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. mark- Las vegas

    Here we go's the first sign that you PICKED THE WRONG CANDIDATE.

    Congratulations, President McCain.

    May 28, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. david

    ooooh – i want some treasure!

    May 28, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. What if?

    SCARY………first Clinton ,now McCain wants him to go to Iraq with him....

    Obama you have nothing to prove to anyone. I don’t know why they think you should jump and do things that other nominees or president didn’t have to do to prove themselves worthy of our votes and to be our president. This election has aloud you to deal with the worst type of in your face prejudice that anyone should have to endure, 2008 should be different, but it’s not.

    I have tried to reframe from using prejudice in most of my comments, but the truth is this is the worst case to date.

    May 28, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. john

    McSame is desperate and his logic flawed. If Obama was making monthly trips to Iraq he would be criticized for taking unnecessary trips. The time will come soon enough when as the Commander and Chief he will make the necessary trips and meetings. In Good time, in good time...

    May 28, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. demwit

    Even the majority of democrats didn't vote for Obama!!!

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Jeff E.

    John McCain and the Republican attack machine can't justify this war on the facts, so they have to borrow a trick from Fox Noise to gin up false controversy – the Obama clock. This creaky old man and his cast of dirty tricksters wish they had a case. But they're stuck with McCain's losing proposition of war in perpetuity.

    Barack Obama rightly points out that "chaos" and "increased Iranian influence" in Iraq is a direct result the Bush-McCain invasion of that country. It's time for a change, for another approach. And this fall, Obama's victory will give us the breath of fresh air we've been yearning for.

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Doug, New Jersey

    McCain never talks about his son serving in Iraq. If he were a liberal Democrat like Rev. Wright's mentee, it would be discussed in every single speech and media appearance. To honest Americans who want a humble president who loves this country that means a lot.

    Obama will not win in November, there are not enough American hating socialists who agree with Rev. Wright to get him in. The libs will repeat ad nausium about how everyone who isn't voting for Obama is a racist, but unlike liberal Democrats, most Americans have thier own thoughts and views.

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. David in NYC

    The Audacity to want to peacefully resolve situations! Republicans unite to form a bombing coalition, to hell with our children!

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Marge Hibbing Mn

    What in the world does this speech reading, chanting, waving slogan yelling person know about anything. He pretends to be a heck of lot more than what he is. I think he should be shoveled along with all the crap he spews.

    The way the zonked out youth dance and wave you know they think he is a rock star. What a heck of a qualification for president. He sits in the state senate and votes present, his excuse, he said he pushed the wrong button. He sits the federal senate and doesn't even bother to vote.

    What would he do if he was APPOINTED the candidate. Stand up in front of people and read his chant, his slogan and wave and smirk. Sounds like that would be a continuing the bush regime....with all the string pullers behind the scenes making him dance and jump...

    Gee I just got the idea maybe that's why they want obummer the dummer they can pull his strings and get THEIR way.

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Diane, NY

    And last time you, John, were there, you felt SOOO safe you wore a flack jacket and had guards all around you and helicopters overhead when you went out in public. So how did your and Bush's successful mission in Iraq look to you then? If this is all you have to throw at Obama, you are in a world of trouble. This Republican is for Obama...not you.

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Joseph

    "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

    Does this guy have a clue?? How many possible terror threats have been averted in the past 7 years since 9/11. Dozens I believe.

    Obama should go and visit the troops. He unwillingness to go shows his fear and lack of real experience and maturity.

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Franky

    Learning about what???? I haven't seen so much hate and destruction since it was the early 1920's............for example, "corruption" within the White House, the Pats(New England) "Spygate", "fixing sports games"(allegedly), etc......

    Is just not a good combination at all....

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Scott, NH

    Give it a rest old man.. good job approving the GI bill you idiot.

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Pete

    I am a democrat but I must say McCain is right. Why would he not want go to iraq with McCain? Is he that arrogant in wanting to be President. This is why we are going to get beat.

    Where is Hillary?

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah






    The media is the real story. . They let us down with Bush and Iraq! They really let THE AMERICAN PEOPLE down.

