June 11th, 2008
04:05 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain's latest Iraq comments draw fire

The Obama campaign is attack McCain over his recent Iraq remarks.
The Obama campaign is attack McCain over his recent Iraq remarks.

(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign seized on an interview Wednesday by presidential rival John McCain where he said the date when U.S. troops can begin to withdraw from Iraq is "not too important."

The Arizona senator made the comments on NBC's Today Show where he was asked if he had an estimate of when a withdrawal process may be possible.

"No, but that's not too important," McCain replied. "What’s important is the casualties in Iraq, Americans are in South Korea, Americans are in Japan, American troops are in Germany. That’s all fine. American casualties and the ability to withdraw; we will be able to withdraw."

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Obama surrogate and former presidential candidate John Kerry said McCain consistently confuses facts about the war and is "unbelievably out of touch."

"It is unbelievably out of touch and inconsistent with the needs of Americans and particularly the families of troops who are over there," the Massachusetts senator said. "To them it’s the most important thing in the world when they come home. It’s a policy for staying in Iraq."

Later when asked if calling McCain "confused" could be taken as a shot at the 71-year-old senator's age, Kerry said that suggestion was "unfair and ridiculous."

Meanwhile, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the Obama campaign is launching "a false attack."

“The Obama campaign is embarking on a false attack on John McCain to hide their own candidate’s willingness to disregard facts on the ground in pursuit of withdrawal no matter what the costs," he said.

"John McCain was asked if he had a ‘better estimate’ for a timeline for withdrawal," he also said. " As John McCain has always said, that is not as important as conditions on the ground and the recommendations of commanders in the field."

UPDATE: In a conference call Wednesday afternoon, McCain supporter Joe Lieberman said he's dissapointed with the Obama campaign attacks.

“This is exactly the kind of partisan political game the American people are sick and tired of," he said.


Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (380 Responses)
  1. Peter

    To the conservative folks at the beginning of these comments. This is 2008 people. The 21's century.

    What you guys are talking about is the old ways. A bunch of steps backwards.

    Come join the forward thinkers. Its nice out here.

    June 11, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. shelly

    You McGerital supports are nuttier than he is, with your right wing conersative lets destroy the world if they don't do what we want..........CRAP! Stranght through Diplomacy!!! Obama'08

    June 11, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Christina, Chicago, IL

    This is just ignorant. Hillary supporters cannot be serious about voting against their own interests just to spite Obama because he won the nomination. Obama will win in November with or without you.

    John McCain is senile and can't even read the darn teleprompter. He is constantly misspeaking about Iraq and believes that his personal war experience qualifies him to lead the nation. He is always flip-flopping on issues and now more than ever just to appeal to conservatives. Why was he so outspoken about his objection to the Bush tax cuts, now he's promoting them? This man is too old and too inconsistent. Get ready America, it's Obama's time! OBAMA '08!

    June 11, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Ang H.

    Not important? Boy McCain just doesn't get it!

    This is CENTRAL !!!

    This war has bankrupted the American people and has had FAR too high a human cost - ask anyone who's lost a loved one in Iraq what's important...

    McCain makes me sick!

    It's SO important that we elect Barack Obama our next president – we can't afford another clueless old man who focuses on the microcosm of 'VICTORY' and failes to see the bigger picture...

    $4 a gallon gas is stretching working people beyond their capacities... But McCain couldn't know what that's like – married to money as he is!

    June 11, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Will in Richmond, VA

    What is he proposing? That we don't care how long it takes? That the exact date is irrelevant? Or any withdrawal strategy is inconsequential? In any case, bad choice of words. Very insensitive to the worries of the American people.

    Oh, and you didn't 'Stay the Course' too well with wife #1, McCheater.

    June 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Xavier, St. Louis, MO

    People, this clown only care about winning a pointless war that has no end. Iraq is costing us billions of dollars. That money can be used to take care of the needs of our poor economy.

    How can someone that is a Hillary supporter vote for this clown?

    Like I said before, if people would let go of their bigotry, then this election wouldn't even be close. But if McCain wins, don't complain, because you deserve what you get!

    June 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    ITS NOT ABOUT THE "FEWEST CASUALTIES" ........ITS ABOUT HOW WE SHOULD NOT HAVE EVER BEEN IN IRAQ!

    ITS ABOUT THE OVER $10 TRILLION IN DEBT WE OWE AS A NATION, MOSTLY TO CHINA........ BECAUSE OF THE STAGGERING COST OF THE WAR WITH IRAQ!

    ITS ABOUT TROOPS DYING, TROOPS MAIMED....... AND THE WORST TROOPS SO DISTRAUGHT THAT THEY ARE COMMITTING SUICIDE!

    THAT'S WHY I WILL NOT VOTE FOR MCCAIN! NOTHING HE CAN SAY TO CHANGE THAT.

    June 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Jerry in Fresno

    Waging war is a political act. Fight the war is a military act.

    When will McCain stand up like a man and personally make a decision about about Bush's Folly, the Iraq-American War, rather than scapegoat General Petraeus?

    June 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Clinton/McCain

    I think Hillary supporters are well aware of Obama's 'false attacks' The only one out of touch is Obama.

    June 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Matt--Nebraska

    This is a perfect example of how incompetent Obama is.

    McCain is absolutely right.

    Obama is demanding we pull troops out of Iraq, but not Afghanistan, or anywhere else for that matter.

