May 21st, 2008
03:20 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: McCain stepping up foreign policy heat on Obama

Blitzer: Obama and Clinton have escalated their war of words over foreign policy.

Blitzer: Obama and Clinton have escalated their war of words over foreign policy.

(CNN) - John McCain is not letting up on Barack Obama. Virtually every recent day, he has gone after Obama’s national security stance. He says Obama’s willingness to meet with leaders from Iran, North Korea and Venezuela is “reckless, and demonstrates a poor judgment that will make the world more dangerous.” In his latest statement, McCain calls Obama’s approach “naïve” and “based entirely on emotion.”

Obama is responding in kind. “The Bush Iraq policy that asks everything of our troops and nothing of Iraqi politicians is John McCain’s policy, too, and so is the fear of tough and aggressive diplomacy that has left this country more isolated and less secure than at any time in recent history,” Obama said Tuesday night.

Still, there is no doubt that McCain’s strategy of hammering Obama on a nearly daily basis on foreign policy is deliberate. McCain certainly feels very comfortable talking about national security. He sees that as his major strength. And most observers agree McCain would much rather have national security on the agenda right now than the economy where he and his fellow Republicans see themselves as rather vulnerable..

By attacking Obama, moreover, he is helping to frame the debate and put the Democratic candidate on the defensive. That’s the strategy for now.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. bridgette

    This man's foreign policy is a joke. He spent the whole week talking about how Israel is our strongest and staunch ally and here it is they are getting ready to sit down with one of their adversaries and begin peace talks. One of the countries we call our axis of evils. Because everyone knows that you cannot move forward if you don't sit down and talk with people. You don't have to speak friendly and you can be forceful about what you wantk, but, the end result is you have to speak with people.

    May 21, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    132.00 dollars for a barrel of oil that is the GOP stance on national security. It was only 25.00 a barrel the Iraq War! Go Figure!

    May 21, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    The notion that diplomacy is a sign of weaknesses to me is more a sign of fear and ignorance. McCain is basically saying that we need to ignore or attack or enemies since he doesn't want to engage them in discussions or diplomacy.

    May 21, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    132.00 dollars for a barrel of oil that is the GOP stance on national security. It was only 25.00 a barrel before the Iraq War! Go Figure!

    Sorry about the typo!

    May 21, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Is this..

    the only issue McCain can debate Obama on? Give it a rest and talk about other issues such as healthcare, the economy. Everyday immediate concerns of Americans. And to think, this is just the start of it....

    May 21, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. joe







    May 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. kevin from alaska

    Republicans like to talk tough, but meanwhile they're scared of some guy living in a cave in Western Pakistan. The myth of the effeminate liberal and the tough guy conservative is a joke. It's the conservatives that have themselves scared to death of these guys, while the liberals have the gaul, tenacity, and strength to confront the enemy.

    May 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. David Goldman for OBAMA







    May 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. ryan

    Good!! Because Obama HAS NO EXPERIENCE

    May 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. kim portland, oregon

    wolf, MOST of us are so stupid this time around. iraq is a disaster, they will invade iran which will also be a disaster and INCREDIBLY dangerous to the saefty of this country and the world.

    i'm surprised that mccain is just falling back onto the Rovian/republican fear-mongering tactics of "fighting terrorists". i hope he DOES use this "tactic" all the way through to november cuz we are all FAR more intelligent and educated on foreign policy than they give us credit for. mccain is going down in flames!!!!

    democrats 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. proud army and navy mom

    mccain only repeats himself because he forgets what he said the day before. he's a warmonger, that's all he knows.

    May 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Brian

    Maybe McCain needs to check with Specter and Hagel and a lot of other top foreign policy advisers on his side of the aisle who disagree with him on the central issue of diplomacy.

    May 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. kim portland, oregon

    oopsy, i meant we are NOT SO STUPID this time around!

    May 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I have four important questions for Bush, McCain and the GOP!

    1. Is Iran stronger or weaker since Bush’s invasions of Iraq?

    2. Has Osama bin Laden been killed or captured since Bush’s invasion of Iraq?

    3. Are we paying less for gas now or before Bush’s invasion of Iraq?

    4. Is our economy better of now or before Bush’s invasion of Iraq?

    If you answer these questions truthfully, is there any way you want to continue down the same foreign policy blunders of the last seven years?

    This is a not a difficult question, most 3rd graders could answer this one.

    This is so typical and stupid of McCain and the GOP. The USSR had political prisoners, China had political prisoners. Guess what we talk to them directly this is why nothing gets done in Washington. Give me a break, they must think the American people are so stupid that all they have to do is cry wolf and we will run scared every the time. Cuba, we have had the same policy for the last 58 years and nothing has changed! So is working GOP is working McCain? Come on GOP people you are making me vomit every time you guys open your mouth!

    May 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. marie

    Where is Obama's military experience...??? anyone??? Obama fanatics??? How many years has he served our country's armed forces?

