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. M from Texas

    I think it's pretty sad that Obama sides with our enemies over our soldiers.

    May 28, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Dave W.

    If McCain wants to go to Iraq, let him move there and run for President of that country. He wants the american Army there for another 100 years, so he will have some supporters. Maybe.

    May 28, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. Michelle from Colorado

    This is politics. This is life. He who shouts the loudest gets heard regardless of the emptiness of the message. I wish McCain would try spending a week in Iraq out in the streets with the common folk.
    It makes me literally ill and afraid that if we only have McSame the war monger and Barry the bore to choose from when our country is reeling from the devastation of the lies and damage of the least popular president in history, we are going to keep skidding down hill.
    I am glad Hillary is making a big noise about Michigan and Florida. I hope her voice of reason and results is heard above the mindless din of two men who are out of touch, just on different ends of the spectrum.

    May 28, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    May 28th, 2008 4:40 pm ET

    John… shut up. Now's not the time. We Dems (and maybe Americans in general) are FREAKING ticked-off and have little patience. Scott McClellans book in conjunction with the administrations response, has some of us seeing red, and your war drum is inappropriate. That you embrace this mans policies (GWB) is beyond comprehension. That alone says that not all the dots are on your dice.

    Just shut it relative to war. It's rarely the answer but usually the first option! You should go on trial along with GW, Dick, Scooter, Karl, and the other muderers in the administration.

    May 28, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Proud American

    Republicans your chickens are coming home to roost.

    May 28, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. KE

    Sen. Obama contradict himself a lot. He has no record to show.

    Problem with extreme liberalism is that, for an example, people mock religion but they want to make their government a religion. They mock dooms day yet they preach global warming.

    Sen. Obama quated many time "We have nothing to fear but fear itself," Franklin D. Roosevelt. Yet he is always fearful about not talking to his enemies.

    Fear is a healthy thing written in our DNA for a good reason. Only bad when they become hysteria or paranoia.

    Sen. Obama should go to places he doesn't want to go if he is so willing to sit and talk with his enemies.

    Hillary makes better arguments against McCain.

    May 28, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Fran

    Okay, whether you want to admit it or not McCain is right, Obama want's to be president and we have a war going on and he only visited once in 2 years??

    If he is going to make a case about Iraq shouldn't he at least go there? I don't know about you Obama supporters, you are not making any sence!

    May 28, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Rick

    If the DNC and Dean change the rules for Clinton, I will not vote for change or Obama and I will vote for McCain because that teaches nothing except that when you whine like Clinton you get you way. Change the rules for Clinton, I will vote republican.........

    May 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Lew in Atlanta

    Isnt it great how everyone wants to say that McCain is just another third term of Bush. Want a scarier thought? Obama is a second term of Jimmy Carter. God help us all!!

    May 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Bob Stephens


    You are a sad, old, tired, and angry man. Retire and do us all a favor...

    May 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. Eli

    Im a DEMOCRAT and what John McCain says is actually true. Obama is all for sitting down with the leaders of these countries but will not ask for a sit down with the General of our troops. Another thing I disagree with is no matter if you are against the war are not visiting would be for the TROOPS, which my brother is one, he may disagree with it but he is still over there putting his life in danger. If Obama wants to be PRESIDENT he is going to have to act like it.

    May 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Sylvia

    McCain, U R running for President to save the people in Iraq. Why dont you run for President in Iraq? The people of this country is taking a back seat to Iraq again just like the past eight years. You R a status quo candidate and we deserve better than this. I, for one, will not vote for you. We cannot afford to have you as our next President.

    May 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. I totally agree with Senator McCain

    Let Obama face those heroic young men and women in Iraq and tell them what they're doing is worth nothing! And when the next big terrorist attack occurs in the U.S., he can send a little message to Iran on his Blackberry: "Now that wasn't nice, guys! Can we talk?

    May 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. Kincas,MA

    >I WILL WRITE IN HILLARY'S NAME ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT if the DNC and back-stabbing superdelgates try to shove Obama down our throats


    May 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Dylan

    Oh shove it, McSame!

    The point is to get Americans OUT of that hell hole that YOU and your fellow minions created.

    4000 dead for NOTHING.

    Just say to to McSHAME.

    May 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. What if?

    Pete May 28th, 2008 4:37 pm ET

    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?
    where snipers are...

    May 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. JB Merced

    They (Hillary and McBush) just want Barrack to go to Iraq hoping that he'll get shot.

    May 28, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. s

    Oh God, I haven't made my annual trip to Iraq! McCain please, If you guys listened to Obama there would be no need to visit anyone there.

    May 28, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Joe Reg

    Go back to sleep.

    The troops should be phase out in Iraq.

    100 years of war in Iraq is unsustainable.

    May 28, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. NO-BAMA

    actually that was a stupid comment to make...I've read/researched some more into Obama and I beleive that he will be better than McCain and Clinton.

    I believe that he can change this country's disrespectful face around the world into a beacon of hope and opportunity!


    May 28, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Adam

    This is ridiculous, her mindset about votes is very confusing.

    1. She wants to count the votes from Florida and Michigan who broke the rules.

    2. She doesn't want to count the caucus popular votes or delegates.

    She is such a hypocrite, she doesn't care about people's votes, she cares about winning the White House for her husband again, so she can further extend the Clintonian Legacy.

    Mrs. Clinton,

    You claim to care and want to 'count every vote', yet you don't want to include the votes from caucus states or delegates. It's the way those states vote, so are you saying that they don't count because you have lost every caucus state? It's HOW those states vote and it's appalling for you to suggest that it doesn't count because they are votes that you don't win.

    May 28, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Nikki

    Way to go John! Rather than explaining how you're going to win the war and not surrender, you take a few cheap shots. Do you really think that another personal visit by Obama will change his platform? He's flat out against the war and you're for the war. He doesn't need a personal visit to explain the issue from his point of view. Besides, he grilled Petreus in the Senate. He has his own policy advisors that are gearing up for his agenda should he win the presidency. Politicians always look for a cheap shot and never explain their perspective on the issues.

    May 28, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Dave

    Are americans so dumb to accept these craps from McCain? If you vote for McCain, you must be dumb.

    May 28, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. Dave W.

    John in PA
    But your math does not count the caucus states right? Get a grip.

    May 28, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. RuthieM

    Yeah, the head of Iran is real, the situation McCainbush wants to perpetuate in Iraq is not, it's a lie, so Obama should not follow McCain's lie no matter how much he politicizes it.

    May 28, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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