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. Really

    I think both sides agree that diplomacy is your first attack. Sanctions and incentives. But tough decisions have to be made. I do not think Barrack can make those decisions. If we go Barrack's way, we will need to deal with a much more powerful Iran in 10 years. ran will starve their own people while they continue to build their military.

    July 9, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Why not, nothing else is working

    To have a President that could actually relate to the leaders in the middle east could be a great advantage. To show some respect and sit down and try to reason with Iran is worth a try because we are headed for a confrontation of some kind and that is exactly what we don't need at this time. The region is so unstable that military action is highly probable.

    Deplomacy may be the only way out of the inevitable clash between Isreal and Iran..

    I say let this man give it a try, Obama has done nothing but succeed in his previous endeavors and he is the best chance we have at peace in this region.

    July 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Mae, CA

    I am so glad we have Barack Obama, the next Pres of U.S. I have complete confidence in his Judgment. He will find a way other than "attack Iran" to handle this situation, unlike McBush who only has one option in is head of "bomb,bomb,bomb, etc" McBush already has shown he needs Anger Management Counseling, he doesn't have the skills of a Negotiator & may fly into a rage at any one (especially Iran) who annoys him. McBush can not be trusted to make the right judgment. Barack Obama for Pres. 08-16

    July 9, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. LT for Obama

    Has anyone considered that our military is already stretched thin and that Iran knows this and is using these threats to see what action we are going to take?

    How many of you who side with McCain are joining the mililtary to help combat this psycho as you call him and fight in this third war that you are proposing? Since we have troops in two other middle eastern countries, where would you propose we get all these new troops to fight Iran and protect the US from direct attack?

    Lastly, where are we going to get the money to pay for it? Oh, right, McCain is going to balance the budget, fight three wars and reverse our economic "slow down." I wish I had the magic wand he does so I could improve my economic situation like he plans to do with no money.

    July 9, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Lorna, NY

    Obama handled this well. I did not understand the ramblings of McCain. Is anyone listening to him? Why is the media not paying any attention to this??? If we were talking to Iran, this would not be happening! We need face to face meetings with these leaders so that they are clear and we are clear on the issues.

    July 9, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Really

    Who started the Iraq war? Saddam Huessin did. He refused to let inspectors back into his country. It turns out that he was bluffing big time. The war could have been avoided. I am sick of the cry babies in this country. The war protesters are protesting in the wrong country. They should be in Iraq protesting the war. The small group of insurgents are the ones to blame. Last I checked, we are not targeting civilians or looping off their heads. Radical Muslims are to blame – not a political party in the US.

    July 9, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Serviceman who loves country

    When will this country realize that the world doesn't have to live by our rules and value system or our religious beliefs? Is it not taught that we all are born with free will but yet this is what we constantly complain about, that people are not living like WE think they should? Iraq had no nukes Iran has none but WE do! As well as ALL our alias’s. Where not disarming all our nukes or our friends so why are we up in arms that they are trying to make them for there country. If the US was in there shoes we would be doing the same.
    Look at where this war has gotten this country. Gas from 1.75 to 4.15, market going down drain, deficit higher than ever, all jobs leaving and plants closing, homeless sky rocketing and on and on. When did we become so dumb? Time for change-time is now, let’s act like a country again instead of a bunch of bickering babies. Destroy all parties and come together as one to rebuild our nation. Let some one else baby sit the world for the next 20 years.

    July 9, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Will in Richmond, VA

    Iranian general said his finger is "always on the trigger".

    World crisis is at hand it seems. And we are still mired in Iraq. Will Isreal have to stand alone?

    July 9, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Robin Country Club Hills

    Direct talks mean not using a third country to negotiate through. It has nothing to do with Presidential talks until preliminary discussions with lower level diplomats have been held.

    July 9, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Vic of New York

    I amazes me every time John McCane and his conservative buddies open their mouths about the "dangers" of Iran.

    Before George Jr. and DICK Cheney's war on Iraq, Iran was kept at bay by its natural enemy Saddam Hussien. Instead, Boy George had to prove he was tougher that his daddy to all his brainless neo-fascist right wing handlers.

    Georgie boy hood winked the nation telling us the war would pay for itself with $20/barrel gasoline. So what have we now?

    We've got gasoline at $140 a barrel and a junk yard dog turned loose in Iran. – Do you think any of these right wind neo nazis will admit they screwed up? Don't hold your breath – just don't vote them back into power.

    July 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Bob

    McCain is just talking tough trying to get votes. He and the other NeoCons know that there is nothing the cash strapped United States can do but talk. Our military is overstretched with 2 wars, and we would have to borrow more money from China. As our banker I don't think China would be too happy if we interfered with their oil imports from Iran. Any military intervention would have a ripple effect on our economy as since all of the imports we get from China would cost more. Not to mention our oil prices would go even higher. The phony sabre rattling needs to stop. Diplomacy is the only answer.

    July 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. wha.....t???

    Hey, Not So Delusional, you KNOW that Iran would not last 3 weeks in a confrontation with the US? Huh, I'm glad that the Iraq and Afganistan conflicts only took a few days. 😮

    I hope that people aren't so naive. But it appears that McCain and Obama don't review the history or think about an actual plan that works. Bomb or Talk. These aren't plans. Let's hear some thoughtful plans...

    Well, I guess that's only coming from Bob Barr.

