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. Joe

    Since when did moth balls get such a bad name?

    July 18, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. Carol

    Anyone who calls themselve muslim and does not live by the koran is considered an infidel & in ways worse than a Christian or Jew. A true muslim lives by & obeys the koran. All of you people that don't know what islam is should study up on it. Then maybe you would have a different opinion on it.

    July 18, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. Phil, FL

    PUMA nuts

    Think HRC will ever get my vote? No way.

    Better try to think again.

    Go Obama

    July 18, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. Elitist in OH

    Sam: You are clueless. I too was a military officer and no Lt (Kerry's rank) has the power to do what you suggest. You are feeding on the average person's lack of knowledge about the military...you have no honor sir...none!

    July 18, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Thomas Wurster

    My father was a republican. When talking about the middle east he used to say "lets sell both sides weapons so they can kill each other". I was sick when I was old enough to realize that is just what "we" did.

    Now morons wonder why they are mad at us.

    Hitler used fear just like "they" have. Of coures they are republicans.

    Freedom of speech isn't free. Just ask the Dixie Chicks.

    July 18, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. xddy4u

    Let McCain boys keep this type of attack up, stereo-typing all Muslims to be killers, is only helping Obama. Keep up the good work Ye ole farts.

    July 18, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  7. No McCain!

    THis is the most ignorant, racist thing I have ever heard!

    He believes all Muslims want to destroy America and us, well this is simply not true! Have any of you idiots ever heard of "the silent majority" which is the 99.9% of Muslims who follow their faith peacefully and actually want to improve relations with the west! No, well that doesn't surprise me in any way! This is why McCain and his cronies should NOT be elected. You ignorant people, why don't you meet a Muslim and I think you're in for a real surprise (and if you are, you're just plain stupid!)

    Muslims worship the same god! And did it ever occur to anyone that if all were terrorists, wouldn't we be dead? Finally, what happened to the KKK, the IRA, the Kosovo incident? They were conducted by Christians, why can we look past that? Oh... a few did it. The same goes for the Twin Towers and the Taliban, what's the difference?

    In case a few educated people here did not make this clear:


    Obama '08

    July 18, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. MikeWall

    You know, I used to go along with calling McCain McBush and implying that it would be another four year of W if he was elected. Now we see what's REALLY the threat here – call him McHITLER – at long last – has this idiot no shame at all? Is there no limit to the depths that this man and his supporters will sink? What a bunch of fascist idiots these people are!!!!

    July 18, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. No McCain!

    I forgot something, many Muslims DO condemn terrorism. Once again, these guys fall under the silent majority.

    Were supposed to be an understanding nation, this sure as hell does not help.

    Obama '08

    July 18, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. Elitist in OH

    Bud: Your 30 minutes are up. I'll give you 30 vs. the usual 15 because of the medal but seriously...go home and take a blue pill.

    July 18, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  11. Alex in San Diego

    "The Muslims have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us."

    Which Muslim said that? Are we sure old Buddy didn't fall asleep last midday watching Superman II. Maybe he thinks General Zod is a muslim. Someone please stir him from his forth nap and tell him that it was just a picture show and we don't have to kneel to Zod or any of the other muslims from Krypton.

    July 18, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  12. Michael Arnaud

    Two things:1. Hey Gabe, last time I looked, our servicemembers were actual US CITIZENS with the RIGHT to their own opinion. I know, cause I am one. If anyone has a right to speak about who the next President are the people who serve our nation. 2. Having served in Iraq, I ahve to say Col. Day is totally right. The radical muslims want nothing more than to destroy anything and everything that the US stands for. The Council on American and Islamic Relations needs to rupudiate every attack on the US and US citizens made by radical Muslims. I find it rather convient that when the citizens of this country exercise their actual rights, someone stands up and says that we are hatemongers, racists, etc. Yet the "religous scholars" of the Middle East can call for the killing of Americans and it's the "word of God" that they are speaking. When I say 'they' I mean any Arab who calls for the destruction of the United States. Find them all and send them to Hell. By the way, I'm only 37 yearsold and not some 'old fart' as some of these other posters have called Col. Day. God Bless him.

    July 18, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. Paul C. Palmetto Bay, FL

    Bud Day is a blithering idiot. Anyone who pays attention to him deserves to be shipped to Iraq on the next thing smoking.
    The way to fight terrorism is up close and personal.

    July 18, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  14. California Girl

    Hey Travis: I agree with your muppets comments! LOL

    July 18, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. Sean

    You old folks sound like the Talibans. I think you should retire in Afganistan! If you like there so much! Or probably Iraq? Since you're war hero, and all waiting to die, why not replace our younger soldiers and be shot dead over there? At least you'll save some Social Security money for the next generations?

    July 18, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. dhoskin

    Fearful people do stupid things... or in the case of the present administration-Stupid people do fearful things

    July 18, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. No to McLame

    Is it these idiots say these comments as they want their photo / name in the headlnes same as all others that do terrible things just to read their name and see their photo on front page .
    They are idiots to begin with .

    July 18, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. TYER


    July 18, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. Morrie Amitay

    What he said happens to be a sad fact. Obviously, he was referring to Muslim extremists, of which there are, unfortunately, too many !

    July 18, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  20. Concerned Citizen

    People think Obama is lieing when he says Mccain is for the 3rd Bush term. Mccain is using the very same people Bush used to defeat MCCAIN.

    July 18, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. Franky

    "am a 19 year veteran of the US Air Force,"

    How the hell did you become a veteran?? At what age did you join, 12??? And by the way, if that's the only way you're gonna protect him from his service, you're just way off....

    July 18, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. K

    Don't worry they will rot in hell! To make the smarmy remarks they make about a true hero is lower than low. My 21-year USAF husband will also drop his retirement papers should Obama be elected RSINC....Rock Star In Chief! Who really wants to repeat the anti-military days of the Clinton Administration that only those in the military remember? The esteemed title of CINC should never be used with one who cannot distinguish between a battalion or a squadron!

    July 18, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  23. Franky

    "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."

    You can thank my boy President Bush....

    July 18, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. Mir

    Islam means submission. Any questions?

    July 18, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. SUE

    I thank we have ever right to know all we can about OBAMA..The country dosen,t know him..WE don,t know if he is ready to lead our country..You OBAMA people thank its alright to talk about MCcane,shame on you for all the dirty names you have call him..I thank he will make a good presdent and i thank he know what he is doing

    July 18, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25