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. Rose - Baltimore, MD

    And so?

    April 18, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Dave

    Those that fail to do justice don't deserve justice.

    April 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Eric-PA

    We know. Obama likes to twist things to his advantage. He's been doing that and getting away with it for months now

    April 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Carol/Lansing Michigan

    For George Bush's entire time in office, McCain has been toughting that we are better off and that they hard times we have been going through a largely psycchological.

    Remeber the GOP debates:

    "FORMER SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: I think you could argue that Americans overall are better off, because we have had a pretty good prosperous time, with low unemployment and low inflation and a lot of good things have happened. A lot of jobs have been created."

    With continued comments like that one coming out of your mouth, how is Barack or anyone supposed to think different.

    Of course you admittedly have no experience with the econony or economic issues.

    April 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Len in Washington

    Senator Obama is correct, Mr. Bounds. You, sir, are wrong.

    To look across this country at the millions of people without insurance, loosing their jobs and homes, retirement funds wiped out, futures either put on hold or completely demolished, Social Security and Medicare on the verge of collapse and then say "there has been great progress economically..." is not facing the true nature of the situation in this country.

    It is a failed test of your candidate's understanding of basic America.

    April 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Clev

    Ok so basically O'bama wasn't dishonest. It was exactly what Mccain said. The campaign did not say that he didn't say that, they are saying that :he also said, that people are facing tremendous economic challenges".

    My question is how can we have economic growth but you also say that we have economic challenges? If we had growth there would be no economic challenge!! Right?

    I mean really!!

    April 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Interesting

    McCain has also said Obama will raise everyone's tax. When in fact he will lower taxes for those under $200k/year.

    McCain is a little too pious. I thought the pope lived in Rome.

    April 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. wwf

    One question. Did McCain say that over the past years the economy was good? Yes. What is there to misunderstand? It only took him three times before he finally made any kind of statement that American familys are hurting. Please tell me how are the words being twisted. I don't care who which Dem. candidate is saying it. I want an honest answer. Looks to me that the only twisting being done is by the Republican party. Oh, I am an Independent sitting on the fence.

    April 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. For the love of this independent

    The economy and how it is viewed is a legitimate issue. The only people who feels that this ecomony has made GREAT PROGRESS over the last 7 and 1/2 years are those who have profited from it. And that would be corporate america. Because it is surely not you and I.

    Obama made not understand predominantly white middle america and said they are fearful of change (another word for bigotry), but at least he is not profiting off of it. And send you babies off to war to fight for an interest that you yourself have no clue of.

    Republican Right Wing won't say predominantly white middle of america is fearful of change but they are banking on middle america's bigotry. And are going to say Obama does hold your values sacred then they are going to ship your jobs overseas. Make profit by selling your land to china corporations. Profit greatly from trade agreements made off your closing factories. Then ship your babies off to fight their wars. But they will cut your taxes.

    Last question what good is a tax cut if you don't have a job.

    April 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. cnn rocks

    well mccain,get a taste of your own medicine,when you twisted obamas "bitter" comments it was okay,hypocrite.
    obama 08

    April 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. NOBAMA

    CNN is so pro Barry Obama that its really beginning to make me sick. They post an article about Hillary telling Obama to stop crying and close comments after 10 responses? Or was it they only posted 10 pro Obama responses and not the 250 NOBAMA responses?

    At least Fox and MSNBC post everyone. Sorry CNN but most of us don't believe your candidate can win.

    GOBAMA and take your finally proud to be an American wife with you!

    April 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Darth Vadik, CA

    All I need to know about the character of McCain is that he called his wife the "C" word in front of reporters back in 1992, and 1998 he said "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.”

    Thats all I need to know about McCain.

    April 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Mike D

    This coming from the heir to the GWB legacy. Give me a break!

    April 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. mary-NH

    Guess what? McCain said it and Obama had every right to call him on it. How dare he call him 'recklessly dishonest' for a direct quote. Perhaps McCain had another senior moment and forgot he said it?

    April 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Will, NYC

    Yeah, he'd be recklessly dishonest if Grumpy McGrandpa didn't actually say that, but of course, he did.

    April 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. honkey white guy from cali

    Give me a break what a wind bag hello the more lies and negative garbage that Sen Clinton and Mc Cain toss at Obama helps him! They are both so out of touch they have no idea what is going on in America. He did very plainly say that we have made great economic progress over that period of time.He has got to be joking if anyone believes that they don't know the first thing about economics Of but that is right Mc Cain already said he does not know much of econimics

    Go Obama 08

    April 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Pepou

    Of course Obama is right. Are we better off today after 8 miserable years of Bush, war, slumping economy, rising gas prices .... ????

    April 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Mike from Westchester

    Yah, Yah, Yah,

    So I guess we should elect a befuddled old man who repeatedly gets Sunnis and Shiites mixed up – and foreign policy is supposedly his strong suit. Can't wait for his gaffs on economic policy.

    If Lieberman has to stand next to him to correct slip-ups on foreign policy, who's going to coach him on economics?

    April 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Al A.

    For McCain to say there has been "great progress economically over the last seven and a half years" either makes him an economic idiot, a liar, naive, or all three. If he's not fooling himself then he's trying to fool the American public. Unfortunately, some actually believe him. For McCain to say that families are facing "tremendous economic challenges" is clearly a sugar coated understatement and contradictory to his statement of great progress economically.

    We as a nation don't need McCain who's living in economic la-la land and not the real world.

    April 18, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Ron, TX

    He quoted John McCain word for word?

    I don't see how anything got distorted...

    April 18, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Lindsay

    How is it being "recklessly dishonest" by repeating what John McCain said about the economy? This is called discussing the issues. This is not the same as personal attacks. If John McCain can't understand the difference between discussing real issues and distraction issues, then he is out of touch with what the voters are truly concerned about.

    April 18, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Desiree

    Obama is change we don't need or want.

    April 18, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Jean

    Politics. Hyperbole matched with overstatement.

    April 18, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Ian

    If anyone is going to twist John McCain's words around it's going to be John McCain. He's for tax cuts, except voted against the Bush tax cuts. He's against policing the world, but supports the occupation of Iraq. He says he's a conservative, yet consistantly votes like a Democrat/Independant. McCain, the ultimate flip-flopper.

    April 18, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Kira

    wow, does mccain remember how many times he has flip flopped? He doesn't have a base of republican party because of changing positions. Give it up mc.
    You are singing from the same hyme book with Hillary. You took so long to know we have a housing crisis and we don't need you telling us about war. Since that day you said Bomb bomb Iran, shows how reckless and dishonest you are since Iran has no nuclear weapons.

    No country for Old men!

    April 18, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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