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. Sheik Yourbootie

    Sheik Yourbootie like Obama...he like me...praise Allah!!

    July 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Proud New York

    what's next McStain, lynchin? pathetic

    July 18, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Jim in Orlando

    The old guy told the truth. The only active arm of the Muslim religion right now is the "radical" one, while all the rest say nothing in dissent. How many Arabs do you need to see dancing in the street celebrating the release of a baby killer ? When American Muslims get as vocal as the rest of us in condemning their radical brethren, it will be they who change the truth. Until then, quiet Muslims deserve no apology. Radical Muslims are our enemy.

    July 18, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. Ken Pittsburgh

    Mr.Day
    This is a man that should be honor for service to country but
    when you are wring you are wrong.There is no way McCain support
    this guy now

    July 18, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Big D

    Not only is Bud Day a SwiftBoater but... he's the guy who McCain brought out to (attack Wes Clark's military service) while (saying Clark shouldn't attack McCain's military service) while (Clark did not actually attack McCain's military service). And at that time, McCain said that Obama should remove Clark from Obama's campaign, while he has obviously continued to keep Day on his own campaign. Whew!

    July 18, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Michael - Sacramento, CA

    George "Bud" Day was also, and this is NOT a tasteless joke, McCain's divorce lawyer when McCain divorced his first wife because John wanted to marry a gorgeous young heiress. Bud had been McCain's friend even before that. That's how far back these two guys go–the idea that Bud Day is on a different wavelength than John McCain is ridiculous. They are peas in a pod.

    July 18, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. DrMyEye, Rockford, IL

    Bud Day sez "listen to me or I'll gum you to death" Jeez, could the Swift Boaters ever look more elderly and feeble?

    July 18, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Flem

    Day is absolutely right on the money! The ignorance of the posters here doesn't bode well for the safety and well-being of our country. With limp noodles like this holding the microphone, it's only a matter of time until we're overrun.

    Sad.

    July 18, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Dedmus Gudmus

    Not sure what is so off-color about this. The extremists have said they want to destroy us–he didn't say all Muslims....call it what it is–people trying to kill us are bad, whatever they call themselves.

    July 18, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. mama coo

    So CNN and the media have been criticized for all their glowing stories on Obama and a minuscule number of stories on McCain. How is CNN fixing that? By posting negative stories about McCain so the Obama fans can slam him. You gotta love it !!!

    July 18, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. Anthony

    It would help if Muslims came out against Islamic Extremists and maybe we wouldn't mix them up.

    July 18, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Nicole in NE

    Amy – you are one of the most intellegent people on here –

    thanks. Everyone whould read that – honestly

    July 18, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Burka Babes

    "Wild Burka Babes Go Gonzo" by Phil Gramm and coming to an "art theatre" near you. Bow down and fact Mecca bozos. Show you best side!

    Seriously John McCain, why don't you just give these bozos more airtime. You really didn't want the job did you. Yuck!

    July 18, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. Dan

    McCain and his cronies no nothing about the Middle East or Islam, so I'm not surprised by this ignorant statement. These people should not be running our country.

    July 18, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. jimmy velman

    THE "SWIFT BOATERS" WILL BE HISTORY AND WILL NO LONGER HAVE ANY VOICE HEARD BY ANY SENSIBLE AMERICAN.

    July 18, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Anne E.

    I find sad, disgusting and disgraceful the way these old guys conveniently forget terrorists on our own soil - like Timothy McVeigh;
    and home-grown religious extremists, like the ones in the standoff in Waco (and other places); and how about the serial killers, like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and others - they, too, were "terrorists," terrorizing women, children, neighborhoods. Were ANY of these men Muslim?? Or is it okay that they did what they did because they were "ours"?

    July 18, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. bob

    Too bad all that time in prison bred a bunch of angry old men. Guys, you lost that war. It's too late for glory. Get over it.

    July 18, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. LA

    McBush's platform-hate, kill, smear. It's just more of the same fear mongering.

    July 18, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. lfc

    "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."

    It is not possible for the west to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world. Zealot's minds are not open to messages.

    July 18, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. PCS / North Carolina

    jake wrote July 18th, 2008 4:59 pm ET

    "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"

    Sounds like you are very angry and bitter. Do you undestand the magnitude of frustration in Mideast, because of our addiction to oil and their authoratarian rulers. You can go back to where you came from, but i doubt that anybody will take us, with this much of hatered towards US,when your buddies are in power.

    July 18, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. ed

    this what u get when u have a campaign full of folks that are recieving social security checks

    July 18, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. The Surly Scholar

    *Sigh*

    More ringing endorsement for McCain's foreign policy advantage, right?

    But really, I love Bud Day. His racist good ol' boy-ism is doing great things for the Obama campaign.

    July 18, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. whiner

    abe lincoln is rolling in his grave at his current party,

    July 18, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Jeff

    The ignorance is astounding. Colonel George "Bud" Day is a true hero of America. A Marine in World War II, a Korean War fighter pilot and Medal of Honor winner for his efforts as a POW in Vietnam. All of you people who are saying hateful nasty things about this HERO should rot in well.....

    I am a 19 year veteran of the US Air Force, not particularly a big fan of John McCain as a politician, but I can tell you from the "inside" there are many people in the military today who will drop their retirement/seperation paperwork if Barrack Obama gets elected. This is an election where I have to vote for the lesser of two evils, the last time that happened I helped elect Clinton the Clown by voting for Perot, who was the better of the three major canidates.

    By the way I support everyone's right to be ignorant, so blast away, unlike most of you I have served this great country!

    July 18, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Travis (in the real world

    WAIT FOR IT PEOPLE....if this doesn't stick to Obama....McWar will say...

    THEY DON'T SPEAK FOR ME......duh

    July 18, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
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