June 12th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama reminds voters of McCain's '100 years' comment

Sen. Obama reminded voters of the rising costs of the Iraq war

Sen. Obama reminded voters of the rising costs of the Iraq war

(CNN)— Barack Obama seized on rival John McCain’s recent comment that it’s “not too important” when troops start being withdrawn from Iraq, reminding voters Thursday that the Arizona senator has also said he would keep troops in the country for 100 years.

“I agree that obviously the most important thing is making sure that our young men and women aren't killed,” Obama said at a town hall event in Wisconsin. “But the notion that if they are not being killed that we can leave them there in perpetuity, 100 years John McCain says,” would be insensitive to the ‘burden’ the troops families face while having their loved ones over seas Obama said.

McCain was asked on NBC’s Today show Wednesday if he could estimate when troops could be expected home from Iraq.

"No, but that's not too important," McCain responded. "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."

Obama, who has been taking a more populist approach to voters lately, also sought to hone in on their money concerns reminding them about the sky rocketing costs of the Iraq war.

“[McCain’s] also not thinking about tax payers who are spending $10-12 billion a month in Iraq,” The Illinois senator said.

Adding, the money spent in Iraq could go toward job creation in the U.S.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (222 Responses)
  1. Jackson

    Wait.. this is a change of Washington style politics?

    June 12, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. Justice League

    The expense also works out to over $780, 000 a day. Why not just end the war, and buy all Americans houses? Sounds better than a 100 year war.

    June 12, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. fedupwithrepublicanpresidents

    God help us all if McStupid wins the election in November. It will be just like a 3rd term of Bushieboy, and America can't tolerate 4 more years of republican ideas and idiocies. And it is really sad how many Americans claim they are fed up with economy, Iraq war, and all the issues on the table, but when it comes to November, some of those same people will be missing their brains and vote for McStupid. The same thing happened when Bush was up for a 2nd term-many people fed up then, but because of certain voter's stupidity or loyalty to the republican party, we are in the mess we have currently. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

    June 12, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. R

    Mr. Mcgoo needs to spend some more time in his hanoi hotbox and rember just how important coming home is if you ask me, i mean he of all people should know what its like.. I am not afraid of terrorists. Osama bin laden and the rest of those goons hide out in caves all day.. more people die every hour of every day of heart disease than died on 9/11... but has bush really bothered going after bin laden? no... he started a war so his KBR buddies could raid the treasury! Mcsame will be no better.. I fear war for 100 more years, I fear unemployment, I fear taking a 100 year step back in civil and female rights, i fear the perversion of the religious right trying to control my life all the way into my very bedroom. i fear natural disasters and not being able to depend on my government to help me out. but terrorists? nope. theres a larger domestic threat sitting in the white house and a white haired old kook wanting to take his place.

    June 12, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. John Morris

    With politics getting to an all time low./ I thinks its time to do away with the presidency and just let congress handle it. Obama had my vote up until now, as long as Clinton was not his VP. But I think his ignorance is starting to show.
    As far as the Democrats, I think the tax increase on oil companies showed just how ignorant they are. Put more taxes on oil companies, without freezing fuel prices. All the oil companies is going to do is increase the price of fuel more. Kind of like the interest rates. Everytime they lowered the interest rate, the price of oil went up. Jack interest up to 30 percent and stop people from borrowing money. Just proves all politicians are crooks, including the 2 presidential hopefuls.
    John in Texas

    June 12, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. Mr. Spock

    A computer illiterate who knows nothing about economics, has no plans to bring troops who are on 3 and 4 tours home, and despite being 30 years older than Obama, can't keep a crowd of of more than 20 people from falling asleep when he talks. Kind of makes you wishe for the "good ol' days of Bush".

    I know there are a lot of people who will go down with the ship, regardless of how bad their candidate is, but you don't have to. Obama appears to be garnering more support from independants and moderate republicans than McCain is. That is where the victory will lie, not with just Democrats, but with republicans and independants as well. We need all hands on deck to fix the problems left by George Bush.

    June 12, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Mc Cain Dem

    No offers of change without substance !
    How convenient to take advantage of all our grievences.
    I don't see the man, and as the smoke clears what I do see looks less and less like Presidential material.

    June 12, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Obama is 100% wrong

    McCain has clarified what he meant by 100 years a zillion times and then some. Talk about beating a dead horse – Obama is sure doing it. Now, Obama, we all know what McCain meant by that so please stop trying to insult our intelligence ok.

    Obama, just how are you going to get us out of Irac. Come on, go to one of McCains Town Hall Meeting and explain it to the world. Since you keep bashing everyone else I think you should put up or shut up.

    June 12, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. Paul

    OGirl, he is not lying. McCain did say that if they weren't being killed like in japan or germany then he'd have no problem keeping them there 100 years, and Obama mentioned that this time around. But that is still bad because our soldiers have been there long enough!!! 100 years is too long, even if they aren't being killed, living in Iraq is hell for our soldiers.....remember McCain was content to spend another 5 years being tortured in vietnam. He came out of that still supporting the vietnam war, so I wouldn't think he'd care if our troops had to spend decades of their life in Iraq while they miss out on their kids growing up etc.

    June 12, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. Tommy

    Obama is going to win in November by a LANDSLIDE over John McNonsense!

