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. Ralph

    Obama has not changed his mind on Iraq. The McCain camp is just grasping for straws over a phrase over refine the policy. Obama still intends to pull the troops out in 16 months, but may change how to do it if it is necessary.

    July 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. So A man THINK IT SO is HE !!!!

    Dave........ Obama is hard to figure out. He does talk out of both sides of his mouth.
    Hillary seemed to imply he was just a guy who gave some speeches
    Hillary is the GAL that lied ....Remember BOSNIA
    I am not necessarily a fan of McCain, but I think he is raising a valid point by calling Obama's words into question.I think you call it flip flop
    Now McCain took the Flop out of Flip.......and if weren't for Lieberman
    he would be LOST!!!

    July 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Texans for Obama

    America should have never waged a war on a third world country on a pretense of a big fat lie! John McCain was for this ugly war that has killed many of our young men and women of the armed forces. Obama has not changed his stance on the war. John McCain and company, the RNC needs to shut-up. They started this war and wants to continue this mess for another 100 years. The war has not made use safer from Al Queda. Yes, the bombings has slowed down in Iraq but in Afganistan the war is raging worse than before. The RNC has no plan to get us out of Iraq. People, lives are at stake everyday in Iraq. Young kids 18-22 yrs old fighting, and dying for what? Oil?

    By the way, where is Osama Bin Laden? The person we were after in the first place. McCain can't answer that question or the lousy Bush administration either. Forget McCain and his old school cronies. I am tired of hearing about the war . This war must end. The economy is too bad to continue. We are not winning anything in Iraq. Bring our soldiers home now!!!

    July 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. ZIUS BRAD NY

    HILLARY WILL NEVER COME BACK SHE HAS THE PUMA STAIN FOR LIFE

    July 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. jimtranr in Oregon

    John McCain is not Barack Obama's worst enemy. That dubious honor belongs to Obama himself and the false expectations raised by a cynical primary campaign strategy that seduced Democrats (and, where they could vote in Democratic primaries and caucuses, Republicans and independents) hungry for a "change" candidate.

    When push comes to shove, the only "change" we can expect from him is a turnabout in policy positions whenever he senses that's what he needs to make himself electable. He's done it on Iraq, on the Patriot Act, and on the death penalty, shedding his earlier positions the way he's had to divest himself of policy and spiritual advisers whenever they got too hot for him to handle in the political kitchen. In this household he's known as "Backpedaling Barack."

    July 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Please, No Obama

    To the rabid dogs who support Obama blindly. Making inflammatory comments about McCain, tasteless age jokes, blogs filled with CAPITAL letters and exclamation points will not win the election this fall. They actually failed to win the nomination against Hillary since it was handed to BHO on a platter. Obama is going down, fast. He is flip-flopping so badly now on issues about which he once spoke stridently. By the time the Republicans are finished with him, he won't find a job waiting tables. Please, Dems bring back Hillary and save us the disgrace.

    July 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Peter E

    People PLEASE read Obama's website before you propagate myths about what he plans to do. The biggest myth is that he plans to withdraw all our troops from Iraq. His own site says that we plan to keep some troops there to combat al Quaeda.
    Combating terrorists is precisely what Bush uses as our current excuse to keep our troops there. So the bttom line is that Obama's plan isn't anything new that we aren't already doing in Iraq. It's change in name only!

    July 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Lou R

    When we hear, "The McCain campaign says . . " anything, you can be sure it is a character attack. When it is not from the campaign it comes from FOX commentary, Rush Limbaugh or right wing Bloggers. I for one have grown tired of this overused Karl Rove divide to conquer strategy that quite frankly now causes me to yawn. I guess this is the very best the Republican party can offer John McCain and is minions.

    July 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. McWar!!!!

    McWar!!!! July 6th, 2008 4:35 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    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

    CNN PLZ POST ND TRY!

    July 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. ZIUS BRAD NY

    BIG MAC IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH

    July 6, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. Ron. Toronto Canada

    Mccaine and the the Republicans have no platform so they jump on everything that Obama say's to get on CNN's headline news.

