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"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued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

    I guess desperate people do desperate things. The GOP knows that this election is just about fear. Frankly, that has been their winning mantra in past elections, so why should we expect anything different this time around?

    Insanity is often described as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

    The candidates with "experience" (which translates into lifelong politicians who don't see the need to change course) got us into the situation of $4.25 gasoline and $4 for a loaf of bread. They supported a war that has cost us hundreds of billions of dollars and not made us safer (but instead has increased anti-American sentiment around the world).

    That is the type of "experience" being offered by the McCain campaign.

    Seriously, I've had enough of that type of experience.

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

    AND YOU THINK YOUR CANDIDATE HAS ANYTHING TO OFFER?????????????? I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF A WOMAN WARMONGER BUT YOU ARE COMING PRETTY CLOSE...

    July 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Ms. RDS

    Yet again...another nobody that no one cares or want to here from! If the surge worked so great as they keep saying the why ARE WE STILL THERE, with troop level higher than they were pre-surge! I guess they think that if they repeat it a 100 times by 100 different surrogates then more people would start to believe it. They will try anything to divert attention away from the economy which McCain was supposed to be talking about this week!

    July 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. McCain is ghetto

    Let's talk about how with all john's so called experience, he supported this senseless war and still does? He wanted a gas tax holiday which over 300 economists said was no good. He wants to drill off shore where we will not see any results for at a minimum 7 years. He criticized Obama for wanting to use diplomacy with our enemies and now the US is using diplomatic relations with North Korea and Iran. He wants 45 nuclear facilities built with no means of disposing of their wastes. Good thing it doesn't take experience to run this country but sound judgement which Obama has abundantly. George W Bush Jr. had 'experience'.........

    July 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    We ALL read & heard what the Prime Minister said.... Lets not dice words...

    -V

    July 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. dormar

    Dose Mcsame h ave a foreign policy because it not his web site

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. LYNETTE IN CA

    THAT'S JUST A FRIGHTENINGLY STUPID THING TO SAY!

    NO WONDER MCSAME WILL LOSE IN NOVEMBER!!!

    HE'S GOT IDIOTS LIKE THIS AROUND HIM!!!

    OBAMA '08

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Nathan

    If I recall correctly, Obama wants us out in ABOUT sixteen months. He said he was willing to make changes if needed. I also believe a timetable for troop withdrawl will help our progress in Iraq.

    also,

    The prime minister may not have officially endorsed Obama's withdrawl plan, but he does agree with the general sixteen month timetable.

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Abby

    Way aren’t we surprised they used the word ‘frightening’? Stop trying to scare us please.

    you want to know what’s really frightening? A senile prudent 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 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    O YEA MCCLUELESS HAS ALL THAT EXPERIENCE.

    HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR HIS BEING WRONG

    AND IN SUPPORT OF BUSH A 100% OF THE TIME.

    RIGHT AGAIN, HE HAS THE SAME EXPERIENCE BUSH

    HAS. AND IT'S ALL BAD. MAN CAN'T THINK HIMSELF

    OUT OF A ROOM.

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

    President* sorry

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Brian

    Is today John McCain day? Seems McCain attacking Obama is all I hear about. At least when I hear news about Obama, it's his own ideas and how he thinks his ideas are better, not just baseless unsupported attacks.

    As for Ms. Wilson, taking a phrase out of context and using it for political gain is exactly what the Karl Rove politics have mastered. Obama might simply be using the Republicans own tactics against them. It's laughable to read her words regarding his playing politics. Pot, meet Kettle.

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. Oreo cookies

    Being black is the qualification and even at THAT he has no experience- being raised in Hawaii (heaven on earth).

    So he went to Chicago to get a crash course and become accepted as a black person.

    OREO.

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Shannon

    We would expect nothing less of a McCain surrogate. Let's look at how well this line of attack served Hillary. We are not looking for the person that has been in Washington the longest. We are looking for the person who is smarter and has a broader world vision, with serious judgment.

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. JC

    Who is this woman? Noone cares about her. McCain is the clueless warmonger! Iraq wants us out McCain!

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Nom Deplume

    Experience doesn't count as much as Ideology. This election is about a new direction for America. Best get on the bandwagon, Comrades.

    Somewhere, Lenin, Troksky, and Khrushev are laughing it up, and yelling "We told you so."

    Got Freedom?

    July 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Loretta from California

    It's OK, I expect the other members of the Elitist GOP camp to crawl out of the wood work to help McCain. He is in desperate need of help right now.

    DEMOCRATS UNITE!!!

    July 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. DflateMacsStr8TalkXpress: Econ MIA, AWOL on facts, POW from reality

    No, your not hearing the facts because they suggest McCain't has been so wrong for so long. John McCain = "Experience" with no common sense or judgment; just more of the same tired, old repetitious drivel from an outdated Republican playbook. Just because you repeat something, doesn't make it true. You can't change what the Iraqi leaders said, Ms. Wilson. Nice try though .. and thanks for playing "Twisting the Facts to Fit Your Misdirected Middle East Policies".

    July 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Will

    I am so sick of the Republican Party and their campaigns manipulating the facts and lying to the American public-

    July 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. m. marino

    Bank on it-–Wilson will lose her seat in Nov.

    July 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. death blow

    Wrong...

    Obama learned how to be black just in time to be able to play the race card and to steal the nomination

    July 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Ron White

    Hank Aaron was inexperienced when he arrived in Milwaukee. Brett Favre was inexperienced when he arrived in Green Bay. Abraham Lincoln was inexperienced when he moved to Springfield, Ill. Martin Luther King Jr., well, he never held public office. But he's probably the greatest American of the past 100 years.

    By the way, Heather, you look like a man. Trim those sideburns and grow some hair.

    July 22, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Dave

    oh, don't believe 16 months for such a thing. Not gonna happen even with Obama as POTUS.

    July 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. j williamson

    This woman has been George Bush's Rah-Rah girl for years – and we're supposed to take her seriously? Give me a break!

    July 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Former repub for Obama

    I'll take Obama's so called 'inexperience' and good judgement anyday over mccains critical lack of judgement. BTW do the repubs realize there is stuff going on in the country besides war and foreign policy? I am sick of hearing about it. they are war hungry. Talk about issues facing us now.

    July 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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