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. JG from MA-Obamabot and proud of it

    Let me get this straight. McCain wants us to stay in iraq, which he knows is making many americans not vote for him. So instead of giving the majority of the population what they want from their government, he has decided to say, falsely, "Obama sometimes agrees with me." so that we'll think that both these candidates don't represent us, and vote 3rd party.

    ??????????

    When you attack your opponent by saying "he has my opinion" something is very very wrong.

    Obama/Common sense 08

    July 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Ralph

    I think if Obama does admit that the surge is working then he will use it as a reason to pull the troops out.

    July 6, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Barack Obama IS Our 44th president!

    McCain is the number one flip-flopper of ALL time, but since his ego won't allow him to see this clearly, he tends to shift focus to Obama in this very childish out-of-touch way.

    Just as long as he is incapable or refuses to deal with the real issues of the American people, he will have nothing but old, failed policies of the past to offer.

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time to elect Barack Obama for president !

    July 6, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Jack

    obama is the MASTER of his SPIN campaign.
    This guy is a Joke – hardly Presidential Material.

    Vote McCain – good 2nd Choice – NEVER obama

    July 6, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Hispanic For McCain

    Once again for all the MORONS that are for OBAMA FLIP FLOP, FLIP FLOP, FLIP FLOP. I have been saying the Latinos people don't trust Obama. He is a fruad, flip flop, now he for the Iraq war, NAFTA, more more will come out from this Big Loser!!!!!!!!! with a capital L. Listen to all my Hispanic (Latinos) Brothers and Sisters OPEN YOUE EYES this obama is a FRUAD. That is why the latinos will vote for McCain we know better. LATINOS are NOT STUPID you morons that is why Hispanic will band together and vote for McCain. Ya ves OBAMA no es para los Latinos, and for all you Latinos for OBAMA SHAME ON YOU for wasting your vote. By the way DON'T HATE because Latinos are true winner!!!! The Hispanic community in PA, OH, FLA, MI, NY, NY will vote for McCain. All of my Latinos friends are going to a true American Hero and that is John McCain. America before party those are the quotes of John McCain!!!!! So Liberals Dem don't hate!!!!!!!

    Puertorican, Mexican, Cuban, Colombian, and Dominican are for McCain!!!!! Remember this in Nov08

    Hispanic for McCain

    July 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Ralph

    Sounds like the GOP is just grasping for the few straws that are left. The GOP had tons of dirt on the Clintons, but still could not bring them down. How do they expect to beat Obama with just a few rumors and made up scandals?

    July 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. aware

    Give it up Obama fans! Insulting Senator McCain can't change the facts.

    The presumptive nominee, Obama, was has been wrong about Iraq from the beginning and all his obfuscating can't change his flip-flopping words.

    We are winning in Iraq! :)

    July 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. McCain

    Just an observation: I think he has a tumor right under his left cheek.

    July 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. aware

    Give it up Obama fans! Insulting Senator McCain can't change the facts.

    The presumptive nominee, Obama, has been wrong about Iraq from the beginning and all his obfuscating can't change his flip-flopping words.

    We are winning in Iraq! :)

    July 6, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. The Independent One

    McCain is just playing the game. He can run but he can't hide FROM HIS ruinous policy. Obama of course still intends for our troops to leave Iraq AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Of course he wants to do so as carefully as possible. Now I am not going to sit here and say Obama is an angel, because he's not. He fouled up on his position with NAFTA, and he backed out of public financing. He is not going to be our savior that delivers America from all its woes. But he's better than Kerry, he's better than Clinton, and folks he is much much much better than McCain! He will start to mend the bs that Bush has left us. Our country is in critical condition and Obama is our only choice to stop the bleeding. McCain will simply keep the wound flowing. We need to give Obama his four years so that Bloomberg can make up his mind by then and become our president in 2012.

    Obama '08!.........................................Bloomberg '12!

    The Idependents Strike Back!

    July 6, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. saga4obama

    ARE YOU WILLING TO DIE FOR THE GOP LIE?
    what does John have to hide? The USS Forrest... 1967, Keating 5, his fight AGAINST getting POWs home, how many of his homes did this $100,000,000.00 man not pay taxes on? why did the other POWs call him " SONGBIRD MCCAIN"? how could he be SO far removed from reality that he STILL WITH ALL OF HIS " EXPERIANCE" not know anything about the ECONOMY?
    to those few desperate "wanna be" Clinton supports....this is the man you want running our country at this time of PERIL? seriously? and by the way i have searched and searched trying to find where and how Obama was sexist, used the race card or was otherwise disrespectful to Mrs. Clinton...please let me know where to find such FACTS...
    OBAMA 08 OR GOD HELP AMERICA!!

    July 6, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Ralph

    The GOP pounces on everything Obama because they have little or no real dirt on him. They failed to beat the Clintons despite the fact they had tons of dirt on them.

    July 6, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. The Independent One

    McCain is just playing the game. He can run but he can't hide FROM HIS ruinous policy. Obama of course still intends for our troops to leave Iraq AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Of course he wants to do so as carefully as possible. Now I am not going to sit here and say Obama is an angel, because he's not. He fouled up on his position with NAFTA, and he backed out of public financing. He is not going to be our savior that delivers America from all its woes. But he's better than Kerry, he's better than Clinton, and folks he is much much much better than McCain! He will start to mend the bs that Bush has left us. Our country is in critical condition and Obama is our only choice to stop the bleeding. McCain will simply keep the wound flowing. We need to give Obama his four years so that Bloomberg can make up his mind by then and become our president in 2012.

