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. Len in Washington

    So...are you saying the war really WAS about oil after all?

    "Trust me, my friends."

    August 7, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Obama supporter: Now McCain is FINALLY getting equal time and scrutiny!

    New day..new message...a desperate man/

    August 7, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Using this pretzel logic, it would be in the interest of the US to invade Saudi Arabia, as the majority of the hijackers during 9/11 were Saudi. Blowing up mecca might turn the whole Arab world against us, but that's the cowboy mentality, isn't it?

    August 7, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. H Jay

    Grandpa McCain forgot the the price of oil is higher because we went to war in Iraq in the first place.

    August 7, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Nate Hussein

    At least Saddam kept the oil flowing. Is it always fear, fear, fear with this guy?

    August 7, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. zina

    How many times does this man have to tell us the truth about his Iraq war stance, and we just turn our heads?

    We need sanity and peace.

    Obama '08

    August 7, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Morgan

    What? Isn't that the justification Bush used?
    So it is okay to stage preemptive war against countries that have oil or something we want? Isn't that called Imperialism?

    Tell me McCain misspoke.

    August 7, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Ken, LA California

    This is exactly why we dont need him as president, he will lead us to another dumb war, they said Oil will be cheaper after the war, well it is now more expensive. Where are the WMD's, why have you killed 4000 of our brave soldiers for nothing?

    August 7, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. LT for Obama

    So he and his goons got rid of him and yet oil more then doubled this year. Way to go.

    August 7, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Becky

    And imagine the horrible state of America if McCain was in power. Point made.

    August 7, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Jimmie G

    Without the Iraq war, oil wouldn't BE at $120 a barrel.
    And we wouldn't have spent so much of our tax dollars, and worse, American blood.

    August 7, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. James

    John my friend, the reason gas prices are crazy is because supplies are tight (war in the middle east), the dollar is weak (Thanks George for your un-funded, un-ending war) and demand is going up (no convervation and alternatives based energy plan)

    Invading Iraq and GWB CAUSED these problems!!!

    August 7, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Filipina

    You vote war coz you are a warmonger,,,,obviously you are not watching the news about the new book of Ron Suskind.

    August 7, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. rumpusgoopus

    So, McCain is now officially insane, right?

    August 7, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Jon

    It's nice to know that John McCain could read the future the back in 2002–he knew oil prices would get this high, and was determined to get rid of Saddam before he could take advantage. Who knows what vision of the future McCain will have next that might drive the U.S. into it's next ill-conceived war?!

    Well, McCain must have lost his Magic 8-Ball, because these days it would be telling him to drop out of the race before he's humiliated in November.

    August 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. jk

    With that Justification then we may as well bomb bomb everyone making money off oil.

    August 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. justin in CO

    "cause & effect" was never analogous to "chicken & egg", mr. mccain. you can't just put one before the other at your convenience.

    August 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Willow, from Iowa

    If Hussein were still in power, at least IRan would have a balance in the region. We took out Hussein, leaving Iran with the strength in the region. If we had spent these 700 billion dollars on alternative energies 8 years ago, we would be almost completely energy independent by now.

    August 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. JoelWhy

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? It's pretty obvious that one reason oil is so expensive is BECAUSE we invaded Iraq!! Wow, and I used to have a bit of respect for McCain. How far he has fallen...

    August 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Sean, milwaukee, WI

    So the war was for oil?

    August 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    This is specious reasoning at it's finest/worst.

    August 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Obama08

    What an idiot...

    August 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. obamacrat

    Wow! I can't beleive he said that. I hope Obama is all over this ridiculous statement. The Iraq war is justified because Saddam would have obtained WMDs with all the money he made off exploiting the oil market. That's crazy talk old man!

    August 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Wilson, Seattle

    Oh my gosh! Prices wouldn't be so high if we hadn't invaded Iraq! This argument is VERY weak.

    August 7, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Aaron Allison

    Probably the same thing our president has been doing with our money...destroying the planet and our nations image all at the same time.

    August 7, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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