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. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    May 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Tyme4chaing

    Bill Clinton didn't have any foreign policy experience at all. But he became president. So what the McCain is saying that Obama doesn't having experience in foreign policy. McCain joined the army during the vietnam war, got shot and sent home. That's not foreign policy that's called serving your country.

    Just 60 days ago, McCain went to Iraq an other places paid for by the Bush administration. McCain certainly didn't do any foreign policy work nor did he do anything else but forget peoples names and make insults about others in Iraq. He diplomacy skills sucked. He gave a botched speech to the US troops in Bagdad. He was forgetting names while one of his lobbyists whispered in his ear telling the his has said the wrong thing to that persons.....Do us all a favor McCain, get out of this and scram

    May 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. James

    McCain is a Joke.

    May 21, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Matt

    I feel sorry for those too simple to recognize the good in all humans. Those that lack the proper communication skills to discuss our own shortcomings with others. Obama is the only politician in years to make me proud to be an American. McCain, Bush, Hillary they all sicken me with their ignorance and insecurities.

    May 21, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |

    Well, in a “round about way” Obama IS uniting America…. He’s bringing moderate democrats and moderate republicans “together” to Vote Against Obama.

    May 21, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    marie "where is Barack's military experience?"

    As a former Army officer, I can fully respect and follow the lead of a president that has never served. Barack has served his country in terms by serving as an elected official, community organizer, and teacher. Do you view your candidate Hillary any less because she has not served?!

    May 21, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Henry

    Wolf, I like the way you can read McCains mind and tell us what he is thinking. You hide your liberal bias about like a bank robber hides his gun.

    May 21, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Ralph

    All you republicans and disgruntled Hillary supporters who are saying we should live in fear about Obama being president, please stop hurting your own cause. Bush used that same tactic to get re-elected, and we are all quite a bit wiser now. Seems we need two parties alright, the party of change and the party of fear. Then everyone will have a place that represents their view of politics. Please, come join the rest of the country in supporting our next president, Barack Obama.

    May 21, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Ding, Washington, DC

    Wolf, would you mind asking Senator McCain what would haved had the United States and Vietnam made some diplomatic talks regarding the released POW?. He seems to have forgotten that he is the beneficiary of diplomacy.

    May 21, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Alexander

    Where is Hillary's experience again? Especially in terms of foreign affairs? I'm sorry, but Obama has served in elected positions far longer than Hillary has, and they're both about a draw in terms of foreign policy.

    Then again, what do I expect from people so ignorant of the truth that they'd vote for McCain in lieu of Hillary - a man who represents the very things she and Obama stand against.

    Vote best for America, not your ego.

    May 21, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |

    As everyone familiar with what really went on in Michigan knows, Obama arranged with the state Democratic committee to have his name represented by a line that read “Uncommitted” and every voter in Michigan knew it. John Edwards agreed to be part of the “uncommitted” line so the only issue was apportioning the 40.7% of the uncommitted vote. I gave Edwards the 14% of the vote average he had gotten everywhere else and Obama a little over 25%. When Florida and Michigan are factored in, Clinton has the popular vote lead. With regards to delegates, Obama’s lead is now by 94 delegates and that will get smaller after Puerto Rico where 55 delegates up for grabs. Clinton is expected to do even better in Puerto Rico than she did in Kentucky.

    I like this part… good point to the BO supporters whining it wasn’t fair.

    May 21, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Wonder if Wolf will make Clintons arguments for her (again)

    could there be a bigger Clinton cheerleader? CNN Fire him

    May 21, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Dori in AZ


    Don't you think McCain has played the "war hero" card long enough? He doesn't understand what great Presidents of our nation and other great leaders throughout the world and throughout the centuries have understood.

    And, that, simply put, is that it is in EVERYONE'S best interest when we find ways to coexist with other countries and peoples without killing, and engage in war ONLY as the ultimate weapon. That involves attempts in communication, using other tools that are available to us. Tough and aggressive diplomacy is a major tool.

    John McCain just doesn't get it. Perhaps, he has lost his bearings. Or, perhaps, he never had them to begin with....

    May 21, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    capt. smash

    1 iran was growing before iraq war
    2 No. We did not go to iraq to look fore him.
    3 more, which oil company's said has nothing to do with iraq
    4 it was until dems took the house.