    July 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. All we are asking, is give peace a chance...

    Can we not start a third war before cleaning up the other two? That goes out to all involved, be it McWar, McCongress or Obama.

    I'm with T.Boone... let's get a start NOW on where our energy comes from so that in 5-10 years we can tell the entire middle east to go ahead and blow themselves up. WHO CARES!

    It's all about religion and oil at this point. Oil I understand... but organized religion is the biggest terrorist organization of all. They've been torturing, killing and destroying in the name of GOD (whatever flavor) since day one.

    July 9, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. ProundToBeDemocrat

    This old man is a warmonger he has not learned his lesson yet, making a stupid comment like "let the iranian get all our cigerates that will finish them all" this guy is a hate person America does not need people like him pleasie some one save us from McShame.

    July 9, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Lorna, NY

    Obama is right.

    July 9, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Jason

    Frankly, anyone who thinks sanctions and ignoring the Iranians is the answer is very close to losing my vote. Sanctions never hurt the leadership of a country, only the people, and then we turn the people of the nation against us and closer to the leadership.

    Look how well sanctions worked and are working with Cuba!
    Look how well our sanctions in the 1990s worked against Iraq and Saddam (Can you say, completely destruction of the Iraqi health-care system, and... I doubt Saddam was losing any sleep our the effects of our sanctions)

    Look how WELL diplomacy worked with the Soviets. Look at the Cuban missile crisis, we had KNOWN nukes 60 miles off of our shore, and we were able to disolve the situation with resonable talks and negotiation.

    Today we have the potential for future nukes (not likely completed until at least 2012) half a world away and we think that we can solve this without negotiation?

    We have very little to worry about with Iran with Israel and their itchy trigger finger on their door step. I just hope our mindless support for Israel, a hostile and often belligerent nation (bombing Lebanon is the national pasttime of Israel after all). If Israel goes in, we need to repudate the attacks and not allow them to use any of our bases or fly over our airspace (including occupied Iraq and Afghanistan). If Iran and Israel want to duke it out, it should not be an American concern. Besides, we all know how that war would end...

    July 9, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. john

    McSAME just wants to start another irresponsible war. You can't fight the world, at some point you have to negotiate and bring pressure in other ways. Just not talking and bombing will not work as we see.

    OBAMA 08/12

    July 9, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Esther

    Trust Obama's judgement and well-thought out conclusions above McSame's rash cough-ups regarding FOREIGN POLICY/NATIONAL SECURITY:

    On November 29, 2002 on CNN’s Late Edition, Sen. McCain said, "We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad. We may have to take out buildings, but we’re not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies....I don’t think it’s easy, but I believe that we can win an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time."

    In contrast, Obama made a prominent speech around the same time, October 2, 2002, in which he said, "But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. "I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al-Qaeda." Obama correctly foresaw the consequences of the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history. McCain won't even support vets after the bloodletting? Which candidate do you think is more "naive on foreign policy and not as qualified to lead the military?"

    Obama advised sanctions and predicted the situation also for Zimbabwe 1 and half yrs ago before things spun out of control and he was right.

    July 9, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. BUSHED!!!!

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

    CONFUSED is WHAT you had for BREAKFAST........and now YOU are out FOR LUNCH!!! .........YOU DON'T need Dinner .......becuz.....you are BUSHED!!!

    Obama 08/2012

    July 9, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. CitizenAJ

    We got tough with Libya because Libyians or terrorist supported by Libya were carrying out terrorist acts on U.S. interest. Iran has not. They are making their little threat because of all the talk in the Amerian and Israeli media about a pre-emptive strike on their nuclear facilities.

    If diplomacy, proper diplomacy was applied in the past, they would not be this far in developing nuclear weapons. The previous Iranian President tried to reach out the the west, in particular the U.S. He did this right before September 11th. After September 11th, George Bush lump Iran into the "axis of evil". The former Iranian President stopped reaching out. Now, the Iranians have a crazy man as President, small window for diplomacy.

    July 9, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Not-Paying-Hilary's-Debt

    Mc Cain is WAR WAR & more WAR ... that's all this Repug War-Mongers know how to do

    Mc Cain attacks Iran ... America goes down in Flames ....... Iran and it's allies Russia & China will retaliate ...

    Diplomacy before Force ...

    CNN post my comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 9, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Lorno

    Lorna...Obama is not right...he's leftist.

    July 9, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. mitchell hussein martin

    Its interesting that Obama's supporters dog PUMA and say that they are spewing hate when Obama sat in a hate field church for 20 years. You Obama supportes have some serious double standards.

    July 9, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Real person for Obama.

    Mccain will not change is position to send America to war and Mccain will not change his positon to kill Iranian.

    The only flip flop Mccain will make is on the economic and Immigration.

    Mccain will change his position so many times and some Americans will still vote for him.


    Tried so manytimes before getting a picture about economy/house problem/ energy crisis and immigration.

    Which policy shall hold you on Mccain? flip flop.flip flip. I have no idea how economy work. i have the solution for the economy.
    ahhhh!!!!! Mccain...

    July 9, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. Jeff D, South Bend, IN

    I am surprised McCain even remembers who Iran is, without Lieberman in the background whispering it into his ear. You elect a senile, angry, pandering old man with a complete lack of ethics to the highest office of the land, then you really do get what you deserve.

    July 9, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11