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. Give me a break

    mccain you all should be tried for war crimes for agreeing to this senseless criminal war. How dare you put Obama down because he had the better judgement to oppose this war. Experience, ha! Judgment! ha! You showed neither you filthy republican.

    May 28, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. jfs Memhis, Tn

    I believe that if going to Iraq will fix something ....Fine. Apparently McCain's last visit did not fix anything. He still did not get the factions correct !!! At least Obama knew the difference and McCain is scolding him for not visiting the war zone. I truely do not think McCain accomplished anything In Iraq .....but get press coverage.. Some was of the negative variety. Maybe he could visit South Chicago with Obama. Certainly closer and in need of much more of our help than a country in a cicil war.

    May 28, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Venus

    Keep going McSame! Hey – have you heard about the new book regarding the real reasons why we went to war in Iraq? This is going to burn you McSame!

    Ha,ha,ha,ha! McSame when Obama do go to Iraq – he will be going to tell them how he just supported the new GI-Bill that you wouldn't and he will be telling our troops that they will be coming HOME!

    May 28, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Crush Rush

    Thats because Betrayous will not hold that post in the future.All the real the Generals retired because of Rumsfelds constant screwups.

    May 28, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. martin

    why doesn't mccain go there,and stay.

    May 28, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. B - NYC

    Thats because Barrack Hussein Obama is ALL TALK people...

    If he were to win, we would be in for four years of speeches (he is a great speaker) diverting us for the mistakes!


    May 28, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Pete

    McCain is a very angry old man.

    May 28, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. unite the dems

    Clinton supporter's arguments:

    1) 'Obama should drop out because he can't win the general.'
    – never mind that hillary can't even win the primary.

    2) 'Obama has no experience.'
    – as opposed to hillary's 'experience' as a first lady?

    3) 'Obama is not trustworthy'.
    – as opposed to hillary who lied, slung mud like a champion, flip flopped, lied some more, changed rules mid game. (bosnia sniper, chelsea jogging, race card, feminist card, agreed to FL and MI disqualification when it suited her, discounted EVERY economist and sided with the opposition to support the gas tax relief, does not want caucuses counted)

    4) 'We will vote for McCain (and 100 more years in Iraq and $10 gas and roe vs wade overturned) even though we are democrats and even though Obama and Hillary have identical positions…because supporters are mean!'
    – I don't even know what to say to this.

    May 28, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. bernj

    First....Senator McCain....I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND.

    Second......please understand that at least 50% of Americans are also not your friend.

    The only profound misunderstanding is yours Senator. You don't understand that most Americans are tired of the killing. Tired of the wasted resources. Tired of the republican lie machine. Tired of the bs from you and Bush.

    May 28, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Vietnam Veterans Against McCain

    Get lost McCain!

    May 28, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. Greg

    And what has McCain accomplished with his trips? Wasting taxpayer money and endangering troops by making them responsible for him as he lies about the conditions there

    May 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. rex

    What? The Bush Administration lied about the war?!?! Color me shocked! This is NOT news.

    May 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. John in PA

    Obamabots listen up!

    Thomas Jefferson, the true founder of our party, said it best when he talked about a majority of one being all you need. That is the true basis of the Democratic party and democracy in general. How can anyone deny Hillary the nomination if she WINS the popular vote? Please don't try some convuluted explanation about pledged delegates. It's Jefferson's MAJORITY OF ONE that matters. Hillary will have that, and the nomination will be stolen from her against the will of the people.

    May 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Kia

    The Old can't even stand on his two feet, and he wants to go to battle ground. I don't mind anything happenes to him over there as long as our next president, President Barack Obama, to be safe. So it's a great news he is not going to get involve among civil war fighters.

    May 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Ryan

    So...Obama isn't a good leader because he allows the military to do the military's job?

    Secondly : Why would a senator so openly opposed to the war travel to a war zone often? Does McCain expect us to believe a 2 day snapshot of 'Green Zones' would somehow change Barack's opinion (and the truth) that Iraq is an illigetimate war with no exit strategy?

    I don't think so, McBush. Plus you're wearing out your "homeland security" talking August when gas is $6.00 per gallon you won't have a platform left to run on.

    May 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Susan

    McCain also know that they won't see what is really going on over there – the murder of thousand of civilians. They are too heavily guarded, and only taken to the safest ares, with additional protection forVIP'S. This is a junk challenge from McBush!

    May 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. Army Veteran

    Are there any other Veterans enraged at McCain for ignoring the GI Bill?
    Speak up!

    This man is evil personified.

    May 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. wwf

    Keep trying to school the youngster. The only one who is going to get schooled is McCain. Too bad he has become too much like Bush. Being an Independent, I just might have voted for him. Not now. Did you go to Katrina after it happened? Nope. Showed up on you campaign trail and blasted Bush for doing nothing. Where were you? Getting a birthday cake from Bush.

    May 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Nancy

    Blah, blah, blah, go take a nap old man

    May 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. F C Sanders Sr

    Its amazing how McCain can talk about Obama's error of camps but true statement about his uncle, but Joe Liberman had to correct him live and on tv with his mistatement. At leat Obama was recalling a story told to him while McCain was talking live. Also why should Obama go to Iraq with McCain that doesn't make the war necessary, doesn't help the economy, doesn't lower gas prices, and doesn't help with health care.

    May 28, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Ryan from Denver

    Man...they are reaching for ANYTHING........

    McCain....there is no point there at all!!! hahaha........Republicans might trually get crushed this november.
    But then again....this type of slander works with many uneducated Americans.

    May 28, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Peter Damoah-Afari

    So, McCain does not have any sensible thing to say to the voters?

    May 28, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. Veterans for Obama

    McCain is through.

    May 28, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Khalil

    President Bush has visited Iraq many times over the past 5 years, including one time when he stood in front of a banner that said "Mission Accomplished."
    Does anyone here think that President Bush ever got a good idea of how things were going on the ground in Iraq? If you do, that makes me sad for our country. When you "visit Iraq", you spend 90% of your time in the secure Green Zone, then 10% in a marketplace surrounded by 100 Marines. Not exactly "mingling with the locals."

    May 28, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. Jane

    John McCain has used his trips to Iraq as photo ops and undoubtedly put the troops at greater risk given his presence. Additionally, he was totally out of touch with reality when he falsely described the safe environment he experienced in the marketplace – and we then learned of the incredible level of security surrounding him.

    May 28, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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