    Obama has no idea what he is talking about.

    Thank God we have someone like McCain that will make the tough decisions and do the right thing instead of pandering.

    The world cannot afford to have Obama lead the worlds greatest superpower.

    June 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. president obama

    to Hillary's supporters who write McCain08, Hillary12,
    BE AWARE, if you let down Obama, we will NEVER EVER vote for Hillary, and same as Obama needs you, Hillary will need us,
    so GOOD LUCK

    June 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Paul, Riverside, CA

    I am a PROUD American. My Grandfather fought in the Pacific in WWII, and my father was in Vietnam. The only thing that kept me out of joing the military is a pre-existing medical condition that the USMC said was a risk.

    This war is, was, and always will be a dark reminder in our history of what happens when politicians feel the hunger for power and money.

    God save us if McCain becomes President.

    June 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Melissa, MI

    Wow. How out of touch indeed. While it would be great for casualties to be reduced another aspect of the war that greatly upsets me is the billions of dollars that we are spending there. That money could be spent in the U.S. or not spent at all in order to stop adding to our country's debt.

    June 11, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Obama or Clinton, Never McCain

    I have realized that voting for Obama, while tough for me to do, is still by far the best option in November. It is clear that McCain is the opposite of everything HIllary stands for, and we can't allow him to sneak into the white house, even if Hillary is not in it. Let's support Obama and defeat McCain in a landslide, which will send a message to Republicans across the country that we are tired of their ineffective policies!

    June 11, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    "THE DATE OF TROOP WITHDRAWAL NOT IMPORTANT"

    THAT TELLS YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.

    A BILLION DOLLARS A DAY OUT OF OUR ECONOMY.

    NOT IMPORTANT. HE IS LOADED. GETS HIS MEDICAL

    INSURANCE FOR FREE. HE SPENDS TENS OF MILLIONS

    OF OUR DOLLARS A YEAR TRAVELING AROUND THE WORLD

    TRYING TO LOOK PRESIDENTIAL. A GINORMEOUS LIER

    AND THIEF OF OUR HARD, HARD, EARNED DOLLARS.

    THE 100 YEARS IN IRAQ IS GOOD FOR HIM & HIS BUDDIES.

    June 11, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Kathy in Oregon

    You Obama drones are so transparent - posing as McCain supporters and LOUDLY threating to repeal of abortion rights.

    I'm a Clinton supporter who has ZERO confidence in Obama = I will NOT be voting for your unqualified nominee.

    I am considering casting a vote for McCain because I am not a single issue voter...and there is more to life than Roe V. Wade.

    I genuinely feel that Obama will do MORE harm if elected president that McCain could possibly do - especially in regards to Iraq!

    The Obama camp is once again attacking the opponent by parsing words. Too bad folks - McCain is RIGHT, the actual "date" of withdraw is irrelevant.

    June 11, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. nick

    COMEON HILLARY SUPPORTERS AND LET US ALL WELCOME YOU TO THE TEAM CARRYING THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, JOHN MCCAIN!!!!!!!!!

    He is trusted more by americans than Obama, and so is his wife.

    I would like to discuss something that i dont understand. Why do Obama backers think Cindy Mccain is such a bad person?
    Is it because they dont like John so they think they should be prejudice and just not like Cindy? I THINK SO!
    She founded a non profit organization which: emergency medical care to disaster-struck or war-torn third-world areas, thats a GREAT thing SHE DID!
    Did you know while in Bangladesh she met two infant girls she decided needed to be brought to the United States for medical treatment and She also decided to adopt one of the girls?
    that is also soo NICE of them, yet Obama supporters are prejudice towards her, and she did nothing wrong, unlike Michelle Obama Claiming that "for the first time in her adult life she is proud of her country" thats pitiful.
    Well like i said welcome Aboard!

    June 11, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Bob Stephens

    The definition of a "split second" The time it takes for McSame to say something incredibly stupid in an interview...

    June 11, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. LJ

    Not too important. What???? Tell that to the families of the soldiers fighting in this war it in not too important when you will see your family members again! Go John Mccain!!! Keep on with those comments and you will not even win Arizona.

    June 11, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Michael David Walla Walla, Wa

    MCBush, just like the Republican Party, is out of touch with the American people.

    June 11, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Veronica

    If any republican honestly thinks that someone who truly believes in what Hillary Clinton believes in and supports would vote for John McCain, then I guess there is no mystery why you people voted for George Bush ... you people just aren't very smart. The last eight years of Bush Cheney should have taught you that you can't believe what you see on TV!

    Hillary supports who are true supporters will support the "cause" and that "cause" is to make sure that we don't have 4 more years of Bush and that is all McCain is offering!

    Wake up people!!!

    June 11, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. judyc

    HEY MCCAIN08

    WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE GOING TO WIN IN IRAQ?

    June 11, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. Bob

    He doesn't care because he doesn't care 4000+ died in Iraq!

    June 11, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. Terri, Vancouver, WA

    I think it's ironic to call McCain "pro-life". Given his policies on Iraq, more like "pro-death". That's a good Republican. Love the fetus, hate the child.

    June 11, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Dick Clark

    You're Outta Touch ... Outta Touch ... Outta Touch

    Who was it that say that song ???

    John already knows Bomb, Bomb, Bomb ...... Bomb Bomb Iran ...

    June 11, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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