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. Franky

    No offense but you guys on top, are idiots!! Why are you talking about how Iraq is important?? Don't get me wrong, is important and it will have some impact but let's be honest here, Senator McCain is not calling for withdrawal but my boy is. That's the difference, is not like my boy might stay there for X number of years or months, I know he wants to get out of there with some restrictions or solutions but overall, there's a difference people! Hey, I'm not stupid, I'm not gonna waste my time on this war because quite frankly, it ain't gonna do s- for us!!

    July 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. MaryL- Ca

    Both candidates are pandering to gain votes and they continue to fight each other. This is not professional or productive. They both need to change direction and consider the critical issues and the American people and what they plan to do, if elected President.

    July 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. really? your eyes are shut

    speeches2, Obama's campaign strategy, PUMA .. Hillary supporter...ladies and gentlemen, here is the reason Bush served two terms and why the rest of the world thinks America is full of stupid people...lets prove them wrong!

    July 6, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Miguel

    It's funny how the media more so the conservative media is looking ridiculous by calling Obama a flip flopper.

    For those who didn't watch the Democratic Primaries, Hillary Clinton was the candidate who said she will withdraw the troops no matter what happened the minute she was elected, and it was Obama, the "liberal" which is far from the truth, who said he was going to be careful in withdrawing the troops as Bush was careless in putting them in Iraq.

    Obama was the guy who said he was going to withdraw troops from Iraq and modify depending on the situation there.

    Now, McCain it's like, oh noes, he's a flipflopper. McShady is the real flip flopper who did a 180 from the maverick he was in 2000.

    July 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Bulldog

    Hello, I'm a republica...oh I mean democratic supporter of Hillary now for McCain. Obama is soooo scary and if he is president this country is in danger! He doesn't have any experience and I heard he might be Muslim. McCain is a military hero whose military experience dropping bombs and shooting the enemy will make him a great president. He won't let anyone mess with us. America will kick anyone's butt under McCain. He's a war hero, did I say that already. McCain will lower gas prices by allowing oil drilling off of our beaches and in prestine wildlife areas. Who cares about those stupid animals anyway. We need oil to power our big trucks that McCain allowed us to keep because he to voted prevent better fuel mileage standards 10 years ago. I am a Democrat of Hillary or McCain....seriously.

    July 6, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. baljeet

    I am sorry my fellow democrates but i see history repeating itself , Mccain will beat obama because we don't know what obama stands for. Without a track record he can not be trusted.

    July 6, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Dan

    Sure, blame the press when they're doing their job. It's totally understandable when the press analyzes others' comments, but Barack? That's wrong!

    Looks like Obama can't stand the heat. I don't want a whiner for a President.

    July 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. out of work

    Mc losser

    July 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Concerned Citizen of America 08

    I'd still vote for Obama over McCain. I think Obama has been pretty consistent on his stand on Iraq. We do need to get out of Iraq more carefully than we did going in. While I never expected Obama to be perfect nor put him on a pedestal, I still think he is the right man for the job. McCain is off campaigning in foreign lands and promising them more jobs while our economy goes to hades in a handbasket. I think it's a shame that the Operation Chaos bloggers are still in here despite their small attention span. All words, nothing factual to tell us why they are for one candidate or against another. I guess we've been reduced to sound bites and reality tv..

    July 6, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. out of work

    giving my unemplolment to Obama campyan

    July 6, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. LettuceB1

    In your dreams, McBush!

    July 6, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Danel

    I'd rather prefer a candidate who changes his mind because of circumstances that is beyond his control than somebody who is stubborn. Look at Bush he is too stubborn to change things because he does not want to be see as a flip-flop. Look at what he got us into? Obama is using his good sound judgement. These MSM media is NOT helpful at all. Where were they prior to the invasion? Why didn't question the action of the government before we invaded? Same thing now why aren't they questioning the congress for the resolution 362?

    July 6, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Michael Ray Thompson

    O.K., America. We're at war. We have immense challeges at home and abroad. Barak Obama is a rookie Senator from Illiinois. John McCain is an American hero and a veteran U.S. Senator. America cannot afford to elect an inexperienced person to the highest office in the land. America needs John McCain as President!

    July 6, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. Linda

    We don't have unity because of Hillary and Bill Clinton !

    July 6, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. Pat, CA

    That's right, McCain! Start confronting this loud-mouthed, no-substance newbie on his baloney!

    July 6, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. Sergey

    Senator McCain,
    What is the definition of our victory in Iraq? Who is our enemy to claim the victory against? Al Quaeda? But it was not there on 2002, and now it is not the violence driver, and never been. Please define clearly the target for the victory, remembering 9/11 and under what circumstances we started the war.

    July 6, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. Jean


    July 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. MARYANN Oswego IL

    Bring Hillary Back...It was a Tie Let's have the American People vote on a tie breaker...NO caucus's JUST good old American Voting....Democrats only..she had over 18,000,000 votes ....Let's see who the American people REALLY want!!!!!Voting should last 24 hours so all of us hard working Democrats can go before or after work...NO DNC or super delegates can participate...This is AMERICA let's do it...Hillary 08

    July 6, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. FLIP FLOP!!!!

    "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 .........for 100 yrs...........DON't worry about Senator Obama ..........McWAR is the liar and so are you ......McCain if you think for 1 moment that you are going get these SCUMBAGS to destroy Senator Obama you are dead wrong .........Americans are not Stupid ........ HOG JAW!!!!!
    You think this war of words is going work oh no bring it on!!!!
    McCain stay out of the BUSHES

    July 6, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. DA

    All you McCain supporters should be asking him to give some straight talk about the following article!!!

    July 6, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Susan

    McCain has no business questioning anybodys word but his own! He is nothing but a warmingering evil old man who has nothing positive in his plans for this country. As a matterof fact, other than continuing this God awful war, he will start a few more to quench his lust for blood!! OBAMA )*!!

    July 6, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. Danel

    PUMA: Do you know why Hillary lost the nomination? because she was caught lying, she voted for the Iraq war. Do not hold or blame that on Obama. Whatever the DNC rule that was beside the point. Obama did not make them. He was following the rules. If you still blame Obama for that fine go vote for McCain. obviously 8 years of economic meltdown, war in Iraq, no transparency in the eyes of the world is not enough for you. I voted for Clinton (pres) twice, I love Hillary too.What is McCain offering you?

    July 6, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  23. gary


    July 6, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. the watcher

    Regardless of any position that any candidate stand for if the conditions on the ground change you have to refine your policies. You have to be a fool to ignore the reality. That is the role of the leader, is to adjust his plan so he can achieve what he intended to do.

    July 6, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. smile!

    bloggers for obama and vig-ot are one and the same.......trash

    we´ve got 5 down and 95 to go....that´s years in IRAQ for mc cheek

    he is really stuck in the VIETNAM era and the conflicts we are facing now have nothing to do with VIETNAM

    July 6, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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