    May 21, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. PCS / North Carolina

    bridgette wrote May 21st, 2008 3:45 pm ET

    "This man's foreign policy is a joke. 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 sound like GWB and a GOP fan. GWB's foreign policy is more than a joke, it is disgusting and pathetic.

    1) Iraq had become a terrorist breeding ground, it is a heaven for recruits, rapists and ethnic cleansers.
    Do you think Iraqi's will thank us for their democracy ?

    2) Oil is 132 a barrel and 4 dollars at the pump

    3) Mc Cain and Hillary is planning to bomb "Axis of evil"- Iran and north Korea, although we are stretched out to the maximum. Can we sustain the military in so may bases out side U.S and also defend our country in case of an attack to the continental U.S ?
    4) There are countries who can not and will not sustain democracy. They need authoritarian regimens just like our allies Jordan , Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Are they less corrupt than the Axis of evil ?

    Yeah, "BOMB, BOMB, BOMB" it is an easy statement from the "fear mongers". Unless, WE the only Super Power in the world, will command respect from all the countries by directly negotiating with friend and enemy, we will be heading to an Armageddon.

    May 21, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Ding, Washington, DC

    Wolf, would you mind asking Senator McCain what would have happen had the United States and Vietnam made some diplomatic talks regarding the released POW?. He seems to have forgotten that he is the beneficiary of diplomacy.

    May 21, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Jaun

    Mr McBush who do you think you are fooling?...your entire posture...demeanor reeks of your deceit. I know you don't believe a word that comes out of your and your supporters.
    OBAMA 08.

    May 21, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Tim

    I'm a 20 year veteran and I can tell you that being in the military in no way makes John McCain automatically qualified to be commander in chief. It doesn’t mean that he understands foreign policy either. He was wrong on Iraq. He is wrong to think we don’t need to talk to our enemies. McCain even admitted that we went to war over oil. He will be eaten alive in debates with Obama because his stances are no different thank President Bush’s.

    Obama 08/12

    May 21, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Uncle Sam

    Have you heard that Sen. Obama would mean a third Bush term?
    Hey, it makes as much sense as when it is pinned on Sen. McCain.
    Oh yeah, Obama is also a warmonger. And senile. Allegedly.

    May 21, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Patrick, Lake Stevens, WA

    McCain is as naive as they come with respect to this argument. Today, CNN reported that the number one concern for this country right now is the economy – it is clear from McCain's lips that he is weak on that aspect and most Americans agree. Yet he wants to point to his strengths on foreign policy which is no different than Bush. This country has been lied to by the current administration and besieged by the war in Iraq ever since 2003 which has made us more vulnerable to an attack prior to 2001 – The U.S. wants the economy rebuilt and the war to end some time next year. John McCain has not talk about making those things happen. But he has talked about staying the course in Iraq. Funny, that sounds very similar to a guy name George Bush!

    May 21, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. A*B*O*

    hey I’m with the ABO party ( anyone but obama) join if you guys/girls like

    May 21, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Antonia in Bristol Virginia

    The strategy doesn't seem to be working. By attacking Obama's policies, McCain has elevated Obama to a select world stage. If you wish to ignore a competitor, you don't mention them.

    The perception that remains is that McCain increasingly looks like a mean old man while Obama comes across as a vigorous, visionary leader willing to conduct thoughtful diplomacy, rather than the cowboy diplomacy of the Bush administration.

    May 21, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    capt smash'

    I have one for you.

    under what president did America hit its record low unemployment ?

    May 21, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Funny...every one of the meatballs in this blog who claim "no experience" – also voted for Bill Clinton into office with zero Washington experience....baffling...are you really that dumb?

    May 21, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Cindy

    McCain attacking Obama on foreign policy cause it's considered his strength?

    How do I put this nicely.... McCain is a patriot, and a war hero, but he's not too good on foreign policy. He seems confused about it at times, and stuck in cold war mentality. Next thing you know, he's going to be calling for stockpiling nuclear warheads again, so we'll look big and bad to the world. Come on, McCain, Republicans.. get your head out of the sand. Let's turn the page!

    May 21, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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