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. Karin

    Yeah......what ever McBush.......say what you may......but since your talking about Iraq....Why have you not reply about the book by Scott McClellan........You should not even open your month about Iraq........and since you want to talk about Obama and him not visiting Iraq.....Hell.... why should he .....this is Bush and your mess.....Obama did not see a strong reason to go to war with Iraq and I guess he also feel that why should he visit Iraq when Bush and his follower who Lie to America are going to do what they wish any continue to lie to America and cover the real reason why Bush push America into this war......LOL......but who get the last laugh now....I think it will be Scott McClellan and his book also the American people.

    May 28, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Enlightned Voter

    Why is it that mccain can only talk abou the war. HELLO!!! What about the economy, gas, houses etc. And people want him to be our president. All he will do is start another war. Look out folks, IRAQ (vietnam) 2

    May 28, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. Peter

    im not your friend McLame

    May 28, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |


    May 28, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Bubba

    I doubt Obama would go anywhere with Bush Lite™ in the first place, and he'd be a fool to go into a base full of twitchy Republican soldiers who have been told unequivocally that he is a Muslim who hates the flag. Let's just bring them home and explain things to them. Wasn't it McCain's running mate who joked about shooting Obama? Can I joke about shooting McCain? Why can't we comment on McLellan's book anymore?

    May 28, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. R.I.F.

    Whenever these politicians go to Iraq its for photo-ops and to shop at the market. I saw a report last night by an unbais source that said these trips accomplish nothing because they are so far away from all the action that they would do better to just watch a PBS special on the war.

    May 28, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Jeff

    It is time you write sometihing constructive and sensible and stop displaying your ignorance, biasness and ineptitude.

    May 28, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. J.W. of Mississippi

    It doesn't matter how many times you visit Iraq, the American people have spoken. They want our troops out of Iraq. Sen. McCain has made numerous trip and he hasn't learned anything. Maybe, he should be paying more attention to whats happening at home like in domestic issues. This war is about a lie and Sen. NcCain knows that but he insists that we push on. Is he Crazy?
    Sen McCain, spending time as a POW doesn't make you a hero. Things like: how many combat missions you flew, Hog many MIGS you killed, how many times did you risk your life to save a comrade are part of the make up of a Navy Pilot's criteria to be called a hero. The number of medals awarded to you because your dad is an Admiral doesn't count. I wonder how many of those medals were awarded due to recommendations by fellow POWs? Many of us know the difference. You keep blowing this smoke about being a hero bot not a single man that you served with has publicly validated your claim.
    CNN, CBS, ABC, FOX,NBC, CNBC, this is a lie that you are cowardly allowing to be perpetrated on the American people just as you allowed George "THE CLOWM" Bush to lead us into a war based on lies that you refused to ask questions about.

    May 28, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. yardstylze

    Like they say....War is Old men taking and Young men just shut up already McBush and bring our troops home

    May 28, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Doug, SD

    I don't have to visit Iraq to know we need to get out of that HELL Hole

    Obama 08

    May 28, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    I wouldn't go to IRAQ with yo crazy __ either. That's just good judgement. McCain should go there and stay until he makes 4001, since he likes war so much.

    May 28, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Amy

    If McCain, Bush and co. go to Iraq and actually go out in the field and not hide behind the protection of the US bases then maybe, just maybe, criticism of Obama is justified but seeing as none of those that STARTED this war have actually put themselves in danger why should he take heat for one trip?

    As was stated on CNN last night, even if Obama went there is so much security surrounding our politicians over there that he wouldn't see what is really going on anyway. That same goes for McCain and his 'numerous' trips there.

    May 28, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. outsider

    war monger, obama doesn't need to go to Irag with you, end this criminal war.

    May 28, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Bobbi

    Not one to usually side with Republicans but this is one more example of Senator Obama's gross inexperience. Go, Hillary, go!

    May 28, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. Amy

    Why would Obama accept an invitation to go on a field trip with McCain as teacher "educating him along the way?" Such a suggestion is belittling and demeaning. Obama doesn't need McCain to lead him by the hand, nor is his knowledge of the country and the issue at hand deficient.

    I agree that Obama should go to Iraq, and he probably will soon. But on his own terms and NOT with McCain holding his hand.

    May 28, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Maya


    May 28, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. lil

    John Mccain is a mean grouchy old man who talks down to people
    listen to him speak. He is very sarcastic in his choice of words all he
    want to do is go to war. I dont listen to him because he dont make
    sense to me. His whole speeches are put downs of other he never
    sound positive.

    May 28, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Norb

    You go John. Obama doesn't need to go. You can always count on Joe Lieberman and Charles Keating to go with you.

    May 28, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Blake, San Diego

    We live in the information age. Does McCain really think people are so blind? We all have an unlimited amount of information sources at our fingertips. McCain is so buried in the past it's not even funny.

    May 28, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Nancy

    Obama is afraid to go to Iraq, just like he was afraid to do the right thing and join the military when he was younger, he should of known that if he wanted to get into public office that this would come up, it always does. Bill Clinton didn't go into the military either and it was brought up several times by the GOP opponent so Obama should be no different even though no one is allowed to touch the great Obama or speak ill of the great Obama.

    Clinton/McCain 08

    May 28, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. SZ

    Heck no, we don't want him to go to Iraq. He should be here giving inspirational speeches.

    May 28, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Daniel Wilenchik

    Yes! Thank you McCain for saying what Obama needs to hear! Everyone knows that it's safe to walk the streets of Baghdad alone...with a hundred soldiers and a handful of apache helicopters to back you up. You're just the leader we want to follow...

    May 28, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Internet Argument Winner

    Question.... what does it cost us taxpayers to send a senator to Iraq for a publicity stunt? 1 mil? Maybe more?

    May 28, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Conservative Buyer- CA

    Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah; you hit it right on the nail. Nothing more true could've been only screwed up by GWBush and his goonies.

    On top of that GWBush has all this blood in his hands. Only someone like him could not have conceived another possible outcome which could've made him a ground breaking legendary status US President. Instead we are evil and allowed ourselves to believe in GWBush.

    That's why our next leader has to be able and see beyond the horizon of what is at hand.


    May 28, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Bitter - New Orleans, LA

    Obamatards – education incoming...

    Secret Fundraisers? Private does not equal secret. Every candidate has private fundraisers, even the holyobama himself.

    Capt Smash... quit spamming the ticker with your drivel. Don't forget the drool cup.

    Claiming to have a plan for Iraq without even speaking with the general in charge is quite naive. Nothing new here.

    Obama won't do it. He knows that opening his mouth about foreign policy equates to losses in the polls.

    McCain's GI bill is better for the troops than the current one. But you didn't even know that he had one. Drugs are bad, mkay?

    May 28, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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