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"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued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

    Frightening only if you're a die-hard Republican...

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

    Discredit and defame is all they're trying to do. It wont work! The US has spoken it's all about OBAMA. O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA!

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. rich

    This lady is not listening to the Iraqi gov. These republicans think everybody is stupid like them. The people who attacked us are not in Iraq dummies.

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. anon

    George Bush was frighteningly inexperienced and still is after 8 years!!

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Phil, FL

    Basic Search:

    .........In 2003, Wilson voted against allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. ............

    __________________________________________________

    This and the fact she did NOT return money to a PAC with a bad bad bad reputation.

    Look her up. SENIORS – Like the cost of your drugs? If so, listen to her.

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. helen

    Tell mother superior to go back to school and learn what sophistication means.

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Tiffany

    Isn't it a little early in the campaign for McCain to be throwing so much dirt? I think it shows that he cannot articulate his own policies, he can only trash Obama's.

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Janelle

    This becoming nauseating to say the least

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Charlotte

    What the Republicans fail to acknowledge is that McCain is just as inexperienced in terms of leadership as Obama. I think it's despicable that they start resorting to Wille Horton type scare tactics already. And frankly, just because someone is inexperienced (if it were true) does not mean they are any more likely to make poor decisions. But Wilson is simply spouting the party line to try and get their candidate into office. As a New Mexican, I've always been ashamed that our only female representative is so incapable of independent thought. It reflects poorly on us (New Mexicans as well as women).

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Objective Person

    I read CNN news all the time and I have to admit my interest on this election campaign has increased. This is the first time I am commenting on any news article.

    As an objective person I have seen that Sen. McCain has been attacking on anything Sen. Obama says. I thought Obama gave a very good press conference regarding his visit to Iraq. Still McCain and his camp are twisting words and trying to blind sight american public. I find that very sad and desperate move.

    I cannot vote, however, I will admit that if I had a choice Sen. Obama would be the one.

    -Indepenant and Objective Person, Nepal.

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. John

    So Barack Obama spends the entire primary season promoting a withdrawal plan that is now being endorsed by the Iraqi Prime Minister and he is accused of "not leading"? Obama has proven time and time again to have the proper foresight and judgment when it comes to US foreign policy decisions. McCain and his cronies can try to scare the American public into voting for more of the same when it comes to our failed foreign policy, but I honestly don't think it will work this time.

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Henry n New York

    If Wilson feels Senator Obama is so inexperienced maybe she should tell the White House to stop implementing his suggestions and come up with some solutions of their own. Oh, that's right the policies that he expressed and Bush copied are working and for the first time in his 7 plus years he's experiencing foreign policy success.

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. BILL COLLIN

    NO,ONE HAD GEORGE W BUSH EXPERIENCE, [ENOUGH SAID
    TOTAL [TESTS SHOULD BE GIVEN TO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES, [CIVIL SERVICE ] MENTAL & PHYSICAL] INCOMPENTENCE IS ] LOOK AT PAULSON CONDO RICE, RIDGE & CHERTOFF, WOLOWITZ,
    MCCAIN WAS IN LINCOLN SAVINGS & LOAN OR KEATING 5
    NEED TO DO BACK GROUND CHECKS

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. cynthia

    I LOVE HOW THEY MADE IT SEEM AS IF OBAMA SAID THAT THE IRAQI PM SUPPORTED HIM – EVEN THOUGH IT WAS A QUOTE FROM A GERMAN NEWSPAPER – THEY CONTINUE TO TRY TO MAKE OBAMA LOOK ARROGANT AND/OR DUMB – HE ISN'T SOPHISTICATED ENOUGH? PLEASE........GIVE IT UP PEOPLE...NO ONE – DEM OR REPUB CAN REALLY KNOW WHEN WE WILL GET OUT OF IRAQ AND HOW WELL IT WILL WORK – WE DO KNOW THAT BUSH GOT US INTO THIS MESS

    OBAMA 08!

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. SOS

    McOld has another glitch in his message, which I hope Obama picks up on soon. McOld keeps keeps saying the surge has worked. If it has worked, than why can't our troops come home? A true victory means the war is over, and our troops can come home. Why does McOld want to keep the troops over there? So that it can continue to appear that we have victory. As soon as our troops come home, things will go crazy over there. So again, how long does McOld want to keep our troops over there. I think he said 100 years.

    July 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Dameun Strange

    Well...wow...unsophisticated? Really? Those words coming from her. Someone please pull out her record and tell me what qualifies her as the judge of sophistication. Rep. Wilson continues to exemplify the racist Southwest. Thanks for banging that point home.

    We see where republican sophistication has gotten us over the course of 8 years. Thousands of dead young Americans, close to $5 gas and people packed into homes with the families because they lost their homes.

    July 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Kiah

    Wow the Republicans are in rare form now. LMAO! I love watching them attempt at squelching Obama's media frenzy b/c they have NOTHING and the Iraqi's agree with Obama and want the war-mongers out.

    Obama '08

    July 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. Hellboy

    Even I'm scared of the thought of Obama becoming president.

    July 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. UV, New Jersey

    I can't disagree more with Rep. Wilson. He just wants to go with the flow and does not want to take touch stand on any issue. Media save him one(against hillary), can't save you twice!!

    July 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Jay - MN

    Dear Republican Party –

    we the people are not falling for the scare tactics that were so successful the last 2 presidential elections, try something else, like maybe focusing on what your candidate actually has to offer.

    tired of the shenanigans and fear-mongering,

    future Obama voter

    July 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Ricky P.

    Don't believe these republicans they are gonna beat this horse to death...why because Mccain has no new or innovative ideas of his own to talk about. Did I see a story saying that Mccain has an add out blaming Obama for high gas prices? How on earth is he at fault for the gas prices? Mccain you don't make any sense!!! Oh and I guess if Obama would support new off shore drilling that would bring th prices down....oh yea that's right...that wouldn't affect us for 10 years!!

    He can't even focus on himself or his own policies because he has none...besides stay in Iraq forever and never change policy. They are also scared of the fact that Obama's 16 month withdrawal plan fits perfectly into what PM Al-maliki would like to see happen. Doesn't Mccain get it...the more he blasts Obamas new ideas the more he looks like Mcbush. I cannot stand these republicans....

    OBAMA FOR PREZ!!!

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

    Desperation breeds contempt!!!! We see right through you repub/conservative scumbags!!!! Obama '08

    July 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Rick K

    And characterizing the improvements in Iraq solely as the consequence of the SURGE, SURGE, SURGE, SURGE – that's not a gross simplification for political expediency?

    Why is the media not pressing McCain to answer questions about the role of the SURGE, SURGE, SURGE, in the context of other contributing factors?

    July 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. VietnamVet

    Inexperienced or not, I do not believe he could screw up this Nation more than 7 plus years of Bush have done. At least, he has the sense to recognize unnecessary wars, mismanagement, lies, near criminal activity, and so on. What Bush and his partners in the White House have done TO this nation is mind boggling. At any other time, he would have long ago been in the impeachment docks and out of office. The man has been a total disaster for this great Nation.

    July 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    It is sad to see the only thing left for McWar and his campaign to do is to criticize Obama, your tactics will not work this year, McCain is frighteningly old and is not fit for anything.

    Obama 08

    July 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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