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. Former g.o.p.

    JAKE: ANYONE WHO USES ALL CAPS TO MAKE A POINT IS EITHER A STRIDENT ROBOT OR IS SIMPLY NUTS.☺☺☺☺

    July 18, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Don

    RIGHT ON !!!!

    What he said is prety right on. There are more Muslims in the world than any other religion. Why is it that we only hear from the radicals? If the Muslims want to truly improve their image in the world then QUIT BEING COWARDS and VOICE IT AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Otherwise this image will never go away.

    July 18, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. TonyInKentucky

    Let's see some consistency Muslim hatters, almost all of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. When will you demand that oppressive regime be taken down?

    The McCain campaign is a debacle. He may have the resume but he proves his incompetence daily. This is not a viable selection for The President of The United States. All of this experience and less command of the issues and foresight than the average voter. Obama runs circles around him, Republicans and PUMAS are lying to themselves to a level to now unseen on the earth.

    No one behind a campaign this inept, is capable of leading this country. You see it and still deny it. I have to ask how?

    July 18, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Bob Stephens

    McSame is like an old drunk that walks into a bar and picks a fight with some young guy and winds up getting the crap kicked out of him, by the young guy's girlfriend.

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

    The threat we face is from radical Islamic extremism...that is what the guy said. He didn't say anything about ALL Muslims.

    He spoke the TRUTH...problem is, most of us Americans can't handle the TRUTH

    July 18, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Jeremy, NY

    It's hateful remarks like this that makes me want to shift my vote to Obama. I've been a very devoted Republican all my life, but this race baiting and this nastiness that people are not voting for Obama because he's muslim is beginning to get to me. So what if he's muslim, being muslim does not make you a bad person. Being a moron, an ignorant psycho and a bashing fool does make you a bad person.

    Enough already with these anti-muslim/anti-black/anti-semantism and racial hatred.

    I'm glad the young generation is learning how these older generation really feel.

    July 18, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. JT, AZ

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

    A young white American guy…."

    And a decorated veteran as well..

    July 18, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Naveed

    I am really disappointed by this remark as it is a sign of ignorance that promulgates hatred toward Muslims. I am a Muslim who is disabled United States Army Infantry Veteran and loves this Nation and would give up his life of her. I consider Bud Day a hero of mine for the scarifies he made on behalf of our grateful Nation but, I urge him to pay attention the next time he visits our Arlington National Cemetery and he will find the graves of Muslims who have fought and died for this great Nation.

    July 18, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. Alice

    Wake up America! You elected George Bush based on this idiot's remarks - are you going to let him influence your vote again?

    July 18, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. White Independant

    Wow I didn't realize all Muslims werer radical homicidal maniacs. They should give this guy a cabinet position. Now I can go and blow up the Muslim preschool down the street without feeling bad.

    July 18, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. kenny

    "Hey Bud, wear your medal of honor and flight jacket so we can look authoritative."

    July 18, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. K

    Other than it is "insensitive: not "politically correct" to say it out loud, I don't understand the outrage! I think 9/11 is proof Islamic extremists are set to destroy us...I think they're succeeding! Not liking the words doesn't make it any less true..they want us (infidels) to kneel before them and they want to our heads...in fact they've already had a few kneel before them and took their heads! Not sure what you people are not getting...let's see how "sensitive" they are to you and your families when you beg for their mercy...fools!

    July 18, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. McCain is Napoleon

    I see General McCain still wants to rule the world

    July 18, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. ANTONIO

    WHAT IT IS THE PROBLEM IN THE U. S. A. TODAY? NOBODY IS ALLOWED TO SAY ANYTHING, IN MY OPINION WE ARE SHUT UP ON THE FREEDOM OF SPEACH IN THE U.S.A. THAT WITH ALL THE DIFFERENRENT RACES, RELIGIONS AND FREEDOMS AT THE END WE ARE TO BE SLAVES OF OUR OWN FREEDOMS. WHY? BECAUSE NOBODY IS ALLOWED TO OPENLY SAY ANYTHING.
    ANTONIO

    July 18, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. jackson NY

    MAKE NO MISTAKE.
    WHAT HE SAID IS THE GOD'S HONEST TRUTH.
    NOT THEIR "GOD" BUT YOUR GOD AND MINE.
    SCREW THE MUSLIMS AND LET'S GET THE HELL OUT OF IRAQ LEAVING THEM TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR GOD.

    July 18, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Andre

    Would there have been an uproar if he had said something deemed offensive to Christianity?

