July 16th, 2008
04:02 PM ET
10 years ago

Czechoslovakia gets star treatment for third day in a row

Nunn brought Czechoslovakia back to center stage.

Nunn brought Czechoslovakia back to center stage.

(CNN) - A lot of countries haven’t gotten a share of the spotlight at any of this week’s foreign policy-themed presidential campaign events, or shown up in any of the new national security-focused ads: most of the United States’ hemispheric neighbors, for instance, or just about any nation on the African continent.

Rating no fewer than three references in three days: the non-existent state of Czechoslovakia.

That country – which ceased to exist in 1993, when it split into two nations, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – has now been referred to as a present-day area of concern by two of the most respected current and former Senate foreign policy experts in the space of less than a week. On Monday and Tuesday, it was presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, who said he was worried about recent Russian moves to reduce energy supplies to “Czechoslovakia.”

On Wednesday it was the Democrats’ turn, as Republicans quickly circulated a clip of former Georgia senator and current VP prospect Sam Nunn making the same slip at a mid-day national security summit, flanked by his party’s presumptive nominee Barack Obama.

“…We in this country are about to, under this government, under the Bush administration, deploy [a] missile defense system in Poland and Czechoslovakia,” Nunn said at the Indiana event Wednesday.

So far this week, Persia, Yugoslavia and Siam have yet to come up for discussion.

Filed under: Sam Nunn
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. P, CA

    The difference here is easy to see: NUNN'S NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.

    If this had been Obama, I'd have been worried. Just as worried as when McCain said it twice.

    Regardless, this is really pithy stuff. If we keep focusing on all these gaffes and flag pins, we'll never hear about the real issues. I have seen a little more coverage of actual issues recently, and that's made me feel a little better, but we need to focus on the economy and the War for Oil, not who's eating what and who made the most verbal mistakes.

    July 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. Haha

    I like how there are no comments on this one . . . when the story about McCain the other day was swamped

    July 16, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. Cathy

    I felt the same way when McCain made the error. CAN WE TALK ABOUT REAL ISSUES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. whiner

    see,john mccain is spreading a virus of ignorance into the entire political population.its even affecting democrats,now.the republican disease of ignorance has infected half the country,already.i'm getting my gasmask back out of the closet.

    July 16, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. WoW

    Now that's funny...

    July 16, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. Mike, Syracuse NY

    OK Obama supporters. Waiting for you 'clueless' and 'senile' comments on Nunn. Let's be fair, hypocrites.

    July 16, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. Jose Card - Independent

    A debate between the two major candidates is badly needed.
    Is the media running for the White House or either of them?

    July 16, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. California Gold

    See what happens when you don't read the staff memos.

    July 16, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Wisconsin

    McWar messed this up, had advisers correct him, then messed up again! You can't just overlook every mistake McWar makes.

    July 16, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. rumpusgoopus

    In all fairness, I periodically use "Czechoslovakia" too. Of course, I'm not running for President...

    July 16, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. An American

    At least Sam Nunn isn't running for President

    July 16, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. Kim

    Yup. McSenile does not know that Czechoslavakia is not a country.
    Thats what all that supposed foriegn affairs experience gets you. oh well. If it did exist as a country. McWar would just want to bomb them.

    July 16, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  13. Kofi Annan

    These guys must not read newspapers or internet blogs ... either that or they don't care.

    Great at least that the Democratic Presidential nominee knows that it is Czech and Slovakia. Guess that's why Nunn would be VP and not President.

    July 16, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. McJohn

    Czechoslavakia is not a country? What?! Leiberman! Where's Leiberman?!

    July 16, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    It would have been great to have reported on what exactly was said at the Purdue Conference.
    The slip of the tongue about Czechoslovakia is no big deal. Czechoslovakia was Czechoslovakia so long, I see how older people can still call it that.

    July 16, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. s

    no worries... the persia will be mentioned because that is the war John mccain continues to mention he won...

    July 16, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. s

    the persian war is the war john mccain won! "older than dirt'?- true

    July 16, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. Bukky

    Maybe because they are both 80.... and i bet you one Nunn is corrected he wont say it again tomorrow. The same can not be said of McDummy

    July 16, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. Biff Biffington

    (sheepish grin)

    do we ALWAYS have to throw knives at each other...

    judging by the "see, he did it too" posts here... I guess so.

    July 16, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. Bukky

    Oh... The Bush admin take Obama's approach on Iran and this is the crap you post. I dont remember you guys posting about McCain dumb moments... i had to get that from H U F F post

    July 16, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. Democrats Unite & Vote Big


    July 16, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. Fella from Chicago

    Makes no difference if you're a Republican or Democrat. If you're over a certain age its Czechoslovakia abd will always be Czechoslovakia. No slight on McCain or Nunn.

    July 16, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. H-ROD


    July 16, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. Nikole

    The problem here is that Sam Nunn is NOT running for President. Also, John McCain could be excused for saying it once, but he couldn't even correct himself. He turned around and made the EXACT SAME mistake a day later.

    July 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. Angus McDugan

    Both candidates are poor choices for the office. We don't know who Obama really is and McCain keeps making stupid mistakes. America needs better candidates. This is really sad.

    July 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
1 2 3