    Oh... he hasn't. The more he talks foreign policy, the more he looks like an idiot!

    Hillary or McCain 08

    May 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. lol

    obama's weakness is foriegn policy, being a community organizer, and living in indonesia does not qualify one as an expert on foriegn policy. this is not the politics of fear as obama claims, it is a fact that he lacks foriegn policy experience. whenever anyone points out obama's shortcomings, they are not being racist, or attacking him. he is not fit to be commander and chief, he has never been to iraq, and heading up a subcommitee for the military he has never had a meeting, because he was to busy campaigning.

    May 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Teddy

    It seems McCain is setting agenda. He keeps talking about foreign affairs. That is because he is favored in this issue according to polls. Obama should attempt to change topics and focus the debates on economy, health care, education, and gas prices. Even though I support Obama's foreign affair positions more than McCain's, but McCain's positions are more traditional American ways. Obama's ideas are new and fresh. Can he win the debate over foreign affairs? I doubt it. It will take a lot of efforts to change American foreign policies formed over decades or hundreds of years. It is too risky for Obama to focus the election on foreign affairs. Can they talk about how to deal with economic globalization?

    May 21, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Debby

    How in the world does he know that the Iraqi politicians aren't doing anything when he hasn't been there. He is just piggybacking on Hillary's statements but there is a big difference she has been there and so has McCain to see first hand. I can't believe people are voting for this shallow man who can't even have a voice of his own when it comes to the issues.

    May 21, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. fred



    May 21, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Uncle Sam

    5. Have we been attacked since 9/11?

    May 21, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Scott ATL


    I like you... My sentiments exactly... I've seen both "Sharon" and "Gary" just as you have...

    It kinda like a big fat dude trying to hide behind a little bitty pole or

    May 21, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. R.I.F.


    It's funny that you report every time McCain says this. It's the same weak argument. Even his best buddy Chuck Hagel came out and sided with Obama and said that McCain is just pandering.

    I believe this is a losing argument for McCain and Obama's letting McCain "set the agenda" right now because it galvanizes the 3rd Term Bush idea.

    McCain's driving the Straight Talk Express bus right into a ditch and he doesn't even know it.

    Obama's talking about the economy. You guys just aren't covering it because in order to have a fight you have to have at least two willing parties and McCain hasn't said a peep on that issue.

    Team Obama did slay the Clinton Machine by some dumb luck.

    May 21, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Trenton Sims, Los Angeles

    Old John, Poor John
    He has lost his way and his brain's all gone.
    Poor Old John who can see a future, a time that cannot be.
    For he has lost his way and his memory
    Is there anyone who cannot see
    That there will soon be senility
    For dear poor old John.
    Who's lost his way and his brain's all gone
    Too bad he had his parachute on..
    When crashing down in Vietnam
    His backup brain is Lie-berman

    Hillary Billary dock..
    She wishes she had a Jock.
    She can't wear one
    the race is done
    Hillary Billary dock

    Billary Shrillary Bock
    She thinks she knows
    But Not
    Gasoline is upp
    she cant wear a cup
    She's plumb outta luck.
    That Duck

    May 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Obama win '08

    Reading the comments that Joe Liberman made in the Wall Street Journal today made me a little sick to my stomach. To think I gave him my vote in 2000 when I voted for Al Gore.

    What I love about Barack Obama is he wants to give the voice back to the poeple. George Bush, John McCain, and Joe Liberman could careless about what the American people want. When this country was founded it was supposed to be a government for the people by the people. Instead I find under Bush that it is about what he wants not the American people. When 69% of the country wants this war to end and Bush, McCain, and Liberman says that it will end when they are ready to end. That means it is not what the people want. Am I wrong or do we now live in a dictatorship and someone forgot to tell me.

    When is the country going to wake up and realize that you don't put candidates in office that will do what they want to do and not what the people of this country would like. When are we going to elect someone who will give power to the people. Lord help us all if people don't get it in November.

    People who are Republican don't understand that when things go wrong the disaster works its way from the bottom up. If the average American can not afford to do anything but pay their necessary bills to survive. When there is no disposable income. Everything suffers. That means no money for the movies, no money for shopping, no money for even ice cream. So what happens to the rich movie executive his career is over because the movie industry has just crashed. People think when times are bad only the people on the bottom are affected but it will make its way to the top.

    Also, one thing for women and minorities to keep in mind all of those Supreme Court decisions that helped to advance women and minorities will be able to be overturned once McBush is in office. So be careful women and hispanics and asians what you ask for when you say you won't vote for Obama because Hillary Clinton lost the nomination.

    I hope you are prepared to be broke and have now say in what happens in your life.

    Obama'08 or SUFFER!

    May 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Kevin-Seattle

    OMG–are we going to hear this everyday till November...Good luck McCain....what a joke? Humor me, say tax cuts a few times in between. Now that is an economic plan.

    May 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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