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. Warmonger

    Like Bush, McCain is a war-monger. He wants a war, he wants to talk about war, theorize about war, manage a war, and most of all be at war. He's talking about Iraq being over in 2012, what year do you think McCain would say a war with Iran would start?

    May 21, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Terry in Fl

    Obama has one foreign policy. Open the doors and welcome all terrorist, communists and mad dog heathern into our country. We will be destroyed if that man makes it to the White House.

    May 21, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. gerard morei

    To: Nikole, Harerta, BC girl, Francis, Jeanie, Helene,Pam, Maureen, Maya, Sara, Elizabeth, Carla< Fat Lady, Jennifer, Lilla, Mary, Kathy, Mary-Lynn, Evelyn, Judy Reed, Lucie-Lee, Maria, Mary: I hope you are not the women that complains all the time at work because are not treated fair by they male bosses, and complain also because are not getting equal pay- to equal possitions against what men gets paid. Women being looking all their lives for equal rights, now you have the opportunity to elect a brilliant woman for the most important job in the world and you are turnrd your back on Hillary, Jeoulosy? or you like to be dominated by men? You will not have another opportunity like this to elect a woman for President, I guarantee that. You have nothing against Hillary, She never give anybody a reason to be hayed like you hate her. So, please reconsider your support.
    Thank you.
    Please CNN post this comment.

    May 21, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Proud American

    McCain "Blah, blah, fear, blah" and more "blah, blah, fear, blah". We've been hearing it for 8 years already. You guys in the Republican party are old and senile.

    May 21, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I'm getting very annoyed of those thinking that McCain's military experience should be the criteria to become president. If thats the case, shouldn't all the presidents be military generals instead of civilian politicians? Or you have others who complain that Obama doesn't have experience. No presidential candidate has experience unless he's running for his/her second term.

    What makes a good president is integrity, ability to lead people to a greater good, the ability to unite people, and the ability to elequently convey his thoughts to people of different view points, etc.
    The actual subject matter expertise will come from his/her advisors who the president chooses to surround themselves with, provided that he/she is humble enough to listen to their opinion and intelligent enough to see all sides and make an intelligent and informed decision.

    May 21, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. taylor richmond virginia

    McCain is like a bad record with a skip in it. I think I would rather be waterboarded than tortured with his nutty mantra.

    May 21, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Dana H. in Bay Area CA

    McCain is a coward for not wanting to talk to our enemies, that what it really boils down to. Also that's the only argument he has. Once Obama is declared the nominee he's going be blast McCain on all the other issues he cowering away from like the economy and gas. Obama is smart for letting McCain get all his arguments about foreign policies out and done with. They have a long way to go and once the heat has died down on that, McCain's days are numbered. Even people in his own party is telling him that talks with our enemies is a better idea then him following Bushes lead. Actually I hope McCain keeps up his miss guided Bush thinking so his loss in the fall will be guaranteed. And personally I would rather have someone with no experience then someone with the wrong experience. At least the person with no experience can learn where as the person with the wrong experience will be hard to change.

    May 21, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Texas Democrat

    Has everyone (especially the media) forgotten that Barack Obama does not have some staggering lead over Hillary Clinton? If Obama was truly the CLEAR winner, wouldn’t he have already secured enough delegates by now? Everyone is up in arms about Hillary supposedly dividing the party but that is ridiculous. If half of the party is divided between two people, why isn’t anyone looking at it as Obama being the divider?

    If this is supposed to be such a free and democratic country, why is Florida and Michigan being disenfranchised like this? This wouldn’t be the first time Florida could have changed the entire election.

    Hillary needs to run on the independent ticket. Have McCain, Obama and Clinton run against each other in November and then we will see just who the country thinks the best person for president is.

    May 21, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Obama: No, We Can’t

    As Obama claims the Democratic nomination (despite Hillary Clinton—like Al Gore —having won the popular vote), he just continues to make rookie mistakes. Mitch Berg notes another example of Obama saying something sure to hurt him in the general election. Obama made the following statement in regard to global warming:

    “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.

    “That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” he added.

    “Yes we can!” has now morphed into “that’s not going to happen.” So much for Obama’s positive message of “hope.” Apparently we can hope that Obama is merciful in dictating what we should drive, eat, and what temperature we can set our thermostats to.

