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. Appeasement

    The manipulative Obama camp is so obvious and transparent.

    For months they have been blogging, "never Hillary, ANYone but Hillary, If Hillary is the nominee I will not vote or I will vote for McCain".

    Now that it looks as if the nomination has been given to Obama, they have changed their tune. Now they try the guilt trip. If you won't vote for Obama, you MUST be a racist. If you don't vote for Obama then you are not a TRUE democrat.

    Now you all pretend that you'd vote for Hill IF she were the nominee. It is safe to say that, since you don't believe that will be the case.

    But here's the thing. This is not China nor N Korea. We do not have blind loyalty to a party. We will vote for whomever we feel is most qualified to lead this country. Obama is a very poor THIRD choice for many Americans.

    There is NO way you can manipulate us into voting for someone who has done absolutely nothing for his country. Obama just wants to fast track himself into history.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Brent

    Wolf, far be it from me to tell you how to do your job but maybe you should ask McCain and his supporters a couple questions:

    1. how has the isolation of Cuba policy worked out over the last 50 years?
    2. isn't demanding Iran stop enriching uranium ( something they have a legal right to under the NPT) before the US will speak to them the abandonment of intelligent diplomacy? wouldn't getting them to stop enriching be the point of diplomacy?

    I don't understand why McCain and his supporters aren't challenged more vigorously on this claim of superior foreign policy credentials.

    May 21, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Gretchen in CA, As a matter of fact, no Bush didn't meet with the Leader of North Korea, and no Reagan never met with the leader of Iran. If someone from the administration is meeting with Hamas, it's not Bush. mcCain's point isn't that you never meet, it's that the President doesn't meet without preconditions being achieved. Try getting your facts right before you decide who to vote for, or stay home.

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |


    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Veteran in Kansas

    Not talking with ones enemies is a formula for disaster. Giving ones enemies what they want is a formula for disater. But guess what, talking to those that you disagree with and openly airing your differences is movement in the right direction. Do I think Iran, North Korea, Cuba, etc are the same as Soviet Russia, of course not, Iran and North Korea are by far more dangerous that the Soviet Union ever was in its history, why, because they are isolated and some are trying to back them into the corner.

    The current foreign policy of not talking with our enemies is a poor policy that does this nation more harm than a year of talks with nations that this administration refused to have communication with.

    May 21, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. DNC did what RNC could not do (take hillary down)

    I usually return their e-mails and letters with the words NO FLA NO MI NO MONEY.

    There was a better idea last night at the tm site.
    Put monopoly money with chickens drawn on it and return the mail to the DNC on their postage.

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Joe, Northern Virginia

    McCain's claim of foreign policy experience is questionable and it changes with the direction of the wind. (it blows in any direction as it pleases) Sen McBush should to talking to Sen Hagel more and less to Sen Lieberman. Maybe he will catch a clue after talking to Sen Hagel.

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Eleanor

    wolf I would much rather place my trust in Obama than a war monger like MCBUSH
    you would honestly think he was the only POW out there
    news flash...hes the only glorified one
    I wonder how many are around without even a roof over their head
    MCSame is the same old third term Bush war monger
    Obama 08

    May 21, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. 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 than President Bush’s. Also, Senator Clinton has no experience either, no matter how you try to spin it. Unless she had a security clearance when she was first lady, she had little to do with foreign policy. Senator Clinton as well as Senator Obama will have to rely on advisors with experience so the argument that one is nore qualified than the other doesn't hold water. Democtats are Democrats. It's interesting to see how people react when they don't like how something turned out. To heck with the fact that it was right. Stop acting like spoiled brats that are mad becasue you didn't get your way. Senator Obama earned the nomination fair and square as the rules outlined. FL & MI will be seated, but will not be allowed to change the outcome of the election.

    Obama 08/12

    May 21, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Mike from Westchester

    Hey Marie

    Where was Lincoln's military experience? How about FDR's?

    May 21, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Francys

    Let McCain have is run while it lasts. In a couple of weeks Obama wont have to fight on both fronts between Hillary and McCain and the debate is going to shift to economy and we will all see that it is a no contest between those two.

    May 21, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. wyliffe, NJ

    the OLD MAN has lost direction........ Bush fooled us twice, these time we will fool ourselves if we agree with this warmonger.

    May 21, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. )Banana Republic indeed.

    Banana Republic indeed.

    If the Obama bots are so sure they’ve won, then by all means why not seat Florida and Michigan right now–today? If there is no way that she can catch him, then what is the issue? Isn’t he worried about dissing the people of Florida, whose votes he will need in November?

    Isn’t Mr. Hopey concerned about the ethics of disenfranchising 2.3 million people? How cynical is that?

    This is McGovern all over again. Obama supporters want to LOSE to John McCain in November. It’s obvious to me. Every single indication is that Obama is ONLY likely to be the nominee because the system has been rigged for him. And that will be revealed in November, when he loses in a landslide.

    Dear Obamabots: You are to blame for this. You are going to give us 4 more years of McSAME with your insistence that we run a candidate who can not win.
    Roe is on YOUR heads, Iraq blood on YOUR hands. You are forcing us to run a LOSER, and destroying the party in the process.

