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.

Full story

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

    This is blog is so censored that any opinion that does not demonize the Iranians and laud Israel is automatically censored. Israel recently had a weapons test that the world seemed to have ignored. Why are both actions view differently. The Iranian Foreign Minister recently made the statement, that a crime was committed in Europe and the people of the Middle East are made to pay for it. Let's get serious about peace and end this partisan hypocritical politics.

    July 9, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. too bad, so sad

    Your moderator is awaiting moderation.

    seems the moderator likes short posts with fire rather than longer, thoughtful, fact-based discussion.

    I'll see if this is posted...because my longer posts aren't

    July 9, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Nix

    To Anita from Arizona:
    The reason the USA has been so blessed (for how much longer? with attitudes like your's, I don't know) is becuase Israel is the Apple of God's Eye! Israel was chosen to be different from all other nations of the world. Even Israel does not like the distinction or they would understand the scriptures that describe Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah! As Jesus said about Israel: Oh Israel, as a hen tries to protect its young under its wings, you will not cooperate with that salvation! We are our brother's keeper, and Israel is our brother, worth protecting.

    July 9, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Beca

    Well, BHO is planning to cut budget in missile defense, very smart, NOT, I rather be safe than dead. Things are better in Irak because of McCain stragedy from the very beginning of the war, but Bush did not listen to him. McCain is a wise men, not Obambi!

    July 9, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Franky

    You see guys, this is important stuff. Not the Big Time Clinton Donors who they like. If they want some lovin, then they better look somewhere else.......there's too much important stuff going on right now.

    July 9, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Will, NJ

    Even if it were not the US government exporting goods to Iran, the current administration has always been such a huge supporter of the private sector and free trade, right? Republicans are the one's to blame for issues with Iran, Iran-Contra? Wasn't it Reagan that gave Iran all those weapons?

    July 9, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Not So Delusional

    In the infamous words of Hillary Clinton. "We would totally obliterate them." They know it. The world knows it. Bash all you want about what Barack Obama has said in the past. But, he was right. No matter how you slice it, Iran is NOT a real threat. Maybe to it's neighbors. Perhaps to Israel (who can definitely take care of themselves). But they (IRAN) know, they wouldn't last 3 weeks in a confrontation with the US.

    July 9, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Vicki Webster

    He certainly is a clown, he was educated where? Maybe he ought to go back there and get educated again, I am talking about Obama. John E. for vp, he cannot even carry his own state. What is wrong with this people have they gone soft or jelly in their head. Bush please have 4 more years of you, McCaine I will vote for you.

    July 9, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. Tom Soppe, Portland, OR

    Obama is "under criticism" for saying he'd talk to people. Yes, he's under criticism about this from the GOP and the media.

    Of course the Republicans are "under criticism" from Democrats and real people from being all war, no talking. But this article acts like it is only Obama under criticism. Typical corporate media bias to the right.

    July 9, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. Connie

    I believe senator Obama is right , There is the old saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer.Let face it if we had a president now that anyone respected Iran may not be as far as they are . I for one do not think that John McBush is acting presidential at all when he jokes that the cigarettes that are country sells in Iran are to kill their citizens.Wake up people this man is just like Bush , when ever he talks he puts his foot in his mouth. He has put his foot in his mouth more times during the past year than he has on the senate floor to vote.News flash if Obama said half of what he has said it would be news 24-7 .
    Barack Hussein Obama 08

    Connie"Hussein"Sturgeon from Indiana

    July 9, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Will, NJ

    It's easy for everyone to relate Obama to Hitler because he can actually draw a crowd and keep them awake. Sorry he can't hold his rallies in a phone booth like McCain. Hitler was also white, not black, in addition it was his veteran experience that made him into the bitter lunatic the history books recall him as. McCain just acts as if he is the divine bearer of our flag with a score to settle.

    July 9, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. jr

    It has been the government of Iran's stated goals since Carter allowed the Mullah's to take control of the country, to be the dominant regional power of the Persian Gulf. Additionally, they seek the destruction of Israel and any western nation that does not conform to their delusional religious beliefs. This is what Obama fails to recognize and understand.

    Beginning with Carter we have gone through five different presidents, each with a different philosophy about how to best deal with Iran. We have talked and talked with them until we are blue in the face. Over all of that time, and all of that talk, we have not been able to deter their stated goals of controlling the region and the flow of oil from it.

    If Obama thinks that he is somehow going to get Iran to do something that his predesessors were unable to do, then he is beyond naive. The Iranians will be more then happy to talk to him. Why, because they will view him as a weak sister who will give them the time they need to move closer to achieving their ultimate goal. Wake up Barack your out of your league on the middle east.

    July 9, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Andy J, NY

    Why do so many foreign leaders want Obama as president?

    Its simple: They know he is weak, and they know they can push him around. I wouldn't take this guy serious, he's obviously all talk.

    July 9, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. beth - florida

    It's OK folks – Obama will change his position so many times, that even the Iranians will get confused.

    July 9, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. David

    yeah buddy, beat those war drums guys!!! while all the reports found that Iran was not building a nuclear weapon, our war mongering leaders continue the rant against Iran. sounds so familiar.

    July 9, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. joe in VA

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

    Oh brother! Is he kidding? He wants to "incentivize" them into being more compliant? Several european nations had direct talks with Iran and nothing came of it.

