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. Wise White Guy

    Great, keep up the good work for the Democrats John. Continue to align yourself with Bush and see how that works out for you. It has worked so well we are at peace everywhere and no Americans are dying for your precious oil. Is this really their strongest issue? Let me think...if i talk to my enemies i may learn some intelligence, get an idea of what makes them tick, find out what they are upset about and maybe calm the situation down. Or i can just tell them to do what i want or i will wage war on them. Hmmmm, which might result in less American death....hmmmm its a stumper!

    May 21, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. 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 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Ding, Washington, DC

    Senator McCain was released from the prison because of tough negotiation with big tim enemy. What is he talking about. He is nothing short of a fool.

    May 21, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. jim

    i once heard you refer to hugo chavez as being a are wrong,he has been elected by his people and as lulu of brasil has said he is anything but a dictator. you americans have a bad habit of calling anybody who does not agree with you dictators.i spend six months of every year in cuba and i think they have as much freedom as you have the freedom to stand on the corner and call bush a jerk but what good does it do you. do not forget that the has supported and continues to support dictators all over the world.the u.s supported batista in cuba in the fiftys and believe me they do not want to retur to that.

    May 21, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Rick Lilly

    I find it appalling that a prospective president would not sit down and talk with our enemies. Didn't John Kennedy meet with Khruschev in the first year of his presidency? Didn't Nixon go to China? Didn't Ford meet on a number of occasions with Breshnev? When did it become wrong for our leaders to negotiate with our enemies? Those who won't negotiate scare me a lot more than those that will.

    May 21, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Samuel

    I really feel very pity and sorry for John McCain. This is someone who has been in the senate for such a long time and you will think he should be on top of issues like the economy and foreign policy. Apparantly, he is not. If that is the case why should he ever consider to be our president? Does this means Americans do not deserve the best anymore?

    When Obama or Clinton talks there is always something that one can learn from. They almost always add value to our lives. Though, I should say that Obama has more to offer than Clinton in my opinion. McCain is becoming a disgrace day in day out. Please tell us what you do and what are your plan as a president. We need issues with substance and not the mere attacks.

    McCain is making us look like we can not think. Guess what, Mr. John McCain we are tired of the politics of the past. You are an old man but you can do better than this, so please do it, will you?

    May 21, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Olivia sure gave Obama a lot of time to waffle his way through trying to explain his foreign policy. Bias.

    May 21, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Mike from Weschester. Your rationale leaves a lot to be desired. Of course Washington as the first president had no previous experience as President. He did however lead the Continenental army for the entire revolution, so knew how to run a large organization. Teddy R. and Clinton were both Governors with exectutive experience. No way can JFK be considered a great President. he had about as much experience as Obama, and like obama could give a good speech. 3 months after entering office he allowed the disasterous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. However he so mucked up the plans (prepared by Eisenhower) that the invasion failed. As a result Castro declared Cuba a socialist state, and cozzied up to the USSR resulting in the Cuban Missile Crisis, which almost ended the world. JFK also supported a coup in of all places Iraq, which brought the Baanth Party to power. You remember them, Saddam Husseins party! JFK also increased the troops in Vietnam from 800 to over 16,000. starting the buildup that continued under Johnson. clinton's clainm to fame was a good economy, which you should really thank alan greenspan for. Clinton also missed multiple opportunities to take out bin Laden well before 9/11. So yes, Mike experience does matter. So does doing some research before you let yourself get hypnotized by a good stump speech. oh, and yes, in a far simpler time, Lincoln had similar experience as obama, except I doubt if he voted 'present' over 150 times in the IL senate. Frankly Obama is a far cry from Lincoln.

    May 21, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Wise White Guy

    To LOL. Obama is the only one with the experience that matters. He is the only one using any kind of reasonable judgement. Get over the ridiculous experience argument. Unless it is a second term re election no President has experience as there is no job like it. Obama has demonstrated that he makes the correct decisions the first time. McCain has demonstrated that he cannot remember what his own positions are until he contradicts them and is told about it. Why is it so hard for people to just pay attention to everything objectively and make up their own minds on things. Best thing you can do is avoid Fox News and Rush because they lie to you daily. Yes I do know becasue every so often i tune in and if the issues were not so serious it would be hillarious. Unfortunately the environment, energy, soldier death, etc are not funny issues that it is ok to lie about just for ratings or fear that you may have less take home pay on your check. It is a serious time and needs some serious dilligence by all.

    May 21, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. hey --lay off of my wife

    Then Obama, sweetie…

    Get her to shut up.

    If you take her out of the public spotlight, you can claim that she’s not a public figure. But every time she speaks in public, it’s public.

    May 21, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Kim

    Yeah right, like I am going to take any republicans word for who would be best at foreign policy, arent you the same geniuses that put that idiot bush into office? You can save your analysis of either of the enough that you need to seek treatment..

    May 21, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Loser

    Obama sucks.

    He stole the nomination from the more qualified Hillary Clinton.

    Winning by cheating is not truly winning.

    I will never vote for Obama.

    I will, instead, go with the most qualified to lead. i will WRITE IN Hillary clinton.

    May 21, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. allen b

    To the kind lady who said where is Obamas military experience as if it's a prerequisite to understanding foreign's not.

