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

McCain surrogate makes controversial Muslim comment

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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. hatred will kill the democratic party

    No one will vote in Nov but the extreme left for Obama and the right wing for McCain.

    All the sensible voters have NO candidate in the major parties. This will be the year for "none of the above" as we vote the GREEN party, or Nader, or Barr.

    Hope the new democratic party learns its lesson from this mess they created. Hating fellow democrats and insulting and debasing them AND their preferred candidate- will NOT win you their vote.

    July 18, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. g

    People only fear what they don't understand. Obama 08!

    July 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Obama is an idiot for want to release the prisoners in G Mo. I suggest they move into his neighborhood in Chicago. Yeah that;s the ticket. Most of them should move there. The rest could go to San Frnacisco and Pelosi's Neighborhood.

    Obama has never commanded anything except maybe the debate club. He has no experience. He is as green as the corn in July.

    Now he has made his policy, he is going to the Middle East to tell the war lords that if they wait a few weeks and if he is elected he will pull our troops out of Iraq and let the Iranians have their way there.

    He is a girlie man with no morals and no scruples either.

    July 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Tired of W, OH

    Read the article again, "Phantom of the Oprah". Bud Day said Muslims, not radical Islamist extremists. There is a difference. If you don't understand this, there's no hope for you.

    July 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. McNo

    This is what we get to look forward to for another 4 years if the rednecks in this country have their way again

    July 18, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. ARB

    last time I checked obama supporters that's just freedom of speech at its best!!! nothing racist about it, whether you believe it or not.

    July 18, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. JR

    "He was also a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth " well now, a confirmed liar making bigoted remarks for McCain. What else is new?

    July 18, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Tom Soppe, Portland, OR

    The McCain campaign has endorsed these comments.

    Enough said.

    Annoy the media, vote Obama.

    July 18, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Terri

    Are these guys stuck in a time warp?

    All they know is death, war and not surrendering
    John and his surrogates are all about killing they are about as scarrie as the terrorist.

    God help us all

    Go Obama

    July 18, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. copperhead

    More hate mongering by fearful people who claim to be Christian. Why are they so afraid...in my opinion they are weak in their own faith.

    July 18, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. democrat

    That picture is to funny.

    July 18, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. bernadette

    let's see what McCain is really made of – if he does not fully repudiate these harmful and hurtful and wrong remarks his true character will be shown.

    July 18, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. Michelle D. - Atlanta, GA

    What an ignorant statement. I have several Muslim friends who do not agree with his remark and are the most peaceful and delightful people I have ever met.

    Way to make the image of "The Ugly American" evern stronger.

    Old fool. Shut up and drink your Ensure and leave the rest of things to people who actually KNOW better.

    July 18, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. David - NYC

    This is the exact type of mentality that we DON'T need.....it's become very clear that McBush has terrible judgement in the people he chooses to surround himself with......

    Obama '08!!!

    July 18, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. It Be Me

    good grief....

    Hillary supports, get over it!!!!! She lost!!!! She isn't running any more....

    there were two strong canidates.....Obama and Clinton....some people were for Obama and some were for Clinton....

    How does that turn into Obama dividing the party??? Why isn't it Clinton that divided the party??? Just because Clinton thought she was a shoe in for the nominee, doesn't mean that Obama some how did something wrong.....

    More people were for Obama, than were for Clinton.....thank God!!!!

    Move on with your life.....coulda, woulda, shoulda isn't going to work....

    July 18, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. DEMOCRAT

    If this campaign is sorrounded by such ignorance what does it say about what McCain's administration would be????????? shuder!!

    July 18, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Cynthia

    Does Senator McCain have any young surrogates who are intelligent instead of the old geezers who come out and say stupid stuff and are obviously out of touch just like the person they are speaking for.

    July 18, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. DJ BURNS

    WOW--TALK ABOUT RADICALS--ALL OF THE ABOVE COMMENTS
    ARE EXTREME TO SAY THE LEAST. THIS ELECTION PROCESS IS
    THE MOST RADICAL I HAVE SEEN IN MY LIFE TIME. ALSO THE
    MOST DISHEARTENING. "ANIMAL HOUSE" WAS ONE OF THE BEST
    MOVIES IN MY MEMORY, ALSO AT THE TIME IT WAS MENT TO BE
    FUNNY. THE IGNORANCE OF OUR PRESENT TIMES SEEMS TO
    BRING TRUTH TO PRESENT DAYS. WE ARE ALL AMERICANS. EACH NEW CITIZEN WE EMBRACE TO OUR COUNTRY IS HERE
    TO HAVE BETTER THAN FROM WHERE THEY CAME FROM. WE
    EXPECT A LOT FROM THEM TO JOIN US. WE SHOULD EXPECT MORE
    OF OUR SELVES AS WELL. TOLERANCE IS SORLEY MISSING OF
    US THAT WERE BORN HERE. TOLERANCE OF ONE AND OTHER
    AND OUR NEW MEMBERS AND OUR NEW MEMBERS TO ALL OF US IS NOT TO MUCH TO EXPECT. - NAM VET IN NH--

    July 18, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. JohnLee

    McBush speaks with forked tongue!

    July 18, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Gina

    Enough with the democrat's politically correct B.S., and it's higher concern for the sensitivities of enemies, than they are with our own soldiers who are being killed and wounded. Who in the hell do they think the terrorists are ... Eskimos?

    July 18, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Shirley-Ohio

    Ignorant old man. The things he would say a do to win. God do like ugly.

    July 18, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Kevin - Spokane

    Wow. Do we ever need a change!

    Go Obama!!

    July 18, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. ron

    He simply said the truth. He just failed to say radicle muslims instead of just muslims. He is a winner of the Medal of Honor and quite frankly a better americian than any of us who have not so I for one am willing to overlook a simple wording mistake.

    July 18, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. joe

    McCain '08

    July 18, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Jim

    If he is going to make such a racists generalization, the least he could do is take off that prestigious medal around his neck before he does it.

    It disgraces all MoH recipients.

    July 18, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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