May 29th, 2008
06:19 AM ET
6 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. Dustin

    I know all of the Obama-brainwashees will disagree, but I agree with McCain's statements. I don't agree with the current war, but I feel McCain knows the most about it to do what is safe. Obama really has nothing backing up his statements about Iraq...it worries me.

    McCain's Iraq policy is much different and more effective than Bush's, and Obama's "third term Bush" argument really troubles me...especially since he claims to be a "new" kind of politics.

    Anyway...since it couldn't be Clinton...I'm going for second best...McCain '08!!!

    May 28, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. John

    LOLOLOL. The repugs are going to eat Obama alive...LMAO

    May 28, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Trannon

    Hey John McCain & His "Friends",

    Why don't you worry about what is going on in THE USA? Or are you running for President of Iraq?

    Obama will steamroll this Bush clone.

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

    Despite being over there several times McCain still doesn't know the difference between Shiites and Sunni's.

    So for him to make this comment about Obama is totally nuts!

    May 28, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Hans-Erik Iken

    I really don't see why McCain would be given the right to set Obama's agenda. Obama will go to Iraq when it suits him and talk to whomever he believes will tell him the truth.

    For some reason I would not go to the man who is put in charge of that mess by the President who created the mess in the first place. Maybe a nagging voice in the back of my head that keeps screaming 'conflict of intrest'? Gen. Petraeus is as much a politician as he is a general, and put in charge by GW Bush.

    McCain is trying his best to get the attention away from the real issues: the economy, how to get out of Iraq, the lies and deceptions from Bush and the republican party etc. etc.

    The USA is in its current predicament because of the republicans, not in spite of them.

    May 28, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. GM from MN

    I thought having hearings that Petreaus attended in the USA was enough. Who much info are you really gonna pry from him anyways? Petreaus deals with more detail than what the President has to. Petreaus does the brunt of the work while telling the President how things are going and where improvements could be needed.

    Maybe McCain should ask Petreaus if he should invade Iran to get all those Al Queda opperatives there. LOL.

    May 28, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. bridgette

    Before this election the last time he visited Iraq was about two years ago as well. Then he went on this election trip that he made the tax payers pay for. He called himself going on a tour that accomplished nothing. The point is not to visit Iraq, but, get them the hell out of Iraq. Not to cook up some hair brain scheme about the two of them going to visit Iraq. If the Iraqi's are doing so great then why are we getting ready to send more troop. We should be stepping back and allowing Iraq to run their country. At the end of this election someone one will be able to say I have the victory. NO one in this administration can even say what victory is. So stop treating the American public like we are idiots and coming up with these hairbrain schemes and get us the hell out of there.

    May 28, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Indie Voter

    Although I applaud our gov't for getting rid of a dictator who could have been a pain in our necks in the near future, it's not enough to simply do a half-hearted invasion and expect everything to fix itself. We either put all of our efforts into both the invasion and the rebuilding of the country, or we don't invade to begin with.

    It's my belief that Senator Obama knew that it would be a wasted effort to invade Iraq since we didn't put any forethought into the rebuilding process after the invasion and focused solely on the invasion itself. Accusing Obama of negotiating with terrorists simply because he opposed the Iraq war is the same type of Washington "politics as usual" attitude that needs to change if we are to remain the most influential country in the world for the next century.

    May 28, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Will-South Dakota

    How about if McSame walks down Baghdad streets without any bullet proof lifevest, no special forces on the roof tops, no General walking beside him, no armoured trucks following behind him and he can declare victory if he makes it 2 blocks. "That is a profound misunderstanding, a profound misunderstanding of what's happened in Iraq and what's at stake in Iraq," 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," McSame quotes.
    How is going to Iraq for a tour help when all of America knows this war was wrong when McSame voted for it.

    May 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Burton

    Obama is ALL Talk. How could he have visited the troops if he was part of Rev. Wright's audience? It all adds up now.

