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. KP

    Will somebody get this old bird off the stage?

    July 18, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Florida democrat

    exaggerating the truth is a lie
    misrepresenting oneself as an 'expert' is a lie
    taking comments out of context is a lie

    this idiot is doing all of the above

    however, i think we know there are enough stupid Americans that will believe him and that will vote because of what he says

    July 18, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. It Be Me

    wow....busy day for McCain....
    To bad none of it is good....

    how can ANYONE actually vote for this person......

    somewhere, there is a village missing their idiot......from the looks of things, there are several.....

    July 18, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    This Is Another Sign Of A Dying Mccain Campaign!

    July 18, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. White woman scientist for Obama

    Really tired of seeing people dealing with the world using their prejudice and global ingnorance instead of with their brains. Can't wait for some people of intelligence to represent the United States in the world.

    July 18, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Joe

    "The Muslims have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us." - Bud Day “The threat we face is from radical Islamic extremism," is the clarification from McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb.
    TGIF! Happy Hour must have come early today for the McCain talking heads or they are indeed morons. Bud makes up a statement, a McCain communicator re-frames the fabrication, and that is continuing saga of the McLame campaign. It never offers hope or solutions just criticism and sarcasm. Grumpy old men need not occupy the White House.

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

    A campaign that is made up of old people what do u expect?
    Mcsame = Old Man
    Charlie Black= Old Man
    Budd= another Old man

    These people need a to take some meds.

    July 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Mike - Texas

    He is just stating what the muslim extremists said in2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 and again in early 2008.

    Nothing new here.

    If you don't believe me, then do a little research.

    July 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Pete

    I'm all for Obama and I would vote for Ghengis Khan before I would ever again vote for a republican, however there is much more in the Koran about killing infidels, (non muslims) than there is about getting along with them. There is some truth to Days comment this time.

    July 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. blaising

    July18, 2008
    ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports from Capitol Hill:

    The McCain campaign criticism of Sen. Barack Obama’s hearing record on Capitol Hill led us to put the shoe on the other foot.
    It turns out that presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain, has attended even fewer Afghanistan-related Senate hearings over the past two years than Obama’s one. Which is a nice way of saying, McCain, R-Ariz., the top Republican on the Senate Armed Service Committee, has attended zero of his committee’s six hearings on Afghanistan over the last two years.

    Move over McCombover...let REAL MEN take over!!!

    July 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Steven

    Such an ignorant thing to say. I guess these guys don't mind insulting the very Iraqis they must depend on for their failed policies in Iraq to have any hope.

    July 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. DflateMacsStr8TalkXpress: Econ MIA, AWOL on facts, POW from reality

    Yes, let's keep giving McCain, his surrogates and the rest of the dirty bunch more media coverage so that we are more aware than we already are how inept, misguided and unqualified they are for anything but the next remake of Walt Disney's "The Apple Dumpling Gang".

    July 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Kevin

    Obama a practicing Christian is also not advocating that we kneel before Muslims. John Maccain has become so desperate now that Obama is going away briefly. he has stepped up his negative attacks.

    July 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Mattk

    I AM FED UP WITH HATE AND FEAR MONGERING. THE PEOPLE THAT SPOUT THESE LIES AND HATE NEED TO STOP RUINING THE UNITED STATES!

    July 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. Michelle, PA

    Talk about out of touch old-timers still running the last campaign! Not this year, my Swift Boat Buddy. Retire in peace and QUIET, you've earned it.

    July 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Mary

    How unfortunate that he is spending his golden years in a cloud of ignorance, hate and fear.

    July 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. THE ONLY DEM who can lose in NOV

    I agree.

    Who wants to live under a theocracy? Obama?

    Who wants sharia law?

    Who gets upset at political cartoons?

    July 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Love My USA

    I speak for myself, and I will not kneel for any country or man on earth. Iwill saulte the flag of the USA, and I will praise our son's daughters and ask God to watch over them. AMEN

    July 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Orange

    Well Radical Islamic Extremists did fly planes into the Twin Towers, or is my believing that it was not our goverment include me in the low informed, racially prejudiced and ignorant Americans that should not be allowed to vote in Election 08.

    July 18, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Tim, Seattle

    These old men and their fading glory need to go away. In a few years, their ilk will be off the planet and a new generation can bury their outdated ideas and cold war rhetoric.
    Their time is over.
    A new generation is rising without their bigotory and penchant to promote fear.
    There way of life as they idealized it in the1950's is over and they dont like it.
    Tough

    July 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Chris, Denver CO

    This is what you get with the Republicans....fear, hate, lies, hypocrisy. I hope the voters are paying attention.

    July 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. ANGIE

    Oh my god HERE WE GO AGAIN FEAR FEAR FEAR listen up america most of you voted for bush out of fear dont make the same mistake again and yes you should be in fear if you vote mccain because we would probabaly end up in ww3 wake up america their starting in vote obama 08 for peace and prosperity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Linda31

    From someone who has known McCain for a very long time. Is that what he thinks of all Muslims? Because not all Muslims are like those we are fighting and it is very dangerous to group people together.

    July 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Brad

    If the McCain campaign thinks this sort of strategy will win in November, it is very misguided. McCain got the nomination becasue he was seen as more level headed and in touch with the concerns of voters. After he gets the nomination he reverts to Rove-style tactics? If he keeps it up until November, he has no shot.

    July 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Kell Ca

    wow its seems everyday, someone in the McCain camp says something totally ignorant. People get a clue, what you are seeing is the real deal here. Same on crap...just like Bush.

    no more.

    Barack Obama for President of the United (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist and whomever) States of America!

    One America!

    July 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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