July 17th, 2008
07:12 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain admonishes Obama on Iraq, but praises Hagel

McCain said Hagel has made an 'informed decision' about Iraq.
McCain said Hagel has made an 'informed decision' about Iraq.

OMAHA, Nebraska (CNN) – John McCain said he's pleased Chuck Hagel is accompanying Barack Obama to the Middle East because the Nebraska senator - although "wrong" on Iraq - has military experience and has made "an informed decision" about the war.

McCain was peppered with questions about Hagel while campaigning in Nebraska Wednesday evening.

Speaking to reporters after meeting workers a trucking company, McCain again called it "remarkable" that Obama would give a major policy speech on Iraq and Afghanistan without first traveling to those countries or consulting with Gen. David Petraeus.

The presumptive nominee said he is "pleased" that Obama will be accompanied by Hagel, "who has military experience, who has knowledge of these issues."

"Senator Hagel is wrong," McCain said. But, he added: "Senator Hagel has visited Iraq. Senator Hagel has made an informed decision. Senator Hagel, although I disagree with some of his conclusions, the fact is that Senator Obama has never examined the issue carefully, at least from the standpoint of sitting down and discussing the situation with the commanding officer on the ground."

McCain also responded to speculation that Hagel could be tapped as Obama's running mate.

"Look," he said, "I don't know anything about that, except to say Chuck Hagel is a distinguished veteran and a very dear and close friend of mine, who I cherish his friendship for many, many years."

soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. LT for Obama

    So Hagel agrees with Obama because he made an informed decision. Hagel visited Iraq and came up with the same conclusions that Obama did is what he is saying. Seems to me that a trip to the region is not so warranted after all is what he is saying.

    What I get out of all this is that McCain seems to have wasted a lot of taxpayer money traveling to Iraq if the same conclusions can be reached on US soil.

    July 16, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  2. Paul

    Chuck Hagel is the real war hero. McCain needs to stop pandering with his military experience. Crashing some planes doesn't qualify you as an expert in anything.

    July 16, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  3. Anita from Arizona

    And now, we are meeting with Iran with no preconditions to discuss their nuclear program. IRONY!!!!

    July 16, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  4. HOPE-N-CHANGE

    NOW I KNOW WHAT OBAMA MEANT WHEN HE PROMISED US “HOPE AND CHANGE”:

    "I HOPE nobody notices how often I CHANGE my mind."

    The truth appears to be that the man had not thought out foreign policy issues before he entered the race for president.

    I would like to see him confront face to face and without a teleprompter a tough questioner on foreign policy and domestic policy for that matter.

    If we were electing a teleprompter reader he would get my vote - But the country needs a man of experience - the more, the better. He is not the one. He is inexperienced on ‘most’ issues.

    I’m voting for McCain in November.

    July 16, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  5. Arden

    II use to respect John McCain as a war hero, however, he and every republican are milking it for all its worth. Its getting as old as he is.

    July 16, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  6. tom, mississipi

    McShameless,

    even your own hand-picked-and-propped-up puppet, maliki, can't pretend to be on your side any longer: he wants you OUT OF IRAQ ASAP.

    you're a murderous coward, and will be tried and punished as such

    when the time comes.

    July 16, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  7. Miguel

    John McCain has been constantly disrespectful of Barack Obama because he has no experience. Didn't your mother teach you to respect everyone regardless of status or age?

    July 16, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  8. Mike in Boston

    McCain = American Hero

    Obama = Oppportunistic fool

    McCain = Decades of experience

    Obama = 143 days of experience

    McCain = Consistency

    Obama = What day is it?

    Hmmm... tough decision.

    July 16, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  9. Geri

    Quite a few people were against the war but they were in the same position as Obama. They didn't have all the facts and weren't allowed to vote on it. Everyone needs to remember that for all his talk he did not have a part in voting. I'm happy that he's going to Iraq and taking someone with him that has knowledge and experience that can explain what is going on in words that Obama can understand. Lets just hope he doesn't mis speak while he's over there.

    July 16, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  10. Republican Joe

    I am a combat Marine veteran who served in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983 and I can say that John McCain who is also a veteran does not know what it is like to be on the ground engaged in combat. He flew jets and was shot down and is a former POW and I commend his service, but he does not know what the average ground pounding combat servicemen goes through. It takes a toll on you for the rest of your life. I would of rather had pain inflicted on me then to see men die or kill as we did and the kicker is that it has been over 25 years since of service in Lebanon and we are still not recognized for our honorable combat service. I will vote democratic something I never done before.

    July 16, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  11. stanz

    If serving in the military and being wrong more than half the time means more than not serving and being right all the time, then we are prepared to elect George Bush to a third term.

    You have my thanks for serving the country Senator McCain, and my sympathy for your suffering, but you cannot have my vote.

