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. John Pittsburgh

    McCain and his band of old ignoramuses

    July 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. interesting

    Okay, how is this different from what Bush has said?

    Why is everyone upset? He did not mention anyone by name.

    July 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Paul

    Swift Boat. Old as swift.

    July 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Roy

    Any time an organization or person has to keep saying how truthful they are, methinks they doth protesteth too much. Sort of like how dictatorships like East Germany, North Korea, China,and the Congo always put "republic" or "democratic" in their names.

    July 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Samia Ahmed

    and I finally thought living here would be safe for me...I guess not if John McCain is President!

    July 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |

    Thats the truth squad loool woooww...just another day in the life of an american muslim, dealing with idiots

    July 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Griff

    One thing you can be sure of. Electing Borack Obama, into any High Office, would be the most stupid thing, they have ever done....

    July 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Bryan NY

    we need to put all these old guys McCain, Gramm and now this nut, into a home for seniors before they get us all killed and run this economy into the ground. This generation wants to get past the Vietnam era the cold war era and move on with our lives.

    July 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. tt

    No disrespect but do we really want to leave the coutry in the hands of a few old farts that think of internet as an underground organization

    July 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Henry

    Can someone make these old, tired, creepy, crazy war mongers go away....wake me up when this nightmare is over on Nov 5!

    July 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. McCain is no angel

    Not anymore.
    How low will he stoop before this is over.

    July 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Kris

    Love the scare tactics. Playing off American Fear to sway voters. Then of course what better then to follow up a prediction with a stupid stunt like this one. Republican Election Strategy. Scare you into voting republican...

    July 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Bubba

    Lying sacks of snot. This means Bush is going to have the CIA fake up some more terror attacks so McDumb can have a chance. Day is an example of the kind of lazy shirtbag that lost VietNam for us.

    July 18, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. California Gold

    Trouble is everyone knows how well Mr. Day's 527 group manipulated the voters in 2000 and 2004. In speaking with voters, I have found not one voter liked feeling they were played like a piano. No one likes to feel manipulated. It's 2008 Mr. Day. Your game is up and you are out of time. Furthermore, your candidate Mr. McCain is out of gas.

    Would someone please give Mr. Day a rocking chair and a piece of wood to whittle.

    July 18, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    Mccain Has The Same Belief. . . They Are Hoping For More Attacks So We Can Stay At War! Even After Mccain Claims We Have Succeeded!

    July 18, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. David Newport, OR

    keep giving these people the microphone...they only benefit the Obama campaign. There are many new truths people like this need to start accepting...starting with the old scare tactics will no longer work except on the ignorant. Instead of trying to change their minds we took a new avenue...we brought in new voters far more educated and more open to the reality of living in today's World. Old solutions no longer work.

    July 18, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Catty

    I guess McCains personal rev. wright had to make their appearance at some point.

    I don't judge McCain because of this guy just as I don't judge Obama for Wright.

    July 18, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. theresa in Prattville

    You see. I told you that John McCain and all of the other POW's who support him and the war are war mongers. That's all they know. They are thinking in the past. That's normal for them. I have no problem with that but I do have a problem with them always wanting to fight. Fighting is NEVER the answer however this country has to protect itself. But come on, these old men need to stop and think about trying to set an example before they leave this world. GEEEEZZZZZ......

    July 18, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Abby

    By the way, those are some of the angriest at and bitter faces I’ve seen in a long time n that picture. Put a smile on your face, grandpa darling. At least we still have enough Social Security and Medicare (good socialist programs!) for your generation…I hope it’s the same when its my turn. So turn the frown up side down 🙂 .

    July 18, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. Elly

    Anyone who votes for this war monger and his rant every day about victory deserves to wallow in the misery and increased terrorism the Bush administration has caused the last 8 years
    Anyone who supports him and Bushs immoral and illegal war. Take a close look at the next vet whose face is burned beyond recognition because Bush decided to go into war for his own selfish reasons *Oil and revenge for Sadam* for nearly killing his daddy, over 4000 troops killed, thousands maimed for life. 200000 innocent iraqis killed and 2 million displaced and then ask yourself if you even have a conscience to support MCBUSHs continuing the war
    How many more honorable troops have to die and be maimed , how many more innocent iraqis in the name of McSames so called excuse *Victory*
    Anyone in that administration who supported this immoral war and continues to and that includesMCBush Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and yes even pretty face Rice does not have a moral fibre in their body...that may seem harsh but its REALITY ....
    kudos to anyone hopefully Obama who steps up to the plate and tries to end this war bc its morally responsible that not one more troop die in this FIASCO.

    “VENGEANCE IS MINE”, sayeth the Lord. From Leviticus in the Old Testament

    July 18, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. thugs wanted

    to campaign for McCain

    July 18, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. E. Scott

    The Democrats need to enjoy the next few months because there is no way Obama is going to be elected. His radical/racist connections will come back to haunt him. The polls are showing a close race and Obama is declining.

    July 18, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. Gabe

    Why are military veterans getting involved in political campaigns?! They use their service as a wedge to advance political views, this goes against the honor and duty of the military and should be seen as a disgrace to all Americans in uniform.

    July 18, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. kay

    Be careful what you wish for...I knew as soon as the media starts to focus on MCCain people will start to know the many gaffes and that he does not have any policy for Americans

    July 18, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. Johnny Mac

    The dems are attacking another war hero.

    despicable and desperate

    July 18, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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