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. Independent

    So Obama repeated what McCain said – and McCain is upset about it because it doesn't fully reflect how he feels?

    I think this is called politics. I guess it's okay when McCain and Clinton do this...but not when Obama does?

    April 18, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Kevin Pennsylvania

    it is own now !!!!!! McCain is calling you out Obama you gonna take that ?!?!?!!?!? I can't wait until Hillary drops out and Obama can destroy McCain

    April 18, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |

    He's been doing this to Hillary for months, and it's "fair game."

    He does this to McCain, and it makes headlines.

    BIAS? You betcha.


    April 18, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. No More War

    Superdelegates...where are you? Come out, come out whereever you are, and meet the young man who just fell from a star, he fell from a star, he fell very far, and Illionois he says is the name of his star.....

    Seriously superdelegates, we really need to focus on McCain. Pack Hillary's bags, and send her home. We need a leader we can support, and in my book–Barack is that leader.

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. merlisa

    The truth is McCain said that. There was no distortion.

    McCain didn't include everything Obama said in the "bitter" comment, so why should Obama include everything McCain said.

    April 18, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Tony

    So, McCain isn't denying that he said those words? Sounds like he essentially said "We've made great progress... and some people are still poor." A lie + a truth is still a lie.

    April 18, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |

    No, no, no McCain.....Obama is the victim here. All of you are trying to bamboozle us, the old okie doke, hoodwink us.

    I repeat Obama is always the victim.

    April 18, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Weiss

    so instead of having daily spin conference call responses from Hillary, Mccain will be taking over for her?

    I belive that is called a losing strategy.

    April 18, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Wise Dem.

    John McCain said there has been

    "great progress economically over the last seven and a half years"

    Really? What progress? With a huge trade deficit with CHINA, the housing crisis?

    What is this old man talking about??????????

    April 18, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Nancy

    Be careful McCain. I don't think your old heart can take the stress. You are no match for the healthy, young Obama. You can "spin" all you want, but the American people are way too smart for your campaign lies. Get out of the way and let the capable take the country to a new horizon.

    April 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. AJ-Philly

    "recklessly dishonest"
    "intentionally twisting"
    "deliberately distorting"

    So in other words...McCain did say it, they just don't like that Obama is telling it to a crowd in Erie, PA.

    This is completely laughable. And those exact words can be used to describe the Bush Administration actions in the last 7 years. Who wants more of McSame? Please.

    April 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. 3 More Endorsements

    Barack just got three endorsements, I think from Robert Rice and two others. What's the scoop CNN?

    Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Deb from Texas

    This is no surprise, he is campaigning with Hillary. Everyone knows this. Who can be more 'reckless' and 'dishones' than he and the Bush administration, and Hillary.

    April 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. A. Harrison

    Is OBAMA playing Politics here?


    HILLARY 2008!

    April 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Obama for President

    America, please save us from the likes of John McSame
    McKeating5 scandal

    April 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. LAM

    All politicians are dishonest, including Mr. McCain.

    April 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Do you believe this article?

    Look who is talking about twisting words completely out of context!!!!!!!!! What is it they say? Oh yes.

    What goes around comes around!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Delaware

    John McCain is ou of touch.

    April 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Oh please.

    Oh be quiet whiner McCain! You made a big huge deal of Obama's response to a question by calling Obama an elitist and you knew you were twisting his words, so stop being a hypocrite. You are definitely the one out of touch with the American people.

    April 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Jay, IL

    Obama is the biggest lie of the century. He fooled a million donors. People who still supports him is kind of brain-washed by Obama cult. The presidency is too important to just based on "hope".

    Research, research and research!

    Wake up, America!

    April 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. McCain is Bitter

    Why are the Republicans attacking Obama more than they're atacking Hillary? Why do they want him out more than they want Hillary out?

    April 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Pure Amazement

    Is the McCain camp serious? When the American people are struggling, the last thing you want to say is that great progess economically over the last seven and half years REGARDLESS IF YOU TACT ON THIS "tremendous economic challenges" statement.

    To many Americans, the last seven years have been horrible so NO you will not win any points by simply indicating "tremendous economic challenges" statement as an after thought.

    And to think that HIllary & the rest of the anti Obama supporters were worried about McCain. McCain is clearly out of touch!

    April 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. vic nashville,Tn

    Mc Cain Please don’t attack on Obama
    Obama still whining and crying about the debate
    Some main stream media are worried about their boy is crying
    If you attack him now they will bit you
    Obama what you are hiding we want to know

    April 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. Obama Supporter

    But he is QUOTING McCain . . . I don't get it – is the quote incorrect?

    Is it correct but somehow McCain saying he knows people are facing "tremendous economic challenges" is supposed to make it sound better that he thinks the Bush admin has brought great economic progress? Because if the quote is accurate, McCain needs to do a lot more explaining than just saying 'I know there are economic challenges'!!!

    April 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. John, Lubbock, Texas

    Uh....excuse me...I'm trying to remember anytime in the past two weeks where I heard anything other than sniping in the political debate–like, say, an idea?

    April 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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