July 22nd, 2008
02:55 PM ET
11 years ago

Rep. Wilson calls Obama 'frighteningly inexperienced'

Rep. Heather Wilson, a surrogate for John McCain, called Obama 'frighteningly inexperienced.'

Rep. Heather Wilson, a surrogate for John McCain, called Obama 'frighteningly inexperienced.'

(CNN) - A leading surrogate for John McCain called Barack Obama "frighteningly inexperienced" Tuesday, the latest effort from the Arizona senator's presidential campaign to step up its criticism of the Democratic presidential candidate while he travels abroad.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Rep. Heather Wilson, R-New Mexico, sharply criticized Obama and his presidential campaign for suggesting the Iraqi government had endorsed his timetable for withdrawal from the war-torn country.

"He's not listening to the whole of what the Iraqi government was saying - he's hearing what he wanted to hear and what he thought would help him politically, which get backs to Senator Obama as a candidate for the presidency," Wilson said. "He has his finger in the wind, trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing, and he is not leading.

"He is no way sophisticated enough, I don't think - I mean he is frighteningly inexperienced when it comes to international affairs and national security policy," she added. "And he heard what he wanted to hear from the Iraqi government, without any context around it, and took that simple message and decided it helped him politically. That's the antitheses of what we should expect from a president of the United States."

Listen: Wilson slams Obama on conference call (15:15)

Wilson's comments come after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was quoted in German newspaper appearing to suggest he supported Obama's 16-month timetable for withdrawal from the country. Top Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice said the campaign welcomed the comments, though Maliki's office letter dialed back from them.

Speaking on the same conference call as Wilson, McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann said the Iraqi government has made clear any timetable should be tied to conditions on the ground.

"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued improvement of the security situation and the continuing improvement in the capability of Iraqi security forces to provide for their own security,"


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. Tony

    NADER FOR DICTATOR 2008!

    July 22, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Republicans = Fear

    July 22, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. Saad from NJ

    Sometimes inexperience can be a good thing... Look at how much experience Chaney has..... I don't know about others but that's frightening to me. In fact so frightening that I am sitting outside in 90 degrees and I am shivering....

    July 22, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Scott, NY NY

    What's frightening is to imagine McCain as President.

    July 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Didn’t Hitler occupy must of Europe for fascist expansion?

    Didn’t USSR occupy Eastern European Countries for political reasons?

    Didn’t Sadam occupy Kuwait for oil?

    So my question is this to the McWar Camp and the GOP; are we the United States occupying Iraq? They do not want us there and the McWar and the GOP are not listening to the Iraqi people and there leaders. So what are the reasons for our occupation in Iraq’ according to McWar and the GOP? I never thought the US would take this approach for expansion of democracy, political gain and for oil. It will be a sad day in America if we continue to force our values and ideology on this country.

    July 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Grog in Ohio

    >>"He's not listening to the whole of what the Iraqi government was saying — he's hearing what he wanted to hear..."<<

    Wow... that sounds remarkably like the current president! Does Rep. Wilson suffer from selective amnesia?

    182 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    July 22, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Judgement over Experience

    Yeah sweetie, keep spouting those same repug lies while your boy mccain shows how wrong he's been on the war, the surge, foreign policy and the economy not to mention his continuous exit of campaign staffers. It takes judgement, not so called 'experience'. GWB had 'experience'. Enough said.

    July 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Krissy

    She obviously hasn't listened to McCain on foreign relations! He keeps referring to countries that don't exist, borders that don't exist, and incredibly simplistic views of the surge and Iraq.

    So far McCain and the Bush adminstration have followed Obama on Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq. What is next?

    July 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Jeff Long

    If Obama spits into the wind, its just going to land right back on his face.

    Substance over Hype!! McCain '08

    July 22, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Didn’t Hitler occupy must of Europe for fascist expansion?

    Didn’t USSR occupy Eastern European Countries for political reasons?

    Didn’t Saddam occupy Kuwait for oil?

    So my question is this to the McWar Camp and the GOP; are we the United States occupying Iraq? They do not want us there and the McWar and the GOP are not listening to the Iraqi people and there leaders. So what are the reasons for our occupation in Iraq’ according to McWar and the GOP? I never thought the US would take this approach for expansion of democracy, political gain and for oil. It will be a sad day in America if we continue to force our values and ideology on this country.

    July 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Rob

    So the day after a poll comes out wherein more people think the media is biased to Obama, CNN lines up story after story of every nasty thing being said about him, whereas al-Maliki's statement doesn't even mention a story, only a footnote!

    CNN, I'm a big fan, but don't blow in the wind like this!

    July 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    Yawn.

    July 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    wow... that's a new claim.... really... How dirty these Repubs got once Obama left the U.S.... Hmmmm makes you wonder.... & could they get someone other than that "soccer-mom/saggy-baggy-lady" to say this?

    -V

    July 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Willow, from Iowa

    Yes, its amazing how Iraqis, and even the Republicans are doing now what Obama said to do all along. He's about as inexperienced as Robert Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. He's probably more experienced than they are, since he was in the IL state legislature for awhile too.

    McCain is beginning to be totally negative in his campaign. He needs to begin talking about the issues and what HE wants to do, not what someone else is doing. His negative campaign is going to hurt him in the long run.

    July 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. a southern bell for OBAMA

    WELL WE DO KNOW MCCLUELESS IS AN EXPERIENCED

    MORON, WARMONGER, IMBECILE, BIGOT, LIER & THIEF.

    TRUE, OBAMA HAS NONE OF THAT EXPERIENCE.

    July 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Haters

    I don't care what you think.

    July 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. MLMitchell- Baltimore,Md.

    the clock is ticking, ole johnnie and his crew are really getting desperate, they really don't have a clue, I hoped the GOP would have known by now what a flawed candidate they have in ol johnnie...............WOW!

    Obama/Biden 08

    July 22, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. JA Cook

    The McCain campaign is a campaign of whiners.

    Nothing but negative spew. They're clearly the Republicans.

    July 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Krissy

    Obama has NEVER said that withdrawl would be regardless of conditions on the ground. McCain and his surrogates try to misrepresent Obama in this area, because lying is their only hope.

    When America realizes that Obama has a very nuanced understanding of international relations, we will all be safer for it.

    July 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Concerned Citizen, IN

    And I'm sure Rep Heather Wilson from New Mexico is an expert on foreign affairs herself.

    July 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Anything to draw attention away

    The McCain camp will do anything to draw the attention away from Obama. It wasn't an American news article that quoted the president talking about a timeline it was several international papers. Why try and blame Obama for something the man obviously said.

    July 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. David E

    Let the Grand Oil Party's fear mongering begin

    July 22, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Phantom of the Oprah

    But Obama reminds people- who weren't born when JFK and MLK were here- of those TRUE leaders.

    And adults who know better, allowed themselves to be influenced by the enthusiasm of their kids and grandkids and fell for the demagogue hyped as the ROCK superstar, American Idol.

    Now the adults feel remorse for being swayed by the kiddies.

    July 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. The Bu

    And I call John McCain "frighteningly" old! So, I guess that evens this race out, huh?

    July 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. Susan

    Bot the Republicans just like to beat a horse to death, don't they? The problem is we are not buying what they are selling. Not anymore! OBAMA 08!

    July 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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