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"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued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

    I GUESS BUSH WAS INEXPERIENCE TOO. HAH! BECAUSE IF HE WAS EXPERIENCE THE COUNTRY WOULD NOT BE IN SUCH A MESS. AND AS FOR MCSAME. THE IDIOT CAN'T EVEN SPEAKE, HAS NO IDEA ABOUT ECONOMY, EXPECT BEING A POW

    July 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. Angi's mom

    Who cares? So far, all of McBush's surrogates have been clowns.

    July 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Timothy

    What is "Frighteningly Inexperienced" is John Mccain outdate views of this war.John Mccain said the Surge has success well Mccain define Victory. Obama is saying if the Surge has work let's TEST IT. Pulling the troops out within 16months.

    July 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. On Sided McSame

    But what is McSame and all of his experience going to get us? A war with Iran next? McSame says all Obama knows is to pull out, but all McSame knows is to continue on with war. McSame wants Obama to be open about continuing the war, but McSame never talks about the possibility of ending the war.

    July 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Obama 08: white, 60 year old woman

    CNN's answer to John McCain's whining about media coverage is to try to even it out by posting the only news out of the McCain campaign which is to attack, and distort.

    McCain is running for the President of the United States. Does he have any plans for the future? Does he have any positive vision? Does he have a definition for success?

    Is this how he would run foreign policy? Seems like almost eight years of this has been a disaster.

    July 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Dennis

    So, does Senator McCain and his campaign actually talk about their own plans ever? All I ever see is their criticism of Senator Obama. You can tell Senator McCain is about to criticize something Senator Obama by starting with, "my friends."

    And, gee, a Republican criticizing the Democratic nominee? Wow, who would have thought that. Blow me over.

    July 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    Well, Heather Wilson:

    WITH ALL THE EXPERIENCE that Cheney, Bush, 'Rummy' & McCain have........ they LIED ABOUT THE WAR WITH IRAQ! They were and ARE WRONG, about where the terrorist front really is.

    WITH ALL THE EXPERIENCE that McCain & Bush have, OUR NATIONAL DEBT IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH OF ........ $10 TRILLION!

    WITH ALL THE EXPERIENCE that McCain has he voted FOR the Bill which had the ENRON LOOPHOLE, WHICH HAS DEREGULATED SPECULATION ON OIL PRICES!

    WITH ALL THE EXPERIENCE MCCAIN HAS......... AND HIS RECORD OF NOT SUPPORTING NEW ENERGY SOURCES; OF WANTING TO BAN DRILLING ONE DAY AND DRILL THE NEXT.......... I WILL TAKE SENATOR BARACK OBAMA'S NEW VISION, EVEN THOUGH HE IS INEXPERIENCE HE HAS SOMETHING MCCAIN LACKS......... COMMON SENSE!

    July 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Old Stradlater

    Who? Is this the best McCain could do for a surrogate? Thanks for your stellar analysis, Heather. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame on the cable news networks.

    July 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. REALLY proud now

    Obama has experience in using race as a shield against criticism and as a sword against his opponents.

    That is all the experience, qualificatios and accomplishement that is needed.

    July 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Weiss

    If I have to waste my time, seeing every two bit podunk Republican speak, then maybe all the Dem superdelegates need to flood the airwaves with their speil.

    oh wait, no need, who still listens to the Republican talking points? no credibility at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    yeah, keep going with that whole experience thing. worked for hillary, didnt it?

    July 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. VON BISMARK, Vienna

    The only sincere republican is George Bush Sr. He confesses he is jealous.The rest don't want to face the reality.Period.

    July 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    America

    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 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. Fed up with the lies

    Heather who? Who is the woman to comment on Foreign Policy when no one has ever heard of her? McCain goes down by 20 and that's only because folks feel sorry for the old guy.

    Obama '08

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

    Look at Mclame's face...now that IS frightening! Repugs have no sustance to talk about so tehy attack, attack attack, while BO take teh high road and looks Presidential. Old man Mclame, give it up, nothing you can do will get you elected, its over but the voting, is it NOv. 4th yet? Better yet is it Jan 20th 2009!

    July 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    I've been an oil man all my life, but this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of. - Legendary Texas Oilman, T. Boone Pickens

    These are the parroted failed policies of Dumbya that McSame wants to continue...

    So I say "WHATEVER, HEATHER!"

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

    What’s frightening is a man who doesn’t have the stamina to campaign on the weekends might be in charge of the red phone at 3 am – God forbid.

    July 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. A NATION OF WHINERS for OBAMA

    ALL OF THE MCCLUELESS EXPERIENCE, IS PRECISELY

    WHAT WE DON'T NEED. THE LOCAL DOG CATCHER

    WOULD MAKE A BETTER US PRESIDENT THAN MCMORON.

    HE SPENT A WHOLE WEEK ON THE NONEXISTENT ISSUES

    OF A NONEXISTENT NATION. HE MAKES GEORGE LOOK GOOD.

    July 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Angi's mom

    Who cares? So far, all of McBush's surrogates have been war mongering clowns.

    July 22, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. sabrina01

    Please give me a break what can a man 72 years old give us ....hasn't he tired enough ..if he couldn't beat Bush when he ran. We need new ideas and yes Iraq needs to stand up we don't need our troops dieding try to teach them to stand up...

    July 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. proud now

    I mean I am really really proud that the first African American nominee, is only half black, plays the race card and did not advance on his own merits.

    I am so proud of the skillful exploitation of reverse-racism.

    July 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Houston Texas

    Name calling, wont change the fact that Obama was right. They want us to leave their country. How much context do you need!!!

    July 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. whytheliesmccain

    WOW CNN another McCain surrogate attacks Obama and it gets ANOTHER headline. OH yeah, and apparantley all the experience McCain has leads him to believe Czechoslovakia still exists and Pakistan and Iraq share a border. LOL I will take the "inexperienced" person who seems to be right on the issues and has a basic understanding of geography any day ,rather than the aged mind of a warmonger.

    July 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. David Newport, OR

    One more "surrogate". Better use the inexperience BS because no one is listening to our platform. Let's see...a choice of inexperience...or a choice of flat out ignorance? Which do I choose?

    July 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. The Truth

    yes, Senator Obama is a bit on the inexperienced side of things. I think another term or two in the Senate and he will probably be just fine.

    Example: Weekend tour of the middle east and he makes the comment to deploy another 7,000 troops... really now, this is how you make your decision, in about 48 hours, huh..

    July 22, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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