July 22nd, 2008
12:07 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain camp hammers Obama press conference


Watch McCain slam Obama on Iraq.

(CNN) - After Barack Obama spoke out against the surge again Tuesday, John McCain's campaign responded by repeating athe charge that the Illinois senator favors “unconditional withdrawal.”

Earlier: Obama: Stability in hands of Iraqis

“By continuing his opposition to the surge strategy long after it has proven successful and by admitting that his plan for withdrawal places him at odds with General David Patraeus, Barack Obama has made clear that his goal remains unconditional withdrawal rather than securing the victory our troops have earned and the surge has made possible," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said.

The McCain campaign is also conducting a conference call with Rep. Heather Wilson, Sen. Sam Brownback, and McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann to keep up the pressure on Obama.

Listen: McCain surrogates target Obama over his Iraq policy

UPDATE: McCain himself also took a swipe at Obama over his Iraq policy at a New Hampshire town hall Tuesday.

"You might recall that Senator Obama, my opponent, said the surge would not succeed, that he wanted us out. If he had his way, we'd been out last March. .. We would have had defeat," he said. "And my friends, that would have been a catastrophe for the United States of America. He was wrong then, he's wrong now and he still failed to acknowledge that the surge succeeded ... remarkable, remarkable. "

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Democracy itself over loyalty to democratic party

    Another example of that perfect judgement we keep hearing about.

    The Obama Cult will miss my sarcasm.

    They are unable of independent thought. The Obama campaign has told them to march to whatever tune he's playing.

    July 22, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. SAGG

    Pffft. Same ol' McCain whining. First, McCain rides Obama to go, then he rides Obama when he does go. McCain wants to try and keep the "pressure" on Obama, putting Obama on the defensive. Thing is, the Iraqis seem to favoring Obama's idea of getting out more than McCain's of staying there for awhile. Even Bush agreed to a "Time Horizon", which is another fancy term for a time benchmark. McCain's looking more and more isolated, and that's angering or frustrating him and his followers. So far, Obama's smelling like a rose (he even hit a three-point shot in a gym in front of the troops), and this is getting to McCain. He's even reported to be possibly announcing a running mate while Obama's overseas just to try and take away some of Obama's momentum. Johnny, I'd wait if I were you, say until right after the Dems convention. If this is true, and I'm not saying that it is, you'll need all the help you can get. Obama just might trump your VP choice if he gives a rousing speech in Berlin later this week...

    July 22, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. Linda. Boston, MA

    Everybody needs to take a step back and look at John McCain's arguments. He is obsessed – completely – with "victory & honor." Yet, he can't even define what victory in Iraq means. McCain was shot down, captured, and beaten in the only war he's ever fought in. And ultimately, we did NOT win that war. John McCain, while his courage and commitment is worthy of our praise, LOST to the enemy. It's clear now that his policies towards Iraq are based on a need for revenge. He needs to make someone pay for his suffering, and he needs a devastating "victory" to vindicate himself. This has blinded him to the realities of the situation in Iraq. If it were up to him, he'd send troop after troop to continue to die until he achieves his own twisted, emotionally disturbed sense of victory. When he said last week "I know how to win wars! I know how to win!" it sounded more like he was trying to convince himself of that. Because he's never won one. And this is what's driving his foreign policy – he is, unfortunately, in a war-mongering state of mind due to his POW experience.

    July 22, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Mark

    I smell D E S P E R A T I O N !

    July 22, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. steve

    Hey Mike; McCain can't retire. He already has and is collecting his Social Security check. Check it out.

    July 22, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. MurphyMorseJohnson

    "Unconditional withdrawal" is simply a McMain-made label. We have a better label. The Cheneys, Rumsfelds, Bushes, McCains and placed America's focus in Iraq. It has cost the United States countless loss of lives, trillions of dollars and still, no bin Laden. If these Republican hacks were selling us goods in the private sector, we would all be entitled to a refund for false advertising and incompetence.

    July 22, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. Hakim

    First of all Obama in the press conference (which I did watch in its entirety, never said "unconditional withdrawal". Most importantly the McCain really thinks this strategy of highlighting the greatness of the surge is going to work. Which it will not. The surge was one of the parts of things that has "reduced" violence, NOT ELIMINATED THE VIOLENCE. Things have improved from a once extremely dire sitiuation but the violence hasn't been eliminated. McCain at some point will need to come with ideas, it seems as if he has none, which is why the NYT didn't publish his article. Show some thought, intelligence McCain, vs. all we see from you is the ability to put out inaccrurate press releases. I also love the way you are choosing to try to hammer while he is overseas. I actually can't wait until he gets back from being Presidential to put McCain in his place. Most importantly how about the fact we shouldn't have have even gone to Iraq in the first place. The last of the surge forces left this month for those who didn't know, so the surge is over so we'll pray the status quo keeps things in place. GO OBAMA!

    July 22, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. morefromLA

    This is the McCain Straight Talk Express straight over the cliff kicking and screaming all the way down without good judgement (supporting the invasion of Iraq; welcoming a role for Dick Cheney in his administration) to break his fall.

