May 29th, 2008
06:19 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama considers trip to Iraq

 McCain took aim at Obama over Iraq Wednesday.

McCain took aim at Obama over Iraq Wednesday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign said Wednesday that the Illinois senator is considering a trip to Iraq before the November election, CNN's Candy Crowley reports.

Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain had strongly criticized Obama earlier in the day for not visiting Iraq in more than two years, and for turning down the Arizona senator's suggestion that the two should make a joint trip to the country.

“Senator Obama has been to Iraq once - a little over 2 years ago he went and he has never seized the opportunity except in a hearing to meet with Gen Petraeus," McCain said at a campaign event in Reno, Nevada. "My friends this is about leadership and learning."

Again raising the issue of Obama's willingness to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, McCain also said of the Illinois senator, "he wants to sit down with the president of Iran but hasn’t yet sat down with Gen. Petraeus, the leader of our troops in Iraq?"

Responding to McCain, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, "It seems odd that Senator McCain, who bought the flawed rationale for war so readily, would be lecturing others on their depth of understanding about Iraq."

Obama last visited Iraq in January, 2006 for a two-day tour of the country.

McCain's comments come the same day the Republican National Committee launched a clock on its Web site noting how many days it has been since Obama traveled to Iraq, and three days after his supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested both the presumptive Republican nominee and Obama tour the country together. McCain later said he agreed that the Democratic presidential contender should accompany him on an upcoming trip, adding that he would "seize that opportunity to educate Senator Obama along the way."

Burton declined the invitation and called the move a "political stunt."

"The American people don't want any more false promises of progress, they deserve a real debate about a war that has overstretched our military, and cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars without making us safer," he added.

Speaking Wednesday, McCain called those comments a "profound misunderstanding" of the situation in Iraq.

"That is a profound misunderstanding, a profound misunderstanding of what's happened in Iraq and what's at stake in Iraq," he said. "Because if we set a date of withdrawal as Senator Obama wants to do, there will be chaos, there will be genocide, there will be increased Iranian influence there, and we will have to go back with further sacrifice of American blood and treasure."

(Updates with Obama response)

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (473 Responses)
  1. Justme WV

    Tell me why Sen Obama should go to Iraq? The goal is to bring our American soldiers home.

    May 28, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. NO-BAMA

    HA ... HA....


    Obama is a liar!

    May 28, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. spencer

    McCain needs to quit using the "My friend" statement in his speeches..I do not believe that line for a min..He will still lose in the fall...

    May 28, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah


    The one thing about Saddam Hussein he took no S**T from any of these people that are controlling Iraq now! Yes he was a nasty dictator that used the chemical weapons that the US gave him back in the 80’s to kill Kurdish threats and Iranian Solders. You see Saddam Hussein seen these people as threats to has regime and government, he knew how to handle these people. Further, Iran was scared to death of him and did not dare to step foot Iraq. We could have used Saddam Hussein as a puppet if we were smart! We could have paid him to do our dirty work with Al Qaeda and Iran like we did in 80’s when Regan was president. Bush does not know how to think on that level he is to arrogant and stupid to know he had everything going for him after 9/11.

    You see by keeping Saddam Hussein in power until we got off of fossil fuels would have been the smart and prudent thing to do. We could have positioned ourselves to deal with him on another level at a different time. Bush just made the most bone-headed foreign policy mistake in our countries history hopefully the next president can get us out of this mess.


    May 28, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Bob Gormley

    What twisted logic McCain has.
    Anyone who votes for mcCain is either brain dead
    or brain washed.

    May 28, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Hill.Bill.y

    Yeah, both Obama and Hill.bill.y should go to Iraq.

    May 28, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. HillarySkank on myspace

    To borrow the phrase of another republican, Mr McSame, you are full of crap.

    May 28, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Mark

    Why would he go back, he's been there once, and its an Illegal war, with motives dirived from lies, and propaganda... I love the fact this new book will be a tell all...

    DEMOCRATS 08'!!

    May 28, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. FLorida

    LEt him win the nomination first!! Gezzzz

    May 28, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Ben

    John McCain..Fuel is expensive so dont just waste money on flying across the continent to score a political point. Man this is what politicians from the old school do.."The Dare Game".. Man what an old fart!

    May 28, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Debbie,NJ

    And why would a Senator sit down one on one with the General of the US Armed forces? Has any other Senator? You're coming down McCain you and the entire Bush Adminstration.

    May 28, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |


    May 28, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Joe

    Grow up McCain. It's a little easy to go anywhere you want when you've had the Republican nomination sewn up for months.

    You don't get to frame the issue of Iraq when you've been wrong since day by voting for the war!

    May 28, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Conservative Buyer- CA

    What's next is McCain will say he was a POW and Barack Obama did not.

    If the secret fundraiser events are any indication to the kind of transparency McCain is promising, then GOD help us all.

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Matt--Nebraska

    Obama's a coward.

    Our enemies know it.

    Our military knows it.

    He cannot be relied upon.

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. Ready for Change

    As is always the case, those who don't care enough to go are sure quick to talk crap about the ones who do, and jump on the band wagon for leaving. My son in law is doing his second tour in Iraq now.

    He is voting for McCain. Enough said.

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Georg

    There is a point in what McCain is trying to explain. However I hope that Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States of America.

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Typical bitter white person

    That's because Obama thought Iraq had already been liberated by his uncle.

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Montana is Obama Country

    I don't care what John McBush says.. this is NO Country for Old Men...

    ...........John McBush is EXACTLY what is WRONG for America..........

    ..................John McCain is a BUSH Third TERM...........

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. M in MN

    Again? Apparently he forgot that he already harped on this on Memorial Day, when he should have been honoring veterans.

    (Well, they do say memory is the first thing to go...)

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Jennifer, VA

    Ummmm, unlike you, he doesn't have a lot of free time on his hands. And I think you know that already...just a cheap political stunt. But when he's done fighting Hillary, I am sure he wouldn't mind.

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. O'David

    Where does McCann come up with these things. I don't care who is elected, Republican or Dem but not him please!

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. SLO Bear

    Also, of course, he failed to orchestrate photo ops that put large numbers of soldiers in harms way.

    May 28, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Tell the truth

    Is McCain only going to talk about war? Can he talked about the gas prices, bush taxes cuts the help the top 1% of americans?

    May 28, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. Tim

    I think McCain needs to help explain the alligations from the insiders book and why the was was justified before he even thinks of talking about someone needs to go to Iraq. Why have we sacirficed 4,000 plus lives and countless wounded???

    May 28, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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