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)





    100 YEARS IN IRAQ AND AND CONTINUATION OF GEORGE BUSH'S POLICY................................ NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. Jan

    Obama doe not know how to lead the subjects because he is a follower, not a leader. Any good ideas he has had have come straight from Hillary's book or one of his panderers hoping to ride on his coattails to fame. He sounds like a petulant child when answering to McCain. "how dare he question me? the chosen one!"

    May 21, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Ratgurl

    For marie May 21st, 2008 3:50 pm ET

    Who said ***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***

    You're obviously one of those feminazi Hillary supporters, and from you I ask, WHERE IS HILLARY'S MILITARY EXPERIENCE???

    How many years has she served our country's armed forces?

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

    Think about your argument BEFORE you bare your racist soul. Your reason for supporting McCain is purely because he's white. Feel free to prove me wrong.

    May 21, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Viet Nam Vet

    Marie Sweetie- – –

    Just because you serve in the military it doesn't make you an expert on foreign policy.

    May 21, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. R.I.F.

    marie May 21st, 2008 3:50 pm ET
    Marie asks "where is Obama's military experience? and when did he server in the military?" and then says "Hillary or McCain."

    Anything smell fishy here folks? If you didn't know, Hillary has not spent one second in the military either so why would you vote for her if that's your deciding factor? For that point, neither did Bill Clinton.

    Yet another "if not Hillary, then McCain" republican operative on the blog. You guys are becoming way to easy to spot.

    Also, just because you played in the NBA for 10 years doesn't mean you would be a good coach or GM. Michael Jordan was the best player to every play basketball but check out his record as a GM.
    I respect McCain's service but that doesn't automatically qualify him to be an expert on foreign policy.

    May 21, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Obama is the only one that said McCain would not talk to our enemies. McCain said he would talk to them , but first he would make them agree to stand down the militant ways they use to project fear .

    Obama is responding in kind. “The Bush Iraq policy that asks everything of our troops and nothing of Iraqi politicians.

    Is that why our troops are being used as a secondary force. Is that why they already had an election.

    War sucks, but sometimes it is needed. If a bully is picking on your kid should your kid say lets talk about this, or should your kid tell that bully ,the next time you touch me that is it. A bully will respond to only one thing and that is force. Terrorists are nothing but bullies. but this time they picked a fight with the wrong kid. You dems are standing up fore the bullies of the world.

    May 21, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |

    Obama arguing points: It is racism( they are twisting and taking sound bits out of a sermon,and misrepresenting my words), it is distracting( their points hold no value), it is picking on me(the debate was against me), I’ll be happy to debate that (but doesn’t). Stop picking on my wife ( doesn’t matter she parrots Wrights sermons), It is because I was poor ( too be honest he had a lucky life,his grandparents made sure he went without nothing. Even paid part of his college for him). I stand on principles and morals ( but votes present so not rocking the political boat).

    ……….and you people wonder why we won’t vote for him,lmao

    May 21, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. gb

    McCain strategy is a very good strategy. McCain is a true american hero, and is strong on national security. McCain will win general election if Obama is the democratic nominee.

    May 21, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. enomisa

    McCain is a poor choice and Obama is even worse.

    The only qualified candidate is Hillary Clinton- that is why the powers that be tried to destroy her- they want to continue to feed us weak leaders.

    May 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |

    SEXISM. The first and most obvious. From ‘Annie Oakley’ to ‘the claws come out’ to ’sweetie’, Obama has demonstrated he not only has sexist attitudes, but mouths them with no hesitation or understanding of the implication of his words. The demand that others “lay off my wife” has overtones of ownership as well as implying his very public and outspoken wife is incapable of handling criticism or defending herself. Can you imagine the howls if Hillary Clinton, in response to criticism of Bill Clinton, had demanded “lay off my husband.”?

    May 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Tim, Seattle

    Hey Marie,
    Military experience helps you get votes, but is irrelevant.
    Rumsfield and the other Iraq war douches had plentry of military experience but were still much for mission accomplished.
    JOhn McSame's military experience was 30 years ago...irrelevant.
    So your point is meaningless, Marie

    Oh and Wolf, does it hurt that your candidate Billary is a loser? Just checking because you dont seem to be out of your denial phase yet.

    May 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Tommy in SC

    McSame is a BIG part of the foreign policy mistakes the world has suffered through for the past 8 years.

    ANYONE who voted with Bush on 97% of his supported legislation is not a 'Maverick' and 'Straight Talker'.

