July 6th, 2008
03:05 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain campaign calls Obama's words into question

Sen. John McCain's campaign says Barack Obama has not been consistent on Iraq.

Sen. John McCain's campaign says Barack Obama has not been consistent on Iraq.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain's campaign said Sunday that Barack Obama's remarks on Iraq "have left a significant question as to exactly what he intends."

"He has held almost every conceivable position in the course of his relatively brief career in the Senate," said Randy Scheunemann, McCain's foreign policy adviser.

Obama maintains his stance has not changed and said Saturday that "every single word" he says is closely measured.

McCain's campaign suggested Obama's views could be becoming more in line with McCain's Iraq policy.

"The position of [McCain's] campaign is that words do matter, and Sen. Obama's words have left a significant question as to exactly what he intends. If he is now joining Sen. McCain's position and saying that the need to maintain peace and stability in Iraq is a prerequisite before responsible withdrawal, which is Sen. McCain's position, we welcome his conversion to that position," Scheunemann said Sunday in a conference call with reporters.

The war over words started Thursday when Obama told reporters questioning his stance on Iraq that he will "continue to refine" his policies as warranted.

Obama denied any suggestion that he was shying away from his proposed 16-month phased withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq, calling it "pure speculation" and adding that his "position has not changed."

National reporters and Republicans pounced on his comments. The Republican National Committee put out an e-mail statement saying that Obama was backing away from his position on withdrawal.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Republican for change



    July 6, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Randy

    Did you hear Obama? He came out a second time to clarify exactly on his Iraq position. I don't know what's confusing about that.

    July 6, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  3. DC

    You Hillary supporters need to grow up...if she is in debt of over 20 million what makes you think she can run a country she cant even run her own man.....and as for mccain he needs to stop trying to attack Obama because its not working mccain needs to tell the nation what he is doing to do but he's too old and slow to do that. Obama is only right choice for this nation

    Obama 08!!!!

    July 6, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. David

    McCain you are a moron, holy try to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Obama has a very common sense perspective, get out as soon as safely possible, obviously one cannot commit to an exact exit date as who knows how much worse McCain and Bush will make things prior to the fall.

    The "relative" peace at this time is completely artificial as the various sects are playing games with the US and Iraqi government at present. McCain and Bush's Iraq strategy has been an unmitigated disaster, kick the Rebulicans out before even more soldiers and innocent civilians die and the economy goes even further down the toilet.

    July 6, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. Tom in CA

    Vote Bob Barr!

    Vote Bob Barr!

    Vote Bob Barr!

    Vote Bob Barr!

    Vote Bob Barr!

    July 6, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Mike from kentucky

    Obama/Hillary 2008

    July 6, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  7. Tom Soppe

    Pretty hypocritical of McCain to pretend like Obama's flip flopping.

    Obama will get us out of this mess that McCain loves to defend. He just wants to be practical about it.

    McCain knows the people are much more with Obama on the issues, including the war. So McCain has to make Obama out to have character issues in order to get ahead. McCain knows that the media laps up everything he says and that this is his chance at winning. I hope the American people don't fall for the media/GOP smears again this election year; how did that work out the last two presidential elections again?

    July 6, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    It is too bad that John McCain doesn't apply the same scrutiny to what his bff George Bush says. McCain needs to ask why is our current U.S. president afraid to take a public stand against China's human-rights policies.

    John McCain believes that Jimmy Carter was a terrible president, but at least Carter had the guts to stand up to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan and boycott the Moscow Olympics.

    July 6, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  9. Willy

    Get tough John, hold BHO feet to the fire. CNN like the rest of the liberal media is trying to call the race for BHO today.

    July 6, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. Newsdiva

    All you Hillary idiots need to get a clue and just give it up already!! You're pathetic and just about as stupid as those clowns in the GOP. Good grief, your girl ran a pitiful campaign and paid the price...SHE LOST!!!!!!!!!!! And the reason she lost is mainly because she surrounded herself with knuckle heads who were totally deluded, greedy and didn't have a clue. Imagine introducing her as "the next president of this country" on the night when the last nail had been hammered into her presidential aspirations on June 4th. Delusional at best, psychotic is a much better description. Get with the program already and stop the pathetic whining.

    Now as for McSame criticizing Obama, it's laughable at best. Like they say, The John McCain of 2000 would NOT vote for this broken down, Bush clone even if someone put a gun to his head. Let's be real folks. Obama is going to win this election by a landslide in November. Get on the bus, but please please PLEASE STOP the WHINING!!! You're making my ears bleed and cracking me up at the same time.

    Now run tell that.

