June 12th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
7 years ago

McCain 'pleasantly surprised' by Iraqi leader

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) - Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that he is "pleasantly surprised" that the Iraqi prime minister "is now behaving like a leader."

The presumptive Republican nominee for president told about 450 supporters at a Boston fund-raiser that the Iraqi government has made notable progress in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul. The Iraqi military, supported by U.S. troops, has launched major offensives in those cities to wrest control from militants.

"That was the whole idea behind the surge," he said. "Go in, hold, clear, establish order and then have the Iraqi military and government take over. And then we can withdraw and then we can come home in victory with honor, not in defeat."

McCain has criticized his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, for proposing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

McCain spoke at an event that his campaign said raised about $2 million.

One of his former rivals for the GOP nomination, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, praised McCain as a "great leader."

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. The Thinking Indepedent Voter

    Isn't this the same Iraqi leader who on June 12, 2008 hugged

    IRAN's President,

    whom Senator McCain spent the 1st half of June railing against .. all while calling Obama reckless & niave?

    Isrealis talk with Syria ... Iraqis talk to Iran .... but John, aren't you against talking to despicable regimes.... Syria and Iran would seem to qualify, no?

    How can you be pleasantly surprised? Help me, help me understand your logic, please

    June 12, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. ANGIE

    mcain is a flip flopper you know this man really scares me he is so confused with everything he doesnt know much about the economy he doesnt know how many troops our in iraq he says we will never surrender there he forgets what he says hes going to veto beer he sings bomb iran bomb iran WELL I DONT KNOW ABOUT YOU PEOPLE BUT THIS IS ONE SCARY SCARY MAN TO HAVE AS PRESIDENT LORD HELP US I WILL TAKE THE INEXPERINCED ANYDAY OVER A MAN THAT REALLY HASNT GOT A CLUE AND IS PRETTY MUCH LOST AND CANT EVEN REMBER WHAT HE SAID 2 MINUTES AGO NO THANKS PEOPLE MY VOTE IS GOING TO OBAMA AS WELL AS ALL MY FAMILES

    June 12, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Alanna

    American June 12th, 2008 10:42 am ET

    Canuck – why don't you worry about your socialist country? Oh right, it wouldn't even make a decent state so your obsessed with US.

    By the way, the 100 years comment is something you can't understand. It was not 100 years of war.


    Be nice American. You're dissing Canada. Don't do that.

    June 12, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Were NOT your friends!

    Why didn't McSame call him an appeaser, I mean everyone knows that he was over in Iran the other day kissing Ahmadinejad. Come on BUSH CLONE you gotta follow Bushs' talking points!

    OBAMA '08

    June 12, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. voter from CT

    This guy flip flops on everything...

    June 12, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. federico

    Way to go Julio, we are with you all the way!!!


    June 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Sebastian

    Is this the same Romney thinks ...

    it's OK for the sons & daughters of other families to go and die in the war in Iraq ...

    but believes his precious sons can serve the county equally as well by staying safe here in America.

    Is that the Mitt Romney we are talking about here?

    The guy that wants to be VP, right?

    June 12, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. mike

    To vote obama is a vote for a jimmy carter second term. Speaking of a blown economy, it would be a repeat.

    June 12, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Here we go again with FLIP FLOPPING McCain!

    HAVE YOU FOLKS READ (I think it was on Huff P) that dozens of Republican Supers. have either refused to endorse or support McCain?

    June 12, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. GOP --Voters are not stupid, please STOP

    This is for the GOP on their smear campaing on obama:
    Common sense: Do you think anyone can just get out there and say I want to be president without simple background checks? Employers do a background check on people and I am the secret service and FBI must have cleared Obama before hanging out with him!!!!!

    This make me sick as it makes voters even look dumber! Simple facts... AND to think that this is an issue?


    June 12, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Danny

    John, it is typical Arabic style. It takes time but once they are there, you should trust them. Democrats are giving wrong sound-bites to American people. They know nothing in what is going on in Iraq. It is win for you all the way. Vote John McCain

    June 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. NH, Texas

    does McCain ever know what idea he is going to stick with? First he critisizes Obama for suggesting withdrawal from iraq now he says the same thing. I would fear voting for McCain – he never know where he is going, don't think he can lead...

    June 12, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Brian

    The words "pleasant" and "surprise" should never be used to describe what we're facing in Iraq.

    June 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. John in KY

    WAR,WAR,WAR,WAR or reasons for. are all that comes from this mans mind & mouth, VIETNAM was over 30 yrs ago, oh thats right you've been sleeping in CONGRESS most of those years. you are a joke and fear mongerer McBUSH!!!!!!!!!


    June 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Gary

    Sounds like a lot of sour grapes from most of the commenters here. The surge wasn't supposed to work, right? Well it did, though you'll continue to distort every success and magnify every failure.

    BTW: Years of the highest economic growth and lowest unemployment of any of the G7 nations, Dems take the congress in 2006, and in under 1.5 years the economy is collapsing. Thanks guys.

    June 12, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Vern

    I believe Mitt is kissing up for the VP spot!

    June 12, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Mr. B

    This dude is a crying McShame!!!!!!

    June 12, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. David in Illinois

    John in KY....couldn't have said better... our country is going all to hell, people are truly suffering... and all this fool thinks about are the Iraqis. This is truly outrageous. The man already HAS lost his bearings and his marbles.

    June 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. Mike

    I have voted Republican in every election since I was 18. This year, me and everyone I know is voting for Barr.

    I don't trust McCain – he's too much like Bush.

    Barr in '08!

    June 12, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. James

    I encourage all republicans who are tired of McCain's wishy-washy positions on the ISSUES, to vote for a REAL candidate!

    Bob Barr!!

    June 12, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Another Canuck

    @ american...In Canada we have a global view, as do many countries and the interest in Obama's run is one shared across the globe. Two terms of Bush have impacted all countries, and we are excited at the thought of a progressive thinking president, and not a repeat of the thugs who have held sway for two terms.

    June 12, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Ian

    What about the looming Social Security crisis?

    June 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Reg

    I just can't bring myself to vote for McCain.

    I'm a conservative, and I've always voted Republican – but McCain is not a true conservative.

    I'm voting for the best person for the job -Bob Barr.

    The Republican party has made a mess of things in Washington, it's time to send a real conservative there.

    Vote Barr in '08!

    June 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. LB

    What exactly is the victory? What was the original goal in going there. They were suppose to have WMD but now we know that was a lie from the beginning. So if that is why we went, why can't we get out now. What creates a victory? More soldiers need to die, we need to borrow more money from China to support this war? The USA needs to go bankrupt, will that be our victory. How is this victory to be determined, would someone please answer that question. I think the victory would only happen when McCain says "WE WON!", and that would only be because of the fact he is saying the words.
    We aren't fighting for an American cause so how can we have a victory? Iraq is not who was a terrorist threat to us on 9/11 so why are we fighting their civil war, don't we have our own gas and economy war here in the US to fight for first.

    June 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. charles

    lt was 100 years of war. grandpa said it. 100 years is fine with him. old fool you wl be lucky to even live 5 more years.grandpa is a war monger and he will die a war monger. everyday he has to clarify wat he is trying to say. coz no one understands a thing in his mind. except that he eats war talks war dreams of war. war is the answer to everything he stands for.he should change his name to McWAR.

    June 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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