    May 21, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Jason

    Furthering my point that education does not mean intelligent. Obama supporters are starting the dillusional statements against Mcain also. No Reagan never spoke with Iran. The US has not spoken diplomatically with Iran since the Shah was overthrown in the 70's. MCcain hasn't flip flopped HE SAID he would meet with HAMAS only if they stopped terrorist activity. I am a democrat and am sick of Obama's supporters calling people uneducated all the while they don't know or remember recent history in this country. I for one will not blindly follow someone because he gives a great hope speach while his followers are propagating a racist generalization that if you don't vote for Obama your either dumb or racist BS

    May 21, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Robin Country Club Hills

    Pakistan and the Taliban just reached an peace agreement. Viewed as a victory for Bin Laden by the U.S. government.
    Hezbollah and the Lebanese government just struck a deal which allows Hezbollah veto power over the Lebanese government .
    And last but not least Isreal is in negotiations with Syria.
    Can you believe this? Appeasement has broken out all over the MidEast. Maybe we need to rethink our Foreign Policy (or lack thereof)

    May 21, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Hillary backer

    How naive some of these Obama people are. They really think Michigan and Florida people do not watch TV or listen to radio! They are now begging Florida people to forgive their Messiah for refusing the revotes in ichigan and Florida. He is laughing at all of you for enabling you to do his dirty work–that way his hands appear clean! Oh, for some common sense to go along with that education that you so freely throw at us McCain/Hillary supporters!. PS I am not a Rush Operative–just an independent thinker-not a robot.

    May 21, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. R.I.F.

    Wolf, you are so bias Before Obama started talking about Iran he blasted McCain on all of the lobbyist running his campaign after 10 years ago saying that lobbyist shouldn't run campaigns. You are the one contolling what you want us to think.

    Obama '08

    May 21, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Debbie

    Go John McCain!

    Continue to claim that Ronald Reagan made the world more dangerous.
    Reagan met with Iran to free the hostages.

    The longer this goes on, the more Republicans will vote for Ron Paul.

    May 21, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Sharon, Los Angeles

    Managing a campaign is minor compared to managing this nation. What’s key is a talented staff with respective skills in finance, budgeting, coordination and advising. Fortunately, we get to peek these skills in our candidates prior to casting our vote. So far, only one candidate shines in all of these areas, and that’s Barack Obama. We can’t ignore this, because it’s not about the candidates, it’s about us who will be affected by that elected person’s judgment.

    I’ve listened to McCain talk about Obama’s inexperience, yet his campaign-staff selection has been faulty (like Bush’s), and a few has dubious ties (also like Bush’s). It’s my thinking that an acute leader would never’ve let them in the door. And, surprising, Hilary Clinton realized way too late that her campaign was going array. That, to me, is not any different from the messy style of management that’s in office right now. Compared to McCain and Clinton, Obama outshines them both. He is the better candidate.

    May 21, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Donna in California

    Well, McCain had better find something to go after OBAMA about because Obama is leading in the Polls right now. I feel sorry for Mccain because even his friends ate critizing his untrue statements about his weak,failing foreign police.

    Go Obama!

    May 21, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. Hans-Erik Iken

    McCain claiming to have the upper hand on foreign policiy is ludicrous. A man that thinks 'Bomb Iran' is funny is a joke himself.

    McCain is a dinosaur with likewise ideas: outdated and oldfashioned.

    I think the GOP made him the nominee so they can lose this election without losing a valuable candidate they might put to good use in 2012. He is just a pawn in the political chessgame and he is being sacrificed.

    The GOP know this year they are going to lose, they know that Bush and Cheney made the GOP toxic to the majority of the electorate.

    I just hope that Obama will deliver on the promise to rebuild the USA to its former glory and standing.

    May 21, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. 209Politics

    Susie have you read about Jimmy Carter? Do you even know why Carter won the presidency in 1976? Carter won because he painted incumbent President Gerald Ford as a part of mainstream Washington.Before Carter took office, many American's still had Watergate in their minds. Carter attacked Washington in his speeches. Carter would be the first candidate from the Deep South to be elected to office since 1848.

    Carter inherited an economy from not one, but two Republican presidents'. They (Nixon, and Ford) would never imagine this would happen. Although Carter should have handled the Iran Hostage Crisis better. This is why all of Carters successors would never engage in diplomacy with Iran. This needs to change, and under an Obama Adiministration this would change, with help from Congress.

    May 21, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. George from Minneapolis

    Just because you were in the armed services and a pow does not make you an expert on foreign relations.

    obama makes more sense than mccain. the old way of doing things is over, they dont work. if they did work our name would not be mud around the world.

    obama's ideas are superior to mcbush's ideas on foreign policy.

    May 21, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. Bayou Joe

    It is not scare tactics, it is called the truth. You don't appease your enemies, you destroy them. History shows us that when one country tries to stop the other from invading it, but giving concessions. They end up in the control of that country.
    It is no different today than it was during WWI and WWII, except we are dealing with an enemy that hides behind women and children,
    destroys their own temples, kills it's own people and has the ambition of bringing the world into their ideology. No one can win an ideological war by diplomacy, They can only do it by destroying the ability of ideologues to carry out their mission.

    In this case we are doing it with our votes. We the true blue American die hards will not allow our country to be placed in the hands of Barak Obama.

    May 21, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Just so we’re all on the same page

    Just so we’re all on the same page:
    1. We can listen to, but we can’t comment on or respond to Michelle Obama’s political statements.
    2. We can’t reference Barack’s middle name.
    3. We can’t refer to any of Barack’s friends or colleagues.
    4. We can listen to, but we can’t respond to Barack’s positions on foreign policy.

    Am I missing anything here?

    May 21, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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