    May 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. THINK AMERICA

    GO TAKE YOUR MEDICATION TOO MUCH WAR STORIES AM TIRED OF THIS MAN. HE IS GOING TO DUPE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO FIGHT IRAN JUST LIKE WHAT BUSH DID IN OTHER TO FIGHT IRAQ. THE SPINELESS NEWS MEDIA WILL NOT OPPOSE BECAUSE THEY ARE SCARED OF REPUBLICANS THROWING OUT NAMES LIKE " LIBERAL NEWS MEDIA" SO THEY RUN AND PULL DOWN THEIR SKIRTS. MEDIA IS A BUNCH WIMPS THEY COULDNT EVEN ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS BEFORE WE GOT INTO THE WAR. FOLLOW THE LEADER. PUNKS

    May 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Liz

    McBush's trip to Iraq was a security nightmare and ended up resulting in more violence in the area the next day. This guy really doesn't care about the troops. Can McBush say anything w/o it sounding like he's calling someone out? Not exactly what we need in a world leader right now.

    May 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Brian

    What a crock. McCain thinks he can "educate" Senator Obama? Why didn't he "educate" the president that he so admires, W Bush? Why didn't he educate himself regarding the real situation in Iraq before we went to war? He claims he is "learning on the way"! We don't want four more years of his "learning" – it's time to act and get us out of there!

    Brian
    Charleston, IL

    May 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. meck

    Is there by Iraq that McCain should go there every 3 months? If McCain wants to buy a house and live in Iraq they might welcome him I think. No foreclosures there!
    Obama will go to Iraq ofcourse; once he wraps up the nomination. Just not on McCain's watch. The only clock the RNC should be looking at right now is the General Election one......coz they will lose terribly if they dont get their act together.
    Just wait till Obama becomes nominee.....46 delegates to go, in counting.

    Meck, Vanc

    May 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Ed

    Don't try to drag Obama down the war-mongering path McCrazy. You want to make this about the war, do it by yourself. You want to make this about staying in Iraq, go it alone.

    The American people will speak in November. We all want out of Iraq, we don't care how many trips to the heavily fortified "Green Zone" you make, you can stay there and fight it alone if you want. You crazy old man.

    May 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. More of the same..

    Here we go – more political stunts and spinning. Just when Hillary is almost done with her "kitchen sink", here comes McSame with with fridge. Trouble is, most people fall for the political spin stories and base their opinions of the candidates on them.

    May 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. jenkins

    Of course he hasn't been to Iraq. He's too upset after that traumatic Auschwitz occurence. It sounded positively horrible, the poor boy. I hope he recovers from that Auschwitz story real soon:)

    May 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. William, Ca.

    What's the big deal about going to Iraq? What will that change? Look, lets get real here!

    May 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Ernesto Lopez

    This is the best McCain can do, Fear Mongering.

    The American people were deceipted about the war in Iraq, this war is about oil, McCain said so himself, he retracted later of course when he knew the stupidity he had committed

    May 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. rumpusgoopus

    Obama really should have gone to Iraq. It's perhaps the best way to look like you're doing something about it without actually doing anything about it. Plus, they take your photo.

    May 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Independent for Obama

    Did McCain not notice that he was a sitting Senator and then started running for POTUS?

    Sorry the dem primary isn't finished yet and Obama can't just go around making worldwide goodwill tours, but right now he has a lot on his plate, McMoron!!

    May 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. DJ, LA, CA

    Spin, spin, spin...more lies from Bush...errr, I mean McSame. He keeps taking comments made by Obama out of context, spin it around to make it seem like something other than what he meant.

    What the heck would he and Patraeus want to talk about it? Oh maybe about the new GI Bill or better veteran benefits? Never mind, I forgot John you don't support that.

    May 28, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. TONY

    McBush is a desperate old man with old ideas.

    Give it up Johnny boy! Go home, spend the wife's money and SHUT UP!

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

    John McCain is another insane like Bush. He sure would like to follow the foot step of his predecessor. Now it’s up to us, if we want these kinds of arrogant and ignorant leader on top again. We just have an opportunity to get rid of one…. Oh Gash….. God Bless America.

    May 28, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. Dan

    Democrats are pussies.

    May 28, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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