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. conservative

    Just what is controversial about those comments by Day? Every utterance by a friend of McCain is up for controversy? Liberals grow up and get a life!

    July 18, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. William, from Cali!

    What"s the problem, with telling the truth? that is what "they "said...........now, If you don't want to,or you are "to unwilling" to believe "them", and take "them" at their words; then "you wait" til "they" confront "you", and want to chop "your" head off....................but.myself; I'm not that dumb, or too willing, to take that chance! Speak for yourselves!

    July 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Independent

    This is just another tactic that republican trying to create fears and get vote. Those extremist are killing Muslim people as well in Muslim countries. Those extremist using religions name to fulfill their ill desire. Yes Muslims are anger against USA because of their blind support toward Israel’s illegal occupations of Palestine (core issue) and now Iraq. I think USA should review their foreign policy to be neutral so that those extremist can’t use any excuse to brainwash young Muslim and turn them against USA and other Muslims.

    July 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Toby Hill

    It was Muslims that created 9/11. It was Muslims that destroyed the barracks in Beirut. It was Muslims that took Americans hostage in Iran. It's almost always Muslim so at some point it becomes worthless to pick the bad apples out when it's more practicle to just throw out the whole bunch. The Muslims brought this on themselves by not taking care of their own problems and now they're stuck with the stigma.

    July 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Chuck

    I might agree that there are some radical Islamic extremist terrorists who would like to see America weakened and/or defeated. But what is this about Muslims wanting us to kneel? There are a lot of Muslims that are U.S. citizens. Do they want the rest of us to kneel. Do all Muslims want us to kneel. I think that ole Bud Day speak with a predjudice over-generalize forked tongue.

    Typical McCain supporter. Everything to them is black and white. No gray areas. No room for differences. All Muslims are murderous terrorists. All African Americans are radical rappers. All Native Amercians wish to scalp white men. All women belong in the kitchen, etc., etc. Now that is how Bud Day and his buddy John Mccain really think about this world and the people who live in it. Over-genealized preudjudiced categorizations. They are unable to think with any deeper,. Unable to think with any sensitivity or empathy .

    July 18, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. TruthSquad? BS!

    I'm worried about John McCain. He surrounds himself with morons, lobbyists, liars and crooks. What happened to the straight-talking maverick of 2000?

    Newsflash: not all Muslims are terrorists.
    Newsflash: Christianity has had its extremist moments (anyone remember the Inquisition, the Crusades and/or the Salem Witch hunts?)
    Newsflash: Religious extremism is the ultimate terrorism. Any religion.

    BTW, I see Phil "Nation of Whiners" is back to being BFF and economic adviser for the McCain campaign. Some more Truth-saying, no doubt. Another flip-flop, John? Or will you just gag him so "he doesn't speak" for you?

    Casey | Missouri

    July 18, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. iraq war vet,and a muslim

    i dont care if he did win the MOH.that doesn't give him the right to spew hate on an entire religion.he does that medal dishonor ,with his hate,for all muslims.i am ashamed ,today,and will be changing my vote for barack obama.i thought mccains military service would make him a great leader,in a time of war.but,this trash i cannot support.

    July 18, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Well....what's to retract from those comments?

    Aren't our Jihadi terrorists killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan closely linked to radical Islamic terrorist groups, organizations, or clerics who clearly portray a violent and unreasonable vendetta on western infidels?

    We are at work against radical Islamic terrorists–as well as any other kind.

    July 18, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Larrywp

    I could not care less what CAIR thinks or wants. This man is an American hero and what some radicalized muslim group thinks is irrelevant. This country does not want or need the hearts and minds of the muslim world, except on a platter in a desert. And the sooner we make that absolutely clear, the better.

    July 18, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. Lesley

    And furthermore, if John McCain does get elected, the kind of people he is surrounding himself with now are the kinds of people he will have advising him in office. You're looking at examples of his cabinet. Wake up all you whiners!

    July 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. The Dragon

    Danny Pearl

    July 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. Samuel

    Absolute nonsense. Bud Day you are disgracing your children, grand children and great grand childgren.

    Read this, Uncle Day: I Do Not Respect You Anymore. You are done as far as I am concern.

    July 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. SM

    These kind of stupid comments what help extremist recruit. I hope those idiots should think hard before saying anything, or better they should get lost.

    July 18, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. ROFF

    The republican party needs a better candidate than McCain.

    July 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. the new democrats stink

    This year the new democrats have proven themselves to be as hateful and as fearmongering as the Republicans.

    So who can the lifelong democrats vote for?

    Obama has all the negatives that McCain has- plus HE stole the nomination by playing dirty and by dividing the party and by trashing his better opponent.

    July 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. R, Brooklyn, NY

    To New Yorker Rocks guy: You do understand that cover was satire making fun of your backwards beliefs, right? Just like a lot of us thought, some people obviously didn't get it. Obama isn't the butt of the joke, YOU ARE.

    July 18, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. True

    I'll see you in hell Bud Day with the rest of the terrorists.

    July 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Ker

    He speaks the truth. You say "not all Muslims" hate us? Not all Muslims are out to get us? Have the Muslims denounced the extremist? I think not.
    And before you get on your high horse. I have as much right to my opinion as you do yours. So get over it.

    July 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. Marv...

    The epitome of hypocrisy. He was apart of Swift Boat Veterans in order to spew out lies and now he apart of another 527 to speak truth?

    We respect you and your service to this country, but you have failed the test when it comes to respecting all people and fellow servicemen such as John Kerry. John Kerry wasn't hiding behind his daddy's money and influence when America called on him to defend his country like our present leader Bush. Yes, the same Bush who attacked not only John Kerry, but also John McCain during the 2000 primaries.

    Sir. Your service to this country is greatly appreciated, but the content of your character is questionable.

    July 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. socialist whiner

    i agree with iraq war vet,and a muslim.bud day dishonors the medal he carries.

    July 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Karen in Cape Cod

    The Muslim terrorists have said that!

    July 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. akeem

    What an insensitive and calous statement.How can this old surrogate castigate the entire muslim world as terrorist.?Does he have a clue how many muslims there are in this country and how many more around the world ?I don't think so.Not this time old man! I do not believe Ameicans are going to fall for this fear mongering this time.Preach love and not haterd.Unity and not segragation.We are all face a common enemy and that is extremism and this swift boater is no doubt an extremist.We are tired of war.America will always remain tthe land of the free and home of the brave.

    July 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. yay of PA

    'The Muslims' include rougly one-fifth of the World's population, Mr. Day.

    Being a true patriot may comprise sacrificing for your country, but it sure as hell doesn't comprise being a bigoted idiot.

    "The bottom line is this: 527 groups can do very effective, truthful things, and the Swift Boat attack was totally truthful,"

    You know, one of them first senators to speak up against the antics of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truthiness" was John McCain. Even he admitted to the attacks as being dishonest and dishonorable.

    Noone who carried out the attacks in the SBVT proved Kerry to be a liar, and virtually none had first-hand knowledge of the experiences w/ Kerry either. Some of the claims were even contradicted amongst members, and w/ vets that actually witnessed the incidents.

    Take your medals and go home, Mr. Day. You are a shameful man.

    July 18, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Tre

    I swear its like people are surprised that the Christian right has this view.... where are the issues we dont already know?

    July 18, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. Marcus E. Anderson all for Obama 08

    Thats the Republican campaign we all know and love ..."taking the fight right to the Muslims..err... right...umm...yeah???" John McSame

    July 18, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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