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. enlightened voter

    Strange, I thought Barry said the surge did work, even though he doesn't support it. I also thought he was brokering a deal (without any authority) to promise Karzai an additional 10k troops. How could that possibly work? Look at the true Barack, there is no change, just taking whatever view is required for political expediency. He just is not the real deal and if he is elected we will surely find that out.

    July 22, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. David in Dallas

    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.

    Obama isn't actually for unconditional withdrawl, but let's set that fact aside for a moment.

    McCain, you want to reward our troops for a job well done?

    Let Iraq vets who want to stay at war go to Afghanistan. And let the rest come home, where they want to be.

    Now that's a better reward for hard work and sacrifice than receiving orders to serve extended tours in war zones.

    July 22, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Angi's mom

    McCain just doesn't get it. This war stunk on Day 1. The American people want out now.

    Thanks, Senator Obama, for bringing sanity to Washington.

    July 22, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Bobbie

    Obama doesn't even have a clue on how to be the Commander in Chief. He is telling you what you want to hear instead of what needs to be done. Wake up Americans before it is too late.

    July 22, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Seven years later and still no OBL. The McWar camp and the GOP wants to make Iraq the 51st state. Take there oil put the Iraq people on reservations and build casinos. And they wonder why the rest of the world does not like us?

    July 22, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. Marguerite, NYC

    McSame's camp has been complaining that the MSM favors Obama – well CNN, you've certainly proved them wrong – all I read on this website is anti-Obama nonsens. I guess my friends and co-workers are right – you've become a an info-tainment center – and it's the same old stories regurgitated over & over – I'd much rather read the laughable comments on politico, at least they're somewhat up to date & PBS is the only true news anyway, but at least MSNBC tries – since you've posted exactly zero of my comments in the past, I doubt you'll post this one, but doesn't matter, I won't be stopping by to read it anyway

    July 22, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Marv...

    How lazy are the American people? We can't read nor listen to the non-political information which is provided each and everyday. McCain’s view of success in the Iraq screw-up is to cover the mistake of the Republican president. If I drove a truck through someone’s house and killed and injured the inhabitants, then stayed there and to fight against those who remain alive in order to defeat them… after I mistakenly destroyed their home.

    How do I measure victory? No one in the house attacked me, so how do I claim victory? What is the measuring stick of success when I was the one who made the mistake?

    How do we measure success in Iraq? Where do we claim victory?

    July 22, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Ian

    I find it funny that Republicans are trying to spin "the surge is working" statement into covering up the fact that they used falsified data and "intelligence" to be in Iraq in the first place. Of course the surge is going to reduce violence, our troops are the best! It does not change the fact that the American people were lied to, there was no reason for us to be in Iraq, and McCain seeks to perpetuate that lie!

    July 22, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Super delegate NJ

    Obamatons, Lets be real guys...all these high profile international visits amount to nothing...ZERO. He is halfway through his trip and yet he still doesn’t look presidential like you all hoped. Obama has real issues in his party to deal with other than put on these media frenzies across the Middle East and Europe. For example we all know that the Democratic Party is split right in the middle no matter how many times you idiots bring out Obama and Hillary wearing the same uniform. You have already lost an election that had your party’s name all over it and trying to demonize Mc Cain’s pick for VP equals the last kicks of a dying hose. The thought of him naming a VP sends chills up your spines WHY???? Please remove the LOG in your eye before you remove the spec in mine.

    Didn’t Obama once tell Hillary that traveling and meeting world leaders does not prepare you for the number one job in this country? By doing the same thing he criticized his opponent for isn’t it politics as usual or is it disguising the inexperience in him? America, do not trust this guy

    July 22, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Obama to the rescue 08/12

    McWar is like a stuck record or a parrot take your pick he keeps repeating same lies he is a blank slate he flip- flops lies,brags what he did and he did nothing just lies .
    Mr.Town Hall is jealous desperate what an old fool you might say he is running scared but the truth is HE CAN"T RUN .

