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. Concerned citizen

    Just what does this old fart think comments like this do? It surely does not help McCain/Bush? Fear mongering or trying to put all Muslims in one category does not improve our nation's image.

    July 18, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    Told you, all of them are senial, they don't even have common sense. And if McCain by chance win the election now you see what old fogies he will have in his cabinet. LOL.

    Obama please 08

    July 18, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Jeff Adkins

    Hey Bud, thank you for your service to our country, as I always am sure to thank all veterans, however, I can not forgive you or the John Kerry swift boat attacks on his character. Although you may debate his service record, there is one thing you can not debate...John Kerry was in Vietnam whereas George Bush was not. Unfortunately John Kerry did not ardently state this in his Presidential bid, which could have helped get him elected and our country would not have fallen in to the "dark ages" we now find ourselves in. Thanks Bud !

    July 18, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Chris

    Keep it up Bud!!! You just keep espousing your hateful bile so that everyone knows what kind of small minded, insignificant troll you are. Oh ya, dont forget to keep mentioning how much John McCain thinks like you. All help appreciated, The hate-talk express rolls on!

    July 18, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. patricia

    Grandpa McSame is a warmonger.

    July 18, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. Dennis

    CAIR, does not want McCain to repudiate the MOH winners comments, CAIR wants McCain to "Kneal" to their demands.

    July 18, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Dwight

    senator hothead will have more time in his hands to insert foot in mouth while obama is away.

    July 18, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. ahmed

    i love america.why do you hate me?my aunt was killed in the 9/11 attacks.i want to bring the terrorists to justice ,too.why do you hate me?i was born here,as well as my father ,who served in ww II,and fought in north africa,until wounded ,in battle.he was crippled for the remainder of his life,but,was proud of his service ,to this country.why do you hate me?

    July 18, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. NORA, FLORIDA

    Okay wow CNN could you not be more obvious. First McCain camp complains about news and air time and now this whole blog is about him. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!

    it seems to me that Bush has just made an announcement regarding decreasing troops. This would be a blow to McCain and his idiotic supporters.

    July 18, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I THINK "SOMEBODY" FORGOT TO COME BACK AND GET THESE OLD GUYS OR MAYBE THAT "SOMEBODY" DOESN'T WANT THEM EITHER. I GUESS THEY'LL JUST GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BEING MENTALLY DERANGED.

    July 18, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. knightExpress

    Save America from these fear mongering white headed neo con old farts. They are the biggest threat to the very survival of America.

    July 18, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Kelley in TX

    Swift Boaters are a major reason I donate regularly to Senator Barack Obama's campaign. Swift Boat politics is disgusting.

    July 18, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. Heidi, New Mexico

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

    Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933.

    Time for another Democrat in the White House.

    No more hate, no more war, no more fear. For the sake of the world's children, please.

    July 18, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. jack

    Shame on John Mccain for using his surrogates to do his dirty tricks for him. Bud Day was not speaking for Bud Dau rather for Mcshame no McBush oh! no McIdiot and Mcsame! Is this what the Republican party is all about now? What happened to winning an election by speaking the truth and letting americans know what you have to offer? CNN needs to put the McBush and Mccain and Mcsame and McIdiot campaign on a microscope just like it has done with the Obama campaign.

    Obama '08

    July 18, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Rita

    Wow, Gabe, you would think that the military would be the ones who really earned the right to say what they think, evidently you don't think they should have that consideration, something tells me you were going to vote for Obama all along, and that you are just being a little melodramatic here! As for old, we are all going to be in their shoes one day, think, is that how you want to be treated just because you are no longer one of the beautiful young people? God , please spare me from the so called liberals, they are the most less tolerant bunch of people in these United States!

    July 18, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Cheryl Carroll

    the McCain "joke"- if it can be called a joke- was posted on Alan Colmes blog LiberalLand yestereday, along with a few of McNasty's other caustic remarks.
    http://liberalland.com/2008/07/17/how-funny-is-john-mccain/

    July 18, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. NORTH DAKOTA FOR OBAMA

    ..... "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," ...... of course not.... they'd never be able to get back up!

    July 18, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Ed

    I love how McKane's campaign keeps shooting themselves in the foot over and over. All these mishaps just take time away from the real campaign that Johnny boy should be focusing on. The way I see this, McKane cannot keep his staff under control and have them promote a uniform message. If he cannot organize a group of 50 advisers how is he going to run a country of 300 million?

    July 18, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Thought Criminal

    How is it that a man can grow this old and be so repugnantly ignorant?

    July 18, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Doug

    duh, we are not fighting the Germans. To the libs: truth hurts'

    July 18, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Chris Colorado

    Everything he said was accurate! Is there another group we are at war with that I don't know about? Besides the enemy within!

    July 18, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. Paris

    Good for him. About time.

    July 18, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. charles Ingrasci

    Re: Col. Bud Day

    The photo says "Medal of Honor" and the text says "Medal of Freedom". These medals are not even close in stature and I believe Col. Day received the lesser Medal of Freedom.
    Get it right CNN. Which is it?

    July 18, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Jose

    Some of these comments on here attacking McCain are so ignorant. McCain did not make the comments. Seems like the more liberal someone is the less common sense, or just any sense, they have. The truth hurts. Yes, Im sure there are peaceful Muslims, but the cult itself is bent on forced and violent (if need be) global control.

    July 18, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. jarrell southall

    Wow how ethnocentric these poor creatures are...

    July 18, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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