July 16th, 2008
07:06 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain again cites current events in 'Czechoslovakia'

McCain again referred to the nation of Czechoslovakia, which no longer exists.

McCain again referred to the nation of Czechoslovakia, which no longer exists.

(CNN) - For the second time in two days, John McCain has referred to current events in “Czechoslovakia” – a country that officially ceased to exist in January of 1993.

“And I regret some of the recent behavior Russia that has exhibited, and I’ll be glad to talk about that later on including reduction in oil supplies to Czechoslovakia after they agreed with us on a missile defense system, etcetera,” said the presumptive Republican nominee at a New Mexico town hall Tuesday.

More than fifteen years ago, Czechoslovakia officially split into two nations – the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

On Monday, the Arizona senator made virtually the same statement about recent Russian moves that troubled him, citing that country’s attempt to reduce “the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia.”

Later that evening, McCain’s campaign sent reporters a statement on the issue, which quoted the Arizona senator calling the nation “the Czech Republic” twice.

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soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Linda31

    What is wrong with him? Stating a country that is not in existence, calling the name of a prime minister as the country? Do people see what's wrong with this picture? Is this what a president should be doing? I'm sure his people have corrected him, but it is not sticking. Why?

    July 15, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. rbt

    Yesterday , I was all about giving McCain the benefit of the doubt. The difference between Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia may have slipped his mind. But now we have clear evidence that his campaign was aware of the issue and moved to limit the damage in last nights press releases. So, to have McCain make the same exact mistake twice in 2 days is now the issue. Lets see David Gregory gloss over this one!!! Taken as a whole, we need to start dicussing whether McCain is "fit" for the presidency. In 2000/2004 issues as to the curiosity and brainpower of Bush were shunted aside as distractions. Now it is conventional wisdom that these traits reflect some of the worst things about Bush and are real. Lets not brush it under the rug again this time!

    July 15, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. J.P., Dallas, TX

    If this is the worst stuff they can bring up about McCain, then bring it on! Are you kidding me?? Its not like the two nations are now called Georgia and Alabama. They are called the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I mean, no one would make THAT mistake! Sounds like the Obamicans are sweating because McCain is steadily gaining in the polls.

    July 15, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. csimp

    Speaking of a country that doesn't exist is so much worse than saying 57 states instead of 57 primaries. The 57 was right, no part of Czechoslovakia was correct until you break the name down and take parts of it to form the 2 two countries names.

    July 15, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. Loretta from California

    WELL, he's just revealing his foreign policy knowledge......ha ha ha ha!



    July 15, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. DJ, LA, CA

    McCain has no choice but to shift the focus on foreign policy. McCain's stance on oil drilling, economic policies, double-downing on the Bush tax cuts for only the wealthy, immigration are all liabilities.

    Everyone knew if Guiliani or whomever got the GOP nomination would play on 9/11, fear of war on terror, and Iraq to be the gameplan.

    July 15, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Independent in Iowa

    Wow – his age is really showing. He makes too many mistakes. I'm no Obama fan by any means but McCain really would be poor choice.

    Besides, the press is already spotlighting Obama on every article. They won't allow him to win – just like they cut Clinton off at the knees (which Obama himself admits).

    July 15, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Beer veto is UnAmerican!

    Czeckoslavakia SHMECKOSLAVAKIA!

    I am more worried about him vetoing MY BEER!

    McCain has lost his bearings and it shows every other day.

    July 15, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. bruja

    MD: He is NOT runnig as the leader of the free world. No American will ever be the leader of the free world! The free world has no leader, the free world has leaders.... America is NOT the free world....

    July 15, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Michael "C" in Lorton, Virginia

    Is McCain's memory serving him well? And will it serve him well if he is elected President?

    July 15, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Mr.International

    Give the old guy a break. I'm sure he meant to say Yugoslavia, hahaha.

    July 15, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Jon

    He was speaking in New Mexico, a state with a less than desirable education system. He discovered on a previous fact-finding trip that all the history textbooks in New Mexico are pre-1993.

