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. Mar

    You tell him John!! This guy is so uniformed, naive and arrogant yet he expects to be the Democratic nominee?? Get Real!!! John McCain is a true patriot. He doesn't just put a flag pin on because it is socially acceptable.
    Obama is a joke.

    May 28, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Mahmoud

    Sen. Obama has his priorities.

    May 28, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Go Hillary

    The guy won't even wear a flag pin why would he go to iraq ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Hmmm... So unless you actually go to Iraq, you can't understand what's going on there? Interesting.... Road trip is in order.

    May 28, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. proud army and navy mom

    shut up mcbush. anything to take the attention off the corrupt rep party.

    let's see, you want Sen Obama to go to Iraq to look at the destruction that your buddy bush has reeked. the war you have endorsed and intend on expanding into iran.

    you are not a hero, you are an old idiot that needs to stand trial for this illegal war you helped to create. your hands are filled with the blood of our troops.

    May 28, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. johnson

    You go McCain. Tell him. And you just made a trip to the 9th ward of New Orleans last month (two years after Katrina)

    May 28, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Chad, Wisco

    So if McClellin felt so bad about everything that was going on, why didnt he quit earlier? I will not question if the man is wrong or right, but this guy smells like Jose Canseco to me. Heck I cant wait to quit my plush job and right a book about how horrible everyone treated me for some extra money.

    May 28, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Ronnie

    Obama should go to Iraq, after all Obama is the "Tourist!
    "Touring" is ALL Obama has done during these primaries. Touring all 57 states, and one to go AK,and HI with the money of the blind sheep he's leading to slaughter, touring on the tail of the liberal media, touring on a couple of books he wrote (and even there he stole the title "Audacity of Hope" from that pastor whom he now "disowns. "Touring" on the coattails of Hillary Clinton, whose EVERY PROGRM he now mimicks as "his own," touring on his 120 "present" votes in the Illinois Senate, and now "touring" in Florida, now trying to convince the voters there to go for him. By the way, folks, Obama kept himself on the ballot in Florida, and if he had won — which he did NOT — he'd be "touring" to the convention in a much better position. I'm not interested in a "tourist" as president. I'm intersted in a proven native. 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 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. taylor richmond virginia


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

    He does have a point. Come on Obama, I know you are busy fighting Clinton off of your heels but it's vital to know as much about the situation in Iraq as possible.

    May 28, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. WHY?

    Who would want to go over there, we are trying to GET OUT of Iraq. How about you go over there and stay for a 100 years, better yet how about you go check on New Orleans McBush!!!!

    OBAMA 08

    May 28, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Marie-Lynn

    Wake up old man, Please...

    May 28, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Jerry

    What give McCain rights to order Obama to go to iraq with him i dont trust Hillary and McCain, Let Obama decide when he should go to Iraq he dont have to go with McCain.

    May 28, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Eve

    This is all McCain thinks he knows about. He might have a different opinion now; since that new book came out from Scott McClellan. The sad part is; McCain seems to get so happy, talking about "he will never surrender". Sounds like some kind of flash back. It is not in our country's best interest for McCain to be president. This guy is a loose cannon.

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. No Way

    Still don't like the war. We are not there for the right reasons.

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Obama for President

    Why should he visted a disaster he never voted for or supported?

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Joe Reed

    Obama does not need to go to Iraq to see the mess the Republican party has put us into Bozo McCain. All you have to do is turn on the TV, the whole world knows you clown.

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. rafael

    Mr Mcain,Obama doesn!t want to go to Iraq because he knows
    that the war in Iraq has to stop,your problem is that you are just trying to
    fool him and he doesn!t want to fall in your trap,what you have to do if you think that Iraq it!s safe as the republican are saying is only for you to tell
    Mr Bush to go with you so the two of you can take this time 3000 marines
    to cover your backs so you can have some guys of your party filming you guys so then your party show the film to the world to try to make us feel
    that Iraq is better than before,OBAMA is not crazy like you and your party
    you should try another trick but not this one.

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    Obama wants to get us out of this quagmire partially of McSames doing.......................not go over their for another phoney photo-op that McBush is accustomed to!

    Grandpa, you are wrong on this issue as well as the vast majority of all issues that are important to the American public.

    November/January can't come soon enough!

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Hilda

    John McCain can only talk about Iraq, he needs to change the record now and let us see what else he has.

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. JML

    Yeah, and John McCain can't remember if he met with Gen. Petraeus or not...

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Tim

    I think McCain needs to help explain the alligations from the insiders book and tell the American people why the war was was justified before he even thinks of talking about someone needs to go to Iraq. Why have we sacirficed 4,000 plus lives and countless wounded??? Staying just becasue we are there now just doesn't cut it.

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Emiel

    Why do you always end these articles with McCain quotes? Why no mention whatsoever about his track record on middle east policies which consists of mixing up shiites and sunnites, confusing Al Qaeda with other extremists?

    Even I knew those things and I am not running for POTUS...

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Bob, Yuma,AZ

    We need to target McCain and ask explanation why did we go to Iraq. Recent book written by Scott Mccallen will tell the truth.

    May 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. An Independent in FL

    Oh my gosh, and I thought McCain would be a candidate to consider in the general election! Wrong!!!

    I've been completely stunned by the GOP's lack of connection to real world issues. McCain jabbers on about talking to China and Russia about nukes, and now he's tossing out this red herring about Obama going to Iraq with him!

    In the mean time my daughter can't visit me because she can't afford the gas! What planet do these guys live on!

    I certainly fall into the category of a fiscal conservative and a social libral, but I think until the GOP stops approaching government as if they are in a foot ball match with the Dems, I won't be voting for a Republican any time soon. They obviously can't be bothered with nor do they seem to care about what's going on in America!

    May 28, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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