July 9th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain, Obama slam Iran

Obama and McCain have reacted to the Iran missile test.

Obama and McCain have reacted to the Iran missile test.

(CNN) - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain said Wednesday Iran's missile test showcases the need for implementing a more effective missile defense system while his Democratic counterpart, Barack Obama, said the event highlights the need for more aggressive diplomacy with the rogue nation.

Watch: Iran tests missiles

"Ballistic missile testing coupled with Iran's continued refusal to cease its nuclear activities should unite the international community in efforts to counter Iran's dangerous ambitions," McCain said in a statement. "Iran's missile tests also demonstrate the need for effective missile defense now and in the future, and this includes missile defense in Europe as is planned with the Czech Republic and Poland."

"Working with our European and regional allies is the best way to meet the threat posed by Iran, not unilateral concessions that undermine multilateral diplomacy," McCain also said.

Obama, who has faced criticism for saying he would directly sit down with sworn enemies of the United States, told CBS Wednesday morning the test underscores the need for direct diplomacy.

"At this point, the report is unclear, it's still early," he said on CBS' The Early Show. "What this underscores is the need for a clear policy that is putting the burden on Iran to change behavior. And frankly, we just have not been able to do that the last several years, partly because we're not engaged in direct diplomacy."

Obama also said he will continue to push for an incentive package that seeks to deter Iran from its nuclear goals.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. rachel

    I mean Iran.

    July 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. McCain Is A Funny Guy

    here's his latest joke about killing Iranians:

    McCain was asked about the increase in US exports to Iran during the Bush Administration, with the largest export being cigarettes. “Maybe that’s a way of killing them,” McCain said, laughing, according to a pool report.

    Hilarious, no? With Johnboy behind the wheel? We can all laugh our way to WW III

    July 9, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. martin

    anne in ca.-mccain cant find his rear,with both hands.he does notknow what he's doing.he's confused and disorientated,with all the stress he's going through,trying to make americans believe he is not another GWBUSH, when it's quite apparent that he is.oh,and i'm sorry,but,hillary lost because she wanted to "obliterate iran".the superdelegates are firmly behind obama,and ,in case you haven't heard,so is hillary.

    July 9, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Foreign observer

    Concerning atomic bomb questions Iran behaves as an outlaw. Same way US behaved when starting the illegal war against Irak.

    July 9, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Jay


    He has no clue what he is doing. he cant even protect his own children and puts them on TV to make himself look better. He is so full of himself. Snap out of it people. He i sliek a Cult leader and you guys are under his spell.

    July 9, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Mike in NYC

    "Obama called Iran a threat..."

    Iran is not a threat to the US.

    If the Israelis think they're a threat, then they should do something. The US and Israel, to my knowledge, have never signed a defense treaty, so the US has no military obligation to Israel.

    Come to think of it, can you imagine Israelis risking their lives for the US? Laughable.

    July 9, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Tina


    July 9, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Stacy

    If you are planning on voting for Mccain, just stay home..... some of us do not want to see world war 3.
    Mccain is danger boy and his pants are loaded with the wrong stuff

    July 9, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. theresa

    Why have both candidates failed to mention any agricultural reform? This country was founded by small farmers and they are idlely sitting by while banks forclose on more and more of our family farms. Ask a child in the city where their food comes from and they will probaly tell the name of some supermarket chain. We are setting ourselves up for disaster. We are now feeling the pressure of our dependence on other countries for oil at the gas pumps. Do you really think that it will be any different with food? The sad part is that most adults dont know where their food comes from. Would you enjoy that burger so much if you knew that it came from another country where they dont regulate quality. What about your milk products? Did you know that we import powdered milk from India where sanitation is at best sub par? Think about it and you will realize that food is going the way of petroleum. So I ask if the candidates are willing to save homeowners then why pray tell are they forgeting about our farmers?

    July 9, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Pam

    Republicans won't be happy until they start another Cold War or World War Three.

    July 9, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Not fooled by distractions

    Did McCain at least get the country right this time? I bet he's sportin' a hellacious woodie just thinkin' about Iran.

    If McCain is elected, you can virtually guarantee war with Iran.

    Enough of the C- legacy admissions in the white house. I don't care if he was a war "hero" – that has no bearing on his competency as president.

    I'll take the guy with brains – I've seen enough bravado to last a lifetime.

    Obama 08

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. dave g, Minneapolis

    Obama doesn't have a clue about what he's saying. In a speech in May he said "Iran is not a threat". The next day, he said "Iran is a serious threat". so his quote in the article ["It's that kind of mixed signal that has led to the kind of situation that we're in right now," Obama said on ABC Wednesday.] is all the more hilarious.

