July 1st, 2008
03:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Clark: John McCain lacks 'judgment'

Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark appears on Tuesday's 'The Situation Room.'
Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark appears on Tuesday's 'The Situation Room.'

(CNN) - Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, appearing on CNN's "The Situation Room" Tuesday, continued to press the argument that John McCain is not suited to be commander-in-chief, and took aim at the Arizona senator's "judgment."

"I've never said anything to dishonor John McCain … I like him. But I will say this, that when it comes to being President of the United States, it's about judgment," Clark told CNN's John Roberts. "And I've seen stronger judgment from Barack Obama, despite the fact that he doesn't have military experience than I've seen from John McCain despite all his worldly travels.

"To me, this is about, and I hope the American people will make the decision based on judgment," he added.

Clark also criticized Orson Swindle, a McCain surrogate and former Vietnam POW, who blasted Clark's record as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

"I don't know Orson. I'm sure he's an outstanding man and did a great job in uniform. He doesn't know me either," said Clark.

"But I did in my last command as the head of the forces in NATO, lead the forces of NATO in the fight to stop ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. We did win a war. We bombed for 78 days … we did it without the loss of a single American soldier … We did it with a combination of diplomacy and force," he said.

Clark also discussed his support in 2004 for John Kerry, namely on his military experience, and how it differs from McCain's.

"John McCain basically served honorably while in uniform, he did everything the country could have asked," Clark told CNN. "What John Kerry did is John Kerry got out of the uniform and took a judgment, a judgment I didn't agree with at the time, but he had the moral courage to stand up for himself and oppose the conflict in Vietnam.”


Filed under: John McCain • Wesley Clark
soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. J

    This is a man with a respectable military record AND a respectable attitude.

    Match that "Truth Squad", just give it a shot for once

    July 1, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. bill for barack

    He may be blunt, but Wes Clark is honest .....and he's right.

    July 1, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. aware

    Give it up Clark. You are just digging the hole deeper! :(

    It is the obfuscating Obama who lacks judgment in friends, pastors, follow-up on his original Iraq war speech, his voting record, his primary debates, his flip-flops, his pandering...and his surrogates! :)

    July 1, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Clark couldn't get any traction attacking McCain's military record, so now he moves on to judgement. Well, McCain didn't 'push' the war, he voted along with a bipartisan majority of the Senate (including Clinton) to authorize the war. Rumsfeld bungled the implementation, so we are where we are. McCain (and senior military commanders) argued for more troops for a long time before the surge finally was implemented. Guess what? McCain's JUDGEMENT was correct. the surge is working. Obama wants to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by abandoning all that's been done. What's that say about HIS judgement?

    July 1, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    This is pretty obvious! When you need AIPAC tool Joe Lieberman to tell you the the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite, it's time to leave foreign policy to someone more intelligent than the current fool on the hill wrapped in his bubble....

    July 1, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. canada

    thank you for telling the true Gen. Clark.. The whole world is praying for obama because we know that he would have a better judgment.

    July 1, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. CT voter

    This man is a hero! And his record is amazing, without loosing a single life he won the war they had, this is someone we should be looking up to not questioning! I didn't know of his service's to our country but I admire and commend them, thank you sir!

    July 1, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Vote Nader

    Judgement Scale:

    Sen. McCain > Sen. Obama
    Rep. Barr > Sen. McCain
    Cynthia McKinney > Rep. Barr
    Ralph Nader > Cynthia McKinney

    So the American people should vote Nader.

    VotePact

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    July 1, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. elmer kirts

    Clark is about one step ahead of Jane Fonda

    July 1, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Phil, FL

    McCain was an incompetent peon riding on his family's coat-tails – you tell 'em Clark.

    We don't need another loser in the WH. The last 8 years has been too much already.