    May 21, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. Theracists

    I trust Hillary to deal with the foreign government leaders more than I trust Obama. She at least knows how to dodge the bullets as she comes into their tents. I can picture her walking into the mountains of Pakistan and sitting down with Bin Laden to talk some sense into him. Barak would probably invite him over to his place in Chicago for coffee with Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers. Now that I would pay admission to see.

    May 21, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. 5Jayne

    I have lost all the respect that I used to have for John McCain. He has flip-flopped so many times, he is beginning to look like a dolphin. Wasn't he the guy that got the Sunnis and Shias mixed up, 3 times? He is too out of touch to be the president.

    May 21, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. bernie

    wolf it would be better if you would turn the heat on the jerk that ask all the stupid questions every day.i can;t believe you pay jack cafferty for any of his comments.he is angry and mean old man.give him an obama pin to wear on his white shirt. tell him his job is to report the the news not try top make the news.

    May 21, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. Fredi

    Where in the world did McCain get the reputation that he is competent in foreign politics????????????????

    May 21, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Phong Nguyen

    S. Obama should be taken to task for saying that he would not have known what to do if he had had to vote on authorizing the President to use force on Iraq at the time when he was interviewed by the New York Times on 7/26/2004!!!

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

    Anybody track the Gallop Poll from the day that Bush and McCain statred this Iran debate? Obama is about +8 since then against McCain so I would tend to think that McCain is losing this battle which is suppose to be his "strong" point. If Obama goes +8 over foreign policy then wait until we get to healthcare, the economy and education.

    May 21, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. Darth Vadik, CA

    Now Hillary is comparing Florida and Michigan votes to 2000 and slavery? What is wrong with her?

    May 21, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. Theracists

    The Democratic party is the most racist party in the U.S. All of you are still fighting either the Civil War or the Civil Rights battles. Get over it,
    The party of Lincoln (Republican) has already forged ahead and you can join us in November when we take down the Radicals from the Left Wing of the Democratic Party. We are Americans not hypenated americans as your party would like to label us.

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


    Where is Clinton's armed forces experience??? You are the one looking like an idiot.

    May 21, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. Vig

    Obama has ingratiated himself to America. McCain doesn't mince words – Obama will be backed into a corner sooner or later.

    May 21, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. Jan from Michigan

    Obama people getting desperate? begging people to forgive Barrack for disenfranchising Fla and Mich?

    May 21, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. Obama

    Good for McCain – someone needs to put the heat on Obama. He has gotten a free ride so far. And yes, we are all on the same page concerning Obama. The DNC is in for a rude awakening in November for picking Obama over Hillary. They will pay the price.

    And just for Obama supporters information – screw your scare tatics – we can think for ourselves. Same goes for the scare tatics on the abortion issue. You act as if you have the final word on telling everyone what to do.

    We WILL vote for McCain if Obama get the nomination. Now, put that in your big mouths and chew on it for awhile.

    May 21, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. win

    It was announced yesterday that Israel is having peace talks with Syria, an enemy of Israel. I suppose Bayou Joe and others on this blog would also conclude that Israel is appeasing its enemies????

    May 21, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. noemi in los angeles

    Article Part 1

    Sept. 2007

    Michigan and Florida did not want to miss out on the election-year fun, rejecting the anonymity of the Feb. 5 mob scene. Defying DNC rules, Florida moved its primary to Jan. 29 and Michigan then went to Jan. 15, not specifying whether it would be a caucus or a primary. The early states responded that they would adjust their own dates to make certain that they voted first. The DNC imposed sanctions on the rebellious states: loss of their national convention delegates and prohibition of candidates from campaigning there. The word in Democratic political circles was that Florida and Michigan would get back their delegates before the convention and that nothing could stop presidential candidates from campaigning there.

    But all Democratic candidates a week ago agreed to follow the DNC rules. Contending that early primary states "play a unique and special role in the nominating process," the Clinton campaign statement said "the DNC's rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role." What the statement did not say is how much she actually welcomed Michigan and Florida breaking the rules.

    May 21, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. Alex in TX

    Hey Marie, only a fool, AKA a Republican, would equate foreign policy with the military. Just because you eat up what the Republican machine has been feeding you about military = foreign policy = anti-terrorism, doesn't make it so.

    Go vote for McCain and add a couple million more terrorists in this world ready to blow us up.

    May 21, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    psc nc you posted

    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 ?

    Thanks for responding. i was directing that question to another, but that is ok.

    I was referring to Bush in 2004. I do agree about what you said about the doctor . hay it looks like dems and reps can talk with out killing each other. PCS you have a good day

    May 21, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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