    I don't think that we have to worry about either of these two gentlemen (McCain/Obama) starting a war with Iran. Israel will start one before the end of the Bush administration, and the successor will be left the clean up. I wouldn't want either cleaning up.

    Bob Barr would do the right thing. Latest polls show him running 6% nationally and 8% in MN. It's clear that Americans are looking for a real choice. See his website for the video of Obama's Iran flipping...along with McCain's pains.

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Jon

    So Obama's plan in response to Iran's missile testing is to give them an "incentive package"? So in addition to $140/barrel oil, we're going to give them money to stop their nuclear program? That's a swell idea, Obama!!

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Johnny

    If you really want to deal with Iran, the way to do it is to invade them with our culture... not our military. There is a great interest in Iran for American goods, and the Iranian people are sick of the repressive rule of their Imans. They know we have more fun over here in America, and they want some of that, too. Read Persepholis. The Iranian government is bad... but the Iranian people really aren't, and if we created pathways for America's true greatest export – our culture – then there'd be no need for military strikes. Strikes would, in fact, be highly counterproductive in the long run, because it would shut off receptiveness to our culture. Remember, it's very hard to defeat an enemy who has outposts in your head... which is exactly what we'd have if we supplied the Iranians with our movies, our TV, our comics, our music, our neato gadgets, etc.

    John McCain doesn't realize this, which makes him a very dangerous choice for America's future. We could not go more wrong than by electing McCain.

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Andy J, NY

    Engaging Iran, unilaterally, and having our President meet with Iran's president would only give him credibility and show the US is weak, worried, scared about Iran.

    We must stick with our allies, engage in Multi-lateral diplomacy. We should be exporting items to Iran, its a sort of cultural invasion. Its an attempt to win over the people of iran, and provide a proper counter weight to their leaders extremist, anti-west views. At the same time, we don't buy anything from iran, so we get their money and they get none of ours. We must stick with our allies on this.

    July 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. JohnBoy

    Tax the rich and pay off Hillarys debt.

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |


    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    I smell a big rat here. Today's claim of a "terrorist" attack against our consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, coupled with last week's revelation that we've had subversive operatives working in Iran for years, and now Iran announcing a missile test claiming its security had been threatened...
    Keep your eyes open, folks! The Cheney-Bush-Rice neocon clique is at it again. They've lied to us before, many times, and I have a strong hunch they, along with John McCain, are trying to maneuver and manipulate us into war again. I certainly hope Obama won't be duped the way McCain and Lieberman apparently have been and come out supporting a pre-emptive war with Iran!

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. tom, boston

    WHERE WERE THESE TWO WHEN ISRAEL HAD A MILITARY EXERCISE as a practice run for an attack on iran??????????

    you will have no right answer unless you ask the right question.

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Republican for Obama

    Anne in CA:

    Excuse me? McCain knows what he's doing? So standing tough and ignoring Iran has put us in a position of power with them these last 8 years? Give me a break.

    Not to mention this missile defense program that Bush/McCain keep pushing is corrupting our relationship with Russia. We need to follow Obama's approach at this point and build a coalition with the other countries in the Middle East/Europe to convince Iran it is not in their best interest to continue on this path.

    Give me diplomacy over aggressive tough talk any day. Just admit you are still pouting over Clinton and move on.

    July 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Donna

    See this is the REAL difference between the two...

    McCain skips past the first level of action, which is sanctions/dipomacy and goes right to a more AGGRESSIVE stance..this is the COWBOY mentality (i.e. Bush) all over again..we all know the next step in McCains mind is WAR...

    Obama THINKS before he acts..there is a BIGGER picture here and we need to use all of our OPTIONS in ORDER before we start the WAR STANCE on anyone...

    Iran is NOT SCARED of the U.S (or anyone else)...everyone knows that..I'd rather we try to talk to the enemy (like it says in the Bible) before we start sending our already DEPLETED military off to another war...

    July 9, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Adam

    It's about time we had a president who wasn't so arrogant he wouldn't sit and talk with an enemy about our differences. That takes real courage. Iran is an enemy with whom violence simply will not work. Period. This one has to be solved through diplomacy.

    July 9, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Gary Chandler in Canada

    With the talks between Europe and Iran, this missile firing is nothing more than a bartgaining chip to strengthen their hand at the table.

    July 9, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. TheEtruscan

    Bomb Israel instead for world peace.

    July 9, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. JA Cook

    Clearly an immediate round of bombing would demonstrate the power and will of the US. It would earn back the respect. we so deserve.

    Stay the Course with John McCain!

    July 9, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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