July 16th, 2008
04:02 PM ET
6 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. Chris

    Republicans had to spread this one? the media spread the others.

    so basically, Republicans are all about smear and distractions... just like the media.

    July 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

    Mike, Syracuse NY WROTE ON July 16th, 2008 6:56 pm ET

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

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    If Nunn doesn't refer to it as the Czech Republic, after being reminded of his mistake [just the way John McCain was before he REPEATED the ERROR] .... we will.

    Fortunately, Nunn can outthink McCain just as Obama has repeatedly done.

    July 16, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  3. DflateMacsStr8TalkXpress: Econ MIA, AWOL on facts, POW from reality

    Mike from Syracuse:

    Big difference here: Nunn isn't the candidate and unfortunately for McSenile that was one and two of dozens.

    July 16, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Lesley

    It was understandable but dumb nevertheless, especially since McCain said it twice and it was all over the news, calling attention to it. But the fact is that he is not the nominee. McCain should know at least which countries are still out there. Besides McCain said it in 2000 running against Bush and Bush corrected him in a debate and he still doesn't get it. Obama will not choose Nunn as VP, that's just media speculation.

    July 16, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Susan, PA

    Sam Nunn may be an idiot but I am not voting for him.
    I am voting against another same 4 years.

    July 16, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. greg

    a) Sam Nunn is not running for commander-in-chief and head of state, so the republican "response" is seriously weak.
    b) even weaker is McCain's mind. He didn't slip or misspeak. He does not know the geography and the history of the world, including the touchy places in which Americans are involved.

    McCain is going to be humiliated in a debate with Obama. Should be quite entertaining.

    July 16, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. kendall

    Okay so when the region of the Czech Republic and Slovokia is used it's politacal lingo to use Czechoslovakia, now i get sorry McCain

    July 16, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Rob - WA

    Sigh... well cross this guy OFF the VP list!!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. Ted

    Reason number 45 why Obama shouldn't choose Nunn.
    Obama/Edwards!

    July 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. Sharon

    Everyone makes mistakes. The issues is what counts. Didn't Obama say 57 states more than once.

    July 16, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. JOHN

    STILL CAN'T GET AN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION, WHAT WAR HAS JOHN MCCAIN WON? IS NUN RUNNING FOR P.O.T.U.S.?

    July 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  12. BJGT

    Well, if McCain could ever learn how to use that Internet tubes thing, he might be better informed

    July 16, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    OH BOY! MCCAIN AND HIS GAFFES...... ANOTHER BUSH IN THE MAKING!

    July 16, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  14. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "so basically, Republicans are all about smear and distractions"

    it's the ONLY way they know how to play, and this election it's the only way they can win!!

    what are the repugs gonna run on--

    VOTE MCCAIN FOR MORE FORECLOSURES!

    LET'S START "MORE WARS"-CUZ WE'RE DOING SO GREAT WITH THE ONES WE'VE ALREADY STARTED!

    LET'S ATTACK CZECHOSLAVAKIA TOO! COME ON, IT'LL BE FUN!

    LOVE WHAT YOU'RE PAYING AT THE PUMP? THEN, BY ALL MEANS, VOTE FOR US AND IT WILL CONTINUE!

    TIRED OF ALL THAT PESKY EQUITY YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOME? WELL VOTE REPUG AND WE WILL QUICKLY RID YOUR HOME OF ALL OF IT!

    ARE YOU A BILLIONAIRE IN NEED OF A BAILOUT? CALL US AT 800-REPUGS!

    July 16, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. Puffin

    Whether they say Czech Republic or Czechoslovakia is not the issue.

    Fore heavens sake don’t you realize what they are talking about? They are talking about installing radar and missiles there, even though 80% of Czechs are against it. Poland wants more money and Russia is promising to bomb them if we install it.

    It is a big issue and here we are parsing Czechoslovakia vs Czech Republic? Shows you how ignorant we are.

    July 16, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. RJ, CA

    Obama, on the other hand, simply MAKES STUFF UP!

    July 16, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. Linda31

    Sam Nunn is not running for President AND Nunn is up there in age. Maybe it is a factor.

    For those that want to learn about Obama, go tot the library of congress. He has been quite busy.......

    July 16, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  18. Nia - Phoenix, AZ

    So McFlightSuit says two days in a row the media plays a blind eye...Nun slips up and they are all of a sudden all over it....uggg!!

    July 16, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  19. rexx

    Oh you lefties show your desperation grabbing at this. It is pretty funny seeing you Pro-Leftist posters fall all over yourselves trying to make things like this an issue. You poor souls will wake up to some really bad news for your leftist hero Sen Obama come this Nov.

    July 16, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  20. Doesn't like Kool-aid

    Oh my goodness people...get a life. These gaffes are stupid, but don't make or break someone. Dems say stupid things and Repubs say stupid things. But, I guess if either side feels the need to pile on, then so be it, they will find any reason to pile on.
    This Independent will just wait to discuss the real issues in a humane way.

    July 16, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  21. Javone

    This is like grade school. "you gave the wrong answer!" and mccain's response is "well he did it too!!!" I refuse to believe that someone 72 yrs old plays these kinds of games. I do not want that fool as my president. he'll be spreading blame all over the world and we'll continue to be the laughing stock of the world because we keep electing these fools...willingly! I need to lay down...Mccain makes me tired trying to figure out what this man is talking about on a daily basis.

    July 16, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. Haliho

    What is he was thinking about two countries, Czech ans Slovak?
    It's not a big deal.

    July 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. aware

    Nunn?

    It doesn't matter what he says. He can't help the guy who wants to influence his followers to bow down to the far-left like he does! :)

    July 16, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  24. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    Not an issue. Moving on ...

    July 16, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  25. Peachy Keen

    Well, obviously Nunn doesn't have the brains or qualifications to be VP. He's as ignorant as McCain. Thank goodness Obama didn't bring him up. Gees.

    July 16, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
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