July 6th, 2008
03:05 PM ET
6 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. Amy

    Democrats, don't be stupid, Bring Hillary back!! Obama is just the presumptive nominee. There is still a chance to make things right at the Convention.

    July 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. strategist

    WOW McCain, are you sure the new staff you recently hired (including Schmidt) isn't actually now working for Obama?? Rep bloggers are going to start abandoning ship with such a title...lol

    July 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Draft builds strong character

    Maybe if someone re-instates the draft – then all these youngsters for Obama will have bigger worries and responsibilities than blogging hate for Obama 24/7.

    Serve your country and grow up.

    July 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Jewel - Hallsboro NC

    Why does McCain always take Liberman with him?

    To help him and tell him what to say.

    July 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. bk

    NO one is allowed to attack Obama. He will play the race card on you, like he has done from the beginning. What a fraud.

    July 6, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. for pay only

    The Obama folks only blog during their work week... on company time.

    On the weekends and holidays, they take a break from hate... don't want to volunteer any of their own time to the Obama cause.

    Interesting commitment.

    July 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. AJ

    Obama's positions swing with the political wind. How many times does he need to be caught in a lie or a flip-flop before the Democratic electorate sees what a bill of goods they have been sold? There are none so blind as those that have eyes but will not see. Obama is a con man. I have been a democrat for thirty years and never been so ashamed of my party. The MTV generation who have done nothing and experienced nothing ore now choosing a man just like them for president. What a disaster waiting to happen.

    July 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    The general election has not officially started and McCain's campaign is already wearing on everyone's nerves.

    July 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. William J.

    ANOTHER SORRY EXCUSE FOR JOURNALISM, NEWS MEDIA. YOU GUYS ARE PATHETIC.

    July 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. 58-year-old white woman

    McCain thinks with a war/military approach to issues. War is a last-try option, and other things should be tried first. People DIE.

    He is also getting an alarming number of things confused and I fear the confusion will get worse with his age. The media seems afraid to talk about this, but it affects our entire country and should be talked about.

    He knows little about the economy and will likely continue with Bush's failed policies; same with education. He favors vouchers and No Child Left Behind. Ask any teacher what he/she thinks about NCLB.

    July 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    McShame is a JOKE! Just worry about keeping your word you BUM!

    July 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. sarah

    mccain will decimate the hot air vendor in november.

    July 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    What about McCain's judgment in going to war with Iraq in the first place? He had more access than Obama did to the faulty intelligence, has no offered anything new except "stay the course" and didn't support the new veterans' bill.

    What a phoney to whine and complain when he is criticized stating that Obama isn't running a clean campaign when 90% of his campaign's rhetoric is negative and misleading.

    July 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. tigerakabj

    McCain, it is clear that all you are going to do is sit back and wait for Obama to say something that can be spun or twisted. Your whole campaign is becoming increasingly, "Lookie, lookie, Obama said this, Obama said that!" Pathetic. Truly pathetic.

    Instead of talking about why we should elect you, you talk about why we shouldn't elect Obama.

    All Obama has to do (but he won't b/c he will talk about the issues) is point out and call out your 100 lobbyists running your campaign, make videos of YOUR 180 DEGREE CHANGE ON ISSUES (i.e. Bush tax cuts), call out your wife, and argue to bring up your hidden military record.

    I can't wait until Obama pushes all your buttons in those debates and you react violently for all America to see, effectively killing your campaign. Look at what he did Alan Keyes in Illinois, who was another idiot, and look at the ensuing landslide.

    Keep attacking him. You make him (and Democrats in general) look better.

    July 6, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. McWar!!!!

    McCain MIss Piggy is Calling U............She said you stole her receipe for NO MO WAR!!!!!!..........NOW when you discover there are no dirty tricks- no lies- no SCUM BAGS- no Out of Touch approach- no my Friends- no say anything to win and no BUSHES ......it will be too late MR Obama will be President of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA

    NOW Mr McCain can raise your arms up above your head...come on Now ......if you can't when ask by the police and you can't ...... they will take you to JAIL

    HA! HA!

    July 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Ralph

    McCain seems to attack everything Obama says and does lately. If not the Iraq statement, then McCain would have attacked him on something else. McCain used to be a lot more honorable than that. What happened? Did power finally currupt McCain?

    July 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Iam4mycountry

    When did the word "refine" mean reversing. It means to fine tune. if he wasn't refine his ideas all the time I think we would have something to worry about

    July 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Legal Immigrant

    McSame campaign doesn't have any theme to campaign on. They're trying to grab on anything to stay afloat. It's not gonna work.

    July 6, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. mollygonz

    Give me a break! Obama already called out the press on this one and of course McSame, having no other ammo, has to jump on the bandwagon. What a Godforsaken loser!

    July 6, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Have you folks forgotten that, less than a month ago, McCain said to his Town Hall gatherings, MY FRIENDS, I WILL NEVER GIVE UP IN IRAQ, AND I WILL ONLY BRING THE TROOPS HOME WITH HONOUR AND VICTORIOUS! This was his promise almost WORD FOR WORD.

    I wonder if anyone can remember ALL OF THE STAFF CHANGES AND SHAKE-UPS that Hillary's people continued to do, while running for the primary, and even after all of the changes, Hillary could not pull it off, I am not bashing Hillary here, I am just making the point that it would seem this is the avenue down which McCain is travelling, now let's all sit back and see what hurdles crop up for McCain!

    July 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. aware

    Right!

    Obama has been wrong on Iraq from his first before he could vote speech until now!

    Hillary Clinton and John McCain were right on Iraq from the beginning!

    We are winning the war in Iraq!

    Watch Obama keep moving closer to McCain's position! :)

    July 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. eam

    HEY I HEARD A RUMOR OF OBAMAS NEW SLOGAN " JUST SAY YES"
    HE SAYS YES TO EVERYTHING AND NEVER SAYS HOW HE'S GONNA DO IT.

    OH HEY rationla view : WHY DOESN'T OBAMA EVER TELL US HOW HE IS GOING TO PAY FOR ALL THE THINGS HE IS GONNA DO, HE ACTS LIKE THE MONEY WE'RE SPENDING ON IRAQ IS MONEY THAT IS JUST SITTING AROUND AND HE CAN JUST DIVERT IT SOMEWHERE ELSE. THAT IS HIS INEXPERIENCE AND LACK OF WISDOM. I ALSO THOUGHT THAT THE IRAQ WAR WAS A BAD IDEA I SHOULD RUN FOR PRESIDENT ALSO. OBAMA IS JUST ANOTHER RAT LIEING LAWYER ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    July 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Michael, Los Angeles, CA

    Wow, doesn't McCain have any real issues to focus on then trying to let people know that the person he's running against does what ALL politicians do, including McCain.
    McCain's politics are old and tired and his temper toward others who disagree with his ideas feels very similar to the last eight years of Republican based corporatocracy.
    But I guess that's why I am now a Democrat. At least in this election.
    MT

    July 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Ralph

    I think the McCain of 2000 would do a lot better in this election than the McCain of 2008.

    July 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Molly

    obama is a FRAUD!!!! Obama has NO plans of his own – so he Copies the other – more experienced leaders – like McCain, and Hillary Clinton. Obama is NOT qualified to lead this country – or anything. Obama is an empty suit who can read from the teleprompter a well prepared speech. His entire campaign is like a Stage Show – and we are the props! But – don't dare question a thing on obama – you are then a racist for even asking!

    July 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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