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. Marc PDX

    I predict that mean-spirited liberals will jump all over this guy in a spasm of self-righteous political correctness. Speaking of mean spiritedness (and I see that that is a basic characterist of liberals...), now I know why Michelle Obama said that America is a mean spirited country. She's been hanging out with nothing but liberals all these years. Ohhhhhhh....

    "Changes you'll never believe!"

    July 18, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Craig in Washington

    "...the Swift Boat attack was totally truthful." That statement by itself is a flagrant lie. Who's he trying to kid?

    July 18, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. judy, Wisconsin

    There he is again–Bud Day–of the Swift Boat liars, part of McCain's so called "Truth Squad" (They do love their slogans.) Just goes to show the quality of the people who advise McLiar. The vial lies against John Kerry, in 2004, a war hero who came back and protested another stupid war, were sickening and now they are at it again. I hope the people won't continue to be fooled by these charletans.

    July 18, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. DJ in TX

    This has got to stop. Yes, the terror groups are RADICAL Islamists. Not all Muslims are radical. We have great American Muslims right here in the U.S.

    His statement would infer that ALL Muslims feel the same about the US. People, I fought in the Gulf War with several Muslims. They prayed to Allah everyday and picked up an M16 ready to defend America. He would have had my back in an attack as I had his. We were both AMERICAN soldiers.

    Did he have some feelings about fighting Muslims? Of course, but he also knew he was American and had to follow the orders handed down to him.

    This is what is wrong with America. We tend to lump all into one group. Let's make sure we distinguish Radical Islamic terrorist vs just people who worship in the Islamic faith. Muslims come in all nationalitites, inclduing Americans (I work with a white guy who is Muslim).

    July 18, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. Mike D

    sorry JOHN, we aren't fighting the entire muslim world, we're fighting a small group of people who killed 4000 of our people. at least obama has it right, we need to catch osama bin laden, not wipe out an entire race of people.

    July 18, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Army Vet

    It says Medal of Freedom in the article, yet their is a photo of him with the Medal of Honor – the highest award in America. What kind of reporter could get this wrong?
    This guy fought for the right for all of you to make your ignorant comments........

    July 18, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Kris Hussain from AZ

    Bless his service to this country of ours. Much respect to Bud Day. But, His statements are that of old school thinking and not all Muslims are out to get us. Just fader for the right wing neo cons.

    July 18, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Len in Washington

    What's next from this bunch?

    Check back next hour!

    July 18, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Toyin, Atlanta.

    If those radicals really hate America as McCain wants us to believe, how come it is easier for our soildiers to walk up and down their streets than it is for them to get across the Atlantic. Reality is that they hate how the U.S is supporting Israel, even though we know Israelites murdered lots of them and seized their land. But we expect them to be quiet.

    July 18, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Joe Reed

    Welcome to the Republican party, my friends...we are full of hate, ignorance, and deceitfulness.....and oh yeah, we can't read...

    July 18, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. prairieguy

    This comment does not surprise me coming from a McSame surrogate as they want to win on fear tactics as that is all they have to offer.

    Dr Phil is also back so he can say we are whinners again.

    Give it up McSame...we don't want you!!!!!!!

    July 18, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Dave S, Tinley Park, IL

    What a piece of garbage. I respect other military vets (active or retired) but revoke any appreciation for what he did for this country (if anything–let's do a little research on his 'swift' record). Bud Day's service means nothing to me. Shoulda kept your ignorance to yourself.

    July 18, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. ProudToBeDemocrat

    We are one nation under God, God is for all people, we are all the children of God. My fellow Americans please do not let Republicans divide us by race, religion,gender,age we are better than that.

    July 18, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Ms. RDS

    What does that have do with the Iraq war? Nobody there was threating to attack us. No of the 9/11 attackers were from Iraq. There was no Al Queda in Iraq until we got there. Thank you Bud for your services in defending this nation but Please let Bud go home and sit on the porch and sip some lemonade.

    July 18, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. PA, NH

    Ignorant Moron!

    July 18, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. Kurt

    I'm more pissed off that McCain has a Swift Boater on his "Truth Squad." I respected the man in 2000, but he has made too many deals with the devil to satisfy his presidential ambition. McCain is a man who should shun those who attack the military service of others.

    July 18, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. Meme

    Speaking in a general disrespect manner about any group/people who are not like you is pure ignorance!!

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

    im so through with this election.. can november please hurry up and come so i can cast my vote for the best candidate of the united states!?!?

    OBAMA 08

    July 18, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Shasta

    "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."

    ...What? What kind of response is that? Am I missing something? It's like saying "What do you think about the price of grapes?" Answer: "Grapes cost money"....okay.

    July 18, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Yeah, dude. "Muslims" are out to get us. Let's re-open Manzinar and lock them up.

    McWarmonger.

    July 18, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Kathleen

    I can't imagine anything more hypocrital than a Swiftboater professing to be against unfair attacks on anyone's military service.
    God don't like hypocrites and Mr. Day is going to find that out one of these days. Hope you like it hot, Bud.

    July 18, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Chris

    I wonder just how much all of you who are labeling this coment as 'hate' truly understand how Islam is taught in most of the world.

    Just because you don't want to believe that forced conversion is an integral element of Islam, doesn't mean it isn't.

    July 18, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. TONY

    Can you Senile? Just like Grand Pa McCain. zzzzzz

    July 18, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Tarla

    Would someone please tell McBush to just give up. Its over. He can't win.

    July 18, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Wow! This was no-mistake remember McWar said last week he wants to send more cigarettesto Iran to kill them all. McWar really said that people.

    Mean-while back at McWar’s Iranian death camp, McWar pushes his final solution for all Persians and Iranians.

    The Mc Pol Pot Regime has a new plan for Iran
    McWar now wants to commit genocide on all Iranians and Persians. His new plan includes nicotine gas chambers and giant potash plants for there burned up bodies. This man does not care about human life at all. Just his family fortune and his wealthy lobbyist friends

    July 18, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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