May 1st, 2008
12:05 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain: Don't blame Pres. Bush for 'Mission Accomplished'

CNN

Watch John McCain's remarks on President Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' speech.

(CNN) – John McCain today said that President Bush was not to blame for the decision to speak in front of the famed “Mission Accomplished” banner aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln five years ago.

“Do I blame him for that specific banner? of course not,” McCain told reporters during a press conference Thursday afternoon in Cleveland.

The presumptive Republican nominee said that he feels responsibility should rest with elected officials who made statements at the time that “were contradicted by the facts on the ground.”

McCain, who has been a fierce critic of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for years, said again that the former cabinet member was to blame for misleading statements. “When the leaders of government – the Secretary of Defense – says that ‘there’s only a few dead enders,’ then that is an area that responsibility should be placed, in my view.”

Asked if there will ever be a moment when the United States’ mission will indeed be accomplished in Iraq, McCain responded: “I don’t know if you could ever say quote ‘mission accomplished’ as much as you could say ‘Americans are out of harms’ way.’”


Filed under: John McCain • President Bush
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. ed fl

    The old fart can not remember who he is today much less something that happened a few years back. John give it up get yourself a seat at the bingo table in Arizona and try to remember how to spell BINGO

    May 1, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Slaw

    "McCain, who has been a fierce critic of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for years..."

    Can someone please provide evidence of this other than McCain's own claims?

    As late as 2006, McCain refused to call for Rumsfeld's resignation, saying something along the lines of, "If the President has confidence in him (Rumsfeld), then I do as well."

    May 1, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Anna

    The mission to get to Bagdad WAS ACCOMPLISHED.

    May 1, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "John McCain today said that President Bush was not to blame for the decision to speak in front of the famed “Mission Accomplished” banner aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln five years ago."

    McCain is not even nominated and he is already full of excuses for Bush!

    Truman had the sign on his desk that stated "the buck stops here."
    Bush's sign says "don't blame me!"

    GOP: party of no personal responsibility – "I don't recall" and "mistakes were made" as well as "bring it on!"

    Just keep the picture of McCain hugging Bush and you have McCain all figured out. More of the same and stay the course!

    May 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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