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. Travis (in the real world

    These 2 geezers look like those 2 old men in the balcony in the


    July 18, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. Franky

    Is this all the Reps just think about??? They just think about war??? Can someone tell them what the heck are they doing?? First of all, this ain't the first time something like this has happen. And if I were you Reps, you better hope it don't come back to bite you later on....

    July 18, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. joan

    The Constitution never said a Muslim can't run for Presidency. Why the WASP are so biased to denegrade Muslim by all means? A Muslim has a perfect right live in this country or to be a president. The only reason we are in Iraq is for the Oil and very importanly, for all the profits of the Defense contractors. The arms industry profits enormously from the war. Nobody has said anything about this. The deal is very secretive. Say we are a open democratic country!???

    July 18, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. paula

    TO GRIFF –
    Get Real – go vote for McShame and take your hate/fear mongering with you –

    July 18, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Tony

    "The only thing we have to fear. Is fear itself" –FDR

    I never thought I'd quote FDR. I also never thought I would decide that I will never identify myself as a Republican again...


    July 18, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Daniyal, Houston Texas

    There we go. another uneducated dumb remark by an old white guy whose probably on more medications than the local pharmacist can provide.

    Thats really like saying all americans love cheeseburgers...i mean what type of stupid rasict remark is that. Like Islam is the ONLY religiion with a radical wing of believers that like to run their mouth off.....

    These tired old hen's need to go back to chasing golf balls. I don't care if he's a war hero or not, his remarks were out of line.

    And in all honesty, when do you think any of these old white guys (who still cling to the belief that they can remain in power as some sort of rite) have ever really sat down and had a conversation with a muslim here in america. Maybe if they left their retirement homes and met some hard working muslims...they might find that we're their doctors, nurses, pharmacists, bankers...and yes even police officers and firefighters. Normal people just trying to earn a decent living.

    So to this man i say....Careful grandpa, cause the next time you get admitted to a hospital for bowel incontinence, you might find yourself next to one of those educated, dedicated and concerned "Muslim Desert People" that you were so afraid of.

    July 18, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Lee, Egg Harbor NJ

    Tim McVeigh was a Republican (and a supposed "Christian").

    He single-handedly blew up hundreds of innocent Americans, including babies at a day care in Oklahoma.

    So all republicans are terrorists? All "christians"?

    Or is it just the hateful fear mongering right wingers in both religions, both muslim and christian, that seek to "terrorize" us through fear both here and abroad.

    Just say "no" to the politics of Bush-McCain-Rove-binLaden-Dobson.

    July 18, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Franky

    Let me say this in the end....

    I did not hear the word Terrorists, O.K? And last time I checked, I read that Senator McCain won't kneel down to Muslims...

    July 18, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. lfc

    I should have said Zealot's of any bent.

    July 18, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Zelda

    10 fattest states:

    1. Mississippi, 32.0 percent
    2. Alabama, 30.3
    3. Tennessee, 30.1
    4. Louisiana, 29.8
    5. West Virginia, 29.5
    6. Arkansas, 28.7
    7. South Carolina, 28.4
    8. Georgia, 28.2
    9. Oklahoma, 28.1
    10. Texas, 28.1


    July 18, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. Lou R

    Bud Day, his actions and views are a return to the Cold War mentality. In his active military service days he may have performed heroic actions for which he was recognized by his country. Today, as his distasteful and hateful participation in the 2004 Swift Boat Of Lies campaign, this Dinosaur rears its head and makes it more sounds of nonsense. If McCain is intent in loosing in November, his campaign will do itself well to continue embracing this well over-the-hill-warrior.

    July 18, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. Cleavette

    Wher do these morons come from? There isn't a day missed that some moron (idiot) says something totally stupid. These are the same fools that elected bush (Twice)

    July 18, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Steven

    Get real.....it was radical Muslims that attacked this country and have made a mess of the planet....I'm not about to kneel either and I think most Americans agree....and yes, we are winning in Iraq.

    Hillary Clinton Supporter for McCain.

    July 18, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Mike

    Bud Day has more hero bona fides than McCain – shows how being a "hero" bears on being president. Bud Day was one of the original
    swiftboaters and was also McCain's divorce attorney

    July 18, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Shame

    Please people we need to stop this hatred. Please stop. We have spent billions of dollars in Iraq for muslim freedom. Now we want to group them all as terrorist. Please stop the madness. Please stop.

    July 18, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. PCS / North Carolina

    It Be Me wrote July 18th, 2008 4:58 pm ET

    who was the bomber in the Oklahoma City bombing???
    A young white American guy - TIMOTHY
    does that mean that all young white American guys are terrorist??"

    I agree, and to all the racists who posts Barack "H" Obama to imply that Barack is a terrorist, TIMOTHY IS A LOCAL TERRORIST which means all "TIMOTHY'S" ARE TERRORISTS ? Go figure.

    July 18, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. j gannon

    Just another bigoted republican stating his true thoughts!! They are the reason we are, where we are , in the middle of wars everywhere!

    July 18, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Barbara Campbell

    Birds of a feather .... in this case, McCain and Day are both delusional, perhaps the result of their joint POW experiences.

    July 18, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. Bruce, Chicago

    Aside from the insane far left liberals who do not make up much of the population, this gentleman's comment will have people nodding their heads in agreement. We are at war with Muslim Extremists!!! He is telling it like it is, there is no "fear-mongering" here. WE ARE AT WAR WITH MUSLIM EXTREMISTS! This is a fact, not a race bashing comment.

    July 18, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. CalifKid

    Ah yes...The Republicans up to their old dirty tricks again, trying to instill fear and hate. Isn't going to work this time.

    OBAMA 08!

    July 18, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. CalifKid

    HAHAHA...look at these old farts!!!!

    July 18, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Brandon

    Perhaps Colonel Day simply misspoke....I mean, if the writers of this article (with presumably an editor or two looking it over before publishing it) can mistake the Medal of Freedom for the Medal of Honor......

    July 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. popeye

    The terrorists have already won because we are being led by people who dwell on making us afraid.
    Does anyone really believe terrorists can take over America or our way of life? Only if we let them by being afraid of our own shadows.
    The terrible events of 9/11 have served the terrorists purpose well. Fear and terror is the mantra of the decade.
    We could learn from what the British citizens endured during WWII.
    The Muslim comment was just plain stupid!

    July 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Shame

    And Gina, sorry but I think you are being ignorant to the fact. The terrorist are not all Muslims. Al Queda the terrorist group – get it straight please.

    If you are not a dem, please log into Fox News. You will get all the praise you would like there.

    July 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. baracomama

    these old senile people are going to be the death of us all

    July 18, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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