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. Brad

    Have we made great progress? Or we have seen the manufacturing base moved over seas, seen the outsourcing of major defense contracts outsourced over seas, seen our national debt raise to monumental levels? It is obvious that John McCain neither understands the economy nor cares about how deep a hole many of our citizens have fallen. No one is twisting his words.... he just said stupid things.

    April 18, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Jane, NC

    We democrats who support Senator Clinton may feel free to criticize Senator Obama, but we do not appreciate it from Senator McCain, especially when it comes to questions of character and not policy. How about waiting until we have a nominee.

    April 18, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Donny, MT

    The Straight Talk Express will not survive the Obama Juggernaut.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Yvonne

    Yes, McCain is a good one to talk about "dishonesty" after he piled on and lambasted Obama about bittergate.

    April 18, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Walter, Long Beach

    Oh, so Obama is recklessly dishonest because he quotes McCain directly and precisely?

    Could there be a better illustration of why we need to get rid of the Republicans? They don't deny the stupid things they say. They just scream at people who point out how stupid they really are.

    April 18, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Jan

    It's exactly what everyone is saying that has a brain.



    April 18, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. ATLian

    So, did he say the country has made great progress or not?

    April 18, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. NC Voter

    McCain gets a "two-fer" now, whenever he blasts Obama:

    1. He is trying to hurt Obama's chance at the Dem. nomination now; this would let him go up against Hillary in the fall... which he'd much rather do than face Obama (his advisors have admitted as much; they can read the polls, too).

    2. If it doesn't kill Obama now, then this is a good warm-up pitch for the November election.

    Smart strategy for McCain.

    April 18, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. michelle, atlanta GA

    ...and twisting obama's comments about pennsylvanian's being bitter wasn't being "dishonest" either?

    mccain is 100% out of touch, this country has NOT been economically sound or prosperous, or have made any gains whatsoever when you factor in the $Trillion + deficit we have dropped into. maybe if you're rich and have the tax code working for you, or fill up your gas tank on the tax payers' dimes, the economy is doing well, but for the rest of us, it's not.

    April 18, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Marine

    Typical politics. A candidate says something and it gets twisted around so that no one understands what is said. This goes in both directions. The best thing would be for all the candidates to not say a word but we know this will never happen. Talk about a bunch of hot air and ozone layer depleting emissions.

    April 18, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Leslie - KY

    McCCain is running scared – and he should be..........

    April 18, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Paul

    Why didn't CNN give John McCains exact quote so we could determine wether or not his words were taken out of context?

    April 18, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Demmother

    Which pod person with zombie-like minions should I trust? That's a hard choice...

    April 18, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. jl




    Just because you file separately, does not mean that you do not reap

    the beenfits of your wife's money or political favors that may be

    expected "via" business deals.

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

    I don't see much word twisting here. McCain did actually say the economy has progressed in the last 7 1/2 years.

    April 18, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Frank, San Diego

    Regardless of what else McCain might have said, the fact that he said that is all the evidence we need that he was telling the truth when he said he didn't know much about the economy.

    Problem is, that was the last truthful think the old right-winger said.

    April 18, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Penn State

    Obamas support has that cult feel to it?

    "Do you understand that some people in this state find that patronizing and think that you said actually what you meant?" Gibson asked.

    According to Obama supporters, Obama has already apologized for his poor choice of words. There is no reason for journalists to keep bringing this subject up except to generate more negative sound bites.

    Some of the reaction from Obama's supporters has that arrogant, cult of personality quality to it, as if questioning Obama on these matters is simply beyond the bounds of decency.

    I could never belong to a group such as his. He could seriously start his own cult organization. Im sure that CNN will not post this because they are playing damage control right now for their candidate. ABC nailed him point blank.

    April 18, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Al, NY NY

    and the GOP has never been "recklessly dishonest?" McCain experienced it himself in 2000 from the same smear-merchants (Rove et al) who will now help him in trying to be elected. They made up all sorts of lies about him. Everybody does it so please put a lid on it "Mr Straight Talk."

    April 18, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Oh Please

    McShame, McPain, McBomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran...enough said!

    April 18, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Jay

    Obama is nothing short or a spoiled BABY!

    He will Never WIN...PICK HILLARY!!!

    April 18, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Cindy

    McCain has the nerve to complain about Obama? He and Hillary twisted his comments regarding small towns just a few days ago!

    It hurts when your comments are misconstrued, doesn't it! What, you can't take it!

    So McCain which is it? And which exactly do you believe? That this country has made great progress of the past seven years or that families are facing tremendous economic hardship?!

    No McCain, you can't have it both ways!

    April 18, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Independent

    McCain camp calling out Obama for twisting his words and taking it out of context? Sounds like McCain is a little "bitter". Can somebody define "hypocracy"?

    April 18, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Jay


    April 18, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. Paul, Tampa, FL

    McCain distorts Obama's words and calls them elitist. Cry me a river.

    April 18, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Silly Season

    They are both delusional ...Hillary 08!

    April 18, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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