May 16th, 2008
05:15 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain calls Obama's positions 'reckless'

McCain said Friday that Obama’s foreign policy was displayed naivete.
McCain said Friday that Obama’s foreign policy was displayed naivete.

(CNN) - Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain swiftly responded to Barack Obama’s foreign policy criticism Friday, calling the Illinois senator’s positions “reckless,” saying Americans had “every reason to doubt” he could keep the country safe.

“Senator Obama claimed all I had to offer was the ‘naive and irresponsible belief’ that tough talk would cause Iran to give up its nuclear program. He should know better,” McCain told the audience at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Lousville, Kentucky. “I have some news for Senator Obama: Talking, not even with soaring rhetoric, [about] unconditional meetings with the man who calls Israel a ‘stinking corpse’ and arms terrorists who kill Americans will not convince Iran to give up its nuclear program. It is reckless to suggest that unconditional meetings will advance our interests.

“It would be a wonderful thing if we lived in a world where we don't have enemies. But that is not the world we live in, and until Senator Obama understands that reality, the American people have every reason to doubt whether he has the strength, judgment, and determination to keep us safe.”

Earlier Friday Obama told reporters that McCain was deliberately distorting his position, and that he was offended by the tone of President Bush’s controversial remarks before the Israeli Knesset.

“I don’t take what Bush said personally, but I was offended by what is a continuation of a strategy from this White House – now mimicked by Senator McCain - that replaces strategy and analyses and smart policy with bombast exaggerations, and fear mongering. And that is what we heard yesterday,” said Obama.

He also slammed McCain for suggesting that he would hold unconditional talks with the Islamic militant group Hamas, pointing to a new op-ed by Jamie Rubin - a supporter of Hillary Clinton - in which the former State Department official said McCain had advocated unconditional dialogue with the group. (The McCain campaign disputes the charge, saying that Rubin has not included the full context of McCain’s remarks.)

Obama said that any dialogue he would engage in as president with hostile nations like Iran would take the form of “tough diplomacy,” adding that he would “meet with them without preconditions – although with preparation.

“If they are willing to change behavior, then we would offer inducements and benefits diplomatically, and if they don’t then we will continue to ratchet sanctions and isolation on Iran,” he said. “That has been a consistent policy that I have presented throughout – there is no contradiction whatsoever - so I have no idea where it is that they are suggesting that somehow there has been a change in policy.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    Reckless?

    Excuse me there Crazy McInsane, Obama is not the one saying we need to bomb other countries IF THEY DONT DO WHAT WE TELL THEM.

    YOU ARE YOU JERK McLAME

    May 16, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. RR

    McCain is too old & senile....

    May 16, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Michelle

    No man in the twilight of his years is going to get the presidency. Especially not 'senior moment' McBush.

    May 16, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Scott C

    Because his and Bush's policies have made the world a much safer place.

    I can't believe the Clinton / McCain supporters.

    If Obama doesn't respond to the comments made by bush he is a wimp who can't stand up for himself

    If Obama DOES respond then he is a wussy candidate who is too thin skinned and insulted and shouldn't be President.

    Let's call it what it is.

    Bias.

    You don't care what Obama does, you will find fault in his actions no matter what road he takes because you are blinded by your incredible ignorance and subjectivity.

    It really is pathetic to see people who can't see what is really going on.

    May 16, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Shawn

    Yup, typical GOP tactics. Paint anyone not jumping to pull the trigger as a hippie.

    Ever occured to you that maybe, just maybe, it might be in the world's benefit to at least ATTEMPT to work out an agreement? If that doesn't work, THEN one has ALL the justification to attack.

    May 16, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. wakeup

    What's wrong with talking to the enemies. If they give in what else do you want. And if they don't what do you loose. The worst is that the negotiations would fall thru. Why the senseless GOP insists on not talking. That's a stupid intransigent and obstinate stance

    May 16, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Drew

    What McCain and company fail to acknowledge is that we, the United States, have created many of our own enemies through our arrogant and short-sighted policies. That's a fact. So, we now hope to extinguish those enemies through further arrogance? Yeah, that makes sense. Why don't we try getting to the root of the problem and developing reasonable solutions instead? Why don't we try using our brains for a change instead of anger and weaponry that does nothing but exacerbate the problem.

    Let's prove to the world that we Americans are smarter than the morons we've elected to lead us in recent election years. What a concept!

    May 16, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Mr. McCain...you forgot....petty, inarticulate on foreign policy, and American military history, and unaware of how to manage threats against our nation and our allies.

    By the way....I'm keeping my concealed weapon (legally received via a permit)...clearly if Obama becomes President–we'll need our guns to keep ourselves safe because he's going to sell us down the river for billions in BS foreign aid, handouts to arab nations supporting terrorism–while they recover ( using our financial resources).

    Trust...but verify (only when you know your enemy isn't trying to kill you).

    May 16, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Ben - Portland

    Ok- we've got our two figured out for the fall. Hillary- it's time you started to really carry your weight in this thing and campaigned for ALL OF US to take back the White House.

    May 16, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. kenny cole

    We don't even know who is RECKLESS, after mcCain and BUSH,mess this country up all over the world both of them should understand that they are lack of WISDOM, with there long experience in the WHITE HOUSE they just don't have the wisdom a proper leader should have period both of them make me sick and Mccain should have know by now that he can never be the president

    May 16, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. mitchell from arkansaw

    but,you'll give us 100 more years of war?how pitiful that this is the best the republicans have.

    May 16, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. joaquin

    The only thing john McCain will do is to enforce the image of the US as a bully country.

