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. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Another Antique Swift Boat punk is taking on water ond slowly sinking like the American economy into the sunset...

    July 18, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Concerned in Alabama

    Fear monger is what fear monger does. Will the republicans ever learn. They try to scare the american people into voting for them.

    Mr. McCain, when General Wesley Clark made the comment that just because you were shot down doesn't make you a good president.....he was right! You don't have to have serve in the military or get shot down or visited the middle east to be a good president......just ask McBush and the others.

    You republicans are always trying to use the fear tactics to get votes.

    Sorry, but OBAMA will be president! The american people can't stand another moment with this administration or the republicans.

    July 18, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. Mike

    Is there no end to the Swiftboaters indecency?

    Please, for our sake Americans – get out there and VOTE in November. The Republican dirty tactics machine is just revving up, and you better believe that they will be out there on Election Day trying to throw monkey wrenches into the ballot boxes .


    July 18, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Nicole in NE

    Wow, is it just me or am I having flashbacks from 2004?

    LOL – I can't believe the GOP plans to use the SAME tactics to win this election, especially when McCain promised to run a more respectful campaign. What a joke!

    Obama 08'

    July 18, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. JohnLee

    There is a difference in this election. You've got the candidate of fear or the candidate of hope. I don't know about you all, but I'm tired of the war mongers continually beating the drums of war.

    July 18, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. Windy/Canada

    Bunch of morons and hate cow boys,

    July 18, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Tarla

    Griff July 18th, 2008 3:05 pm ET

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

    No you have that backwards. It would be the best thing for this country. Your guy, McCain would be most stupid thing they have ever done.

    He's become the laughingstock.

    Just go away

    July 18, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Sad But True

    Don't get it twisted...Some people will actually fall for ads like this...They wouldn't do it if it didn't work to some extent...I'd love to believe that people are smart enough not to fall for the fear-mongering tactics...but I wouldn't be realistic...

    Please be smart, people...

    July 18, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Eugene

    We are ready for truth. Big lies worked in 2004, in 2008 they will work no more.

    July 18, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Dan

    WOW the ignorance of the posting here. I guess none of you really read the article, typical dems. He said that, "The threat we face is from radical Islamic extremism." Not all Muslims like the way you try to twist it. You people make me sick. Why don't you all just leave the country, we would have a much better place to live in. I know, you can move to the middle-east and hang out with all the nice Muslims. That is until they rape and murder you.

    July 18, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Shaik - Oregon

    Angry old white men....I hope this time the American people will say enough is enough of this kind of ignorance that breeds hatred. I also hope McSame makes a definitive statement about this idiot as well as this kind of campaigning. And, Congress should have the guts to shut down these 527 groups.

    July 18, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. A. Martinez

    Make sure you take it in context. Also, he was awarded the Medal of HONOR, not Freedom. The Medal of Freedom is for civilians.

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

    CNN do your job. Phil Gramm and Granpa McSame have kissed and made up. Can't wait for America a country of Psychotic Whiners Part II.......

    July 18, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    From the Party of Family Values...........

    July 18, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Roger from CA

    Wow!! Obviously, there was a meeting at McCain HQ last night where they decided that Johnny Boy's declaration of victory in Iraq yesterday might make everyone too warm, fuzzy and safe-feeling to want to vote for a Republican, so they resolved to get out there today and scare the Hell out of everyone about terrorism.

    First Johnny Boy with his warnings of "spectacular" acts of terrorism in Iraq, and now this cretin Bud Day demonizing the entire Muslim world with a broad brush.


    Please, America: Don't fall for it this time!

    July 18, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. totally neutral


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

    The truth hurts

    July 18, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    "the Muslims have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us." McCain, let say it another way.....“The threat we face is from radical Islamic extremism. " It is the same inference, but McCain's verision "DOESN'T" upsedt the Muslim community. Just another aim of practical politics to alarm the populace with a series of hobglobin words.

    July 18, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. judy, Wisconsin

    Can someone please give these people a "surge" of common sense?

    July 18, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. New York Dave

    WOW, McCain puts one of the Swiftboaters on his "truth squad" – and despite the fact McCain is vet and has spoken out against those who would question the military service of our honored veterans! That is just priceless.

    July 18, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. Wake Up People

    To Griff,

    With all do respect, have you ever been to the Middle East? Before you make judgements about others, let us look at the extermists in this country – the Olympic Bomber, the Oklahoma City bombers. They too filled with a "hot bed of anger."

    July 18, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. Typical White Man

    What about what he said is untrue; it is not fear mongering to point out the obvious. Liberals want to ignore the bad men and hope they go away. They tell us not all Muslims are bad, I beleive that is true. Not all Nazi's were bad either but in war there is no way to determine which is which.

    July 18, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Joe the Troll

    "and the Swift Boat attack was totally truthful,"

    Perhaps. I find truth in the notion that being shot down and captured makes you a failure rather than a hero.

    July 18, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. VON BISMARK, Vienna

    America has a bunch of idiots to contend with.mcWAR and his surrogates should eat their heads.

    July 18, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Linda K.

    So is that what "the Muslims" said? Hmm. Over the past twenty-five years I've met thousands of Muslims from all parts of the world and I have never heard one who said that. It's not in the Koran and Muhammad didn't say it, either.

    We have suffered for eight years under the reign of one ignorant administration. Let's learn from our mistakes and not elect another.

    And Mr. Day–Maybe you should actually talk with some real live Muslims and find out what they really say. Just check out your local mosque. I promise they won't bite.

    July 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 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