August 7th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: High price of oil one justification for Iraq war vote

Sen. McCain took questions at a town hall event in Ohio Thursday.
Sen. McCain took questions at a town hall event in Ohio Thursday.

LIMA, Ohio (CNN) – John McCain offered a new justification for the Iraq war Thursday, arguing that if Saddam Hussein were still in power, he’d be a petro-dictator intent on using today's sky-high oil revenues to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

A voter at an Ohio town hall meeting Thursday asked McCain how he would vote on the 2002 war resolution if he had to do it again, given the advantage of hindsight.

“What do you think that Saddam Hussein would be doing with oil at $120, $125, $130 a barrel?,” McCain asked. “What do you think he’d be doing? I’ll tell you what he’d be doing. He’d be doing what he said he was committed to doing. And that’s acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction, which he did twice before.”

The Arizona senator elaborated on his other reasons for supporting the war resolution, including Iraq’s noncompliance with the U.N. mandated cease fire, as well as Saddam’s “brutal” human rights record.

Ultimately, McCain concluded, “If he were still in power, I believe that the world would be far worse off, especially with all the money he’d be making off of oil.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (596 Responses)
  1. S. Boatman

    What Bull!

    August 7, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  2. RB

    Wrong again McShameless! There would be no gas crunch but for the war in Iraq!! It was $27 a barrel, remember? (Maybe, you really don't remember. Hmmm)

    August 7, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. John from Canada

    Dear Senator McCain;
    What was the price of oil before the start of the war?
    How many lives have been lost because of the war, not just American but all lives? The Christians say we are ALL CHILDREN of GOD, that is why I say all lives. What are the costs to look after all the injuried people because of the war.
    I donot think that drilling for more oil of your shores will drop the price of oil anytime soon if at all.
    Price of oil now is because of the war.
    Guess what I say does not matter since I am from Canada, but then again I am paying high prices for gas too, so I guess what you do effects me too.
    Take care

    August 7, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  4. H. Thompson

    It was only ever about oil. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Military Petroleum Complex at its worst.
    And 43% of American's want this walking band-aid commercial in the White House?

    August 7, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. Scott

    go look at the oil data at the St. Louis Fed's economic database. It's very clear that oil prices went up BECAUSE of the Iraq war in 2003. Go back and read the financial press from that time–the uncertainty related to the anticipated war in Spring 2003 is precisely what caused oil prices to rise. McCain's grasping at straws here–the botched war in Iraq is what started oil prices rising. Where were oil prices in the 10 years leading up to the war when Saddam was in power? Much lower.

    August 7, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. SM

    It's funny that Saddam is already dead, and John McCain still predicting what he will be doing. Plus Saddam was in power for 10 years after the Gulf War and no WMD were found.

    August 7, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. ERIC, MN

    Once again the MSM doesnt pick up on this. When Obama said given hindsight he still wouldnt have supported the surge. Now, this was a huge deal for a week. McCain on the other hand has stated this before as well that given hindsight he would still vote to go to war. How come this isnt a huge news story. I mean knowing what we know today he would still invade Iraq. THATS NUTS!! Well, by McCain's logic we should be invading every country with a leader we dont like. SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA!!!! GOD HELP US!!!

    August 7, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. Rob S.C.

    HA, HA, HA!!!

    Are you kidding me???
    Gas prices would never be this high if we hadn't invaded Iraq. Senator McCain, your support of this war will always be the albatross around your neck.

    August 7, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  9. SAI

    Perhaps someone needs to explain slowly and clearly to Senator McCain – if the Iraq aggression had not been committed by the US, there would not have been a) the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives (Iraqi and American), b) the maiming of tens of thousands of Iraqis and Americans, c) the wastage of hundreds of billions of dollars of US taxpayer funds and hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructural damage caused in Iraq, making the lives of all Iraqis miserable for years, d) the great instability caused in world energy markets, and the resultant sky-rocketing of oil prices. It is the foolhardy policies and unilateral actions of Bush that McCain seems to love and endorse – that have contributed significantly to the current global crisis.

    August 7, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. Bob

    I am shock that this revealation is not eaten up by the media. Think about all the lives lost for Iraqi oil that we cannot , even in a thousand years, own. Mccain's argument is very disturbing and sends a very horrible message to the international community. It is irresponsible, ruthless,insensitive and reckless for Mccain to think that even with hindsignt ,that the war in Iraq is still justified in any way.

    August 7, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. mike in caroline va

    old wrinkly white haired dude will say anything to obtain the big crib. its a shame paris hylton can give a better speech than the presumptive redumblican nominee. she isn't as dumb as they thought she was. but as all who are smart enuff knew it wouldn't take long for the serogates of mcidiot to say paris hyltons economic plan was better than baraks. what a bunch of IDIOTS!!!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  12. McWhine

    If Sadam is still in power, we wouldn't have such as a high gas price.

    If GW Bush is not president, we won't have high gas price.

    If Al Gore was elected, we will have driving electric cars on our highways.

    If Kerry was elected, we will be out if Iraq by now and would not have this gas price.

