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. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Hmmmm. Wonder if McCain STILL plans on building those permanent military bases in Iraq.

    It is a joke when McCain claims that since we have bases in S. Korea, Germany and Japan, that it would be a piece of pie to also have one in the mideast.

    Newsflash McCain--Japan, Germany and South Korea aren't full of radical bomb toting terrorists.

    July 17, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. Jim

    Obama has been talking about focusing on Afgahn way before things got so much worse and only now McCain and Bush are thinking about it, the idiots! America please don't vote another idiot into the white house! Let McCain retire on his wife's 100 million...

    July 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. jp/michigan

    Obama against the surge in Iraq, but for one in Afghanistan. Pull the troops out of Iraq, then sent them to Afghanistan. Chair a committee on NATO in Afghanistan, but never have any meetings. Maybe he should have one finally after going there in a few weeks. Had avovice against the war in Iraq at a anti-war rally, but voted to fund the Iraqi war.

    July 17, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Jo Ann

    Why does Obama need McCain's endorsement on who he take on this trip? Obama is his own man makes his own decision and don't any any help for Bush or McCain. Any wonder why Bush is doing everything that Obama said the man can't think for himself. Maybe he
    thinks this will help McCain.

    July 17, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. Peter

    This proves our two party bickering...Hagel and Obama hate the war and yet only Obama gets yelled at...Shame on you McCain

    July 17, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. WHAT THE...CONFUSED

    Wait a minute if Obama made the same conclusion as Hagel without visiting Iraq, DOESNT THAT MEAN HE IS EITHER REALLY SMART, OR REALLY REALLY SMART. what in the world is Mccains argument. Obama didnt visit Iraq yet he and Hagel came to the same conclusion...if you ask me thats saving gas.

    July 17, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    YEAH......YEAH..........McCain wants to keep the focus on Iraq AND ON FUTURE WARS, because the NUMBER ONE ISSUE: ECONOMY, is not his strength!

    YES, MCCAIN, YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND PUT OBAMA DOWN OVER AND OVER, HOWEVER HOW ABOUT EXPLAINING HOW YOU REPUBLICANS ACRUED A NATIONAL DEBT OF $10 TRILLION?????

    HOW ABOUT EXPLAINING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS AND HOMES, HOW IT IS COSTING US ......$1.38 BILLION A DAY TO HAVE A WAR IN IRAQ??????????????????

    HOW ABOUT EXPLAINING TO US, WHY THE WAR IN IRAQ HAS COST OUR HARD WORKING AMERICAN PEOPLE: $650 BILLION A YEAR!????????????????????????????????????????

    HOW ABOUT EXPLAINING WHY WE ARE WORSE OFF THAN WE WERE 8 YEARS AGO?????????????????

    HOW ABOUT EXPLAINING WHY WE MUST, BOMB.........BOMB....... BOMB IRAN?

    July 17, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. al

    **********************************************

    ALL MCCAIN IS GOOD AT ARE PREPARED ATTACKS, STATEMENTS.

    BUT A PRESIDENT SHOULD BE ABLE TO HANDLE IMPROMPTU MOMENTS, ABLE TO MAKE SOUND JUGDEMENT WHEN NEEDED.

    I DON'T THINK HIS MAVERICK, HOT TEMPERED DEMEANOR IS WELL SUITED FOR THE PRESIDENCY.

    STOP THE MADNESS. VOTE OBAMA.

    July 17, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. tina

    You know the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan changes daily. So there is bound to be some rethinking on issues. Barack has not changed his stance on Iraq. He consistently states "We will pull out Iraq cautiously. That has NEVER changed! Whereas McShame wants us there for another 100 years...or so. Is that so his rich buddies can keep going? Who cares what McSame says anyway?

    July 17, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Dave, Illinois

    Obama announces his plan before having all the facts. I guess all the facts he needs comes from daily polling. How pathetic! Whats even more pathetic are the sheep that follow this bozo.

    July 17, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. MLH

    Does this mean you can't give a major policy speech on space without going to the moon first? Maybe before Senator McCain discusses Czechoslovakia again he should visit it – oh, right, it doesn't exist anymore. And maybe, just maybe, visiting a place doesn't make one an expert on that place. And its people. And different religious factions. Like Sunnis and Shia.

    July 17, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Dee1

    QUESTION:

    Did Bush & McCain visit Iraq before starting the war they cannot finish? Did they visit to verify the WMDs? What experience are they talking about if McCain cannot distinguish between Shiites and Sunni ?

