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"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued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. Mike

    Bush. Cheney. Rumsfeld.

    Yeah...if that's what 'experience' brings to the table, then my vote is overwhelmingly for 'inexperience' in '08...

    Go Obama!

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Donna

    I don't know about everyone, I am getting real tired of the Republican Party being taken over by fascist. Remember that the last real, elected, Republican President of the United States warned us against the military-industrial complex (aka "fascism")

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. JJ

    Who are you???? I wish they stop beating this issue up? Can we talk about the economy and why the gov't is bailing out Freddie and Fannie Mac when their CEO stands to make $20 million this year in salary????? No answers huh???? I thought so!

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Anthony Brown

    Obama heard correctly, you are the one trying to twist the prim miniters words and arm so that they lean in your favor. Sham on you, the american people are smarter then that.

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Chryssa

    I'm so tired of hearing this arguement, and I've yet to meet a Republican who doesn't agree that experience never did use any good.

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Adam

    And GWB had soooo much experience when he entered office, that is, owning a baseball team and all. Give the guy a chance, at least he has new and thoughtful ideas. And if he's not that great at it yet, thats why we have 100's of people in politics so that they can help each other out which is what it should be (great minds should think together) not try to bash each other.

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Kilowog

    When will the republicans learns that "experience" does not mean that their canidate is right for the job. Americans have had 8 HORRIBLE years of their so-called "Experience" and that is more than enough.

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Walter, Long Beach

    And her experience at something other than sucking up to John McCain is what, precisely?

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Kaseam, Florida

    This woman is a joke. She needs to go back to kindergarden where she fits in better. She has the look of a school teacher.

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. sagcat

    And what is it called when John McCain refers to the non-existent "Iraq-Pakistan border" (yesterday on GMA) and refers to "Czechoslovakia" in the present tense (just last week more than once) when it hasn't existed for 15 years?

    THAT'S frightening. John McCain saying we could be in Iraq for a hundred years is frightening. McCain saying it's "not important" when American troops come home from Iraq is frightening.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Michael

    Who cares what this twit from New Nowhere has to say? Never heard of her before today, hope to never read her name again. Once again the Republican party is campaigning on fear.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    This is becoming just like McKnowsVeryLittleAboutAnythingOtherThanWar: Old & Tired. These arguments suck.

    FYI:

    He doesn't know much about war other than surge, surge, and more surge. And getting the names of militant groups wrong, confusing the borders, misspeaking the names of Iraq/Iran/Afghanistan/Pakistan. Not willing to realize that Iraq wants us out sooner rather than later, and not to mention he isn’t too focused on catching Bin Laden and those responsible for 9/11.

    Is this all his people know how to do, criticize and not offer any substantive policy proposals of their own. I think it is, because the American people are tired of the same old tired story.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Kevin

    The Repukes are so sickening. I quess they will say anything now so the needed Media can get their ratings and the Republican non-sense can get some air time.

    Totally ridiculous

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Swalker327

    Nothing can be more frightnening than another Bush term with McCain as president. How dare she say that Obama isn't listening to the whole of what the Iraqi government was saying — he's hearing what he wanted to hear. How about Bush NOT LISTENING TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO THE DANG WAR IN THE FIRST PLACE. TYPICAL REPUBLICAN!! What a bunch of losers!!

    OBAMA MAMA '08!!

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Abby

    you want to know what’s really frightening? A senile prsident who continued to confuse things because he’s losing his bearings. McCain keeps getting away with stuff that would have ended Obama's career. Iraq/ Pakistan Boarder, Czechoslovakia, confusing Somalia and Sudan, difference between Sunni and Shia etc. This kinds of gaffs would have ENDED Obama’s chances. A clouded and confused mind is what’s frightening.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Donna

    I don't know about everyone, I am getting real tired of the Republican Party being taken over by fascist. Remember that the last real " elected' Republican President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, warned us against the military-industrial complex (aka "fascism")

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Another McCain nut case. WILSON, do you hear what the American people are saying and what part don't you understand we want withdrawal. I wonder where Wilson's finger is.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. PT

    Okay, if he is so inexperienced, I would like to give him a try–the past "experienced" presidents haven't done much good!!

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. ME

    So saying he can kill Iranians with cigarettes and "bomb bomb bomb Iran" is not scary?? Lady, you are a MORON!

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Danny

    Like everybody else in America.........Who?

    The Republican Party is dead.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Elaine B

    What's frightening is the one trillion dollar price tag on this war at a time when the US is entering a recession.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Tim

    Here they go again : Fear, hatred, inuendo, fabrications – and exactly what war has John McCain won in his lifetime ? " I know how to win wars" – McMUMBO JUMBO – get informed !

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Matthew

    It's not fear-mongering or desperation...it's the truth!

    Signed,
    A Disappointed Democrat

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Tim in Minnesota

    Oooooooh...Heather Wilson. There's a big name in the world of international politics. I'll bet everyone stops in the middle of what their doing to hear her opinion.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. BMBC First Lady

    John McCain – we (Obama supporters) are not scared of you using the words 'fear, frightenly.'

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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