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. JJM, Oakland

    Obama knows more from one trip than McBush has learned in a half dozen. How sad for John McCain.

    May 28, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. king from toronto

    americans should be very afraid of a man like mcsame!! is it me??? or the only thing he talks about is "WAR"?? just an observation.

    May 28, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Obama – don't go ANYWHERE with McShame – you'll end up being an accidental casualty in the "safe zone" !!!!!!!

    Talk to the folks in charge over there – no reason for the McShame photo-ops that he goes for. You are above that kind of bull. Listen to the experts, not Viet Nam's "Songbird".

    May 28, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    If Obama wins the election, we will be attacked because he will not fight our enemies.... the number of dead Americans on 911 will be nothing compared to future attacks..... I see alot of comments here about an illegal war? How so? If it was an illegal war, why doesnt the Democratic owned senate and congress do something about it.... they cant!! because they know us being there is the good for our country.

    May 28, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Carrie Pa

    McCain keeps on saying that its getting better in Iraq. During McCains last visit to Iraq, this is the same person that needed a 200 manned security detail to protect him. I challenge McCain to go back to Iraq and walk the streets alone. Then, maybe, I will take him seriously.

    May 28, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Yeswecan

    Has Mccain heard of dementia. It can start with unreasonable behaviour and this is what it is. Does GOP have nothing substantial to bring out against Obama? Shame on the republicans.

    May 28, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. R1100RT in VA

    My Friends: Why should Obama go to Iraq and stroll around wearing a fat vest, surrounded by 1,000 US troops, with a dozen Blackhawks patrolling overhead, at a wasted cost of millions of dollars? For a photo op? Just because McCain's already done that stunt for the cameras? What's the point? What did McCain "learn" when he did that pointless exercise and what could Obama "learn?"

    My Friend McCain: Go back to Arizona with your foreign lobbyist buddies and your rich booze tycoon wife. Goldwater would be ashamed of you.

    May 28, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Travis (in the real world)

    Has anyone noticed.....Geez John McSame is starting to look like Bush, maybe they've they've been too close and it's rubbing off on each other.

    May 28, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Enlightned Voter - Obama all the way

    Sharon Minnesota – First you were all Hillary. Now your a republican and more and more your little rants sound weaker and weaker because you know you're WRONG. Put a little more umph into them if you can stomach yourself.

    May 28, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Ify from NY

    McCain needs some psychotropic medications and medications for Alzeimers. Going to Iraq is not a criteria for running for the presidency of this country. Obama may not have been to Iraq since 2006 at least he's been there once to know what's going on. Many Americans haven't been there either yet we know much more than some house members who've been to Iraq.

    There's this African saying that goes like this: an adventourus kid sometimes knows better than the grey haired papa.

    May 28, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Matt

    Ms. Parker's report was not only politically astute but also introduced a refreshing angle to the at times monotonous plodding of the democratic race.

    May 28, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. End primary now

    McSame: you went to Iraq after the primary. Obama is still in the primary season. Why not you take hillary as your VP? Please please Pleaase
    Why do you want Obama to go with you? Are you laking idea's to clean the mess you, Hillary and Bush did there?...Do not worry. Obama will clean all of this mess and all 3 of you need to rest and enjoy your retirement...

    Change is coming

    May 28, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. TF

    Why should Obama go to a place the the Republicans lied to us about having WMD's? All Obama needs to know is that we need to get our troop out of harms way and then Obama can start the process of bringing the current President up on War Crimes!!

    May 28, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. usa


    May 28, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Ron

    Bush has mortally wounded this country. McCain will put the final bullets in its head and throw it in the river.

    May 28, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. MD

    McCane is pathetic. What's the point of going there? McCane went. What did he accomplish by going there? NOTHING.

    This senile old man should be checking out resting homes, not run for presidency of the United States.

    If this is ALL McCane has to attack Obama with, he is in DEEP TROUBLE.

    May 28, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Nathan

    Personally I am glad that he hasn't wasted our money by going to Iraq. What good would it possibly do for a Senator to go around and visit the sites which the military would lead him to? I am not necessarily an Obama supporter and will probably vote for McCain in the election, but I simply hate it when politicians waste our money taking pointless trips. I live in Oregon and it drives me nuts when I hear about our governor viewing forest fires from a helicopter. Why waste all that money to fly someone around over the fire? What good does it do? What does he learn from looking at it that he couldn't learn from the people actually there? This is no different, it is simply politicians wanting to be visible and I think it's a complete waste of money. I personally don't think any congressman from either party has any business going to Iraq. There is absolutely nothing they can accomplish by going there that they couldn't have done anyway.

    May 28, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Doug, SD

    The same people who say the Republicans will eat Obama alive also said the Clinton would eat Obama alive.

    Go ahead make his day

    May 28, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. JooJoo

    It seems that the many people will fall for anything that deflects away from relevent issues. It's easy for McCain to pick on Obama about travel to Iraq when that's the only subject McCain can talk about with any authority. Gas, jobs, food prices, healthcare, education....eehhh who cares about that....

    May 28, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Rayshaun

    I think the only person who needs to be educated on the situation is McCain, who, for a person who clims to have been over their frequently, only solution to the violence, death and blundering of our nations resources their is to continue doing it for 100 years.

    May 28, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. Dan, TX

    Doesn't seem like going to Iraq matters much. McCain still thinks we should be wasting money and blood and Obama doesn't. Visiting the peaceful beautiful country of Iraq is not going to change that.

    May 28, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. Nando, Florida

    Why does MCCSHAME want to hang around Barak so much I WONDER?

    May 28, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. George

    McCain is clearly a one trick pony, and sounding more like a hawk everyday . America needs more than a President who embraces the failed foreign policy of the last five decades and eight years of Bush domestic policy. I don't believe this old dog is capable of learning any new tricks – at least none that would be beneficial to the American public.

    May 28, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Abraham

    What mcCain said is nonscene.mCcain,you need to go for retirement and leave the messes you started to this young man.if we honor America,please Vote for Obama.

    May 28, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. Noah

    Obama lacks experiance,judgement, and now even knowledge of world history to be President. His campaign has been the most slickest in years, while preaching new politics, they go behind Clinton's back and distort her to the media. They claimed they had no problem with Hillary's innocent remarks about RFK, a clear referance to primaries in June, but as with race..they quickly sent anything and everything to the media..Is this the new world you want..

    This is no republican saying he will vote for McCain over Obama..I will not vote for Obama based on what I know. I will hopefully cast a vote for a real leader Hillary Clinton.

    Sad when Gary Sinese, an actor, has been to Iraq more than Obama.

    No Experiance.No Obama

    May 28, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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