    Obama 08

    July 1, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Ex AF Pilot, FL

    I served under him and I remember his words as we were getting ready for a bombing run. "Men, if we fail it will not be because of you, it will be because I failed you. Go hit them where it hurts but by god return to me safely or I will be on the ground looking under every darn rock for you and I promise you that enemy out there will not be able to recover after I am done destroying their country looking for those under my command, I would rather lose my job than lose anyone in this room, now go get them!"

    I've never heard of the vietnam POW who said we failed in Kosovo but is he really qualified to insult the General???

    July 1, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Anton

    Talk about judgment...Obama's choice of worship and his minister for the last 20 years...and then dumps both...

    July 1, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Judgment?

    You gotta be kidding me! Obama has judgment and McCain doesn't? Now we know who's getting paid with all that money Obama's getting after his twisted "judgment" to opt out of public campaign financing. How about truth and integrity? But what would you know about that, Clark, you bitter old has-been.

    July 1, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. McCain 2008

    "And I've seen stronger judgment from Barack Obama...."

    Amazing what political hacks like Clark will come up with..... where exactly did Obama exhibit such strong judgement.... as a state senator, or is it when he said he would raise taxes or increase the size of government? America doesn't need a tax and spend liberal like Obama. I am sorry Wesley, but a call by Obama for bigger government with a heavier tax burden is not synonymous with strong judgement.

    McCain is going to rock Obama in November

    July 1, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. David Goldman

    THE WHOLE MCBUSH STRATEGY IS JUST

    SMOKING MIRRORS.!!!!!!!

    HIS POLICY, BY HIS OWN WORDS, NOTHING BUT THE

    FAILED POLICIES OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

    HE KNOWS HE CAN'T GET ELECTED WITH THAT, SO HE TURNS

    ON THE SLEAZE MACHINE. MAKE THE OTHER GUY LOOK

    BAD & SLIP IN THE DOOR. IT WORKED FOR BUSH.

    WHY NOT FOR MCBUSH???

    July 1, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. EXPERTS HAVE EXPERT OPINIONS

    General Clark's is an expert opinion in the field about which he commented. Dismissing his comments is disrespecting his level of service to this country. Stop it!

    July 1, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Sully

    I smell backlash!

    July 1, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Matt in NC

    I always admired Wesely Clark and he would have made a great VP pick if he had kept his mouth shut about McCain's POW experience. But he might be a great guy to needle him from the sidelines, no way he can be considered now...

    July 1, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Debby

    Gosh this guy should shut up already he isn't doing his party any favors by ranting on and on about McCain especially being a retired Gen. No one is saying McCain is qualified to be President from just his experience in Vietnam. He has had years in the Senate so Clark looks like an idiot making these stupid comments.

    July 1, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Tim Hutchins

    What you mean, Clark, is that because McCain is a republican, he has no judgement?

    July 1, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Jaun

    GOOD FOR YOU GENERAL. MCCAIN NEED TO KNOW THAT FIGHTING A WAR DOES NOT PUT HIM IN THE POSITION TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF...WE NEED GOOD JUDGEMENT...ENERGY AND DURABILITY...MCCAIN NEED A ROCKING CHAIR.

    July 1, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. PD Thomas

    Go Gen. Clark. Finally someone has said it. Just because you served does not make you a master. Just because i can boil eggs i cannot call myself a master chef and because he served in the military and was a POW does not make him a perfect Commander in Chief. To throw out 'less than stellar' was best they could do to retaliate, but Gen. Clark be sure to ALWAYS let the facts stand on their own but let us knoww what the facts are!!

    July 1, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. susie

    John Kerry, Democrat, voted for the war too.

    July 1, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. JR

    Spoken by a true true democrat. But I'm an independent and Clark's comment made me so angry I will stay at home or vote for McCain. Why doesn't Clark ask someone who disagrees about his leadership of NATO. Cause, like Kerry, he boasts without truth!

    July 1, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Akinola - Houston

    Gotta love that!

    Clarke/Obama – 08 (Not a typo!)

    July 1, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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