    Somebody please answer !

    July 17, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Saad from NJ

    I respect Senator McCain but it is disgusting when he talks about "Informed Decision". If one is informed and then makes a wrong decision, isn't it worse than one not being informed and making the right decision?

    July 17, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. Hispanic For McCain

    I can't wait util Nov 08 when all of you Morons will see the biggest shock wave that McCain will win!!!. The rumor are starting to go that in the South the GOP have collected 3 million NEW register GOP Votors to counter the AA turnout in the south!!!! again that the rumor 3 million all of the South along. Then the Latinos turnout will be BIG for McCain that means he will win in NV, NM, AZ, then he will win the Big Ten States of PA, MI, WI, OH and he will win in FLA and of the Blues states McCain will win in NJ, NH, and maybe CA. Wow that is a big blowout.

    Liberals morons thinks the GOP are that stupid, they are going to have a big turnout for them. Latinos are not stupid they will go to a true patriot in John McCain. What has OBAMA done for the Latinos People guess what NOTHING, NADA, will someone proof me wrong!! Don't think so why because he is a Junior Senator with 143 days!!! NO EXPERIENCE what so ever!! And Yes remember 3.00AM in the Morning!!!! That ring a bell!!! Hillary Clinto said that McCain will bring in Experience to the White House Hillary will bring experience to the white House and OBAMA will only bring a SPEECH!!!

    Hispanic for McCain

    July 17, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    McCain is talking out of both sides of his mouth again! He praises Hagel on one hand for making informed decisions and knocks down Barack for his decision making. He conveniently leaves out the fact that Hagel and Obama both came to the same conclusion that the war in Iraq should have never been fought. Unlike bush, Obama actually seeks out and listens to informed advisors, on both sides of the decision, and is able to make informed decisions by having all of the facts laid before him! The mark of a great leader!!!

    July 17, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. OBlahBlahBlahBama

    From "Tell the Truth" to

    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.

    "Tell the Truth"

    Dude....what the heck??? What a feeble attempt at making a point. BTW, had a look at any of the Obama posters on here. Apparently not and I agree.....

    Obama/Michelle back in Chicago 08!!!

    July 17, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Let talk about the truth!!

    I hope he continue to praise Senator Obama more as Senator Obama praises Senator McCain for his military service.

    I truly believe Senator Obama will make agreat President..

    July 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. katiec

    McCain has the audacity to state Hagel has come to wrong
    conclusions? He and Bush have been wrong with every
    step they have made. First one was going to war with
    Iraq Oh, prior to that lying to the American people.
    Innocent Iraqis are dying daily. And now fighting in
    Afghanistan has escalated. Hmm. Thought McCain
    said things are going fine there and we don't need
    additional troops in Afghanistan. Also is totally against
    sending our abused troops home.
    This is a man with impeccable leadership in foreign
    policy?
    Voters, our country needs a chance to survive.
    Barack Obama is our only hope.

    July 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Chuck Hagel would be a great VP candidate for Obama.

    July 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. RJ, CA

    Tell the truth July 17th, 2008 12:25 am ET

    Lisa July 16th, 2008 10:52 pm ET

    Obama/Michelle back in Chicago 08!!!

    . . . What has Obama did to you and your other hateful friends? . . .
    ----------
    LOL - the Obama nitwits: "What has Obama "DID" to you . . . Take a course in English 101!

    July 17, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Fakers

    how many of these comments are left by real people and not by some 3rd party of obama or mccain?

    July 17, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. David

    McCliar you did not go to Iraq before you decided to attack so you have no solid ground to stand on. You did have all ot the itelligence that was needed to make a good decision and you still got it wrong. You lied. Your idea that you fought in a war 40 years ago while that is good it does not qualify you to be President. You not are trustworthy you ignore the facts and you think that you know how to win a war ,when in fact the war you fought in you lost. You are a liar and a warmonger. Just what the Rebublicans ordered.

    July 17, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Steve

    As a person know for being Bi-partisan I have no McCain himself would vote for Obama in the general election if he could, cause he recognize Obama talent, skills and abilities no matter how hard he tries to blunt them all on the campaign trail daily.

    July 17, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. DEBBY, NJ

    McShame:
    We need a real change that we can believe in,Obama !!!
    BARACK THE VOTE !!

    July 17, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. AMGC

    I like an Obama/Hagel ticket.

    July 17, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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