    June 12, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Cris

    Electing a good president is not easy, but is possible! if we really seat-back and observe what this country needs in general like a good health care plan, better jobs, better education, more drug control, an energy independent plan for this country. Then we can see who is closer to provide the best future for this country. Honestly I've seen the bush family, and they have just use this country for their own interest more then to provide a better life for every one in this country and we still pay this idiots to gain even more with our hard work!!!

    It's time for a change!!!!

    June 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. TheBert

    Mccain taking millions from big biz and lobbyists. Obama taking millions in smail donations from the people, refuses PAC and Lobby money. Who will represent the people? I have been a republican my whole life...............no more

    June 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  13. Aaron

    ok first of all..no one is twisting mccain's words around.. they actually have him saying he wants a presence in iraq for 100 years...that's video footage.. second..for that hillary supporter..obama has recongized his mispoken words about what mccain has said from (having a war in iraq for over 100 years) to (having a presence in iraq for over a 100 years) obama made a mistake and he corrected it a LONG TIME ago.. i dont know if you follow up on his speeches.. but he corrected himself.. and he has never lied intentially...so.. lol..yes the war ties into our economy.. and wheither or not obama has expierence with the economy...the economy HAS to get better.. when we arent spending 10-12 billion dollars a month in a war that should have never been waged...common sense?

    this is for freedwomen...you said obama is not a natural born american? ok read your admendments... you HAVE to be A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT... so...i feel like i should get my common sense stick out.. ..jeez....

    June 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. KE

    Hillary supporter wrote,
    “I don't get it. The Obama folks are treating us like crap but still expect us to fall in line.”
    It’s a sign of a dictatorship falling apart.

    If not Hillary, McCain.

    June 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. Joe Six

    Maybe if the Obamacons actually listened to what McCain said, they would understand that Obama is misrepresenting McCain's statement. But facts don't seem to matter. Obamacons think their man is some sort of god who cannot tell a lie. The same kind of self-delusion that enabled the Clintons for years until the Democrats finally got around to impeaching them in 2008.

    June 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Dj


    Did you really means this?

    "Why is anyone listening to this guy Obama? He can not be President because he is not a natural born American. This explains so much…why he seems so fake and fraudulent."

    If so, PLEASE change your handle to QUEEN-DUMBY

    June 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Independent

    Yea' you tell them Barrack!
    Sling that mud.

    June 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. cjp123

    I'm not sure how this is taken out of context, as others suggest. McCain really did mean to say we should have a military presence in Iraq for perhaps 100 years, like we do in South Korea. He also said he hoped we could draw down the numbers of troops, but wants a long military presence there. Obama is saying that it's important to draw down our numbers as low as possible and not think of having a permanent place in Iraq, given it's cost and frankly, lack of effectiveness. This is NOT a distortion of what McCain said–it's the facts. If America really wants to spend billions (ok, less than the present cost of the war, but still) a month in Iraq, that's what they'll get with McCain. While I doubt we can just disappear from Iraq, it's entirely clear that our military presence has done virtually nothing to create a stable democracy there. We've cut down Iraqi civilian casualties with the surge, but it's still happening, just at a slower rate, and there still isn't electricty, proper food, etc. Moreover, al-Maliki has embezzled billions from the USA and is talking to Ahmadinejad direclty (which McCain criticizes the Obama for even considering). The surge is NOT a success, it's just that our failure rate has subsided a little.

    June 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. Stephen H

    Why do these republican morons continue to point out that the US has permanent troops in other countries around the world as a means of favorable comparison with McCains 100 yrs statement? The stark difference is you can take your family on a vacation in those other places where we have normalized relations. Can you say the same about Iraq? I think not, so shut up already with those lame anologies that dont apply to the current topic!

    June 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Aida

    Obama didn't vote for the war because he wasn't in the room! So, is he willing to bring all troops from all around the world home?

    Q: Do you plan on withdrawing all troops and bringing them home?
    A: Hillary? Kerry? Kennedy? Michelle? UMMM, UMMM, can I get back to you on that one?

    June 12, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. Mary

    McCain admitted last week that he "will NEVER surrender"

    So McCain doesn't care if the IRAQ war continues after his 100 year prediction.

    June 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Olivia

    Obama – can't come up with something more than that. This is old news. So what...... we won't be there that long because we are winning over there. Freedom isn't free remember that people.

    June 12, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. Bill Astuga

    Mccain and the republicans are mortgaging the future of our children with the incredible deficit they are building. In the past wars were funded by American sacrafice via cutbacks and tax increases. Todays administration funds them by borrowing billions from China at the expense of our future and cutting the taxes of our wealthiest citizens. Its incredible to me how republicans can vote time and again for a party that only hurts them. Record deficit, gas prices, food prices, health care costs, torture, wire tapping, wars, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Yet you just keep pulling the Republincan lever.

    June 12, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. Stephen H


    In case you republican geniuses have not gotten the word, the recent sentiment in Iraq is that they want the US OUT of that country and do not want the US to set up permanent basis there. The current leaders of Iran and Iraq are discussing that very fact. Wake up people, we need to get out of Iraq and sooner rather than later before more of our sons and daughters are killed. McCain is out of touch with these facts and would be dangerous as commander in chief.

    June 12, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. josie

    billy from FL: what about mccain's pastor who said hitler was sent by god??

    June 12, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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