    I sincerely salute Senator McCain for his POW times in Vietnam. However, his lack of support for the new G.I. Bill and his desire to linger on and on in Iraq shows he is no friend of the troops.

    America, please, please–anyone but McSame.

    May 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. Debby

    Hey Jeff: Hillary has been to war zone countries like Bosnia and Iraq to actually see what goes on there. Your candidate is to busy preaching from a pulpit so he won't lose those pledged delagates. If Obama spent half of his wind going over and talking to Iraqi leaders and seeing first hand what a war zone is, then maybe he can take a stand of his own vs. Hillary Clintons.

    May 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |

    HYPOCRISY. Obama demands his wife be left alone while personally criticizing Bill Clinton. “He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts — whether it’s about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas.

    “This has become a habit, and one of the things that we’re going to have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he’s making statements that are not factually accurate,”

    In Obama’s world, calling a rival candidate’s spouse a habitual liar is acceptable, but criticism of his spouse for troubling remarks is out of bounds.

    May 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Darth Vadik, CA

    Gretchen in California,

    no no no no, they were selling weapons to Iran, remeber Iran Contra and Oliver North, you know that traitor who now works at Fox News.

    May 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. dumb and dumber

    This is now a contest between dumb and dumber.

    Sit back, relax and in Nov just write in Hillary Clinton.

    Request an absentee ballot to ensure that you retain the write-in option.

    Don't waste your one vote on Obama nor McCain.

    Go with the only worthy leader- Hillary Clinton

    May 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Belle


    Some of us Democrats are CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS!!!!!!!!!!!
    Some of us want EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama is the most liberal voting Senator in the what that really some of his views are too far left to agree with....McCain and Clinton are more to the middle.

    In spite of your pressure, since many of you HATE Senator Clinton, and have NOTHING good to say about her...will cause us to sit this one out, write in her name, or vote for McCain.

    You only have yourselves to thank for just get over it!

    May 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Jeff

    Is that heat? McCain is showing himself to be a blowhard.

    May 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Hillary backer

    to you people terrified of losing your abortion rights–how about being responsible for a change and usoing the many forms of birth control or morning after pill? It is far less expensive and less life-threatening than your abortion.

    May 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |

    ELITISM. How is it that Michelle Obama became above criticism? What right does she have to be outspoken and public and expect no backlash for what she says, regardless of how inane it may be?

    NAIVETY. Did Obama actually believe he could seek the presidency with his wife making open gaffes, and hear no criticism? This shows a breathtaking lack of realism.

    INEXPERIENCE. Obama has just over three years on the national stage as a US senator, and much of those have been spent running for president. A more seasoned individual would certainly understand this aspect of public life.

    May 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Dennis

    McCain's argument about foreign policy experience is a typical Republican strategy. Make everyone afraid that the Democrat can't handle the job. A willingness to meet with foreign leaders does not mean that Senator Obama would hesitate to use are military to defend ourselves and our allies should the need arise. Furthermore, who says that meeting with the leaders of Iran, Venezuela, etc. means we are conceding defeat and surrendering to terror? The Republicans. That is not what it means. The Bush/McCain strategy appears to be impose your will on the enemy by ignoring them. How is that working for us? Not so well in Iran or Korea right now. McCain must think we are all stupid to believe that if Senator Obama became President and met with leaders of those nations he automatically agree to meet all their demands.

    May 21, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |

    THIN SKINNED. Obama has a tendency to overreact to criticism, and this is no exception. Should he wrap up the nomination as expected, there is a lot of tough rhetoric and campaigning ahead. He would do well to adjust to it.

    May 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. EC

    Wolf – are you kidding me?

    Sen. McCain couldn't step up anything without stumbling all over his self!! I mean really, this man talks nothing but "hot air" when it comes to his so-called "straight talk". What a joke.

    Sen. McCain and his lap dog Lieberman is nothing but a joke. Every time McCain messes up, there goes Joe lieberman cleaning up after him. Can you say "suck up".

    Let's not focus on LAME McSHAME!!!

    May 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. Val

    Oh Wolf, stop being so biased towards Obama. Your bias is very apparent.

    I agree with Sen McCain 100% – Obama is naive and poor of judgement when it comes to national security.

    McCain is the man.

    May 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Sharon S.

    Well, apparently a larger percentage of American voters prefer Obama's view of foreign policy to McCain's. I believe the Gallup folks have Obama beating McCain 48 to 40. Whether you agree or disagree with Obama's positions on diplomacy, the pendulum is swinging, folks. Watch for it this November. The Republicans and rabid Conservatives are about to get a nice long vacation.

    May 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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