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. CMSgt Preston

    Who is going to protect the "Truth" from these "Truth Squads." They did a filthy hatchet job on Sen Kerry's military record now they are trying to scare up more rants and ravings. I'm a retired military vet and these guys shame me. Now naturally I'm not as old as these crypt keepers are but I'm white and I have two sons in the military with three tours in Iraq between them. I was in during the first Persian Gulf War, stationed in Saudi. These old jet jocks during Vietnam (I was also in during Vietnam) are kind of clueless as to the Middle East, or even a sense of fair play. It really is dispicable for any military vet to cast dispersions on another military vets career as long as they were both awarded honorable discharges. Military service being denigrated for political advantage is the same horror to me as someone burning the American Flag. Lower than low!

    July 18, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Educated and Insightful

    Do you "Arab Haters" not realize that the Muslim and Christian religions are extremely similar on many different levels, and that is why the extremists are so at odds over who is right and who is wrong? They are essentially the same religion, only one of them became the strongest after the Crusades and the other did not, which is why Christianity is the "popular" religion. It won out. Read your History people

    July 18, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. VB

    Not a surprising comment from the party of the 19th century

    July 18, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Tony

    WAKE THE HELL UP AMERICA!!!!!

    John McCain can distance himself or denounce the comments made by his friends, but make NO MISTAKE that these are his friends adn they are only saying what McCain cannot say himself if he has any hope of getting elected in November.

    DO NOT BE FOOLED that he does not believe the same as they do. If he were not a candidate he would be saying it himself. BUSH and McCain......one and the same.

    McCain is no less dangerous, even more so, because he has a brain.

    July 18, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. JIM...TX

    This guys older an dumber than McCain...Now thats something. Are we scared now.....

    July 18, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Kentucky

    Are we now scared to even speak the truth? Are we supposed to make everyone happy or not speak?
    Can anyone imagine an Obama Presidency when everyone is scared to say anything? Good Grief!

    July 18, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Jack S

    Isn't it great that old people should just go away? You people are scary!

    July 18, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Jim

    Typical FEAR MONGER politics. America, I have one question: will you continue to elect your leaders based solely on FEAR based on untrue propaganda? Show some backbone people.

    July 18, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. NewYorker Magazine Rocks

    You really have to wonder if some of these Obama supporters weren't also dancing in the streets right after 9/11.

    July 18, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Tim

    What is this, "Fear Friday"? First McCain talking about spectacular attacks during the election, now this windbag telling us all muslims want to kill us. Talk about what really matters, like how I'm going to be paying off my student loans for the next 30 years just so I could get a decent job.

    July 18, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Phantom of the Oprah

    Isn't that true?

    Don't radical Islamist extremists clearly state that?

    You know... death to America. Death to the great Satan.... anyone who is NOT Muslim is an infedel...

    Did they NOT state that they would bring us down in Iraq?

    Theocracy is NEVER the way.

    Church and State MUST be kept separate.

    Who wants Islamic rule, Sharia Law, and brutally enforced worship of a certain God in a certain way by ALL of humanity?

    Not this true democrat for liberty and freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

    Obama seems willing to abandon both just so HE can be the Supreme Leader- after all he is infallible and has perfect judgement.

    July 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Zelda

    these people just NEED to hate someone – get over it. It a rediculous statement to say "the Muslims" anything. Not all Muslims are the same. Idiot!

    July 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Texans for Obama

    Wow! This is an old angry geezer. This Former retired colonel is very ignorant. What do you expect from someone his age. All Muslims are not terrorists. My God, he is back in the sixties like his comrade John McCain. Obama is not going to have to say anything else. McCain and his "good ole boys" big mouths are going to lose the election for him. All these grampa men need to shut-up with their superior than thou selves! Please CNN, do not post another old geezer comment from these senile men.

    July 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Super delegate NJ

    The Obamatons breathing fire right now should go to Iraq or any other Middle East country and see and hear for yourselves how much we are liked or disliked over there. What a naive lot.

    July 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Edith Arkansas

    McCain mistakes are becoming over the top. Another thing can McCain make a speech pointing out his plan without attacking Presidental Elect Barack Obama. Today McCain is attacking Obama's plan to take a trip to Iraq and the other countries. McCain is using pshycology by repeating himself 2 -3 times a pshycology used on the minds of people to get the brainwash or point to stick. Now my opinion of McCain about the trip is that he should of took the high road in congratulating Obama's efforts. McCain seem to never take the high road instead he come of as a god attacking everything Obama attempt to do. He's DAM IF HE DO OR DAM IF HE DON'T. What a ignorant Senator!!!!!!!!! OBAMA JAN. 20, 09.

    July 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Twinkle Toes Mulligan

    Old fools.

    July 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. James Hussein, SC

    Muslims are bad people out to get us. Yet, it was a Christain President that lead a Christian army that caused the death of over 800,000 Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan alone.

    Bud Day is right. All those Muslims in Vietnam held him as a POW.

    Thousands of Turks died in Korea with the Christians.

    AND it is a Muslim in Saudi A. that our good old President goes to every year and kisses his face.

    July 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Psbro

    PLEASE PLEASE do not apologize either Sen McCain or Mr. Day. I am soooooooooooooooooo sick & tired of everybody apologizing for any & everything that the media makes into an Obama insult I could just spit. Obama apologizes for nothing & neither should McCain.

    July 18, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. PUMA/ McSame

    PUMA people where are you? You will fit in good with your new party. Both of you are full of HATE.
    Obama08 with or without the PUMA people

    July 18, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    YOU DONT SCARE ME! . . . YOU IDIOT!

    July 18, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Seam, Philly PA

    The Straight "Fear" Talk Express coming to a town near you.

    July 18, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Becky

    McCain's campaign is failing! And that's OK with me.

    July 18, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Voice of Reason

    Its time for this guy to be with God. He needs to learn more about love and brotherhood. Muslims don't say these things.........the fanatics (Mr. Bud Day and his "truth squad, swift boat veterans" are included in this group) say and spread hate/fear.

    July 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. 24 male independent

    THE NUMBERS THAT COUNT!!!

    Election 2008...................... Obama...McCain.........Spread..........................
    RCP National Average.......45.9.........41.8...............Obama +4.1................
    Favorable Ratings.............+22.6 ......+18.3..............Obama+4.3................

    Electoral College ...............Obama....McCain........Toss Ups
    RCP Electoral Count..........255............163..................120............................
    No Toss Up States.............322............216.....................................................

    Battleground States..........Obama....McCain...........Spread
    Colorado..............................46.3............42.7.............Obama +3.6................
    Virginia.................................47.7............46.7.............Obama +1.0................
    Missouri...............................45.0............47.5.............McCain +2.5................
    Michigan..............................48.7............41.0..............Obama +7.7................
    Ohio.......................................47.3...........42.8..............Obama +4.5...............
    New Jersey.........................47.0............38.5..............Obama +8.5................

    July 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Thomas, Illinois

    hurry-up debates..

    July 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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