July 2nd, 2008
04:30 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain had advance knowledge of Colombian raid

ON BOARD THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN PLANE, En route to Mexico City (CNN) - After a scheduled meeting between John McCain and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Tuesday, the presumptive Republican nominee was briefed on the upcoming hostage rescue raid carried out Wednesday.

As he left Colombia Wednesday afternoon, McCain learned that raid had been successfully completed, and congratulated Uribe by phone.

Senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, both traveling with McCain, were also briefed. Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders.

UPDATE: John McCain released a statement on the operation later Wednesday afternoon. (Full statement after the jump)

“Today, I spoke by phone to President Uribe. He told me some of the details of the dramatic rescue of the people who were held hostage. Three Americans are now free and Ingrid Betancourt is now in good condition. I’m pleased with the success of this very high-risk operation. Sometimes in the past, the FARC has killed the hostages rather than let them be rescued.

“So I congratulate President Uribe, the military and the nation of Colombia. It is great news. Now we must renew our efforts to free all of the other innocent people held hostage. With regard to the three Americans and Ingrid Betancourt - they had been held many years, as many as six years.

“Last night, President Uribe and the defense minister did brief us that the operation was going to take place today.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Bryan

    This seems fishy to me.......the republicans might be up to something

    July 2, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. james

    Great. Now we know who Uribe is voting for. :P

    July 2, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. meagan

    good luck , hope you win you have my vote

    July 2, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Verdad

    No, it just signals that he's in cahoots with all the other bullies in this hemisphere...

    Not McCain, not now – NOT EVER!!!

    July 2, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Donna

    Was Senator Obama briefed on this too? If not, we have two sets of rules here: One that benefits McCain and one that does not benefit Obama. It is the same way the press treats McCain and Obama: McCain get special, preferential, kid gloved, soft balled treatment from the press, while Obama gets hammered.

    Such is the way the press treats Republicans and Democrats differently.

    July 2, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Hans-Erik Iken

    'Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders.'

    Nonsense, he was briefed because of his position with regards to the armed forces committee.

    Nice try to spin Lieberman, but McCain's position is public knowledge to the voters. You better pay attention to your own state that is likely to kick you to the curb for switching sides in this election.

    July 2, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Karwolo

    Well surely Liberman and Graham won't be elected as presidents yet they were briefed too. I don't see the political gain here.

    July 2, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. skunkrat The Marine

    That is a SCARY CREW: John "MAD DOG" McCain, Lindsey "KILL KILL" Graham & Joe "TURNCOAT" Lieberman. It seems as if McCain is afraid to go any place without them. Together they are worse than BUSH, CHENEY & ROVE.
    Uribe would have told me about the raid if I was a member of an American Delegation. Maybe McCain chocked it out of him.

    July 2, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. carlo

    I'm not suprised, especially considering McCain benefitted from one of his staffers paying an organization labeled by the U.S. as terrorists. Of all the places he could visit, McCain goes to Columbia, the bastion of the drug trade? Ridiculous.

    July 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. cleveland dasher

    now we know why john mc cain when to colombia . he will try to spend it as it was he's leadership and militry knowledge that helped to free the hostages he is a dirty politiction this info to him and not to oboma is not fair and you should not be used as part of mccains run for the white house bit if will sod is on it

    July 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Donovan

    This is very fishy to me. McCain, the huge supporter of free trade with Columbia, just HAPPENS to arrive in the country on the eve of the culmination of a months-long operation to successfully free the hostages? And then Lieberman touts it as proof that McCain is trusted by foreign leaders?

    The whole thing is too perfectly orchestrated if you ask me.

    July 2, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. Tim

    It is great news that the hostages were rescued, and the Colombian military should be congratulated on its ingenious method.

    That being said, it appears that any Senator visiting at the time was given a heads up, so for McCain to trumpet the rescue of captives in a political manner is pretty low.

    July 2, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. Roger from CA

    "Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders. "

    Oh, give me a break!!! You really think that the Columbians would possibly have left the potential next president of the U.S. in the dark if such an operation were to happen while he was visiting?? Do you really think they would have NOT told Obama, if he were the one visiting???

    The thing that is bizarre to me is the fact that McCain is going to Columbia on the week of July 4 in the middle of his campaign for President. Is he just punting on even trying to work on his domestic issues??

    July 2, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Seattle Sue

    Will the three Americans that were rescued be compitition for McCain? They went down in an airplane crash and were held captive for five years, so that makes them eligible to be President of the United States.

    July 2, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. MDR

    Wonder what deal Mccain promised colombia once he is president.

    July 2, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. Vig

    Mccain is in the loop and so is Hillary Clinton. These two should be competing for the top job, not some smiled faced, hollow media promotional who is not in the loop.

    July 2, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  17. Sue/PA

    your dang right McCain had advanced knowledege of this hostage release....well before yesterday.... This was NO coincidence. Bush was already aware of this longgggggg in advance...........5yrs in the planning...reported by CNN...........McCain planned his trip just right.

    People..use your common sense...........was just a political promotion for McCain orchastrated by Bush.

    McCain=Bush....third term

    July 2, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  18. The Surly Scholar

    Cool. So does this mean that Colombia will no longer be known for its brutally fascist labor policies and corrupt governmental complicity with drug cartels? No? Huh.

    Well then its no wonder McCain is so eager to be their friends.

    July 2, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  19. Mike McKibben, Lady Lake, Fl

    "Senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, both traveling with McCain, were also briefed. Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders."

    OR

    Politics being played by the Bush Admin in favor of McCain, meant as a direct slap in the face to Obama. Sorry, I'm not impressed.

    July 2, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  20. Vivienne

    Okay.... What about Bush.... Did anyone mention anything to Bush... Anything.... From Anyone?

    July 2, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. Obama 4U

    Just in time for the polls. You could have told your friends to release them years ago. Thanks McClaims.

    July 2, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Chris

    Is this where I put that 95% of foreign countries believe Obama would make a better president? (according to a poll about a month ago)

    Only 2 nations weren't sure... the US and some small country

    July 2, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. R.I.F.

    So McCain did go over to Columbia to play politics. This is disgusting because he had nothing to do with this rescue mission but went over there to make it seem like he's commander-in-chief rescusing hostages,

    SICK!!!!!

    July 2, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  24. LV Barbie for Obama

    They might have just wanted to give him the heads up to stay out of the way.

    July 2, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. Mike

    Super McBush arrives in Columbia and hostages are freed. Coincidence? I think not. If McBush is elected no doubt millions of American jobs will head south to Columbia to reward McBushs amigos for their support.

    July 2, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10