July 1st, 2008
03:45 PM ET
9 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. MK

    Gen. Clark, himself a military man, knows that military or POW experience is not enough to make a person a good commander-in-chief.

    July 1, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. john

    Please keep your mouth running Clark and McCain will keep going higher and higher in the polls and win with a landslide.

    July 1, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. jason

    I do wonder how well Obama would continue to do if he suddenly started calling out republicans on their crap – in non-pc terms.

    July 1, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. KiloWhiskey

    And he likes Obama's judgement vis-a-vis his church memebership and choice of pastor? Oh come on!

    July 1, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. PG in Las Vegas

    Barry in Las Vegas: You are doing too much gambling and drinking to much liquor. Go back to the casinos where you came out of.

    Clark is 100% right. Obama will make a better/greater commander in chief than McClown!

    July 1, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. cevans, tx

    What ever happened to "FREEDOM OF SPEECH". Why do we always have defend what we say. An opinion is just that, an opinion. I do agree that Senator Obama apologizes to much. The General is only telling the truth. Just because of McCain's military history does not automatically make him worthy of being the Commanding Chief. It is what it is. McCain is Bush number three (3). We the people can't afford that.

    Maybe the General should be running for President!!

    July 1, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. Nicole in NE

    Can someone please explain to me why Obama is asked to reject Clark's statements but McCain is not asked to reject his supporters questioning Clark's service, Black and Liberamans about terrorist attacks?

    Why is everyone missing this point? McCain says Obama can't lead his surrogates – what does that say about McCain?

    Also, why can't people just say what they mean and not everyone reject this and reject that, this IS America right?

    July 1, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Aspire

    Where was Clark's judgment when he backed Hillary first?

    July 1, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Paul Johnson

    I'm glad someone recognizes that McCain's war experience and that as a POW has probably bolstered his patriotism but not his ability to make strategic judgements. Obviously getting hit by lightning doesn't make someone a better meteorologist.

    July 1, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Phil, FL

    I found the following blurb on one of "McCain Sealed Military Records" sites – scarey as hell, if you ask me. Check it out for yourselves.

    McCain undoubtedly has serious health issues to face up to if he intends to be a "straight talker" and win the Republican nomination and Presidency. His history of nasty, recurring cancer and the absolute blackout of that cancer's prognosis; His age PLUS his overall poor diet and absolute lack of exercise, his refusal to disclose his auto-immune arthritis syndrome... And now this pesky Syphilis thing. Which won't go away any time soon. John McCain knows why, and so do three so-called "doctors" who routinely chuckled off our soldiers' symptoms of syphilis back in the day.

    July 1, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Michael Ray Thompson

    Hey, Wesley Clark, Get out of the spotlife. You are a loser. You lost to John Kerry in 2004 and you lost to Barak Obama in 2008. You won't be successful in causing a great American hero, John McCain to lose to Barak Obama.

    July 1, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Kyko

    Wisdom knows when to boast.
    You are a hero and a man of character.
    May God bless you, General Clark, our next Vice President.

    July 1, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Jimmy P - Chicago

    This man was essentially an idiot of a commander, totally disrespected by his NATO peers. Who cares what this liberal says! He's one of those that wear the uniform but are afraid to fight, why bother Wesley?

    July 1, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Rolf McEwen

    "To me, this is about, and I hope the American people will make the decision based on judgment," he added. - I hope Mr. Clark actually spoke more accurately than this, or one might bring into question his judgment.

    July 1, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Joseph, Los Angeles California

    Clark is right. Why should he back down from telling the truth. What he said about McCain was not dishonorable; it was honest... and what's wrong with honesty?

    July 1, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. steinway

    Not for nothing – at this juncture it seems more like Mr. Clark lacks judgement.

    I sure Barry would like Clark to take his foot out of both their mouths.

    July 1, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. kcmookie

    Gene.......WELL SAID! I completely agree and cannot understand why more and more people do not see it! THank you for your post and thnak you General Clark for calling a spade a spade.

    July 1, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. chris in va

    Perhaps some of the posters who tout McCain's "war experience/record " should visit the Veterans Against McCain web site and hear his fellow POW's profess their views on this subject.

    July 1, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Femi

    Whether POW or not,nothing will get McCain elected except if God has decided to punish Americans for another four more years. Without that, Obama is the ordained President. We are tired of war, we are tired of unfiltered Free trade, we are tired of skyrocketing gas prices, we tired of tax credit to the wealthy, we tired of the Washington lobbists, we are tired of health insurance to only the healthy, we are tired of exportation of American jobs, we are tired of losing our homes, we are tired of failed foreign policies. WE ARE TIRED OF GOP, WE ARE TIRED OF REPUBLICAN PARTY, MCCAIN, DON'T YOU GET THE MESSAGE- WE ARE TIRED OF YOU.
    Femi Obama 08

    July 1, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Zig, viet nam vet - Pennsylvania

    Let me get this – general looser clark supported coward kerry's military service for his run for president in 2004 because after 3 months and a couple of scratches, kerry came home and denounced the war and betrayed his fellow servicemen and hung out with traitors like hanoi jane.
    It's a shame McCain didn't have that choice! He was too busy being tortured for our freedom. The closest thing Obama got to a bomb is Bill Ares. Wake up America!!!!!

    July 1, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. sn

    Gen. Clark is right! If you watch the ENTIRE interview you will realize that he was very respectful of McCains past.

    Leave to the GOP tp twist it!

    July 1, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. McCain=the draft

    You go, Wes Clark!
    Finally, someone is speaking the truth.

    July 1, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. dave

    I think this General is confused, it is Obama who has had so much issue with Judgement.... Too many skeletons have come out of Obama's closets.

    I will be voting for McCain

    July 1, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. bob in L.A.

    Good for you General Clark! keep up the good work!
    Maybe you and Hillary should run as a team and end this nonsense!

    July 1, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Jeb

    I'll take judgment over experience any day.
    McCain is known for his temper, which might cloud his judgment.

    Obama strikes me as someone who is of sound mind.

    July 1, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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