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. Dave

    Ok I thought we were past the WMD issue. This is like beating an old horse. Can we move on and stop trying to say "what if" all the time. Saddam was joke and no matter what anybody says it was not a justified war unless the infamous WMD were found. That was the whole reason Bush lectured the world on why we must stop this crazy man. Anyone remember the comment ole George made "that man (Saddam) has enough chemical weapons to wipe out the whole world" and remember when they said he was going to use drones to do this with. Well here we are all these years later and still no weapons or drones. So how can you justify this war now? Let see.... What if Saddam was still there as the oil prices went up.... Give it up McCain.

    August 7, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Liar,Liar pants on fire.

    August 7, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Mark

    This is some of the worst yellow journalism that I've seen. McCain in no way meant what you've implied in the headline.

    He actually avoided answering the direct question, "If we knew then what we know now blah blah blah..." because obviously, that kind of question has no bearing in reality. We didn't know then what we know now, so suppositions are immaterial. He instead simply said that the world is better off without Saddam and as an aside, he pondered what Saddam would be doing with the windfall profits of $4 gas. Not in any way to "justify" the vote.

    You are implying that McCain would preemptively start a war based on economic motives, which logically cannot be construed from McCain's actual statements.

    August 7, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Mark G

    If there wasn't a war going on in Iraq, we might have very possibly have caught Osama Bin Laden, had our troops home from Afghanistan, and we would be looking at $2.00 a gal. gas. Who in the world does Mr. McOil think he is trying to fool. You can't say anything good about a war that should have never happened as it did. The only thing good is how our troops have gallantly and selflessly given of their lives for their country. You should be honoring their sacrifice and bringing them home.

    August 7, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. Abby

    OMG!!! There were no WMDs!!!! Is he crazy?!

    August 7, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Chuck, Montgomery, AL

    If this guy has his way, we'll be at war forever. I smell the draft coming – men and women, single and married, kids or no kids.

    He's a warmonger that gets a gleam in his eye when war is even mentioned.

    BIG mistake

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

    Finally, the news is starting to trickle out about Iraq's underbelly – all these lives lost, for what? Oil.

    August 7, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Denise Groves

    Tutti frutti! Gas prices were LOW when Hussein was in charge! Loks like dementia has set in! He's crackers!

    August 7, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. iLL

    If we didn't go into Iraq in the first place then oil wouldn't have shot up to $4+ per gallon. He wouldn't have had much in the form of oil money.

    August 7, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. HE'SaFAKE!

    McCain didn't answer any questions from reporters over reports that his own campaign manager lobbied for the corporate merger that led to the plant's proposed closure.

    August 7, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. Duane K, Sacramento, CA

    Looks like a front-page headline for the New York Times. By reading just the headline (like some people unfortunately do), one could be led to think that McCain was saying that he voted to go to war against Iraq in order to take their oil. Gee, does it make you wonder if that was on purpose? The people with "No Blood for Oil" bumper stickers must be giggling like little girls.

    August 7, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. geen

    finally...FINALLY.,,,after 4137 (and, incidentally, counting....) died for it, a member of the Moron's (bush) party has acknowledged that the war was for one reason...OIL! of course, all other reasons the moron gave for initially invading that sovereign country (hmm...wasn't Poland a sovereign country when HITLER invaded IT in 1939...??)–something to think about,no?) having long since been proven false..no WMD's, no al-queda connectiion prior to the invasion, no threat to U.S.....OIL is the only one that remains, and that alone will justify McGoofy staying for another 100 years. And, oh...by the way..McGoofy questions what Saddam would be doing today with 125...140 dollar a barrel oil...I cannot help but wonder if he is naive enough to believe that if America had 2/3's of the worlds oil reserves, we would not be doing the same–especially with the current Moron's and those in his regime. Get real, McGoofy!

    August 7, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. Que Quedas

    we are not stupid ...Mc Cain.....Sadam did not take the deal that we offered him....similarly like the deal that we have with the Sadis ......and that is why we invaded.....Sadam never had WMD's .....our big American balls led us to think that since we put him in power that we can take him out...........have you noticed all these terrorist or enemies of the state were either trained or put into power by the US......GOP you can put as much sugar as you want on a turd and you still have a turd ........

    August 7, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Lisa in Cincy

    Can someone please convince him to just collect his pension and social security and give us all a break!

    August 7, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Tejano

    Save your breath McCain. The left wing nuts supporting Obama don't care what say, because they have already made up their mind. They have short memories of Saddam and his brutal regime or they don't care about the Iraqi people. So just stick with the program and give it to Obama.

    By the way don't even think about getting a Democrat as your VP.
    Take the Governor of Alaska a woman with principle and great public servant. Obama will be crushed with her on your ticket.

    August 7, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. Sean

    And the truth will set you free! We invaded Iraq for oil, and McCain just admitted it.

    August 7, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. Art in Las Vegas

    Doesn't McCain realize that the reason for high oil prices is the conflict in the middle east that he and George W. Bush initialized?

    August 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Shotta Nic

    Did he answer the question? Does he EVER answer the hard questions?

    August 7, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Yep, McCain is the same as Bush – they both want the OIL and all the money from it !!!

    McCain = warmongerer
    McCain = Bush
    McCain = chaos!

    August 7, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. Tzigan

    If we hadn't invaded in the first place, gas prices wouldn't be where they are today, so McCain's comments are misguided and just plain WRONG. Who would be stupid enough to believe this!?

    August 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Fred

    The neo-con playbook – with the emphasis on CON and with McCain 100% in support:

    1) Invite the oil executives into the white house to write the energy policy
    2) start a preemptive war that disrupts the middle east so profoundly that it drives the price of oil up
    3) eliminate protections against jobs going overseas, in fact offer business marvelous tax breaks for doing so
    4) wink-wink-nod-nod at China's pollution and human rights abuses while they gear up their oil consumption at break neck speeds (don't forget to invest the Chinese stocks)
    5) pretend that none of this has anything to do with skyrocketing oil prices
    6) collect huge campaign contributions and returns on your oil stocks for your efforts

    sit back and let the $$ pour in, all the more so because of the Republican special tax breaks for the rich.

    August 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. Mike

    Sure. Lets go to war with all the nations with scoundrel world leaders who would profit from their own natural resources. That would make the world a much safer place, us blowing the begeezus out of it that is! Just ask the +100,000 dead Iraqis if they feel safer now that we stepped in to help.

    McCains statements are the strained ramblings of a sick and demented mind. Nothing but fear mongering and desperation.

    August 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. Jason

    Sorry John, but invading another country because they have a precious resource you want is terribly immoral any way you slice it.

    It was a immoral in 2002. It was immoral in 2003. It was immoral in 2004 during the Kerry debacle. It was immoral before the surge and on the brink of civil war. And it's still immoral now even though we are "winning".

    Come on, America. Stand up for America and get the warhawks out of power. They have disgraced our country.

    I like Obama but I'd be pleased with someone who votes for Barr also, at least he's against the war.

    August 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  24. KT

    I think the old dude always forgets about the facts when speaking. Did Sadam really have any WMDs when Iraq was invaded? Oil prices would not be this high since Iraq would have kept Iran in check.

    August 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. Danielson

    OH. My. God.

    A war that is increasingly revealed to be started as a total FARCE and outright LIE...now gets revisionist history from John McCain?

    This is so farfetched, so incredibly ridiculous, that it may well be beneath anything resembling "real news" and belongs instead in your medical section under "McCain Developing Alzheimers."

    August 7, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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