    Obama 08

    July 16, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  12. ANGIE

    lisa
    why do you post here shouldnt you be off with you puma friends somewhere crying you are such a negetive person please go join the pumas YOU WILL MUCHED LIKED THERE OBAMA 08 OBAMA 08

    July 16, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  13. Pam

    McCain says he knows how to win wars. Exactly which wars has McCain won?

    July 16, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  14. Xavier

    I think a president having millitary experience is over rated. Only 10 of our presidents have had millitary experience. Bush Senior had millitary experience, and his presidency was horrible. You can count Carter and Nixon in that group too, and we all know what their administrations were like.

    July 16, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  15. Thomas, Illinois

    Can't wait for the debates to start...Can you say, Obama landslide?

    July 16, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  16. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Many presidents have made decisions concerning other countries (and war) without ever having been physically there. There weren't any presidents running over to Viet Nam during the war! I think that everything that comes out of McCain's mouth is RUBBISH.

    July 16, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  17. jimmy velman

    I'd leave the war in iraq and afghanistan to the generals on the ground.. so we got into this war with very little and erroneous intelligence form the cia. but Americans want victory and a stable peace in iraq. it is therefore up to the soldiers and commanders in Iraq to tell the next president what is thier best strategy and they have to have the means to carry out their mission with as much support
    in manpower and ordnance as they need. iraq might be over run by
    iranian shiites anf their allies in iraq.

    July 16, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  18. Caycee

    It's wonderful that the current administration is following Obama's lead. They should've clued McCain though, so he wouldn't look as foolish as he now sounds. But if an ambush is going to work, someone has to be taken un-aware.

    July 17, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  19. a southern bell for OBAMA

    OH, MCSAME, JUST GO HOME & DRINK A STRONG MARTINI

    AND TAKE YOURSELF TO SLEEP. YOU ARE SLEEP WALKING.

    YOU ARE SO BEHIND THE TIMES, YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW

    WHO IS AND WHO ISN'T YOUR FRIEND ANYMORE. JUST REST.

    July 17, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  20. STUDY WAR NO MORE

    McLimp must've forgotten who he is running against ... not unusual given his age.

    July 17, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  21. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    FOLKS I AM CHALLENGING ANY ONE OF YOU, WHO CAN GIVE ME A LOGICAL AND COHERENT REASON AS TO WHY PRES. BUSH IS NOW WILLING TO IMPLEMENT ALMOST EVERY IDEA THAT BARACK HAS VOICED ON THE WAR ON IRAQ, ON DIPLOMACY (SPEAKING WITH IRAN) WITH YOUR EMEMIES,, ON PULLING OUT OF IRAQ.

    PLEASE TELL Y0UR SUPPORTERS JUST WHAT IS GOING ON . TELL THEM WHY THE BUSH/McCAIN ADVISORS HAVE ADOPTED BARACK'S STRATEGIES? THESE PEOPLE ARE VERY, VERY, DESPERATE, AND IF YOU CANNOT SEE IT, YOU ARE IN A LOT OF TROUBLE!

    July 17, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  22. FEDUP

    I wish all of you bloggers would quit with the Mc-– nonesense, it is so childish..

    July 17, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  23. Matt

    Obama may have been right in not supporting going in but it's a totally different argument than what to do going forward. Obama was wrong on the surge, hasn't been to Iraq recently, hasn't talked to any of the generals about it and expects to have the knowledge base necessary go justify his 16month policy. He also makes the "I'm the decider" claim that everyone reviles bush for. He's just as closed minded as bush just that he's a liberal. Obama's only strategy is withdrawl at any cost, McCain's strategy is win and withdraw when the generals think we can afford to spare the troops. The American public are not military experts and thus should not be trusted with making the decision of what the strategy in Iraq is going to be. We are short sighted and need someone who's not concerned with a book tour about how he got us out of Iraq on his time table once he leaves office. Never mind the fact that he's got no policy worth a darn on any other front....NO TO O.

    July 17, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  24. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Talks with Korea were happening long before Obama opened his mouth about it; in fact starting before he entered the Senate. Not that an agreement for them to dismantle their nuclear program happened without Bush meeting their leader. The success of the Obama opposed surge has led to more troops being available. Again, nothing for Obama to take credit for. After seeing how the surge he opposed worked, he now wants one in Afghanistan. Who is following who? I suppose if the sun comes up tomorrow Obama will take credit.

    July 17, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  25. Tell the truth

    Lisa July 16th, 2008 10:52 pm ET

    Obama/Michelle back in Chicago 08!!!

    Please states some facts. What has Obama did to you and your other hateful friends? The answer is nothing. Please take time to review facts and have an open mind. Obama review facts and so no to Irag. Do not hate the man for being right.

    July 17, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8