican Party wont make McCain back down from him as the Democrat Party has made Hillry back down. Obama is not qualified in the least bit to hold the office of President.
    I have been a Democrat for 40 years and the Democrat Party is sadly mistaken if they think I will vote for Obama just because he is a Democrat. I will NOT. If he was on the Republican Party I wouldn't vote for him. If the Democrat Party can not stop this charlatan I just pray the Republican Party can or the United States is in very deep trouble here and abroad.

    April 18, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Paull

    Clinton GO HOME! And take your wife with you!

    April 18, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Eric-Illinois

    One more example of Obama saying one thing then having to "recharacterize" it the next day. It is not so much that Obama twists the truth...he just ignores it in his neverending desire to be all things to all people. McCain and the swiftboaters will make a joke of Obama if he is the Deomcratic winner...I fear once again my party is going for the fuzzy feelgood candidate....Does anyone really expect Obama to carry those crossover states in the general election? But it will make no sense to those Hillary haters who have to stop her at any cost....She tells the truth about Obama and it is called mudslinging...he attacks Hillary or McCain and why that is just the great Messiah telling the truth!...What a pity for our country.

    April 18, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. J from DAHOUSE

    Obama should focus on Hillary and leave McCain for another day. He was a habit of getting ahead of himself and it usually costs him.

    April 18, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Razia

    Mr Lou Dobbs is another opponent. Obama is right about bitterness. Mr Dobbs himself sounds more" bitter" and frustrated than anyone else on Govt Policies. He is "clinging" to word nonsense all the time to show his bitterness in his SUPERIOR tone. He continues to go negative. Obama doesn't deserve his open hostility

    April 18, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Susan

    And, man, can he whine when things don't go his way!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Anti-Clinton!

    What kills me about this, is Clinton and McCain seem like they are on the same team. Clinton has an attitude that says,"If I can't win it, no dem will". So, she's doing her best to try and destroy Obama. And McCain is sitting back, trying to look like a saint, riding the waves. Everytime Clinton attacks Obama, McCain does as well. Why is that? I'll tell you why, because the Reps know they can beat Billary. They want to run against the Clintons, so that they can release the dogs on them. That's proof enough, that we need Change!

    Obama 08!

    April 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. Obama Supporter from Canada

    If you elect McCain, please dont complain afterward as you reelected bush after he lied to you.
    If you dont figure this one out by yourself Americans, I guess You deserve it.

    April 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. wolfsbane

    To McSame, $4/gallon is a booming economy.
    To McSame, record oil profits is a booming economy.
    To McSame, record foreclosures is a booming economy.
    To McSame, rising unemployment is a booming economy.

    McSame is out of touch. We don't need another out of touch president. We've got stupid and out of touch now, let's get a smart and in touch president.

    Obama 08.

    April 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Colleen

    I'm really surprised at McCain's response to Obama's comments. The bottom line is McCain is the one who's "out of touch" If it weren't for Lieberman, McCain would probably think gas prices were down and the housing market was booming!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Jeff M.

    I'm...not really sure how you can spin a statement like that. It seems pretty unequivocal unless there was something like "There has been no" or "I think you'd be hardpressed to say that there has been" that got cut off.

    April 18, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. mat

    that's kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.
    he's lied about what he's said so many times it's starting to look like alzheimer's. he refuses to admit that he said he doesn't know much about the economy.

    April 18, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. eli

    We have to understand that McCain is also trying to play with the people insinuating how good the economy is and minimizing how bad really is the magnitude of our economic problem. Tha's not fair either. McCain wants it both ways.

    We cannot minimize it and Mccain needs to be called on it.

    McCain's intent was to say how wonderfully our economy has expanded, but sure....some people are suffering. The focus should not be how good it was for some, but the reality that it's not working for most people. That's why I can forgive Obama for this one.

    It's ok for his oponent bring to our attention how important it is to not underestimate how fragile and weak our economy is becoming by the hour. THI IS A BIG ISSUE!!!

    I think McCain needs to let go of trying to impressed right wing, but be right for the country, without compromize.

    We as normal republicans have been so careful to not upset the more conservative right wing that we sell our souls and become blind folded.

    McCain flip flopped on the taxes, he has toned down on the war but, my fear is that he is going to be less pregmatic to recognize when we should get out of Iraq. What is success?

    April 18, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Perrell, Lincolnton, NC

    John you have no argument here, you need to just live it alone you know what you said and Obama has just called you out on it... Now you want to call foul...

    April 18, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Good Ole Boy

    Those Dems are a funny bunch of sheeple and apparently they don't do their homework. If they want Oblama as their best option...bring it. This nation will not elect a novice like Oblama. Simply put, McCain will freight-train him with no need to back up and finish the job.
    Oblama will be exposed as a wind bag full of twisted one-line'rs ...nothing more. Pathetic.
    Good Ole Boy (Chaos Operative)

    April 18, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Demhypocrisy

    A voice for change, right? He will change your words? Borrow them? Memorize them and shout them eloquently? or stammer and studder duh uh duh uh yeah what she said that's my plan

    April 18, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Chuck in Oregon

    Tremendous economic conditions? Try words like deplorable, unacceptable or impoverished and you may be a little closer to reality.

    April 18, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. DM, Detroit, Mi.

    It's about time someone called out his spin. He acts as if he is above this ...because he says so. And unfortunately many are deft to his double speak. No go Obama...I'd like to see you quit.

    April 18, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. FEDUP

    Obama is not good at words, he twist everything others say, as well as his own. That's okey, he just got endorsed by Hamas, which he declined Now add Louis Farracahn, which he also declined, Jerimiah Wright, and all he needs now is Al Qaeda, and Muqtada al-Sadr and that Iranian guy. That would just about cover the Muslim Islamic terriost network. Even though he has declined their support, don't you wonder why they do support him?

    April 18, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Jeff M.

    McCain: "I think if you look at the overall record and millions of jobs have been created, et cetera, et cetera, you could make an argument that there's been great progress economically over that period of time. But that's no comfort. That's no comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges."

    I'm gonna have to side with McCain on this one and dock Obama a point. Luckily McCain still has a lot of catching up to do 'point'-wise in my view.

    April 18, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Independent in IN

    Who is Larry Sinclair? I've seen references to him and Obama.

    What is that all about?

    April 18, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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