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. HRC supporter

    Bring back Hillary Clinton in Denver....

    Give America a fighting chance to restore itself and its unity.

    July 6, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. mb--texas

    Sen.McCain spits some comments out and his press(promoters)
    catches and runs with it whether it make sense or not.He is good at
    throwing a bone for the press to chew on 2 or 3 days keeps his
    name in the news.Trying to define Sen. Obama and forcing him to
    respond.Sen.McCain gets a free ride from the press instead of
    calling him out on his comments they print exactly the way MCCain
    know they will,always looking for a gaffe. Not much coming out of
    McCain"s camp about whant he will do to help the America people,
    and get some common sense back into our country.

    July 6, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Jen, CA

    Go, McCain! Call the freshman, loud-mouth, no-substance, 18-month U.S. senator on his "baloney."

    July 6, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Bob in houston

    Can Mccain's be trusted? Absolutely NOT. I find it ridiculous to hear people suggest that Mccain's longetivity in Washington and in the public domain immunes him from any repercussion of the very inconsistent positions he has taken lately, most of which previously offended his own conscience. I agree with the observation that the once maverick Mccain would not support the Mccain we have today.

    July 6, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Ralph

    It won't work because unlike Kerry, Obama will strike back every time.

    July 6, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Obama's campaign strategy

    Obama is really really good at dividing people as he preaches about hope and unity and change.

    He has locks of race-card decks yet to be played to get himself installed as the next president.

    July 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. McCain=the draft

    I call all your words into question, McCain.
    You've changed your positions, according to the political climate.
    And now you've hired low life, scumbag Schmidt, to spew lies about Obama.

    July 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Rational View

    McCain people have none of their policies but to attack attack on words and sentences of OBAMA. Why dont they try to show how will they be different to last eight years of Bush policy then people may think favourably. But I suppose they do not have any thing to offer and they are trying the same old formulas which may not work because people are aware of all the dirty tricks.

    July 6, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Adam, Plano, TX

    poor mccain, it appears his entire campaign has alzheimers.

    July 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. rom, NY

    McFart is done !
    Mark my words

    July 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. THE O

    Of course he would he has nothing else to run on no policy other then recycled old bush policy's. All he has been doing is to attack Obama on everything but has nothing to offer america but more of the same.

    P.S VIG and these are the guys that brought us bush you simpleton!!



    July 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. David Peter

    McCain is attacking Obama's word because McCain has nothing good to propose to the American people.

    July 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Hank

    Why is it always one of Mccain's advisors making comments? Why never Mccain? Too busy sleeping, grandpa?

    July 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Walt, Belton,TX

    When Obama chose the word "CHANGE" as the theme for his campaign, what he left off was that's what the average tax payer is going to have left over after paying Obama's new taxes. His other use of the word meant what he stoody for today will change tomorrow and change the day after, etc., etc., etc.............

    July 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Texas for Obama

    McCain shut up. You flip flop so much that your own supporters dont know what you stand by. They only support you because you are labeled a republican.

    July 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. NOTIEE

    When will all these politicians stop these attacks on each others and focus on the issues affecting the American people?

    THE MORE I HEAR, THE SICKER I GET.I am tired of hearig these politicians tear themselves apart just to get votes.

    What we need to be hearing rigth now is how we are going to end the war in Iraq, cut down gas prices, creat more jods and protect the ones we already have, provide better health care, e.t.c.

    Enlighten us more on how you are going to help solve these problems and let us decide who is best qualified to get our votes

    July 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. THE O

    At this point I would rather vote for a 3 legged beaver rather then vote for any republican. after the mess you guys have gotten us into. You guys should be ashamed of your selves.



    July 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Terry

    This guy is a joke. I loved Ronald Reagan he was my commander in chief in the armed forces but it would be in justice to this nation if I voted for you. This country can not tolerate 8 more years of hell.

    I support Obama.

    July 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Lin Lo

    Give me a break. Obama said NOTHING different than what he has said numerous times, including during the debates. And he is right – this is the media at work, who is too lazy to do any serious objective reporting.

    July 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Timber

    I gave the max to John Kerry's campaign for president, what a fool I was. After seeing how Dean, Kerry and Kennedy ganged up to push Hillary out of the primary, I am now an Independent without a choice but to vote for McCain. Obama is not to be trusted and I will never be convinced to vote for that guy who talks the talk but has never walked the walk. McCain is right that you cannot trust Obama, at least he is honest and not afraid to say what other politicians are thinking.

    July 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Bitter Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    Vig July 6th, 2008 3:21 pm ET
    McCain has brought into his campaign a kick-butt operative. You are going to see a new and improved McCain campaign that will shake-down Obama at every turn. Before they are done with Obama, write-in's for Hillary will dominate the ballots in November.


    Vig, you had me almost taking you seriously, until your last sentence which shows everyone what your true agenda is. If McCain's campaign does such a fabulous job this fall, why does it follow so naturally that people will write in Hillary's name? Why would they not just vote for McCain? I'm talking about mainstream voters in general, not racist Democrats specifically. Sorry, but if there were enough Obama-hating Democrats like you to put Hillary in the White House in November, then she would have just won her party's nomination, and life would have been as simple as that.

    But why even bother with reality? I should just let you have your little fantasy that Hillary can still win in November.

    The truth is, when the Republicans nominated McCain, they expected to run him against Hillary, not Obama. McCain could have beat Hillary, but he will have a lot of trouble with Obama. There is only so much McCain's "kick-butt operative" can do, short of replacing the candidate himself.

    July 6, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. speeches

    Le me make myself pwefectly clear:

    Obama is going to give another speech...
    demanding that the GE be changed to a CAUCUS format.

    He then plans to bus the same 200 Black people to each of the states to "clinch" the election.

    Caucus is his forte.

    Don't parse my words.

    July 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Lisa

    16 months is too long to stay in Iraq. We want them home in 60 days, per Hillary's plan.

    July 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. Nick

    What a political SNAKE! And I thought some of the dirt that Hillary was throwing at Obama was bad.

    July 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. McCain is the BLAME!!!!

    Vig .................McCain has brought into his campaign a kick-butt operative. You are going to see a new and improved McCain campaign that will shake-down Obama at every turn..........

    YES he brought in his TOP GUNS..........IT is too LATE besides they are old just like he is .........everything they attemt to do will back fire he keep changing to no avail.......besides without Lieberman ....McCain doesn't know where he is.......HUH .........McCain needs to FACE UP on the Economy, Iraq War, Healthcare, Energy, Above the Law Administration, Katrina, Foreign Policy failures, and the Out of Touch approach to government............. THE ONLY CHOICE IS OBAMA!
    OBAMA 08/2012

    Obama 08/2012

    July 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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