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. bill for barack

    The words of the DAY come straight from McSame's mouth.
    McSame – the author of evil.

    July 18, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Carrie Goodeagle Hayden, Idaho

    The swift boat story is a lie. There were others that were actually there and they know the truth. This group of liars was back by T Boone, the fascist dog, Pickens. These guys are scum, scum, scum,.

    July 18, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. Devin

    ref: Al, who wanted the MOH winner to "drop dead".

    So, how much time have you spent in service to your country? Do you have any idea of what real sacrifice for your country means?

    I would much rather have this man covering my back than "young once" who reflect your views.

    July 18, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Bill

    Let's be fair: McCain wants more war, Obama wants more economic recession. They both have short-term goals that are easier to achieve if things get worse for us, one way or the other. Obama must be disappointed that the success of the surge in Iraq is not an illusion and will likely hold through the election. McCain must be disappointed that we're negotiating with Iran.

    July 18, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Steve in Santa Fe, NM

    Funny, but what he fears, being forced to kneel to a Muslim god, is the very thing I fear... but from a Christian god.

    Just because they are Muslim, does not make them terrorists. Why do people often forget this. Afterall, this is a country that subscribes to the freedom of religion doctrine.

    MUSLIM does not equal TERRORIST.

    July 18, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. CarlCO

    What it the problem with the comment? The 911 folks were muslim. The folks we are fighting in Iraq and Afganistan are muslim. The leaders of Iran who vow to squash America are muslim.
    True, not every muslim is bad, nor do we have a problem with them, although, they should publically denounce those who are intent in destroying our country.
    In WWII, we were at war with Germans. Not everyone of them, but that's who (among others) we were at war with.
    He didn't say we were at war with ALL muslims, nor that we want to wipe all of them out.
    Get a grip folks, and quit looking to be insulted.

    July 18, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Mauri

    Before all you self-righteous, chest thumping McCain haters get too carried away about intolerance toward Muslims in this country, just remember that every time the Islam terrorists proclaim "Death to the Americans," they don't add "Except..........." They mean "all" Americans. To be sure there are good and bad in every ethnic group, but even in a political race, we Americans must stand up for each other and cut out the name-calling. I would really like for someone to tell us how many America-living Muslims rose up and publicly condemned the terrorists that attacked America, and continue to do so? If and when that ever happens, I honestly believe it will result in more tolerance for Muslim citizens by Americans. However, in America, what mafr it so great in the past was that citizens stood up and defended each other. That seems to be lacking more and more often.

    July 18, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. peakarach,des moines,IA


    MCCAIN 08!
    HILLARY 12!

    July 18, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. MBFLA

    Another hate filled warmongering racist in the McCain camp! We cannot afford more wars. Get it? We have to find another way.

    July 18, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. Ridgeway

    And the problem is?

    July 18, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. whiner

    bud day probably has a t-shirt that says 'strap 'em all to a board!'

    July 18, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. whiner

    ARB is a closet muslim.

    July 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. leida

    Enough with the war. All these people want is war war war. Let's get those muslims before they get us! What in this world is this? It's 2008 for God's sake, not 1945! Enough is enough!

    July 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. regular american guy

    This man knows nothing of Islam. He is spewing hatred because he needs someone to be the "enemy" to justify this ridiculous war.

    Islam is not the enemy.

    And he will kneel before Allah on the day of judgement.
    This is certain.

    July 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Frogman181

    at least get your facts correct about Col Day. He was awarded the Medal of Honor (not Freedom). Also, someone doesn't "win" that award. They are awarded the medal.

    July 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |

    KOOK. Nothing else to say. KOOK.

    This is John McCain's FRIEND. >>>> KOOK.

    July 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. Frank, Missouri

    It's just what McCain and his blood squad thinks ... War On Muslims ! Extermination of Muslims and continuing the Bush Crusade! War for the sake of War ! War is what we do !

    Add McCains Rape jokes and you have yourself a party.

    July 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. Jamshed Abbas

    I am a Muslim living in America. There are approx 3 to 6 million Muslims in America, and over 500 million in Europe. There are over 1.4 billion Muslims world wide. Does this old man really think that all Muslims have that mentality? If we all thougth like Osama the idiot, the U.S. and Europe woudl be up in flames right now. The fact is that 99% of us are law abidign hard working people, both in the West and outside of it. This bigot should be careful that his prejudice doesn't become some horrible self fulfilling prophecy.

    July 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Sam

    Rob Moss – You have no clue. You were not there. I'll bet on it. Kerry "created" those citations. For his political career.

    Self inflicted wounds never resulted in a Purple Heart for any officers in my unit.
    (Retired Navy veteran)

    July 18, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Nicole in NE

    It Be Me –

    you make an excellent point, we also have many serial killers that turned out to be white men as well.

    I think everyone is missing the point here so I'll spell it out for you:


    July 18, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. Kevin

    I love how all of you self rightous people on her call for the end of negative comments and hate mongering when, if you read your own comments, that is exactly what you are doing. Take a look in the mirror!

    July 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Proud Supporter Of "An Empty Suit"

    For ALL those who keep calling Obama "an empty suit" let me say this. I will gladly take an empty suit ANYTIIME over one filled with moth baths. At least there is a chance "that empty suit" can be filled with modern ideas which WE can all benefit from vs. the one filled with moth balls (from back in the day) which is too out of style to even consider.

    July 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. AK

    This is not fear mongering but truth told in black and white. As a peaceful nation India has withstood this islamic attitude for generations.
    But that does not mean, we need to teach them a lesson.
    They need to be dealt with politically and some tolerance of their peculiarities, while making it clear to them that such violence has no place in civilized world.

    July 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. swindon

    We haven't seen this kind of religious intolerance in our country for a very long time. And, of course, the New Yorker cover just feeds this kind of bigotry. That's exactly what it intended to do.

    July 18, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. grant

    Another senile old man. No surprise coming from a "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" scumbag.

    July 18, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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