    Obama 08 & 12

    July 6, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Republican Joe

    I am a republican who cannot vote for McCain. He has not proven to me that he can make decisions on his own. What scares me is that he is 95% pro-Bush. How can you makes changes if you want to keep in place the same things that have driven this country into the ground. If McCain gets into office we will fall to a third world country status. McCain should be campaign here in the US, not in Canada, Mexico, and Columbia, South America, and Iraq. Maybe he should run for President in one of those countries listed above. I ask that you democrats, independents, and republicans please vote for someone other than McCain. Please do this for a disabled combat Marine Corps veteran who loves this country more than you know.

    July 6, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  12. lovin mccain

    John McCain for president:
    -he has a billion dollars so we wont have to worry about him stealing America s money right?
    -his campaign is full of big oil lobbyist..so if he gives them favors they will give us jobs right?
    – this man is a Hero, stop talking about the USS Forrestal...that was in 1967 grow up...stooge
    -this man served his country all his life, look at all of the good he did in Arizona, look at the McCain Bill...he has done great things right?
    -as far as his cheating goes, it is the right for every red blooded American male to get what he needs to get...right?

    John McCain for President keep the White House right!!!

    July 6, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. Newsdiva

    One more thing, LOVE the picture of McCain CNN. He looks like the chicken-necked, antiquated, old crow he actually is.

    July 6, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. Tina, NC

    You know who the real sleeze bags in all this are. The media people.

    CNN started this crap Wednesday! BEFORE Obama supposedly changed his position! Oh course the other networks ran with it and McLame was cheering them on. Don't you know that McCain has a new "special" section in his plane for reporters who are willing to spread the rhetoric. I'm sure Jessica Yellin is right up front.

    People are so gullible!

    CNN I DARE YOU TO POST THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 6, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  15. Paul C. Palmetto Bay, FL

    On his worse day Obama is 50 times better than McCain on his best day.

    July 6, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. Paula M.

    McCain is constantly stating Obama said this or said that. Why doesn't McCain take a stance on something instead of trying to disprove every little thing Obama says. I think McCain is obsessed with Obama. He can't even think straight. He continues to show his temper at many questions asked about his service in Viet Num. If he is running on his service record, it is understandable to ask what he did there to give him the opportunity to be commander and chief. He doesn't need to get mad about that. I think it is a legitimate question that needs to be answered instead of getting mad about it.

    Paula M. Huntington Beach, CA

    July 6, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. Timothy

    Who words need to be call to question is Mccain because Mccain is the Biggest flip flopper taxs, off shoring drilling, and Mccain said that he knows nothing about the ecomomy and than turns around and lied and said on National TV. he did'nt say that he did'nt know much about the ecomomy. and not only that the troop stay there for a 100 years!!! Mccain Vote NO!!!

    July 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  18. Ellie in Aurora, CO

    Amy, you are either a Chaos member stirring up trouble, or you should be barred from making blog comments because of your stupidity! Hillary is not coming back – she will not be trying to take over the party at the convention – she will continue to support and campaign for Obama, as will her husband. This is politics for big boys and girls now – stop the Hillary BS.

    July 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. Gene

    How is making a judgment call based on realistic information a flip flop or going back on your word. Obama has a base plan.. a steady withdrawal over 16 months. But of course... the situation on the ground may dictate that it happens slower or faster.

    At least Obama is trying to lead with his eyes open... unlike McCain... visiting a green zone, saying everything's great... and even though it's great... we're gonna stay there forever.

    July 6, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. Gene

    All you people still on the Hillary kick.. get over it.. you're just a waste of words and space. This is getting old now. She's out of the race. You guys really need a reality check.

    July 6, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. BJKidd

    To the Watcher. I Agree with you.

    To Puma You sound like a bitter little baby who didn't get what she wanted.

    July 6, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    Mccain Lacks The Judgement To Be President! His Military Record Is Questionable!

    July 6, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. California Gold

    McCain's campaign seems to be little more than claiming Obama shouldn't be President. No issues. No vision. Just that Obama shouldn't be President.

    July 6, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. Raymond Duke

    I don't really see the story here. Anybody that has been paying attention to Obama knows that he has never said anything except change and hope and repeated what HIllary said. Darn its hard to get a story and stick with it when you don't have hillary clinton saying it first so you can follow her and then holler hope and change. What a man , what a man. Too bad his brain is not as big as his ears. He might be able to figure something out on his own.

    July 6, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. Only a fool ...

    I would question Obama's judgement if he started withdrawing troops without talking to Generals in the field. Remember Bush got into us this quagmire because he refused to listen to generals – remember Gen. Shenseki told bush he didn't have enough troops in Iraq- He got fired for that. The surge was was 3-4 years too late. Now McCain wants to take credit for this mess.
    I have seen leaders commit blunders, run good things into the ground because they think they are jacks of all trades.
    It is wise to talk to those whose daily lives revolve around fighting the war. The Rebubs need to stick to the issues. I would stand opposed to Obama if he did not have a refined plan for withdrawal.

    July 6, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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