July 18th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain surrogate makes controversial Muslim comment

Bud Day, shown in the 2004 Swift Boat Vets for Truth ad.

Bud Day, shown in the 2004 Swift Boat Vets for Truth ad.

(CNN) - A leading John McCain surrogate stirred controversy Friday after defending the Iraq war in particularly stark terms, telling reporters "the Muslims have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us."

Bud Day, who was a prisoner of war with McCain in Vietnam and often advocates for the Arizona senator's presidential bid, made the comments during a conference call with Florida reporters organized by the Florida Republican Party.

The Miami Herald has posted audio of the call

"I don't intend to kneel, and I don't advocate to anybody that we kneel, and John doesn't advocate to anybody that we kneel," he also said.

Asked to respond to Day's comments, the McCain campaign issued a short statement from spokesman Michael Goldfarb.

“The threat we face is from radical Islamic extremism," he said.

Corey Saylor, the national legislative director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told CNN Friday McCain should directly repudiate the remarks.

"CAIR would like to see Senator McCain come out and make a clear statement repudiating these remarks," he said. "We don't believe they're helpful at all in either putting out the campaign's message or winning the hearts and minds in the Muslim world that America needs to be winning."

"Earlier this year Sen. McCain in a similar situation said that there's no place in his campaign for that kind of rhetoric," he added. "I'd like to see him come out and reiterate that statement because obviously people in Florida haven't heard his position."

Day, a highly decorated retired U.S. Air Force Colonel who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam, is a member of John McCain's "Truth Squad" - which his campaign says was launched to respond to unfair attacks on the Arizona senator's record of military service.

He was also a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - the group that was created to attack 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry’s military service record and derailed his presidential bid.

"The bottom line is this: 527 groups can do very effective, truthful things, and the Swift Boat attack was totally truthful," Day also said in Friday's conference call.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (623 Responses)
  1. Donna

    There is a HUGE difference between a Muslim and "radical Islamic extremists"...if that is what he meant, then that is what he should have said..not all Muslims are out to hurt someone...IGNORANCE AT ITS OLDEST....

    July 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. TerryMD

    These neocons are completely ignorant. Can someone pull them off the national stage with a cain ASAP?

    July 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Joe, Downers Grove IL

    McCain: Go Home.

    July 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Amerika

    Too bad the haters bashed, trashed and destroyed the one true leader. She was the HOPE of millions.

    Obama will not get the votes of even his own party... much less be able to apppeal to the rest of America.

    We are NOT AmeriKans just yet.

    Bring back Lady Liberty and get this country back on the right path.

    July 18, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Seyi, AU

    and these are the people we've voted in for the last 8 years. I'm not a bit suprised why we're still in the middle east.

    Maybe Bud also does not speak for McCain.

    July 18, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Fromer HRC supporter

    I'm not fooled by Obama supporters who worship his socialist ideas so much they will forgive him for Wright, Ayers and all the fear he tries to stir up about Mac being a third term Bush. Obama will ruin this country as we know it and some people are happy with that.

    July 18, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Javier Rivera

    It is amazing how political analyst sit on all of your shows and give thier opinoins on all the topics of Barrack Obama and don't anaylize this countries horrible past. To ask Senator Barrack Obama for any more history than what he has is not only funny but sad. If I recall this country it was not until National Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African-Americans in the United States. So please stop asking for experience and the relating it to time served. It wasn't until 1965 that all minorities actually had the freedom to vote any way we wanted bieng republican or democrate, so for analyst like Lisa Sanchez who support thier party but not the country who created these parties stop!!! Becuase if that was you up there and they ask you about experience, I hope you pick up a history book and see that even those who had all this experience and wisdom serving all those years, that even they( our fore-fathers) made foolish choices. So change is not so bad!!!!

    July 18, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Frank Lee

    Bud Day, an old Swift Boat Liar make the news once again.

    Time for the whole bunch of them to find a nice rest home with shade treea and a big front porch to rock back and forth on..............

    July 18, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Bud Day also condones calling a traitor, one who made 32 propoganda films for the enemy, a 'Hero".

    Sorry BUDdy, you are the worse form of enemy the united states has ever seen. I would much rather vote for a Barack Hussein Obama, who has never committed treason then a man with a proven track record of committing treason.

    McCain is no hero, his acts against the USA during his time as a POW prove the exact opposite. Hero's do not compromise their oaths, nor do they degrade their country while held captive, that is what enemies do. Hero my butt!! He got shot down due to incompetence and turned on his country. That you served with him, and campaign for him only goes to prove what your values and morals are. You too are a traitor Mr. Bud!

    He's NOT a Hero, He's just a ZERO

    July 18, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. kayla

    don't be afraid you old geezers. america is changing before your very eyes. ONE AMERICA, ONE PEOPLE. unlike your beliefs.
    obama 08

    July 18, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. sad for party unity

    Hill would have won back the Obama supporters.

    Obama will never win back Hillary's people- not after the disrespect, and not being so far to the left.

    Centrist trumps extremist any day.

    Never Obama- he is an iligitimate installed by force and propaganda nominee.

    July 18, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Anton

    The Obamanuts are at it again...the major reason not to vote for Obama.

    July 18, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Janet

    This is out and out "racsim" I'm sick and tired of these old White men that think they can say and do anything Don't these idiots realize that it's not all Muslims? Don't they also know that there are Muslims with white skin?

    July 18, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. MIKE

    tell this oldies to go home. its our turn to lead our country. obama 08!!!!

    July 18, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Chris

    Since when do Christians act like this? Does he even know one Muslim?

    These men are DECADES away – much of the world is trying to unite despite differences now adays...

    July 18, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Open Your 3rd Eye

    We are no longer concerned with your pointless war a–hole!!

    July 18, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged

    FACE it- without Hillary Clinton- the choices are dismal.

    The nation is the loser in Nov.

    That is what happens when the cheater wins the preliminary trial games.

    The Nominee is and always WAS, Hillary R. Clinton.

    Obama is an imposter who forced his way to fast track his self-important self into history.

    Will NOT work.

    As bad as McCain is, he is BETTER than Obama in the eyes of MOST Americans.

    July 18, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Tired of W, OH

    If a Muslim had said: "the Christians have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us." what would we label them? Extremist. This label fits both ways, ladies and gentlemen. Bud Day is an extremist and he works for McCain.

    July 18, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. RickytheGriff

    What ever happened to "We have nothing to fear but fear itself"?

    Obama 2008

    July 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. It Be Me

    In less than 4 months, this will all be over....

    Get out and VOTE people.......don't make us go through another 4 years like the last 8....we won't survive.....

    July 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. former GOP

    He is and old decrepit man just likes McCain why should we be shocked. McCain is out dated and out of touch with the rest of the USA and so is all of his inner circle

    July 18, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. JA Cook

    Old men with old attitudes.

    I respect and appreciate what they did, but that was the past. Time to move forward and beyond Swift Boaters, hate mongers and plain old ignorance.

    July 18, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Let's see how shrill liberals will get over this. God forbid anyone speak out even remotely against Muslims, gays, atheists, NAMBLA, and the like.

    July 18, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. ARB

    Obama is self-centered and only tells his people what he thinks they wanna hear.

    July 18, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Herman in LA

    That's why Obama is getting all of the attention and he isn't war monger neocons get out of office now and take Bush with you...

    July 18, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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