    Over 4000 dead, what do you say to those families? BUSH, MCCAIN and CLINTON, need to apologize to all AMERICANS for sending them to there death's! Bush should be removed from office ASAP. Congress should start the Iraqi WAR hearings immediately find the truth please behind this WAR! Remove Bush from office, this will show all of America, the government still works for the good of the people. George Bush has destroyed the creditability of the presidency; even 4000 times worse then Bill Clinton and Monica scandal. If we ever need to go to war again how can we trust congress and the White House to do the right thing?

    The only way congress can restore there creditability; as a functioning body of this government, is to hold formal investigations in this horrible American tragedy the Iraq War. I feel so bad for those families that give there loved ones to this American tragedy, THE IRAQ WAR!

    Obama 08
    For the good of America

    May 28, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Bukky

    "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."

    WHAT BECUASE THATS NOT THERE ALREADY? hMM? Becuase continious threat against Iran will make them feel lovey dovey and NOT want to kill out soilders in Iraq.

    The General reports to congress as a whole not just to you or Obama. I for one find it offensive to him and his men that he has to stop working just to give u a guided 100 body guard tour. His people have a lot more to do than worry about you getting shot. It a sign of respect that Obama give the man his space to do his job... you go ONLY for photo ops

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Kiah

    This man is about as dull as old paint! ************************YAWN********************

    What does going to Iraq show? He is a US Senator....please try again McSame!

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Obama

    Why should I want to go to Iraq. I am going to bring everyone home and then I am going to spend the money we were spending on the war to help people in our own country. There are a lot of people that can use a helping hand with buying food and gas. Oh by the way I am going to use a few hundred billion on finding a good replacement fuel for our gas guzzling suv's. Then I am going to tap the strategic reserve and flood the market with $10 a barrel oil. That should knock a dent in Bush and Cheneys' profits. Back to not going to Iraq. I don't want to go.

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Mike

    The DNC can have their Bush 2.0 which is Obama. Bush/Enron and Obama/Excelon the cycle of abuse starts over again it seems.

    Hillary 08 or McCain 08

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. No More GOP corruption/incompetence

    Maybe Obama didn't see wasting the resources to be able to walk through an open air market with the support of a battalion of Marines, and Blackhawk helicopters to demonstrate that Baghdad is as safe as an open air market in America was necessary. Just keep banging that war drum Johnny, I think it is starting to work for ya.

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Dr. Powers

    McCain has been to Iraq many times and still got it wrong. What is his point?

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. dg

    McCain must be crazy. Does he really believe Obama or Clinton would go anywhere with him? Iraq is a disaster, we all know that. McCain is the typical republican. He's trying to use fear, if we pull out of Iraq we're doomed, fear of Iran, fear! fear! fear! There are countless ways to protect America and fight terrorism without war. We need a president that can, and will, use all of the resources and tools at their disposal to fight terrorism and keep America safe. Continuing the war in Iraq is not logical or necessary. If McCain stopped talking up the war in Iraq and stop criticizing OBama, he'd have nothing to say, and no solutions to the many problems we as Americans are facing due to the lack of leadership by the current administration. McCain would be more of the same, something America can't afford. I doubt cnn will post my comments. For some reason, they usually don't.

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Ty

    These weak attacks look so desperate. He needs to hire new advisors. Oh yeah, they're all lobbyists. Give me a break Mccain. Who cares.

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. logic

    Everytime you politicians politicize a visit to Iraq you cause chaos. You are in the rear away from any real danger and countless resources are dedicated to your visit, distracting soldiers from "important missions." You don't get a portrait of the reality over there, instead you get a glimpse of the reality, Bush wants you to see. Why waiste resources going over there unless you are ready to take up arms yourself. The same troops that are required to accomodate your trip are the same troops that could very well be letting other soldiers down who are actually fighting. Obama went once, so what. He does not support the war. This war is your baby McSame, so I suggest you relocate to Irag permanently with Bush until the war is over.

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Greg - Annapolis, MD

    What McCain doesn't understand is that the only time Obama is going to go anywhere with him is when he drops McCain off at the nursing home on his way to the White House. Quite honestly, I would advise McCain to not travel to any war torn region of the world. Did anyone else see how he twitched yesterday when he said that he'd never surrender in Iraq after he was interrupted 4 times by anti-war protesters. McCain criticizes Obama for not having enough war experience. That is very a good thing We don't need another war-obsessed leader in the world. We don't need another American to travel there to realize we don't belong and should have never sent troops there to begin with.
    Obama '08!!!

    May 28, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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