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. Demmother

    Wow, why was this story moved off of the front page of the ticker? Could it be that it was too negative of CNN poster boy Obama?

    Transparency: It's not just for taxes anymore...

    April 18, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Ron R

    Excuse me....You said those exact words!!

    April 18, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Grady Jay in Michigan

    I was going to vote for Obama until he started this stuff, now I am voting for McCain.

    April 18, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Sue F

    So what he said is true, it's just that McSame uses spin afterwards to try and relate to the "little people".

    April 18, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Bob, Lyons Oregon,

    well, John McCain has been recklessly dishonest in his twisting of Obama's words too, So whatever old man. You have done it many times.

    April 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Jay Shah

    Mccain is so pathetic. He is blatantly trying to paint a blurry image of the last 8 years so that he can have it both ways. He knows that the last 8 years were terrible but he can't say that completely so he must say that "some progress has been made". What progress would that be John "i know the nothing besides war" Mccain.

    April 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. candidate with three or four heads

    Oh Mr. McCain , you yourself have said you dont know a t from a z in economics, you have shown that.WHile we respect you for your service to this country this does not entitle you to be president.. and bring us back to war. you seem to see war all over , and that is not the case, this is the era for dialogue, where civilized people will talk and sit down, yes even with the enemy ..simply because we all live in one place called earth and we all have to share whether we like it or not..

    so mr. mcclinton (you have just added one more head to the candidate who had only three). please calm down, you are a nice person but not the one to lead our country.

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

    But McCain doesn't deny that he said it...

    April 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Jen-0-palooza

    McCain is recklessly weak on the economy and walking down steps without handrails.
    Too old to be President.
    Should have been Romney.

    April 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Alison, FL

    Oh please McShame! You only cares what he says because you know you can't beat him. We all know the GOP is foaming at the mouth to have Clinton to run against!

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

    Doesn't sound like much of a twist to me. He said that things have been going well overall during the Bush administration and Obama called him on it. The fact that he also said that there are some people that are struggling doesn't change the fact that he though the last 7 years have been good.

    April 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Mike

    Sentor Obama has a problem with the truth. It seems the he (Obama) is much better off today than he was 7 years ago. His pastor and mentor Rev. Wright is much better off, as he is building a $10 million home in Chicago.

    Obama is lying to America with the bold-faced lies that one always hers from far left socialists.

    Obama = ZERO experience
    Obama = ZERO tolerance
    OBAMA = ZERO credibility
    OBAMA = ZERO character

    April 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Rob

    Well if McCain was quoted saying that then he's not being dishonest.

    However, if Obama misquoted McCain, then he's just as slimy as Clinton is

    April 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. ART in TX

    No sir McBush. The Economy has not seen GREAT PROGRESS under the Bush Administration. That was the Clinton years (try to keep the administrations straight). Nice try though.

    April 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. mama4obama

    What is good for the goose....is also good for the gander. McCain and Clinton have both been enormously guilty of the very same thing they accuse Obama of.

    I'll send someone over to change your diaper for ya. Will that help?

    April 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Jimmy

    This is the pot calling the skillet black. Of course Obama is dishonest, but so is McCain and Hillary.That's why they are politicians!!! In a line from the movie "Brewsters Millions" Americans should vote "none of the above" in November. Just write it in! As a lifelong African American democrat, I am appalled at how Obama ignores African Americans in order to gain racist white votes. I am equally appalled at how Clinton patronizes the entire minority community, and she does it insincerely. As for Mr. McCain, he is still the same man fought a holiday for Dr King. Although he has since apologized, I will not vote for him then apologize to him after the election. I'm sure he will forgive me and be my "best friend"!!!

    Nobama 08
    No Hillbilly 08
    No McCan't 08


    April 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. Ratgurl

    I imagine McCain is having a difficult time empathizing with the average American, given his financial state. The only people in America making financial progress are the extreme wealthy who are ripping of middle-Americans like me with their raising gas prices, and food & commodites so that the rest of us suffer. Obama isn't being reckless, he's being honest. John just can't tell because he is unaffected.

    April 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. FactCheck

    To quote form his own web site; "As president, I will also order a prompt and thorough review of the budgets of every federal program, department, and agency. While that top to bottom review is underway, we will institute a one-year pause in discretionary spending increases with the necessary exemption of military spending and veterans benefits." tranlation: forget about education, infra-structure, economic growth and developement for Year 1. It's all going to the military. This guy is insane.

    April 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. emile

    There's no way McCain will be the US president! I heard him say that the Us economy made some progress, now he says he did not say it!
    Another lier!

    Obama 08!

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

    oh please, can't handle the heat already McCain? It ain't even started yet.

    btw great article at huffingtonpost today abuot some of the questions that will get brought up to McCain in the general – the boy ain't nearly as squeeky clean as his followers like to think.

    April 18, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. rlc2nice

    Democrats Pleeeeeeeeeeease stick together. We need to get the republicans out of the whitehouse. Something is wrong when McCain says our economy is improving. By what standard is he measuring that statement? Perhaps from Cindy's 100 million!!!

    Obama for President

    April 18, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Doug NJ

    Obama is "recklessly dishonest"in every aspect of his presidential campaign as well.

    April 18, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Deana

    Poor mistreated Obama, he is being besmirched again, this time by that mean ‘ol McCain. If they keep this up he may take his toys and go home :(. When you worship at the altar of Obama facts are irrelevant.

    April 18, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Karen, TN

    It's true that Obama misstates what McCain says. No doubt about it. I think if he would just stick to what was actually being said without twisting it, Democrats would still be against what McCain is saying. So why twist it?

    April 18, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Harrier

    Do you want to continue Bush's economic policies or don't you, McCain?

    Obama has your words right, you're just uncomfortable with the true implications of them.

    April 18, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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