    August 7, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. Chris Hussein, TX

    There is no justification for the Iraq war. Al Qaeda wasn't there. Sadam didn't have the weapons, and invading a country and overthrowing their government is the most costliest and ineffective way to fight terrorism.

    All we did was help them establish and develop the largest terrorist training camp in the world, and gave them our troops to practice on.

    This "War" will go down as one of the worst mistakes we have made, only it wasn't a mistake. It was deliberate.

    Hey fellas: The best and least expensive way to fight terrorism is with informants, undercover police agents, and cooperation between nations. The exact opposite of what we're doing now.

    My opinion: THROW THE BUMS OUT!!

    By the way, I'm retired military. Specialty: Antiterrorism.

    August 7, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. linda from South Dakota

    well then ,, mccain,, why do u porpose we drill off shore here instead of stop importin oil from there??? we have enuff oil here to survive more years than we would live out,, so why do u porpose this???? open wells here that have oil and use it,,,, we are in times of crisis and thats what it was for,, what are we savin it for??? lets hear your statement on this,,,, ops i forgot u have to consult bush,, ummmm

    August 7, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  15. David Goldman for OBAMA

    RIGHT, RIGHT, THAT'S THE TICKET.

    THE PROBLEM WITH THE IMBECILE'S THINKING OTHER

    THAN THE FACT THAT IT'S AN ABSOLUTE LIE, IS THAT DUE

    TO THE $10 TRILLION DOLLAR LOANS FOR THE WAR,

    THE VALUE OF THE $ IS 30% DOWN. TO ADD INSULT TO

    INJURY, THE SPECULATORS THAT CNANEY-BUSH &

    MCBUSH LET LOOSE ( ENRON LIKE PREDATORS)

    ACCOUNTS FOR ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT PUMP UP.

    YEA WE CAN SEE HOW THE IRAQ WAS SO GREAT FOR

    OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY,IF YOU ARE A MORON. HE NEEDS

    TO SELL SOME OTHER ABSURDITY TO GET A VOTE

    FROM THOSE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO THINKING.

    EVERY ONE THAT BUYS GAS GOT THIS ONE FIGURED OUT.

    August 7, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  16. Roberto

    Hmm, I believe Saddam was blocked from selling oil on the open market by UN resolution. So, either Iraq under Saddam today wouldn't be selling oil or selling very little on the black market. Either way would make $$$ for Iraq.

    Mc Cain seems to have a faulty memory on a lot of these issues.

    August 7, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  17. D in Phoenix

    McCain earlier alluded that foreign policy would never again be driven by the need for oil and the media just looked at him quizzically and moved to the Obama/Clinton cat fight.

    Will you "journalists" (CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, et. al) please give this the focus that it deserves. For years left-wing fringe conspiracy types have chanted, "No Blood for Oil". I never thought that I would see a "mainstream" candidate so out of control that he would advocate a policy of war to advance this country's oil needs. What's next, "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran"?

    August 7, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. Sgt C USMC

    Hmm..let's think about this rationally for a moment....

    Aside from some of the points that all of you have brought up, if Saddam Hussein was still in power, we'd have to keep track of the nefarious activities of one person. Now, due to the multitude of militia and other military insurgencies running around there now, we have to keep track of many of them. The amount of oil hasn't changed, the possession of it hasn't changed.

    In reality all removing Saddam Hussein from power did was make our job harder...To put it in perspective...is it easier to keep track of one toddler, or 20 running amok in your house ?

    August 7, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  19. Reg

    OH MY GOODNESS! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDIN!
    BARACK DID INDICATE THAT THE gop & HENCHMEN
    TAKE PRIDE IN BEING IGNORANT!

    The bush crime family has groomed a complete OLD
    PHOOL aka Keating Five Savings N Loan (Enron equivalence)
    RIPP-OFF OF COMMON FOLKS HARD EARNED MONEY IN
    THE 80's!

    SOME NERVE WIFE IS BILLIONAIRE, AND HE'S FEELS OUR
    PAIN! TOTALLY LAUGHABLE!!

    OBAMA ! DUH!

    August 7, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  20. Muyoyeta

    Ridiculous – where are the WMDs that America claimed Saddam had, hence their reason to invade Iraq? Now it's the oil would have made Saddam rich! The reason to invade is now the "WOULDA, SHOULDA, HAVE". Maccain should djust mann up and say it was error of judgement to go and fight in Iraq and not this 'Woulda' reason he is giving now. Who knows may be America didn't invade Iraq and cause the middle east to be unstable, may be the oil wouldn't have reached $130 a barrel! Mccain please maan up and accept an error!

    August 7, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  21. sefb

    could Mc Cain be a bigger idiot? he's once again implying that hussein had WMD, and the capabilities to produce them, yet ALL of the intelligence reports contradict the bush admin's claims of the presence of WMD. there is PROOF that documents which would implicate iraq's involvement with 9/11 were forgeries by the US government, yet this is not making news headlines!!?? CNN and the rest of the mainstream media have their collective heads up their rear ends.
    hussein had NO desire to attack the US under any circumstances, unless he were attacked first, as per intelligence reports.

    August 7, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
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