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. P

    This sounds like a big fairy tale to me... If Saddam Hussein had remained in power, we would be paying about $1.70 for a gallon of gas and our tax base wouldn't be supporting a war where our brave Brothers, Sisters, Sons, and Daughters would not be getting maimed or killed. As far as the WMD thing, that was just a fabricated story that our illustrious leader George W. cooked up to get us to knock off the only competition to OPEC in the world.
    As a veteran myself, I am really surprised that John "George II" McCain would think of using the term WMD without laughing out loud how that term got us in the mess we are in today.

    August 7, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Lin G

    What an absurd non-argument your lovely McCain has come up with. And people bought his answer? Surely not. To deflect a perfectly reasonable political question by coming up with a hypothetical situation that could never come true (as Hussein is dead if you didn't know) is an insult to everyone in that rooms intelligence... And to pretend he cares about human rights records? Not heard him speak out against China's human rights abuses, or Zimbabwe, or indeed the good ole USA's abuses. Pathetic.

    August 7, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. FRANKLIN E. NAGLE,NAPLES FLORIDA

    i have often wondered what saddam would be doing today .. i believe he would partner up with the russians and tmake life miserable for america . he would have all the money he needs like iran is doing and they both could make life miserable for europe and us .

    August 7, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Phil

    This sounds like a big fairy tale to me… If Saddam Hussein had remained in power, we would be paying about $1.70 for a gallon of gas and our tax base wouldn't be supporting a war where our brave Brothers, Sisters, Sons, and Daughters would not be getting maimed or killed. As far as the WMD thing, that was just a fabricated story that our illustrious leader George W. cooked up to get us to knock off the only competition to OPEC in the world.
    As a veteran myself, I am really surprised that John "George II" McCain would think of using the term WMD without laughing out loud how that term got us in the mess we are in today.

    August 7, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Debbie

    Does he thing Americans are that stupid?

    I read within the last week that the Iraqis are trying to figure out what to do with the surplus from their oil output...paying us back for a war they didn't want is probably not on the table. At least not paying us back in $$.

    I continue to be amazed at the ignorance and arrogance of the Republican party. Rome is burning and they haven't got a clue.

    August 7, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. tai

    hahaahhaa o mccain

    August 7, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  7. Gordie

    Wow. Typical revisionist right-wing fantasy. Seriously. This guy is insane. He's 108 years old and a Republican. Anyone who would vote for such a person is truly an idiot. Then again, George Bush was voted in twice...

    Let it also be said that good ol' Saddam didn't just come up with chemical weapons out of thin air. He bought them off of the US govt who thought it was a great idea at the time. When the US illegally invaded Iraq, Saddam had no WMD's and to this day, no evidence of them existing has ever been found.

    Also, let me get this straight... it's not ok for Saddam to make gazillions off of oil but it's perfectly fine for big US oil companies to completely shaft everyone while they pull in record profits year after year?

    Wake up, people of America.

    August 7, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. Jim

    gas was $1.50/ga the day we invaded Iraq. what's it costing us now. republicans must think america is the dumbest nation of buffoons in the history of mankind. VOTE OBAMA.

    August 7, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Okay that's it....I know he's a nut job now.

    August 7, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. iamjustinm

    Would oil be at $120, $125, $130 if we didn't invade and occupy Iraq?

    No.

    August 7, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. Chut Pata

    By this logic, with every war in the Middle East the prices of oil should go down, but they sky rocket. Sky rocketing of oil prices only benefit oil mafia and that is why they support Republican part ... to wage wars in Middle East in the name of God, jack the oil prices, and profit them. Oil mafia is going to donate $4million to McCain campaign hoping he will stay in Iraq for 100 years.

    August 7, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. PG

    Man, I get so tired listening to McCain. So tired.

    August 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. HE'SaFAKE!

    The GOP-republicans this is what they care about:

    "Let's bring up the Paris Hilton plan," goaded Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas.