    Christianity is fair game, but oh no, can't say anything that might offend Islam.

    July 18, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Jason

    Linda who are we at risk from? I saw we are at a greater risk of being attacked by our government rather than another terrorist attack. Last place a terrorist can affect us is on or with a airplane. Let me educate you.. 9/11 only happened because Bush allowed it to, so HE would have a justifiable excuse in his own mind to bomb bomb bomb, bomb Iraq... I ask you this, what do the Twin Towers and Pentagon have in common? NOTHING.. 1 is our military headquarters and the other is a capitalist made building. I don't see the relationship between the 2.. . Its sad that McCain keeps surrounding himself with people who go to the early bird dinners at 4pm at Sizzler and are in bed by the time Nightly News comes on..

    Thanx CNN for pulling my post about Col. Day's MOH info.. everyone needs to see what he got his MOH for, only seems like it was given for him trying to break out of the POW camp and nothing heroic.. I served my country during the 1st gulf war..

    Moderates Unite.. You seem to think the US government isnt a terrorist either.. We are the only country to use a Nuke on a civilian target. At least the Japanese attacked our military in 1941 not civilians. Not saying its justified either way.. just a point!!

    July 18, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. mama coo

    Give me a break!!! President Bush and Republicans have basically been saying the same thing for the past seven years and only now it's a problem?
    How about CNN concentrating on problems that real people are having like filling their gas tanks, paying their high utility bills, food medicine. WHAT ARE McCAIN AND OBAMA GOING TO DO ABOUT THAT?

    July 18, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Capt Lou

    Jessica Lynch was a POW. Should I vote for her?

    July 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Montana is Obama Country

    This is really sad .. Old WAR VETS with OLD LIKE MINDED Solutions.. FEAR and WAR...

    My view is: The POTUS should be proud to take on the new and up coming challenges and be proud to see the accomplishments their inspiration and ideas bring to Americans..

    I look forward to the end of this election season and the the bogus people getting back to the daily bogus lives and leave the 15 mintues of shame to ex-presidents..

    Yes WE Can...

    July 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Chuck

    This guy lied in 2004 and is still lying.
    I think his cooperation with the VC ruined
    his brain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Tam

    Were any of the 9/11 hijackers not Muslim?
    Were any of the suicide bombers in the Middle East not Muslim?
    Were the “people” who beheaded Daniel Pearl and others not Muslim?
    Are the “people” of Al-Qaeda Muslim?

    Bury your head in the sand or stand strong like Bud Day and call it for what it is.

    July 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. MaryAnne, VA

    Jeremy, NY July 18th, 2008 5:23 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    It's hateful remarks like this that makes me want to shift my vote to Obama. I've been a very devoted Republican all my life, but this race baiting and this nastiness that people are not voting for Obama because he's muslim is beginning to get to me. So what if he's muslim, being muslim does not make you a bad person. Being a moron, an ignorant psycho and a bashing fool does make you a bad person.

    Enough already with these anti-muslim/anti-black/anti-semantism and racial hatred.

    I'm glad the young generation is learning how these older generation really feel.

    =====================================

    I couldn't have said it better myself. The more hate these republicans spew, the more powerful and stronger our party grows.

    July 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. tony

    Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged,

    The rules of the primaries and caucuses were set up by the DNC, which was controlled by Clinton's supporters. If you don't believe me, try to remember which candidate had the most declared superdelegates at the start of the primary. It was not Obama; it was the "inevitable nominee" Hillary Clinton. The Rules and Bylaws Committee, which finally decided on how to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations and essentially ended Hillary's candidacy, had 13 Hillary supporters and 8 Obama supporters.

    Stop threaten the rest of us that you won't vote for Obama. We know that because you kept on posting the same messages over and over, and CNN kept on posting them. Just remember Hillary can't win either, in 2012, without the support of Democrats who did not vote for her. She could not even win enough votes in the Democratic primary to fend off the Republicans and Independents who did not like her and voted for Obama, how is she going to win the general election, now or in 2012? These people vote in the general election too. Remember, most of Hillary's haters are not in the Democratic Party. They are in the Republican Party that has been demonizing the Clintons for years. Republicans have already started the campaign against Michelle Obama. They know how to attack a political spouse because they have had plenty of practice in the 1990s with Hillary.

    July 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Allen in Hartwell, Ga

    I have no idea where these idiots come from. If this is the best that the Republicans have, then they need to buy an island somewhere and put up a fence to keep everyone else out.

    July 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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