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. Deanna

    As for Obama planning his trip to Europe and the war zones , he sees it as an opportunity to create another media circus to feed his already over inflated ego.
    Obama is an arrogant shyster and has fooled a lot of people , lets hope he wil be exposed as the fake and empty suit he is , before it is too late.

    July 17, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  2. Fay Tx

    Lisa..........Obama/Michelle back in Chicago 08!!!,----You should spend more time thinking positive .......listening may be the most enjoyable thing you do today!!!

    President OBAMA 08/2012

    July 17, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  3. Norma

    Why is McSame always so concern about what Obama is saying. He pays more attention to Obamas compaign then hes own.

    Whenever Obama has a speech on an issue McSame has to change hes speech and follows suit.

    July 17, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  4. McWar!!!!

    McWar!!!! July 17th, 2008 1:11 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    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.
    MCWAR It does not matter how you try to sugar coat the unjust war ……. experience can not replace the lost ……I'm sure you were pleased Mr lieberman was there with you to help you out with your memory
    Have you forgotten about Afghanistan….the best way to respond to wrong is to do what is right…..Mr Obama opposed the WAR and you were one of the biggest SUPPORTERS….EXPERIENCE has cost .us dearly .Economy, Two wars, US Dollar is down world wide and because of the Republican's corruption. We need a change real change that we can believe in, which is the Obama Ticket.

    July 17, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  5. Daniel

    Obama doesn't need an armed escort of a market place to know what is happening in Iraq. And he doesnt need to look at an atlas to know what countries exist and don't exist.

    July 17, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  6. jeff

    McCain is the one who supported the war, what kind of judgement is he talking about. is he going to bomb Iran?

    July 17, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  7. Robert

    We remember McClown in Baghdad, telling everyone how safe it was while he was protected by numerous foot soldiers, three Blackhawk helicopters, two Apache gunships and a bulletproof vest.

    July 17, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  8. BarryO

    Did CNN report on Bernie Mac referring to Michelle Obama and his sister/sister in law as 'Hoes'? You seem hellbent on reporting this useless Czech stuff but not something more significant. Obama response was I am just messing with you?! Somebody show where CNN reported on that story. What do Hillary's gals have to say about that? This goes right on par with iron my shirt-gate and other insults.

    July 17, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  9. Deanna

    Daniel ,
    You are ill informed .
    It is actually the EU who had plans to meet with Iran to talk about nuclear weapons , and they have invited an american representative to sit in on the discussion.
    I might also add that European leaders are united and are pushing for more sanctions against Iran.
    Therefore don't give Obama any credit where it's not due.
    His ego is so over inflated as is.!!

    July 17, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  10. Mtui

    I could wonder if Bush went to Iraq before declaring war! I am also surprised as Bush and McCain have visited Iraq several times but are not ready to leave Iraq even when Iraq leaders("allies") say it is high time for american troops to start withdrawing! I can imagine how Obama will change his mind if commanders on the ground change their possition from the one shown in the reports! Obama decision is very well informed unless McCain tells us that all sources of information including the Generals' reports are wrong! Dont tell us, McCain that when you go to Iraq the Generals tell you something different from their reports!

    July 17, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  11. Tara

    Does anybody really believe that Obama would have voted against the war .??
    The more he gets exposed as a " finger in the wind guy " , one can conclude that he might have opted for a " PRESENT " vote .
    His voting record ( voted 133 times present ) shows you that he has no core values and does anything for political expedience..,

    July 17, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  12. Jeanette

    Just curious–Did McBombs-a-Lot visit Iraq during any relevant time frame before he shat out a judgment-based opinion and subsequent senate vote resulting in a "two thumbs up" approval of the invasion of a sovereign country that posed no CLEAR and PRESENT danger to the United States and it's allies?

    I know, facts are inconvenient.......especially when McBombs-a-Lot doesn't make a habit of dealing in them and the media is agressively adverse to calling for them.

    Dejavu Bush 2000-2008? McSame as it ever was and the days keep on rolling by........

    July 17, 2008 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  13. Thomas, Illinois

    Your right (Anna) McCain HAS been consistent...Consistently WRONG...

    July 17, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  14. Max

    McCain hasn't a clue about Iraq. He has some nerve trying to suggest anyone who disagrees with him is wrong.

    July 17, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  15. Thomas, Illinois

    Oh, I forgot to add..Factcheck.org will back that up..

    July 17, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  16. Tim, Seattle

    @ Mike in NY "Talks with Korea were happening long before Obama opened his mouth about it; in fact starting before he entered the Senate."
    ---
    So 3 years of 'talks' ,no results, and Iran has a stronger hand? Wow, then they are really inept as diplomats. Thats messed up.
    And thats your argument?

