July 18th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
6 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. McCain=War Candidate

    McCain's judgement is way off the scale – in a bad way. Why is he choosing to surround himself with people such as Gramm and Day? Why is he making all those off-the-wall remarks lately too?

    July 18, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. J

    That man is trash.

    July 18, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Tim

    Remember that in 2000 McCain used a racial sure (which I will not repeat here) to refer to Asians. The candidate and the people around him have a history of xenophobia. It's time to join the 21st century McCain!

    July 18, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Jon

    Say you hate them all you want, but you know what? They're speaking the truth! Too bad most Americans are pathetic slobs that are too obsessed with political correctness to realize the real circumstances of any situation.

    July 18, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. anymool

    Not all muslims are arabs. Most majority of muslims are non arabs. Ignorance at best.

    July 18, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Isai Damier, Florida

    For the McCain camp it's a matter of expediency: there are only 2% Muslims in America, the Evangelical Christians hate those Muslims, so McCain's camp has made a tactical decision to bash the Muslims to get the Evangelicals to agree with them on something. McCain's Pastors - Rod Parsley and John Hagee - have both bashed American Muslims in their church.

    July 18, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Pretty Ricky

    Do not be ignorant. Terrorists kill innocent muslims more than they do ANYONE else. Everyday you hear about the number of soldiers killed, ALONG with the innocent Muslims. What about the group of men who set that little MUSLIM boy on fire????? He's muslim and they still did it.

    July 18, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Scott Cennedy

    Typo Mohammed create

    July 18, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Heide

    Day is truthful; the swift boat attacks were total lies!

    July 18, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. amy

    you know what i think is ironic? that a bunch of islamic radical extremists attacked the twin towers and suddenly all and only muslims are terrorists in the eyes of americans. but the fact that our government goes over to afghanistan and iraq and drops bombs on innocent people is "defending the country" and NOT terrorism? if WE think THEY are terrorists, don't you think THEY think WE are terrorists? we are doing the same thing over there but probably to an even larger extent.

    whatever happened to the rest of the terrorists in the world? it's NOT only muslims. colombia? israel? sri lanka? cambodia? if you dont even know what im talking about (with the exception of maybe israel, then maybe go look up some history books). do none of these places even ring a bell? terrorism is invoking fear or terror in another person. i can sure as hell bet that we are doing the same thing in afghanistan and iraq.

    it doesnt matter where you're from or what religion you profess to follow. do you think that the taliban and al-qaeda are really following islam? no, they are interpreting the religion the way they want. they are using and abusing it for their own personal benefit.

    July 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. opeluboy

    The ignorance, racism and arrogance of that segment of society revealed here in support Bud Day's smear of an entire people and religion is eventually going to bring this country down., not "The Muslims."

    July 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Heide

    Day is NOT truthful; the swift boat attacks were total lies!

    July 18, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. al

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

    YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE THE IGNORANT MENTAL STATE OF THIS OLD GUYS.

    WHY CAN'T THEY JUST DROP DEAD?

    GIVE THE YOUNG ONCE AN OPPURTUNITY TO HAVE A MORE FORWARD MOVING COUNTRY AND DON'T GET STUCK IN THE ICE AGES.

    STOP THE MADNESS. VOTE OBAMA.

    July 18, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. J.S.

    Look around in Iraq and Iran and most of the Middle East. You don't see many Christians getting to practice their faith there. If they do, it is done in secret or they have to PAY .. Muslims can practice theirs here. That's the big difference in Religion, not Race, in the Middle East. Religion is a very BIG part of their government. America has some things that do not need to be changed, but perserved.

    July 18, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. It Be Me

    Gina,
    who was the bomber in the Oklahoma City bombing???

    A young white American guy....

    does that mean that all young white American guys are terrorist??

    July 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Linda

    Finally. Someone who calls it the way it is! As long as Americans deny the reality of the threat, we are at great risk.

    July 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. MrMr

    So, this guy won a medal of honor and should therefore be allowed to say stupid, ignorant, and borderline racist things and get away with it?

    July 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. obama all the way to the white house

    the mccain supporters or camp,every time they see their candidate loosing ground or not getting enough attention,they always come with these kind of fear statements just to keep up with Obama.

    July 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. joe

    "The threat we face is fear, from fear mongering leaders."

    Yeah, fear mongering is beheading infidals. Get real, pull your heads out of the sand, and stop letting PC blind you to the obvious, like who the enemy is and who want you dead.

    July 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Warren Hamrick

    The people in the middle east want us to leave them alone. Not kneel to them. I spent some time there in the 80s and this guy is trying to use fear to push McCain and the Republican's agenda.

    July 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Brian

    Does the McCain camp want more war? Making jokes about killing Iranians and now this? Is he that blind to the tragedy of war? As a military man and POW he of course shouldn't be, but how he's acting now makes me wonder how much he remembers that war is nothing to joke about or to provoke enemies for no good reason.

    July 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. jake

    I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS POLICE THAT THINK WE CANNOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ANYBODY ANYMORE. WHY SHOULD MCCAIN OR HIS ADVISOR APOLOGIZE? FOR SAYING WE WILL NOT BE DEFEATED BY MUSLIM EXTREMISTS? IF ANYBODY HAS A PROBLEM WITH THAT STATEMENT THEY CAN GO BACK TO WHERE THEY CAME FROM OR MOVE TO CHINA OR RUSSIA WHERE YOU ALSO CANNOT SPEAK YOUR MIND.

    July 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. Chuck

    Okay should we allow McCain and his cronies perpetuate the fear of terrorism as well as the apparent deep seated hate in some Americans for any religion except their own. These comments are discusting, ugly, hateful and completely unacceptable for any political figure especially from the camp or surrogats of a presidential hopeful.
    McCain should publically appologize to all muslims and completely disaccoiate himself from Mr Day, the swift boaters and the 527 group.
    Day is an old, die hard hateful man that has no place talking for any one except himself and then he should keep his mouth shut.

    July 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Moderates Unite

    All the deluded, anti-American Obamabots on this blog seem to care more about being nice to terrorists than calling them out for the despicable cowards they really are.

    Good job liberals....national security is not a popularity contest...being nice to terrorist organizations and those that support them will never ever work and you are on drugs if you think it will

    July 18, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. ARB

    A change for what? Nothing positive I can see.

    July 18, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25