    Diplomacy is a word that McCain will never really understand

    May 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. Donald from SC

    Bombs, bombs, bombs, bombs, bombs, bombs away. Now we are safe.

    May 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. lynette

    McCain is TOO old to be president. He doesn't even know the difference between a shia or a sunni. He would get mad and bomb Saudi Arabia by accident.

    May 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. R Garcia

    "arms terrorists who kill americans?" that's the low of the low. Americans wouldn't be dying if we weren't OCCUPYING their country. Answer to the questions of why Americans (soldiers) are dying? Because he voted to go to "occupy" Iraq with misled information. He's the reason the people are dying. Its his fault, and many other people in government who voted for it. Iraqis are not "terrorists" they're just people who are sick and tired of foreigners coming to their country, and thinking that they rule them. Of course they're going to fight back. Their fear mongoring days are over.

    May 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. Marc PDX

    Please please please don't say anything bad about Barak!! He's the candidate of Hope and Change! If he gets elected we'll soon find ourselves doing a lot of hoping. Like "I hope he knows what he's doing", and "I hope he can get us back out of this now!", and "I hope he doesn't try to do that again", or "I hope he learns how to be president faster after that mess", and finally "I hope he doesn't get re-elected because it's really time for a Change now!". Yes, Obama will most certainly be the president of Hope and Change if he gets elected. He seems like a nice guy but incredibly naive. Four years in the senate is just not enough riding with his training wheels on to be ready for the Indianapolis 500. Come back in 20 years.

    May 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Dr. Sam

    The Most DISAPPOINTING THING about Sen. McCain this season is his utter lack of principle in making allusions that he knows don't hold any water. He made statements about Obama and Hamas in the past that are clearly not true, just to score a political point. He wrongly and purposefully sought to make a connection between Obama and Hamas, even though Obama had in the past condemned Hamas and expressed his strong support for Israel. McCain is not honorable afterall–just a creature of the old politics Obama is campaigning against! Furthermore, Sen. McCain takes offence when he feels that Obama is alluding to his age; yet, he clearly makes a not-so-veiled reference to Obama's age by accusing him (wrongly) of being naive, "foolish" (a language from a politician who says he expects "respectful" debate), unwise, and inexperienced. In reality, it is Obama who has demonstrated consistent good judgment (e.g., the decision to go to Iraq, analysis of strategic and geo-political issues, a new approach in Pakistan that is not wholly predicated on a Musharaf’s Presidency) whereas Sen. McCain has shown unbelievable memory lapses (even during foreign trips—in Israel, corrected by Sen. Liberman), showing confusion on key issues and facts such as Al-Qaeda in Iraq (according to him, receiving training from Iran) and his talk about staying in Iraq for 100 years. And now this! Obama is right that we should make a clean break with Bush-Cheney-McCain approach to foreign policy. Democrats must chat a new course , especially in the face of Bush dismal failure in international politics and foreign policy.

    May 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. Obama

    Reckless? Obama? HAHAHA Thats hilarious.

    How about McBush= Reckless.. Now that makes sense

    May 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. Tjaye

    Here we go. Its distraction time. The more they talk about nonesense, the less HE can talk about issues. I wonder why they want to argue instead of discuss the real issues. Could it be they were stunned that he hit back as hard as he did. What dingbats to not realize the reason he didn't hit back at Hillary is because she is in the same family and she is a girl (who is NOT above playing the Chick Card). They are girls; so they should stop acting like catty broads and lets do this like serious adults.

    Obama O-8!

    May 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. R

    I WANT HILLARY CLINTON!!! I am so worried. I don't think Obama can defend himself on his own.

    May 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  21. 58 white old ladies for OBAMA

    WHO REALLY WANTS TO KNOW WHAT THIS OLD, CRAZY

    FOOL HAS TO SAY. GOING INTO IRAQ WAS SMART?

    WARBUCKS HAS NOT UTTERED AN INTELLIGENT, CREDIBLE

    HONEST WORD YET. GIVE US A BREAK.

    May 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. Deanna

    May 16th, 2008 5:58 pm ET

    I really hope the house of congress frog marches this "Turdblossom" to jail for not testifying before them. More than anyone, this man is responsible for splitting our countries people and turning us against each other. Meanwhile we are now seeing the results especially in the economy. While he came up with ways to keep us arguing with each other on hot button issues while he and his crowd piece by piece dismantled government regulations over the economy, the environment, and civil rights, and many others. He is an evil man and deserves what congress has coming his way.

    May 16, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. Scott C

    0BAMA NEVER SAID HE WANTED TO MEET WITH HAMAS!

    McCain DID.

    Hypocrite.

    They can use as harsh a language to describe Hamas as they want to, it doesn't make his comment about Obama any more true.

    Obama never said he wanted to have meetings with Hamas.

    That is more than McCain can say, in 2006 he said he thought we should meet with Hamas.

    The GOP is so full of it

    May 16, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Independent

    How this jerk can call Obama reckless and all he can say is bom,bomb,Iran? No way this fraud should be elected to be the President. He is as bad, if not wose than Bush. Remember, McCain =Bush! NEVER AGAIN!

    May 16, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. Tjaye

    Here we go. Its distraction time. The more they talk about nonesense, the less HE can talk about issues. I wonder why they want to argue instead of discuss the real issues. Could it be they were stunned that he hit back as hard as he did. What dingbats to not realize the reason he didn't hit back at Hillary is because she is in the same family and she is a girl (who is NOT above playing the Chick Card). They are NOT girls; so they should stop acting like catty broads and lets do this like serious adults.

    Obama O-8!

    May 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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