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. David D Kollie

    Bloggers, do you know why President G. W. Bush danced when John McCain won the GOP nomination. It is because G. W. Bush is the "Decider". The fate of his happenness greatly lie in the fact that another Decider (McCain) is about to succeed him.

    If you remember G. W. Bush said, "I am the decider". He decided to go to war in Iraq. Therefore, he's hopping that McCain another decider will follow suit deciding to stay in Iray. One decided to go and another decides to stay.

    May 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. David Goldman for OBAMA

    MCSAME NEEDS TO BACK TO HIS CORNER,

    SOMEONE WILL TAKE IT FROM HIM.

    May 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. G at Dover, NH

    I'm not sure where Obama said a talk would solve all the world's problems. I am sure no reason's been given as to how threatening to bomb somebody to the tune of a Beach Boys song will fix everything either.

    The way I look at things is Obama willing to try more avenues than McCain, utilize more tools in his toolbox. I've never once heard Obama rule anything out. So Obama is offering more paths to success, thus increasing, not decreasing his chances thereof.

    May 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Just what we need....blind adherance to the failed Bush/McCain foreign policies of the past 8 years. So much for McCain's ability to "reach across the aisle."

    May 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Erin

    Didn't The Situation Room just run a story about Lybia and the Bush administration's efforts to "appease" the Lybian government by making concessions on the original terms–much to the chagrin of the families of the victims of the terrorists who bombed the flight over Lockerbie?
    The hypocrisy is numbing!

    May 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. Objective-minded Independent

    It's becoming clearer by the day that McCain is really planning to continue Bush's legacy....

    We've all seen empirical evidence of Bush's foreign policy over the last 7years, so I'm dumbfounded by McCain's decision to align himself with the president... That's a very dumb decision!

    May 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. Joe

    Yeah, the GOP foreign policy has done such a wonderful job in making America and the world a safer place. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If Americans are concerned about terrorism, trusting John McCain to handle that is the absolutely wrong way to go. We need someone who is going to approach foreign policy in a new and different way. If you listen to what the international community is saying, Obama is the candidate who can make the world believe in America again. The world does not want another four years of the failed foreign policy that they've seen out of the Bush administration for the last eight years.

    May 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Mmimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    O LORD, CNN WON'T TAKE MY COMMENTS IF I SAY

    WHAT THIS MAN DESERVES!!!!

    SO LETS PUT IT THIS WAY.

    WARBUCKS CAN JUST JOIN REGAN.

    May 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Venus

    Thanks supporters for seeing just who is the evil ones – Bush and McCain--GOP and Karl Rove!

    We are not safer in this country – also – 9/11 happened on Bush's shift!

    The countries in the Middle East do not like the USA!

    May 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. Marc PDX

    Darth: you are wrong. Barak Obama said he was go into Pakistan militarily (without that country's permission) to attack Al Queda. Did you forget that Inconvenient Truth???

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

    RECKLESS IS BEING NICE. OBAMA IS THE FALL OF OUR COUNTRY IF HE GETS ELECTED. NOSTRADAMUS HAS PREDICTED THIS. NOSTRADAMUS THE CODE WORLD WAR 111. READ IT AND THINK ABOUT IT. HE SAYS WE CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE IF WE LISTEN TO THE WARNINGS . AMERICA IS FIXING THIS RACE FOR THE ANTI. AMERICA GETS WHAT IT DESERVES. THERE IS TIME TO STOP IT ,BUT YOU HAVE TO ELECT HRC. HRC IS OUR ONLY PRAYER. IF NOT HRC ,MC CAIN. YOU AMERICA PEOPLE THAT VOTE FOR O.B. ARE SO BLIND. THERE WILL BE FALSE GODS ,AND HIS SUPPORTERS BELIEVE HE IS.THE TOUNGE OF FIRE WILL BE THE WAR OF MANY YRS. THAN BEGINS THE BIG WAR. YOU CANT CHANGE THE BIBLE ,BUT YOU CAN PREVENT THE CONSIQUENCES. NO OBAMA. ,OR PAY THE PRICE.

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

    John Edwards just LIED to Wolf. He was in the debate where BO said he would meet unconditionally to any leader. Does he think we don't remember?

    May 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. fred

    reckless how could you call anyone reckless. he has alot of thing reckless

    May 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. Ryan

    lol @ MCBush calling Obama "reckless".

    He and George have killed 4000+ Americans in a pointless war, killed countless civilians all while whipping up a hornets nest in the middle east as well as never finding Bin Laden.

    Reckless isn't the right word for McCain and Bush...more like "War Criminals".

    May 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Venus

    Mc Cain don't know the difference with Iraq and Iran...

    Bomb, bomb, bomb .... Iran!

    Mc Cain is just another warmonger!

    May 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Chuck, Democrats United We Stand

    Thank you for complementing Sen Obama, MR McCain. It is obvious from the way the RNC, McCain, his campaign staff, his pundents, serrogates and soon to be Ex president Bush are worried. They know they cant beat Obama on the merit of issues, so no they have resorted to tossing in toilet politics (meaning putting crap into the wind to see what sticks).

    May 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. Mike NYC

    I think we should bomb canada. I never really liked the way they said eh all the time. Who wants to talk about things anyway.

    May 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Obama 08

    Ask the rest of the world what they think of McCain and his ridiculous idea of a League of Democracies, his adherence to failed policies of war and divisiveness and his lack of understanding of the British Parliamentary system. I can hardly wait to hear his plans for his pipe dreams for 2013.

    Remember it is Bush who today had to go hat in hand to Saudi Arabia to plead for them to drill for more oil.....and that country sure isn't a democracy.

    May 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. NEVER obama

    Obama is a liar. Always changes his story. Do you think people don't remember what you said.

    May 16, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. Terrence (Winston Salem,NC)

    I guess McCain would rather BOMB BOMB BOMB BOMB BOMB then instead and make the same mistake as Bush. In the aftermath when there are no WMDs found, what's he gonna say? OOOOPS??

    May 16, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. Voter

    I WANT a PRESIDENT THAT TALKS TO EVERYONE – It's call trying to avoide a war! Something Republicans know nothing about!!!

    May 16, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. enomisa

    Obama is a reckless, sneaky, sleazy liar.

    This lifelong DEM will write HRC in in Nov.

    I invite any moderate republicans to do the same.

    May 16, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. Sandy

    Counter Attack!!!!!!!! STAND UP SWEETY. FOR YOU HILLARY/MCCAIN SUPPORTERS, YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYONE, LET ME DOT YOUR EYES SO THAT YOU CAN FEEL WITH YOUR HEART AND LISTEN. CAN I GET SOME CHEAP GAS OR WHAT? ENOUGH ALREADY WILL THIS CRAP!

    May 16, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. SS

    Why, because it doesn't line up with the way the current admin runs things...Whatever!

    May 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. Anna

    Reckless?
    This from the man who sang "Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran"

    This from the man who wants a 100 year war in a country we should have never invaded.

    This from a man who has no working knowledge of Middle Eastern Culture, Religion, Peoples or History.

    This from a man who thinks the only way to solve issues is with guns, bombs and reckless speeches.

    May 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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