    Senile -Nearing the end of an erosion cycle .
    Senility-Feebleness of body /mind caused by old age.

    Hey that sounds like McLooser that is running for president

    July 22, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Heather Wilson? Ya that loser will really help McBush in his pathetic campaign. Even with Domenici's personal attention and support, Wilson lost big time in the New Mexico primary. Losers advising losers... just a continuation of the Bush regime.

    July 22, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. TEXAN

    Unconditional withdrawal or stay until a victory ??? This is something that each and every American has to ask themselves. Then, vote for what you really believe in. Must admit that I admire Obama for "sticking to his guns" and not letting anyone pressure him. I am sure that if he sees or feels anything to the contrary of his stance, he will change his mind. He is not afraid to do so. He has the best interest for our country in his heart. This is a sign of a true President !

    July 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. ber6964

    Vote for Intelligence....Vote Obamba................

    July 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. JML

    The war was a mistake in the first place...Obama was right on that. Everything else is just an exit strategy.

    July 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. R.I.F.

    Once again, I thought McCain was supposed to be focused on the Economy this week. What a horribly run campaign. McCain had an opening this week to talk about Issue #1 – The Economy all by himself but instead he focuses on attacking Obama as usual. What an idiot. He's making himself look like a chump. This stragety of not focusing on your on ideas but just bashing your opponent is a sure fire way to lose this fall. People want solutions not Rove-Bush style attacks.

    July 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Omar C. Baez

    Obama speaks to the realities on the ground while McCain speaks to the realities flying around in his head.

    If the surge has been successfull and we have succeeded in Iraq, why can't the troops leave?

    Is it because we have all of the contractors with their no-bid contracts and big money being awarded?!

    Is it because we want to steal as much of Iraq's oil as possible before we leave?!!

    Again if the surge has succeeded and if I remember everyone saying (Bush and McCain) "when the Iraqis ask us to leave we will" why can't our troops come home?

    These are questions CNN won't ask.

    Again here's the checklist

    1. Surge Succeeded – Answer – Yes
    2. Iraqis want a timeline for withdrawal by 2010 – Matches Obama's plan.
    3. Iraqis asking us to leave – Answer – Yes

    So why are we still there?


    July 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Anon

    Hey CNN how about some basic reporting.. like how Obama has never said withdrawal will be unconditional?

    July 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Hillary Backer for McCain

    No to Bobby Jindul NO NO NO
    We need a traditional conservative like Romney who is a morman so you know he is ethical.

    July 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Billy

    These stories are getting old. If the networks want to keep us interested, they need to find something different than "McCain attacks Obama."

    Is it Nov yet?

    July 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Steve From Dallas

    Obama just does not get it....

    Weak man... would make a weak President.

    God help us.

    July 22, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. Dave, Illinois

    Obama just cannot deflate his ego enough to admit he was wrong. Why should he? His sheep will follow him no matter what the facts are. Just read the idiotic Obamite posts on these blogs. Sounds like a good portion of them get their news from MTV, The Daily Show, or MoveON.org.

    July 22, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. dan

    can someone tell me what exactly victory is in Iraq?

    We invaded this naiton, who did not attack us, lost nearly 5,000 good men and women, and droven ourselves into ridiculous debt that has helped destroy our economy.

    What is Victory? Why cant McCain tell us what Victory is? Who is REALLY the "empty suit" with no substance?

    July 22, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Obama wants a surge in Afghanistan, I wonder where he got that idea.

    July 22, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Liz from Atlanta, GA

    Didn't we pay off our enemies over there to make sure the surge would "appear" to work? Who can educate me on that?

    Obama '08

    July 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. wdnsday

    I'd like to see what McCain really means when he says that the surge is "working." Is it? Have we come any closer to stabilizing the situation? Or have we just put more Americans in a country where we never belonged in the first place, increasing the likelihood of American casualties (which, by the way, is exactly what happened – troop numbers surged, death numbers surged)?


    July 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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