April 18th, 2008
04:20 PM ET
6 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. Walter

    There is no question, Obama is recklessely dishonest. He is considering restitution of damages for black slavery under the guidance of Rev. Wright's sermons!

    April 18, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. steveg

    What did McCain actually say about the economy under Bush's seige, I mean administration?

    Instead of just reporting tit-for-tat accusations, how about some substantive reporting on the statements made by McCain that Obama was referring to, and let us evaluate them, rather than a bunch of political hacks telling us what to think about what they said someone else said.

    What is this, an ABC "debate" ?

    April 18, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Chris from San Antonio

    Twisting words out of context?

    Kettle. Pot. Black. You, Mr. McCain.

    April 18, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. David

    Twisting words. MR.MCCAIN you did say we made great economic progress. Yea... if you are rich and if it's your multi-millionaire wife. We are earning less than we did 20 years ago. The problems about the economy didn't happen because our economy is doing good and we made progress. It's doing bad because we regressed during the Bush terms.

    April 18, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Dean Kent

    Watch out John. Hillary will call you a complainer if you don't just take it like a man...

    April 18, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Mary May King

    There McCain goes again, political doggerel as usual. Enough! Yes, we have made great progress in 7 years, but you need to remember than we had to dump all the progress we'd made up to that point 7 years ago and start from scratch. Bush took us from 7 down to zero and now looks like a genius for moving us back up to 3?

    April 18, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. pc

    McCain doesn't have a clue about our economy. He is toooooo old to be in public office anyway. McCain is adopting Bush's policies and he, too will fail. Go Home McCain!!! YOU ARE TOO OLD!!! You are afraid of Obama and don't want to run against him.

    Obama for President

    YES WE CAN!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Vanessa

    McCain's distortions of Obama's statements are far more flagrant than Sen. Obama's characterizations above. McCain has committed American troops to the Iraq War and vowed that however long it takes, even if it takes 100 years we are committed. And now he characterizes great progress in the economy despite the fact that American families are facing tremendous economic challenges. And he has the audacity to call Obama elitist!!

    April 18, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. john from los angeles

    Yay! My favorite political idiom! The pot's calling the kettle black!

    April 18, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Dekonti

    What will our troops be doing? teaching in a high school?

    April 18, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Les

    There is video with John McCain saying that the American people are willing to have their troops in Iraq for as long as 100, 1,000, or 10,000 years if that meant getting the job done. How can you argue against Barack's use of 100 years? Was McCain kidding? If so, I don't think we need a president who is joking about this kind of stuff. Especially, one who wants to "bomb, bomb, bomb,....bomb bomb-Iran!"

    April 18, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. NZ, NJ

    Obama Obama Obama......

    When are you going to learn that you can't lie yor way to the presidency. You may have fooled many blind individuals into believing you are the next JFK.....but you will never fool enough to make it the the presidency......

    MARK MY WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Jack

    If you want to talk about Obama being dishonest, why doesn't anyone mention his repeated statements of not taking money from lobbyist and PACs? as of January of this year, he has collected some 80 million dollars from lobbyist and PACs. He takes their money then claims he doesn't. That is what I call blatantly dishonest.

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

    McCain is right he is dishonest. He has given so many different answers on the Wright issue you know you can't trust him. He's saying what ever he can to get through the election. The DNC has chosen him and you can see how they come out for him and demand that the Supers support him NOW. They don't care about the process if Obama gets questioned. LOL, but they let every one pile on to take a shot at Hillary. I've never seen such out right corruption in a political party. From the FL/MI fiasco to the demand for Obama.

    McCain...you gotta win this one to save us all from this bunch.

    April 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. FloridaVoter

    I find it interesting that the candidate who has based their entire campaign around change is using the same old political methods of the past. What happened to change Mr. Obama? We need solutions, not fancy oratory. Let's not forget Obama has won in safe "Red" States which would never go Democrat in November while Hillary has won "Purple Battleground States" like Ohio, Florida, New Mexico and Arizona.

    Superdelagates: You need to look ahead to the November math and think about who can secure wins in those states. Hillary can! YES she can!

    Hillary 08

    April 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. NZ, NJ

    Obama Obama Obama......

    When are you going to learn that you can't lie yor way to the presidency. You may have fooled many blind individuals into believing you are the next JFK.....but you will never fool enough to make it the the presidency......

    MARK MY WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Hank in PA

    OBAMA HAS A REAL HUGE EGO AND IT IS A REAL PROBLEM WHEN YOU ARE AS IMMATURE AS HE IS!!!!!!

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. What-A-Mess?

    McCain!!! Maybe you should think before you talk and what you term as "miss-statements" will not be take advantage of. I will keep a list of your "miss-statements" going forward.

    1. W will be in Iraq for over 100 years
    2. I don’t know nothing about the economy
    3. Great progress economically over the last seven and a half years
    4. I want public financing
    5. Oh no, I don't need public financing
    6. Bush's tax cuts are unnecessary,
    7. Oh no, let's made Bush's tax cut permanent

    You guys can add more to this list. These are not distortions; these are exactly what he said.

    April 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Dina Phila., Pa

    This back and forth is nonsense! When I heard John McCain mention the 100-year presence in Iraq, I like most of the American public thought he meant exactly just that. A presence in Iraq. To my knowledge, presence is still presence, this would require our troops to always remain in the Middle East and that is unacceptable. The American public also knows that John McCain knows nothing about the economy, which he as already openly admitted.

    Please, this November, there will not be another Republican in our White House. So, John McCain should just relax and enjoy his tour of our great country, and take plenty of pictures to add to his memories of when he was the Republican nominee. Relax OLD MAN....it's almost over.

    April 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Dekonti

    Once you have a military "occupation" in a country, you're always potentially at war. We don't have a "military" occupation in Germany but we do in Iraq.

    April 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. Roscoe

    One question for McCain "spokesman" : Did he say it or not???

    April 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Laura in PA

    Its about time someone called him out on this. After his "fibs" during the debate Wednesday night (he apparently made notes on a questionaire that he didn't fill out and his campaign had nothing to do with pushing the story about Sen. Clinton's misspeak about Bosnia) he seems to think that he can say anything at all and won't be called out on it. His arrogance is astounding. Good for you McCain for telling the truth.

    I'm a life-long Democrat but if the nomination goes to Obama, I will vote for McCain.

    April 18, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Allison, NH

    Obama reckless....now, McCain – we all know that is not true. You've been kissing Bush-butt for too long now, and you've made SEVERAL comments regarding American economy – all of which have painted it in such a rosy picture.

    Thing is, McCain, I doubt you have any personal friends or family who are facing "tremendous economic challenges." When you say you "know"...you mean, someone told you.

    Come November, Dems will take you out...nomatter who the Dem. nominiee is!!

    April 18, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Devin

    How is directly quoting what John McCain said, and then providing commentary on it..."recklessly dishonest?"

    How can you twist the words of a DIRECT quote??

    Is McCain saying he DOESN'T think there's been economic progress in the last 7.5 years, even though that's the OPPOSITE of what he actually said?

    I think it's blatantly obvious that a national debt that's been skyrocketing ever since Clinton left the White House, the mortgage crisis, and our new recession is NOT "progress" – but apparently, McCain says it IS, but then thinks...it's not?

    I think the old man is the confused one.

    April 18, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. black & proud

    Great grand pa need to stop being so sensitive over his own factual camments. i ecalled hearing that fool making that economic comment live and i almost punch my tv over he's so called hypocritic "straight talk". just how he is continously saying we are winning in iraq.

    no mcsame for 09

    April 18, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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