    May 21, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Lee , PA

    McCain keeps talking on a subject he is not familiar with his chin above water until the CHANGE bus hits him. The bus has not arrived there yet; surely coming. He has experience as a legislator (not as impressive) but not as a foriegn policy expert. He is one of the members of the gung-ho group and I do not think he believes in the power of dialogue with an enemy (to keep them in check). With the might of our NATION, we had crushed our enemies already swiftly and long ago but thank you, republicans for leaving this country messy abroad as it is today. If you would have had the sense of civility, citizens and many servicemen will not be in these predicament. OBAMATIZE McCain 08.

    May 21, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |

    -Uncommitted 40%-

    That is such a ricuculous misrepresentation of events.

    You are eith UNinformed or choosing to be UNtruthful.

    May 21, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. pawns in their “fix”.

    Yup. Edwards removed his name too. Hmmm… Some say Obama (and Edwards) did this to try to make Hillary look bad. Pure dirty politics at its best at the expense of voters rights. Our state Democratic chairman was interviewed awhile ago on local news and as I recall he explained that there were threats made by Iowa and New Hampshire Democratic Party officials as to a candidate losing support in their election ya da, ya da. Maybe Obama made one of his famous “backroom deals” with Iowa who knows? In any event Hillary wouldn’t be swayed and many of us Michiganders love this about her. As usual she’s the one sticking by the American voter. The best thing about this primary campaign is that we are seeing who the candidates really are and what their “true colors” are. I’ve come to admire and respect Hillary Clinton so much more watching her continue on and stand up for what’s right. Obama will never get my vote and I will vote against him. How dare Obama, Edwards and the DNC mess with our civil rights by using us as pawns in their “fix”.

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. tom moriarty

    i wonder how many people know that obama has a PHD in constitutional law. who, between mccain and obama, is more likely to respect and honor our very much abused constitution?

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. enomisa

    Obama loyalists, are you sure your own motives are noble and pure?

    Are you certain that you don't just prefer the cute, young, smooth talking black man to the older white woman?

    Are you sure that you are not just sacrificing qualifications and substance to image?

    Remember... Obama has only one gift- delivering a prepared speech well. Do NOT confuse that with intelligence and leadership.

    To the contrary, Obama has not demonstrated any ability to think quickly nor well on his feet. He has not been able to clearly respond off the cuff to any questions posed to him.

    He can give a speech- he can not deliver solutions.

    In fact, he has not shown himself to be any better than Bush at

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. PCS / North Carolina

    Greg wrote Pottstown, Pa. May 21st, 2008 4:16 pm ET

    "under what president did America hit its record low unemployment ?'

    Yes Greg I agree. However, your spouses achievement will not and can not be translated to your own achievements.
    If your husband is a doctor, will they allow the spouse to prescribe drugs ?

    May 21, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA

    Uncle Sam,

    When your policies don't differ from Bush, specially on the war, you are Bush 3rd term. Oh except that global warming thing, he believes in that, but what else is different? You have to go on facts, not opinion, and something you read on newsmax.

    And McCain is a warmonger, and old, and senile. And I don't want to have a president who is a warmonger, and old, and senile. Notice how hew makes up facts around things only to be smacked down minutes later, how many times has he retracted stuff? How many times? For God's sake he has Lieberman behind him all the time, to correct him me he wonders off into the la la land. And you want that.

    Now, do I know what kind of president Obama will make? No I don't, neither do you so don't even try. He could be a dud for all I know, but I am sick of politics as usuall, and Obama seems to be different. He is playing different.

    I could be completely fooled, but I know what McCain is going to give me and I dont want it. You may be a battered wife who does not leave the house, but I am not.

    May 21, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    We should push forward diplomacy when we see a major oppurtunity like right after Afgahnistan and Iraq when we got Pakistan to start fighting their former allies the Taliban, we got Libya to turn in all their WMD research and denounce terrorism, and Iran offered to talk about all issues between us and them but bush didnt think they were serious.

    May 21, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Willis, Texas

    "ONCE A ADULT - TWICE A CHILD". This is a fact to the aging process!

    McBush keeps saying the same thing because he has entered his second childhood! Remember: children are repetitive and very annoying when they want their way!




    May 21, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Letha

    Good, let Obama dance so we can see the real weakling come out before the Obamanation groupies put him in office which he is not ready for.

    May 21, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Sorry, Barack, but the rules are the rules.

    A fair and equitable solution going by the rules:

    1) Strip Michigan of 50% of their delegates, as the rules dictate.

    2) Award delegates to those candidates whose names were on the ballot. Candidate “Uncommitted” is just who the name says.

    3) Seat all of Florida’s delegates because they TRIED to keep the FL Leg from moving the primary up.

    4) Strip any candidate who campaigned in Florida of their delegates, as the rules dictate. Obama’s ads are noted as campaigning.

    Sorry, Barack, but the rules are the rules.

    May 21, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Oneil, do you really think talking to Hitler helped? He talked and bargained with England and France, all the while planning to conquer Europe. He signed a nonaggression treaty with the USSR only to stab them in the back anyway. There are some people you can't talk to. I'd say that people willing to fly planes into buildings in suicide attacks that kill thousands of innocent people fall into that category. Or maybe after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor AT THE SAME TIME THEY WERE NEGOTIATING WITH US; we should have just gone back to tha table to talk some more. Diplomacy isn't the way to deal with people like Bin Laden, laser guided bombs are. Wake up, there are people out there who want to kill us. It's us or them!

    May 21, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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