    This is yet another example of BHO's inexperience.

    BTW, has anyone noticed that all his rhetoric is so generalized that he can later say "this is what I really meant by that". I expect a prez to at least TRY to be specific on his intentions....unless....BHO doesn't want us to know what they are or doesn't yet know himself...

    July 9, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Bobby, Triangle, VA

    Iran do not have any missiles or nukes that can reach american soil, so why are we saying they're a threat to us? They are a threat to Israel and the surrounding countries, they are the ones who need to talk to Iran not us. Who cares if they are testing their missiles. Most of the people in America believe anything our government say. Wake up people, the real "axis of evil" are here on our american soil, they're in the White House!

    July 9, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian


    It is statements like yours, that has resulted in the position that the US is facing now in Iran. Unfortunately you DO NOT REALIZE that Iran is now using McCain's and Bush's STATEMENTS AND CLAIMS OF "BOMB" "BOMB" "BOMB" IRAN, and guess what? even HILLARY'S OPEN STATEMENT OF .........."WE WILL OBLITERATE IRAN IF....." DO YOU REALIZE WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW? Iran is now using these US THREATS AS AN EXCUSE FOR THEIR ACTIONS TODAY!


    You cannot now deny that McCain, Bush, and even Hillary, said the above things, THEY HAVE NOW GIVEN IRAN THE AMMUNITION AND EXCUSE IT NEEDS TO RESPOND IN THIS MANNER!

    I hope you guys WAKE UP and realize that WAR OR EVEN THREATS OF WAR IS AT BEST THE LAST RESORT!

    July 9, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Lamar from Springfield,MO.

    Ok, can somebody please help me understand why Israel can do what ever they feel in the Middle East without much being said about it? Didn't the Israeli military recently do a "test mission" over the Mediterranean? They sent more than 100 fighter jets to participate in the 900 mile "test mission." I don't like the idea of Iran having nuclear capabilities, but I do believe in the right to bear arms.

    July 9, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Less

    Obama knows what he is talking about, people just don't know how to listen – or is just blinded by denial of the visible truth.

    McCain wants to stabilize American troops and families on dangerous foreign land – BAD IDEA. What American family would want to live over there for years and years and years?

    Obama realizes this BAD IDEA and wants to end the war the right way – using Common Sense, which is obvious McCain highly lacks.

    July 9, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. PUMA = NUTS

    Well we can bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran... yeah that'll teach 'em! Let's blow up EVERYTHING that way we won't have to worry about having any enemies. See? Its just that simple. Anyone you don't agree with, blow them up! And no, Iran is not a direct threat to the US, they are a threat to Israel, our ally. I love how we are supposed to go out and police the world when we can't even get the problems we have here resolved!

    Should we step in when there are issues to help protect our allies? Yes, but the first step in that is not provoking War. Nothing is wrong with talks first, action second. It hasn't always been perfect but think of all the wars we would've been in had we not tried something else. Its obvious this "bomb first, questions later" approach is not the best way to go. Just remember people everyone said the same thing about Saddam that we tried to talk to him, diplomacy will not work, he's insane, he has WMDs... (by the way, anyone find those yet?) You want to know the problem in the Middle East? THE UNITED STATES! If there was no oil there, we wouldn't even care about these civil issues! What about the genocides going on in Africa and Asia? I don't see us jumping up in arms to go help defend those people.

    July 9, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. LT for Obama

    For all you Obama non-believers, you seem to think you know it all. You listen to what the repubs tell you instead of listening to the candidate himself. He has admitted that if diplomacy does not work then action is the next plan of action.

    The man is not naive but is looking to work things out first BEFORE taking military action.

    July 9, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. NOT crazy in TX.

    Have we become so obtuse as a nation that we can't make diplomacy work? Have you ever read (or even heard of) Machiavelli or Sun Tsu? It's time we started to OUTSMART our enemies as opposed to trying to bully them. That tactic has obviously failed over the last 7.5 years. I would like to see you McCain supporters just go ahead and admit that all you care about is tax cuts, because that's really the only rational reason to support him. Oh, and you bitter Hillary folks need to admit you hated her politics from the get go because they are almost diametrically opposed to McCain (except on Iran). So if you're voting for him you obviously never bothered to listen to anything Hillary actually talked about.

    July 9, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. LNJ , Houston

    To Mike who commented..."they are thinking about hurting our interest"..Now think about what you and others are saying here. This nebulous concept that the theUS military should consider launching military attacks against countries who are "thinking about hurting our intersts". What an insane concept to base a decision on to start a war on. i ask you to refer back to the proud history of the US. We are a soceity to be admired not only because of powerfu military, capable of projecting our strength worldwide...but also because of our historic model of being a just nation, who follows the rule of law. When did we become a nation of meglamaniacs who throw around phrases like...."they want to kill Americans" as a pretext to lauch invasions against soverign nations without real provaction. Every country in the world has enemies, The pakistanis, India, Russia, China, Egypt, saudi Arabia. These countries could all launch atacks on their enemies on the basis that their enemies would like to kil them. By the way...No Iraqui or Iranian participated in the 9-11 attacks. All the world's most famous terroists come from our friendly Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan. go figure huh?

    July 9, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Steve (Independent)

    Well said, Connie!

    July 9, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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