    Obama '08!…………………………………..Bloomberg '12!

    The Independents Strike Back!

    July 6, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Ralph

    I think the media just hates the front runner.

    July 6, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. The Independent One

    please omit the version that spells "Independents" incorrectly

    July 6, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Alex

    I can see McCain camp strategy. I am so angry beyond words... Obama should come back on Mccain and talk about his temper issues... the most sensitive thing he got...hurt him bad...

    July 6, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. NotFallingInLine.org

    If the Democrats can't trust him, can you?

    Mnay of us have been questioning Barack Obama's intentions since the beginning of March, when Samantha Power, Obama’s foreign policy adviser, told Stephen Sackur of the BBC that Obama ”will of course not rely upon some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US senator.”

    Now Barack Obama, the candidate who has based his entire campaign on words – on flowery rhetoric and empty slogans – has begun to whine about ”how finely calibrated [his] every single word [is being] measured” by the media and the American people. Obama is whining because he believes that there’s nothing wrong with promising that he will withdraw combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office during the contest for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and then, after the supposed party leaders secured the nomination for him, saying that he’s “going to refine [his] policies” on withdrawing combat troops from Iraq.

    It’s not a flip-flop, exactly.

    It’s a change we all could have seen coming.

    NotFallingInLine.org

    July 6, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. not important

    Obama is the only one who can end the Iraq war. McNixon everybody remembers what Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger said about the Vietnam war in 1969. We wont get fooled again McBush.

    July 6, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Kim

    Here we go! First CNN's Yellin does a sloppy story that makes it look like Obama changed his Iraq stance when nothing could be further from the truth. Now McBush whose side fed Yellin the story in the first place, jumps all over it. McBush knows America hates this stupid Bush war so he will do any desperate thing to not let Obama have the high ground on this vital issue.

    July 6, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Arron

    John Keating 5 McSame has flip flopped on so many issues that it is laughable for him to accuse Obama, or anyone for that matter, of "flip flopping" on Iraq (which he actually hasn't if you look at what he has said for the past few years on the subject).

    The bottom line is Iraq is the biggest foreign policy blunder in U.S. history that has undermined the mission in Afghanastan, empowered Iran, destabalized the Middle East, ballooned the national debt, destroyed our economy and jacked up oil prices. McCain has been a big time cheerleader of this fiasco, has been wrong on every projection he has made (remember all his glowing prediction about success in Iraq before the war started when he was leading the charge and banging the war drum the loudest), McSame will continue the Bush foreign and economic policies and leave us in Iraq for decades costing tax payers trillion of dollars. Obama was smart enough to know we shouldn't have gotten involved in this fools errand at the git-go and will pull the troops out in a responsible way as soon as humanly possible.

    Iraq has had almost 7 years to get their act together and times up. Since the "surge", American casualties have escalated, Afghanastan has deteriorated, and the Iraqi government is still a disfunctional mess. Get our troops home ASAP and let's start using our resources on this country for a change. I am sick of having my tax dollars wasted on this mess.

    July 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Ralph

    hey Amy. Have you forgotton that the GOP attacked the Clintons even worse in 92, but the Clintons won anyway. The Clintons have way more dirt and scandals for the GOP to exploit than Obama has. But despite that, the GOP could never beat the Clintons, but Obama has beaten the Clintons. If the GOP could not handle the Clintons then what makes you think they can handle Obama?

    July 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. David Goldman

    MCMORON CAN'T GET OFF HIS AIRPLANE WITHOUT HELP,

    LET ALONE REMEMBER WERE OR WHAT HE IS.

    OBAMA'S POSITION ON THE WAR EXACTLY THE SAME,

    FORE THOSE THAT CAN READ & UNDERSTAND THE

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE, WHICH APPARENTLY MCSLEAZO

    IS NOT ONE. HIS HOPE IS THAT WE ARE AS IGNORANT.

    July 6, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Gary Chandler in Canada

    It's like if Obama vacillates 2 times, and he is just as bad as McCain who flop flipped 30 times!!!?? that's good math duh
    I don't get the GOP tactic, 'he is just as bad as our guy' ???
    Google 'McCain King' holiday, When he finally agreed for his State, for political reasons, he still opposed it nationally.
    google 'rhinestone hero'
    If he wasn't born into an Elite military family he would have been booted out of the Academy, instead of bottom 5. His daddy got him into flight school, his daddy got him a promotion to Captain, and his own daddy signed him up for a WHACK of medals.
    Too bad his supporters don't know what Wikipedia or Google is.

    July 6, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Peter E

    What the heck? My comments won't even make it to the point where I can see that CNN received them? What is this a new pre-filter that looks for key phrases like 'Obama 08' now?

    July 6, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. eam

    HEY words to die by: he is changing a successful strategy cause he lacks experience and wisdom! that is the person you are voting for.

    OBAMA'S NEW SLOGAN " JUST SAY YES " HE SAYS YES TO EVERYTHING BUT NEVER SAYS HOW HE'S GONNA DO IT !

    July 6, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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