    July 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. eam

    THE PROBLEM WITH AMERICA IS THAT WE ARE ALL SLAVES TO A TWO PARTY SYSTEM THAT HAS FAILED. THE TRUTH IS THAT WE NEED TO GET RID OF BOTH PARTIES, VOTE GREEN, OR INDEPENTANT, OR LIBERTARIAN ! BUT NOOOOOO! ALL YOU SLAVES EVERY 4 YEARS DO THE SAME THING VOTE FOR THAT 2 SAME STUPID PARTIES THAT HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING MEANINGFUL FOR THIS COUNTRY IN FOREVER.

    July 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. David Goldman

    I HEAR SOME REALLY GOOD LADY FRIEND OF MCNUTS'

    ARE GETTING THEIR MAKE UP READY FOR THE CAMERAS.

    TURNS OUT "HONORABLE" GUY HAS EVEN LESS

    HONOR WITH LADIES THAN WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS.

    AND THAT NO HONOR AT ALL.

    July 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    look, Obamas position is to get the troops out. I'm sure he would like to get them out as quick as posssible but in a situation such as this you cannot set a hard date but instead a target date.

    If only McCain could see this mess in Iraq.

    July 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. Franky

    No offense to the Reps but aren't they as well changing positions(they've flip flop as many times as Joe Lieberman himself)??? And plus, what are they gonna talk about in Iraq??? How complicated it is??? Or how difficult to understand it is??? Go ahead, talk about how we might be there the next couple of years or talk about how what next decision it is...

    If I were you Reps, I wouldn't worry much Iraq because quite frankly, you guys are the ones responsible for it. Focus on things you need to improve. If staying in Iraq is gonna help our economy or talking about our economy is gonna help Iraq, I don't know what you guys are reading at...

    July 6, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. 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 HRC BS.

    July 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Rick FL

    Words into question? For a candidate I used to admire in 2000, how many positions has McCain shifted to align with Bush's policies? McCain has reversed on torture, tax cuts for the wealthy, offshore drilling, agents of intolerance, privatization of Social Security, etc.

    Obama has not changed his position on Iraq, no matter how they try to spin it.

    Dem '08

    July 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. CITIZENS FOR AMERICA FIRST

    SCUM BAG & FRIENDS GOT US IN IRAQ

    SCUM BAG & FRIENDS PLAN TO STAY THERE A 100 YEARS.

    SCUM BAG & FRIENDS LIED ABOUT IRAQ.

    WE GOT IT.

    July 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. Ethnic back ground

    Hi mr BLOGERRS,every body this country are Ethnic back ground,except NATIVE AMERICAN OR INDIAN'S second HISPANIC.
    Wise up and learn more American histroy.and iam sure you are what MRS clinton calls working american,what i call unaducated people
    21 century.it's not too late to aducate your self.

    Cnn please post this coment.

    July 6, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. Satcy

    How many times Mc Cain itself had change position?
    Obama has not change position on the war in Iraq because from the beginning of it he opposed it.
    I think Mc Cain has to be more creative.

    July 6, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Jack Mehoff, LA

    Obama is the king of flip flop. He also needs lessons in pandering-he trys hard enough but can't pull it off. Michelle, however, can pull it off.

    July 6, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. James KY.

    Obama "CHANGE' you can believe in. Obama is always changing, and changing and changing. New word for change "REFINING. Refining you can believe in. By the way amen to all the Hillary supporters comments.

    July 6, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. TOMIWA OBAMAISHOPE

    Hey Mccain! changing your approach to do something DOES NOT MEAN you dont want to do it any longer. get it !!!!!!

    July 6, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Ask Hill

    He intends to steal the presidential seal.... just like he stole the democratic nomintion.

    Where is Hillary? She can tell you all about Obama's dirty tricks.

    July 6, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. really? your eyes are shut

    USS Forres... Mishap July 29, 1967….McCain destroys ship.Surviving crewmen and those who investigated the Forrestal fire case reported that McCain deliberately 'wet-started' his A-4E Skyhawk to shake up the guy in the F-4 Phantom behind his plane.
    -As for McCain, he continues to stonewall on his own POW records

    -When American Continental Corporation, the parent of Lincoln Savings, went bankrupt in 1989, more than 21,000 mostly elderly investors lost their life savings. After McCain's election to the House in 1982, he and his family made at least nine trips at Keating's expense, three of which were to Keating's Bahamas retreat. McCain did not disclose the trips (as he was required to under House rules)
    YEAH...McCain sounds a lot like Bush...4 more years...REALLY? how stupid do they think America is?

    July 6, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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