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. Really?

    The problem lies more with McCain: how can you have great economic progress for 7.5 years while also face tremendous economic challenges?? Obama latched on to half - which is misleading - but what on earth is McCain even talking about??

    April 18, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. chuck


    April 18, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Oscar, Rio Vista, CA

    And Republicans would never do anything so devious. P.L.E.A.S.E.

    April 18, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

    YES OBAMA CAN twist those words. Read his books to see just how much. Obama can not be trusted. He will say whatever is needed to get him the nomination.

    April 18, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Julia

    The non-partisan factcheck.org later called that characterization a "rank falsehood."

    Yes. But we're not surprised. Senator Obama is the king of twist and spin.

    April 18, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Franky from Cali

    McCain admitted before that he knows nothing about the economy and it's showing. Do we need another four years to realize that the Republicans know nothing about the economy? If McCain becomes the president, i'm moving to Canada.

    April 18, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. stanley p

    Hey McCain, you say it then mean it....no one is "twisting" your words,
    they are the words you used!!!!!

    say what you mean, mean what you say...don't blame Obama for taking the words you say at face value....so does everyone else in the
    US!!! We are STRUGGLING TO EAT!!!!! this economy is HORRIBLE and has been for 7.5 years!!!!!

    YES WE CAN!!!!!!!change D.C.

    April 18, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Dan, NJ

    So did McCain make the comment or not? The fact that Obama used the word "quote" makes me think McCain said it verbaitum. If that's the case, its pretty hard to twist a direct quote.

    April 18, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Christine Atlanta, Ga.

    If Obama is the nominee, McCain will win, period. Perhaps with a Clinton-Obama ticket there will be enough Democratic support to defeat him. If Obama is the nominee, there are too many Clinton supporters that will switch to McCain, as Independents. I know that this election cycle has turned me from being a Democrat to an Independent. I can't handle the whiney Dems anymore.

    April 18, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Andrew

    McCain just put foot in mouth. Obama's bitter comment was just 2 sentences from a lengthy explanation of average Americans hurting from job loss and a economy that works only for the rich. Plus people distrust in government. The Media, Hill, and McCain are guilty of misinformation day in and day out. I'm a middle of the road American frustrated with the political no-nothing hacks running the show. For any politician to say America's so great and leader of the free world, yet can't seem to share it's own wealth equally or fairly across all individuals, needs a reality check. Stop feeding us BS.

    April 18, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. b-liberal

    Obama gets away with loose facts and negative attacks in his own camp with his faithful followers. Hillary has called him on it once in a while but he has a free ride in the media.

    But the conservatives will step it up and not let him get away with it. Hillary was polite compaired to angry conservatives. And if he gets in office (not likely), he will get a taste of the same persecuting attacks that the Clintons endured. Let's see how holding hands and singing works for him then.

    April 18, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. Jessica from OKC

    The economy made great progress...!? Geez, McCain, apparently! Great progress BACKWARDS!!! That's why he attacked, people. He got caught not paying attention.

    April 18, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. yvonne frank

    wow what happened to bo being the one above the old washington style of politics? when he is not twisting mccains he is twisting clintons and then he whines when they hit back.

    April 18, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Get REAL!

    The McCain campaign immediately took issue with the comment, noting the Arizona senator also said he knows families are facing "tremendous economic challenges."
    Ummm.... Ok......AND???
    That doesn't deny the fact that everyting else Obama said was TRUE!
    They are just adding to what he said. But that doesn't make the comment false because THAT IS WHAT MCCAIN SAID!

    April 18, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. ShannonL

    Politics as usual from a savior that claims to be above all of that. I don't understand how his cult followers do not see that Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth.

    You people have been blinded by your own need to be saved. Obama is a man, not a god.

    "Bitter-gate" never would have happened had HuffPost also not been so blind to the man's faults. They sank their own savior out of their blind faith in Obama's every word.

    April 18, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Max

    So according to Mccain, Obama is "recklessly dishonest" when he points out the truth?
    What a weak, excuse for an argument.
    Judging from how he can't formulate any substantial argument against Obama, I forsee mccains camp crashing and burning.
    Obama is the Roosevelt that we needed during the great depression.

    Electing mccain will only cause this reccesion we are headed into to become much worse. We need someone strong, sincere, pragmatic, and innovative, qualities mccain doesn't have enough of once you scratch beneath the surface.

    April 18, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. Jimmy169

    You know, Mccains a nice guy, but this is kind of ironic that he's making a big deal out of this when Mccain along with Hillary tried to twist Obama's words about the bitter comments, and they did it with no time to spare.

    There are so many issues at stake, and instead of talking about substance, this is what Mccain and Hillary have to offer, the same old politics trying to make someone's character look bad, instead of focusing on the issues. America is tired of this kind of politics...

    As I said, Mccain is a nice guy, but my vote's for Obama without a doubt.

    April 18, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. Ana

    We know he is dishonest.... the question will he ever be held accountable for it???

    April 18, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. fred

    I agree 100%, Obama IS 'recklessly dishonest'

    He is a wolf in sheeps clothing!! EVIL....EVIL....EVIL!!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Robert NYC & Miami

    Johnny The Mummy will digest McCain alive.

    April 18, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Thall999

    hahahaha McCain is crying even NOW!

    Wait until Obama or Hillary actually pushes his SCOOTER off the road!

    McCain is a trumped up GI JOE that HATES ALL GI BILLS!

    You can't un on a military platform, say you want to help the troops but do NOTHING to HELP them.

    Yes McCain was a POW but when it comes to REALLY supporting the TROOPS McCain has always been MIA!

    April 18, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Sherry

    Obama wants to play politics when it is convenient for him. He strikes but can’t handle a strike back. He was ready to throw a fit at the last debate (which shows he is not ready to be the nominee if he can’t handle a couple of journalist) He cries politics when he is questioned on something he actually said or is involved with! Character says a lot about a person, these were mostly issues that question his character. He can surround himself with people that hate America but we can not question it???? How is he going to follow thru with anything of theses “changes” if he can't play in his own game, He is a politician isn't he? I will not support him and his wife’s antagonizing remarks.

    April 18, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. David, Silver Spring, MD

    A rank falsehood? The problem is McCain talks and thinks in such simplistic terms that there's no way to know what he does mean. Hardly a "straight shooter." He says stuff like, "We'll stay until we win," but then says we may be there for 100 years and cites Japan and South Korea as precedents. So is he saying it'll take 100 years for us to win? If so, it sounds like a 100 year war. If not, why would we be staying? Last I checked, Iraq had not attacked us as Japan had. Last I looked, we didn't need to establish a front against Communism as we did in South Korea.

    April 18, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. California Girl

    Obama will do anything to win. He's errogant, disrespectful to women, behaves as though he has already won the nomination. Hey, Obama, there are other states that still need to vote (duh). If Hillary looses to Obama, my whole family and friends will definitely vote for McCain.

    April 18, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Sandy

    I believe John is a little out of touch here, but if you have been living off your wife (which one of the newstations just said) it would be easy to see where you are coming from.

    I have to give this one to Obama...

    Our country has NOT made great progress under the Bush Administration and if you were listening to the people, you would know that. Get off the bus, throw away the prepared scripts (that you still stumble with, as in 'atricity') and listen.

    Your campaign is getting a little nervous about facing Obama.

    I really don't know how you can make that comment. It is out of touch with reality.

    April 18, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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