    July 17, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  17. Tim, Seattle

    Correction..Korea, not Iran....sorry..my bad.
    Although.... give it time, I hear Bush wants to talk to Iran now that Obama made it clear he was willing to do so....(before he was even in the senate, incidentally)

    July 17, 2008 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  18. Kyle

    I would love Hagel as VP for Obama. He is one of the last true Republicans before they betrayed their own ideals. Republicans don't tax and spend, they just spend and destroy our economy in the process by selling our economic security to China.
    Oh, and having served in Iraq. Neither McCain, when he was in Iraq, or Obama when he visits, will see anything of use to them. VIPs like Senators are guarded by whole Battalions who lock down the sectors to make sure nothing happens to them. I know because I've been on those missions. They get presented the Disneyland version of Iraq where all Iraqis are happy that America is there.

    July 17, 2008 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  19. mike in fla.

    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.
    OMG. how can anybody want to vote for this guy we are already in trouble CNN please post this how can he talk about SEN.Obama and he don't even know that Czechoslovakia does not exist anymore. This is scary people.

    July 17, 2008 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  20. Go Barak and Michelle Obama!

    Bush has got us all thinking that it is the COMMANDERS on the ground that lead the missions in Iraq..but in reality, (as Obama has stated,) it is the COMMANDER IN CHIEF that is in charge! HE sets the missions(like Obama has said)..and the General is now Bush's pasty/scapegoat..Obama has stated ALLLLLLLLL along that he would listen to ground command in considering the BEST method of getting out...but that his mission is STILL getting out!! where have all these people been that believe he has changed positions? or is that just easier for you to believe to appease your consciences?

    July 17, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  21. Simpson

    McCain was in Albuquerque this week. The word Albuquerque is from the Arabic (Moorish) "Abu al-Qurq". It is the only state capital with an Arabic name. Do you wonder why McCain's picks this city? If you look deeper you find out McCain has spent a lot of time in Albuquerque. In case you miss the signficance, he was there on Memorial Day! He has also spent a lot of time in the Middle East.

    Do you think he spent so much time in a town with an Arabic name and in the Middle East without aborbing part of the culture? Why is McCain denying his Muslim background? What does he have against Muslims?

    July 17, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  22. R.I.F.

    Let's see:

    1. Obama – "We need to engage our enemies and not just our friends." – Worked for North Korea. Now the US is beginning to uderstand that it may work for Iran.

    2. Obama – "We need a timetable in Iraq" – Iraq has said that it will not sign a security agreement that doesn't include a timetable for troop withdrawal.

    3. Obama – "We need more troops in Afghanastan and they can only be acheived by getting some of the tropps out of Iraq quicker". Obama's been saying that Iraq has distracted us from Afganastan for the past two years.

    SOUNDS TO ME LIKE OBAMA IS MAKING THE RIGHT DECISIONS. YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO WALK AROUND THE "MARKET" IN bAGHDAD WITH 100 TROOPS PROTECTING YOU IN AN ALREADY "SAFE" ZONE TO KNOW THAT ITS TIME TO LEAVE IRAQ CAREFULLY AND START FOCUSING ON AFGHANASTAN. THE REPUBLICANS ARE BASHING OBAMA FOR POLICIES THAT BEHIND THE SCENES THEY ARE STATRING TO EMPLOY.

    July 17, 2008 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  23. jroy

    McCain's foreign policy credential is a BIG ZERO.

    IRAQ POLICY:
    * OCCUPY 100 MORE YEARS
    > 4000 AMERICAN DEAD
    > 50,000 AMERICAN INJURED & DISABLED
    > 1 TRILLION DOLLAR WASTED
    > 100,000 AMERICAN SUFFERING FROM POST TRAUMATIC DISORDER
    > 600,000 IRAQIS DEAD (MOSTLY CIVILIANS, WOMEN & CHILDRENS)
    > 2 MILLION IRAQIS UPROOTED FROM THEIR HOME & REFUGEE IN OTHER COUNTRIES.
    > 1 MILLION IRAQIS DISPLACED IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY
    * NOW IRAQ IS DIVIDED IN TO 3 REGION, SHIA, SUNNI & KURD
    * NO WMD
    * IRAQ IS HANDED OVER TO SHIAS CLOSE TO IRAN

    IRAN POLICY: BOMB, BOMB & BOMB

    G8 POLICY: McCain will drive russia out & will not include China in G8 (two nuclear power)
    BY THE WAY Price of Gas: >$5 Gallon

    Can you imagine if McCain get the presidency?

    July 17, 2008 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  24. Elin

    America now has it's first 3 dollar bill, John McCain.

    July 17, 2008 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  25. John Ret. Air Force

    Hillary supporters – put ypur money where your mouth is and pay of her debt. If 18million of you gave her a buck she'd be almost even. Guess you all don't really support her , after all.

    July 17, 2008 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
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