    July 15, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Ms. RDS

    A couple of slip ups ...ok everyone does that no biggie. But constantly doing it every single day once you've been told about it. I hate to point out his age, which he frequently does, but this is not a good characteristic of someone who is going to be leader of the most powerful country in the world. People should take this serious at some point.

    July 15, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. NP in GA


    Of course, this from someone who has also said he does not spend much time on the computer..... SAD!!! How does he have a clue about the world today? All he and Dick and Curious George know is that "They are the bad guys. We are the good guys. And we have to kill them before they kill us." What a SICK world view.

    July 15, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. OBAMA the vote

    I think it is time McBush learn something about the world...
    Except the war, he doesn't seem to know much about the world.. and neither does he know about the economy.. or health care.... or the environment....


    Obama ' 08 🙂

    July 15, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Danel

    Makes you wonder if you wanna trust him with that red button at 3:00.am. Just the thought of it gives you a tingling feeling down your spine.

    July 15, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Obama Supporter from FL

    Oh no. This is REALLY unacceptable. I could see once, maybe, but TWICE!!!

    July 15, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. arc, Lugano CH

    rachel July 15th, 2008 3:02 pm ET
    Yikes, well hopefully he knows theren't 57 states in america.

    …or have her instrumental role in the N. Ireland Peace Accords disproved by a Nobel Peace Prize winner or her courage under fire in Tuzla disproved by Sinbad.

    July 15, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Paul

    Does anyone really expect a President to know what countries exist and don't exist? I think we'll all be happy as long as McCain is able to limit Prussia's dependency on oil from Narnia.

    July 15, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. ShirleyY - Seattle

    Bill from Florida,

    Come on is this all you can come up with 57 states, McCain is dangerous flip flopping on war statements, the economy and other major stuff, making a mistake regarding the states is minor, I have made mistakes with numbers. Come on Bill, are you related to Bill Clinton.

    July 15, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Morningstar

    Grandpa is just too old.

    Today President Bush could not remember a question asked by a reporter: " I am 62 years old, I cannot remember the question" Bush said. The reporter repeated the question

    Now just imagine 72 years old McSame. This guy is just too old, he just think that we are in the 1960s or 1970s.

    Grandpa, please go home. Go play with grand children.

    July 15, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. LB

    So if foreign policy is suppose to be his strong suit why is it he never knows anything about what is going on in the world or which countries no longer exist or which religious group is friend and which is the enemy. He has no foreign experience or knowledge with other countries, he is an embarresment to the American people. If he gets elected the other countries in the world will have no respect for him or America ever again, not after following GW Bush.

    July 15, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. karen-phoenix

    He's toooo old!!!! OLD EXPERIENCE. I want new, young and NOT attached to lobbiests or PACS. We need to take a chance on Obama as ANTYHING is better than OLD!!! And I'm 64 and DO NOT want anyone any older than I am trying to take care of me!!!! I forget things at my age!!

    July 15, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. NY Independent

    Hmmm... Czechoslovakia – a country that no longer exists? Interesting...
    Isn't this the guy who is always complaining about Obama's lack of foreign policies?

    July 15, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. NCLaw441

    I think it is overstated to say that McCain is "addled" or "senile" as some have stated on this thread. The issue is experience vs youth. Sen. McCain was in the US Senate when Czechoslavkia separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. For many of us those old names die hard when they are not used with great frequency, and let's admit it, how often do we hear about the Czech Republic? Did anyone misunderstand what he was talking about when he said Czechoslovakia?

    On the other hand we have Obama and the benefits and weaknesses of youth. He may or may not have more energy than McCain, but he has no seasoning and VERY little experience of any kind. He has no military credentials, unlike JFK, for example, and he has no business success or political accomplishment. Other than amorphous "hope" what does Obama stand for? What are his core values? How did he develop them? What has he accomplished to advance those values? What are his executive skills? What are his connections? Who will agree to be his VP? (no one seems willing so far)

    Finally, as has been pointed out, Obama has made his own gaffes (57 states, People showing up at Memorial Day observance who had previously made the ultimate sacrifice). I discount those things on both sides. I just want to know what the candidates stand for, and whether I can believe what they say (as far as one can believe ANY politician)

    July 15, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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