    July 22, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. PUMA - Murphy

    You know, McCain could flip-flop on his stance. I think it's safe to say that the majority of American's want out of Iraq. 5 years was enough and it looks like this is going to go on for another 2 years. How much time is needed to get the job done?

    As a founding member of PUMA I can say that McCain is going to need to do some recovery work on his campaign to sway us PUMA folks over. At this point, though still early, I would indeed vote for Obama over McCain or a 3rd party.

    July 22, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Selena , Canada

    To visit the troops in Iraq and then state publicly that the surge didn't work is a big slap in the face of every soldier that has given his life or is still risking his life out there.
    It is shameful and shows great stupidity to make such statements.
    Somebody should remind Obama that he is still a junior Senator and on a fact finding tour only.
    Obama is a power hungry opportunist and everything has to revolve about him.
    When is America going to wake up from their Obamarama coma..??

    July 22, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Has anyone ever notice the McWar campaign does nothing but criticize and complain about everything. No new ideas, no positive message, just criticize and complain. They must wake up everyday and have there morning meetings and say ok guys what can we criticize and complain about today. These guys must be angry old men that are suffering from ERD. How does Cindy Mcwar live with this guy, I give her credit for hanging in there. God Bless Her.

    McCain; criticize and complain, criticize and complain, criticize and complain, criticize and complain, criticize and complain, criticize and complain. If the MSM counts how many times McWar puts; out a negative messages to the public it must be a 50 to 1 ratio.

    Mcwar try to come up with a positive message, please.

    July 22, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. ProudToBeDemocrat

    The McCain camp are stressed out they do know what to do anymore. You do not hear from Obama camp any false accusation. Karl Rove tactic is outdated it is not going to work this time give it up repulicans.

    July 22, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. judy, Wisconsin

    These are the most jealous bunch of whiners. McCain originally said the Iraq war, which had nothing to do with 9/11 would be quick and simple before it started (he's on video, go check). The "surge" has lessoned the violence, so start getting out as the Iraq-but no, they went in for the oil (which was supposed to pay for the war), so they aren't getting out ever. Obama has shown humility and strength over there in contrast to the geography gaffs and other gaffs by McCain who is showing progressive signs of dementia. Dems, independents, and common sense Republicans UNITE!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. marge

    How sad, our choices for president is either an ego-maniac or a very tired old man...I'm staying home..

    July 22, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Truth B Told

    President Bush said years ago "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" Ok so now years later and counting you still want to surge more? More Failed Policy, over and over again...

    Obama 08

    "Republicans can't handle the TRUTH"

    You Failed our country!!!

    Some Failed as an Oil Man!
    Some Failed as an MLB Team Owner!
    Some Failed as The President of the United States!
    Some have the Seal of Approval for a Pro Alcholic Beverage Drinker!

    July 22, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Stephan - FL

    A victory isn't for the troops. It's for the civilians. And the troops know that

    July 22, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. jet paul in memphis

    selected not elected you are the biggest foool that do not have a clue what you are talking about.racist foool where is the flip flop foool

    July 22, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Tanya

    To withdraw?! You mean stop flushing down billion dollars a day that, oh by the way, we borrowed from communist China?
    Perhaps spend this money at home to improve lives of American people?

    Oh no, that would be so unpatriotic!

    July 22, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Dude

    the first poster proclaimed, "Shows what a presumptuous, self-serving arrogant fool Obama is."
    How is bringing our troops home after seven years and giving Iraq their identity back self-serving? Critics of Barack state that he is too "inexperienced" to be our Prez, then, when he shows initiative and exhibits presidential actions and qualities, he is presumptuous and arrogant.

    July 22, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. rw

    Didn't he do all this as a US Senator, by confining withing the limits of US Senator; isn't this signed by other US Senator also; I think he didnt cross the line; as a US Senator, McCain was allowed to say along with Joe Lieberman almost the opposite; why is Obama not allowed to say what McCain/GOP doesnt want to hear ?

    July 22, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Debra, Alton

    McCain is desperate!! The bottom line is every country is ready to pull their troops. The surge is working! The surge is working! The surge is working! WE HEAR YOU! WE KNOW THE SURGE IS WORKING!

    BUT ITS TIME TO MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Adam, Los Angeles

    Just because it worked, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do!

    July 22, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Binh

    I'm still curious.. What EXACTLY is McCain referring to when he's talking about America winning? What's there to win? Oil fields?

    July 22, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    The pressure isn't on Obama...someone need to put a tournequette on McSame's campaign: it's bleeding b.s. and will be on life support soon...

    July 22, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Ken

    McCain hammering Obama? That's like saying the weak-minded neo-nuggets that post on here are hammering me. Quite unlike hammering, putting up with the illogical and fact-challenged 'arguments' of neo-wingers is like taking a walk in a light mist - the smallest of precautions is more than sufficient to protect oneself from the unpleasantness.

    McCain is a political joke and so are his followers...most of his followers have proven that by their willingness to vote for FAILURE and INCOMPETENCE in the last two presidential elections. Having not learned their lesson, they would continue to distress this country by making yet another mistake at the polls.

    July 22, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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