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. Matt

    McCain is the biggest threat to the United States and the World.
    And to Griff, Arabs don't want what you have, they want us to leave them alone. They want peace and not an invasion of their nations by a people that don't believe they way they do.

    July 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Dan

    Oh and lets not forget that Oslama is NOT going to pull the troops out of the middle-east, just move them over to another country. Can you say the 3rd war with the middle-east?

    July 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. A. Boston, MA

    THE OLE BOY NETWORK AT IT AGAIN.

    FEAR MONGERING THEIR WAY TO THE PRESIDENCY..

    THESE GUYS ARE ACTUALLY COMICAL.

    A BUNCH OF GRANDPA'S STUCK IN THEIR WAYS.

    OBAMA 08

    A FRESH BREATH...

    July 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Brandon

    If Obama made any of the multiple errors that have come out of the McCain campaign this week it would be repeatedly blasted into our living rooms on a continuous loop. McCain should stop complaining about the press paying more attention to Obama. If anyone was paying attention to his campaign they would realize it is a complete mess, just like how the republicans our leaving our great nation after 8 years of incompetant rule. Its time for someone new to takeover.

    July 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Joe Regis

    Impossible for the repubs to tackle the issues. Why?
    Because they have failed.
    Now they are spreading fear and scare tactics on a grand scale.
    When all else failed for the repubs, fear is the only motivating factor that lead to hate and demonizing your opponents.

    But I am doubtfull it will work this time, not after the last 8 years of the repubs rule. No more repubs this year.

    Go Obama go.

    Obama 08 & 12.

    July 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Nicole in NE

    Oh, just so all of you know......there is a difference between Muslims and radical Islamic terrorists. Of course uneducated people do not believe this.
    There are thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens that were killed in this war as well.

    But unfortunately, most of our society believes our lives are more important than theirs because they are Muslim. sad – so sad

    July 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. THE O

    Is everyone connected with the mccain camp, as old as dirt??? And do they have any inspring to say, maybe something uplifting for the country, something to move this country in a new direction??

    PS...
    That picture looks like an ad for a retirement home.

    BARACK THE VOTE!!!!!!!!
    BARACK / SEBELIUS 08

    July 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. jason, tx

    Gotta love the Republicans.... haha

    July 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. PJW

    One can hardly expect someone behind the Swift Boat slander to be truthful about anything. The only question I have is: do these people simply believe their own lies as soon as they spout them, or do they actually realize that they are lying through their teeth about absolutely everything?

    July 18, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Pick Me! Pick Me!

    A more fitting name for them should be:

    Swift Boat Veterans for the killing of truth.

    Sorry guys, I appreciate your service to the country but, you don't nor have you ever spoken for this vet.

    July 18, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. SPARKY

    McCain and Day: Please shut up. You're giving us old people a bad name.

    July 18, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Ed from Florida

    Freedom of speech is no longer a right. Must we continue to bow down to political correctness? Next we will have to bow to Muslims if someone does not take a stand. GOD Bless Bud Day!!!!!

    July 18, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. patman

    Seems like birds of a feather do flock (and grow terribly senile) together.

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

    What's wrong with people speaking their minds, obama supporters? The last time I checked we still have freedom of speech, but if Obama gets elected im sure that right will be taked away from us.

    July 18, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Ms. RDS

    @Dan, apparently you don't read b/c this is what the article 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.

    Which means good ol Bud didn't say this, the McCain campaign issued this statement after the orginal statements had been made 8)

    July 18, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. TomfromIowa

    McCain also said that we can expect hundreds of wonderful suicide bombers to attack and the damage from the explosions will be lovely. Most pressingly though, McCain called for stupendous efforts to fight off these phenomenal terrorists.

    It's good to see McCain is using the Word-A-Day calendar I gave him for the 4th of July.

    July 18, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. jermaine

    America goes from one race to another when it comes to racism. We need to stop the ignorance and unite under a real Christian country, Muslims in Iraq never did anything to us. I am tired of Bush and Mccain we need to out these fools and have 16 years of Democrat control with Barack and Hillary. Let's Roll

    July 18, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Bill From Ky.

    He speaks the TRUTH! America better wake up and smell the camel dung before it's too late.

    July 18, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Eric

    He's trying to get the uneducated ignorant narrow minded white vote. Hate everyone who's not a straight gun toting white person.

    July 18, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Vernon

    LOL.............I know I shouldn't be laughing at this old guy but is he serious?..........McCain's old war buddy was joking,right?

    July 18, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Rick

    If Obama the former playground supervisor gets elected we'll all be issued prayer rugs anyway.

    July 18, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. M. I.

    This is real fearmongering by extremists who are desperate and will say anything to willify muslims and get votes, McCain should condemn this statement but then he may like it so he can please people like Haggie

    July 18, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Diing in Washington

    When did the Muslims say that "We kneel or they are going to kill us?"; and where was it said?. Was it said by all the Muslims? Just curious.

    July 18, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Your Conscience

    Devoid of ideas or real solutions FEAR CURD is a staple for the ignorant sheeple base of the Reich Wing.

    So Impotent
    So incompetent
    So Irrelevant

    July 18, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. JH

    what good can you expect from this idiot???

    July 18, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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