    How sad when the nations is in a mess this is the folks we've got to deal with. totaly useless people we had one useless for over 26years .

    what makes anyone thinks they care now.

    August 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Mark Ferbet, Grain Valley, Missouri

    What would he do? We will never know. We can't live in the past. We must look forward.

    The US Government spent most of Reagan's Administration protecting Saddam. Our government has changed sides so often with regards to countries in the middle east, that this is just another Political Motivated Statement of Fear that the GOP is trying to use to woo the ignorant and foolish Americans into believing that John McCain's stance on Iraq and on war in general is good for this country.

    Saddam is dead. Iraq is unstable. Iran is radical, and McCain is suggesting that Saddam would be after the WMD's had we not attacked Iraq. OK. Iran is after WMD's. Other Middle Eastern and Eastern Nations already have WMD's.

    Let's look at the facts folks...

    Iraq is unstable, and it was stable before our invasion. Iraq did not have any connections with Al-Qaida, and now Al-Qaida is in Iraq.

    The Iraq War was handled badly, and should never have happened.
    The Republican Party led this country down the road of war, and we are now benefiting from the choices they made. High Energy Prices, Lower Dollar, Failed Foreign Policy, and lack of respect in the world order.

    I believe in resolving this conflict quickly. And actually working towards fighting Terror, instead of this civil conflict we created in Iraq.

    Times have changed. The enemy has changed. There will be no Grand Victory in Iraq. It's not that kind of conflict.

    McCain, you need to retire. Your stance is as old and tired as you are.

    August 7, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. DennyRay

    Ironic that the old fellow should bring up WMD and Saddam's use of it; twice, since it was the US that sold it to him, told him how to use it and when to use it for maximum effect against Iran. That's when Saddam was our ally of course; during McCain's tenure in the senate I think.

    August 7, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. CG

    What a drag it must be for JM to twist his mind around this pretzel logic. That's what you get when you sell your soul for the nomination.

    August 7, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. Bolaji

    The absurdities of the McCain mind! Fancy inferring that the likelihood of a sovereign nation using its natural resources as it deemed fit qualified for grounds to muscle it out of existence.

    The choice continues to be clearly defined, America. Which way, America? Which way to go?

    August 7, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  18. Alex

    Without Iraq war the dollar wouldn't be so weak, therefore the oil-price wouldn't be so high. China wouldn't have the economic power they have now, because basically they are financing the war an getting rich on the way. All that money could have been invested in research of new energy sources and middle east without money is just a dessert full of hatred.

    August 7, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. John

    McCain's right. The oil's better now that it's in Iraqi hands and not that dictator.

    August 7, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. Patrick

    Ok, so let me get this straight.. The gas prices now in 2008 are justification for the War in Iraq that started in 2002?

    So either John McCain always had this psychic ability to lean on, or he is too diluted to understand that the war in Iraq is semi if not largly responsible for our current jump in Oil prices.

    Oil is priced on a basis of whats going on in the world and supply and demand. Hence if a war starts in a Oil producing country everyone panics and the prices go up. It makes me sad that anyone would buy into this BS. K thanks bye

    Dont rely on John McCain for your information anymore then you would Television news anchors or Newspaper articles its all opinionated fluff for your consumption. Do the research yourself and make a judgement based on facts not other peoples opinions.

    August 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  21. Ron Nebraska

    The justification of the moment.

    August 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. Dan D.

    Money is the reason we should unilaterally invade a defenseless sovereign country, kill their citiizens and get our soldiers killed in the process? The love of money is the root of all evil. This invasion should never have taken place.

    August 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. dkr

    Repugs are the number ONE threat to the USA.

    August 7, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. Molly Weasley

    Reason No. 3,826 from the Republicans for the justification for the Iraq war.

    August 7, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. Doug from Martinez

    So, obviously, it WAS about the oil.

    August 7, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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