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. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Me thinks Senator McCain is one ignorant Member of Congress (just like everyone of the neo-cons who have perverted the Republican Party). President Bush's vendetta against Saddam Hussien is the reason why oil prices are as high as they are. Everytime I hear McCain speak, he sounds more like a doddering old fool.

    August 7, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. Obama For President

    Could it be McCain has ESP to predict what Sadam would do today or maybe he is just trying to justify his IRAQ vote?

    August 7, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Nunya

    In this case, I don't think it's CNN's absurdities – it's McCain's...

    August 7, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. James

    Hey Bill! I suppose ten billion $ a month to secure/steal Iraq's oil has a better rate of return on investment than say some policy that sends billions upon billion dollars a year through the hands of American corporate middlemen, on its way to oildoms. Lots of Liberty leaving America? Liberty and Common Sense Just like drunks in denial?

    August 7, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. Just a Mom

    If this line of reasoning makes any sense to anyone, please enlighten me.

    August 7, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    idiot jist like Bush

    August 7, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. cicero

    Gee I thought the Iraq war disrupted the flow of oil from Iraq and was one of the factors driving the price of oil up. You mean the Iraq war didn't disrupt the flow of oil from Iraq causing the high price per barrel? Wait a minute, what kind of reasoning is that; Saddam would be reaping the profits from the rise in price of oil that was caused by his overthrow and death? Wait a minute, wait a minute, what planet are you from again?

    August 7, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Does Senator McCain not realize that high oil prices are DUE in large part to the war in Iraq?

    August 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. John

    McCain means to say "I will go to war with every country that does not listen to UN mandates and poor human rights records." Do not give this narrow-minded man power to run this country!!!! He is just another Republican stooge. He is not even the real McCain anymore. I use to like that man, but now he's a puppet of BIG OIL!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. Jeff Brown

    Oh John... The more you speak, the crazier you sound! Keep up the good work!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. Xavier

    McCain is an idiot. We went to war with Iraq over a Bush lie, and he bought hook, line and sinker. How many soldiers have been killed because of his mistake.

    August 7, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. jasone

    Really. That's the stupidest thing I've heard this joker say yet. Oil is so expensive BECAUSE OF the Iraq war. What the hell is wrong with this guy?

    August 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Annette, Washington, DC

    McCain, pleaseeeeee! Saddam is gone! Thanks to your buddy. What others tricks you got in your bag.

    August 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Rob

    Like him or not, John makes a good point on this.

    “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.” Remember, he found a way to hoodwink the vaunted and scary-tough UN and profit on the oil for food deal.

    The best way to take us down is to mess with our economy...look what's been happening to us for the last eight months....

    Ending the Iraq war won't make everything automatically perfect again – THEY'VE got the oil and we're proving we WON'T get off it....

    August 7, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. srw

    Of course, the current high oil prices wouldn't be partially the result of the war, and current tensions with Iran, would it?

    August 7, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. LeMonton

    That's very convinient Johnny McShame...

    After the fact it is very, very easy...

    Now that Saddam is not in power and the GOP/Bush/McCain oil friends are strangulating all of us to make a quick buck... it is very very easy...

    Of course! Why we did not think of that before...if Saddam Hussein would have still be in power not only he would have blackmailed the US with Iraq's oil...

    but also he would have probably staged a 9/11 part deux...maybe on 9/12/2002...

    or he would have nucked NYC and D.C. with all the nuclear weapons he was producing...

    or gas Wall Street, Chicago and Los Angeles with all the biochemical weapons he had...

    or Iraq would have become Al-Queda and Taliban heaven part 2 after Afghanistan...

    etc, etc, etc...

    The end of the world would have came to us if it wasn't for McCain, Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Halliburton, the GOP, 4000+ American lives and 3 trillion dollars of the taxpayer's money that saved the world from big bad Saddam Hussein and his evil plot.

    August 7, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    He would be keeping Iran in check so we would not have to McBush.

    August 7, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. C S N

    ...McCain concluded, “If he( Saddam Hussein ) 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.”

    OTHER-WISE,
    if we hadn't gone in to Iraq,
    over 4000 Americans would still be alive,
    thousands more would still have arms, legs, eyesight, misc. body parts,
    and mental stability yet intact! (hundreds of soldiers have committed suicide after they get back home.)

    Our economy wouldn't be trillions of dollars in debt either....

    August 7, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  19. Alex M

    So you admit you want to use foreign oil mccain? It would be soooo easy to just throw together tons of solar panels, wind power, and the much forgotten geothermal generators. Please don't let this scary old senile man run this country, we've had enough!

    August 7, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. We know maccain will be worst there is proof

    I think maccain is not feeling ok did he ever think maybe iraq people themself may have removed him from power or sadam may die of natural causes i can't believe people listen to this guy he has totally lost his mind and i believe the old age is really affecting the way he thinks this guy takes americans for a fool.

    August 7, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  21. US Soldier/college student

    This just proves how little John McCain knows about things on the world stage, and how unready he is to be President.

    Back when Saddam was in power, Iraq was heavily sanctioned, and the only oil that was able to leave Iraq was via the United Nation's Food for Oil program. Saddam wasn't making any money off of it, period. There were questions about where the food was going, but no money.

    Looks like someone forgot their ginko biloba.

    August 7, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. Lesley

    Ridiculous. How did he know back then that oil prices would go sky high? Hindsight doesn't count. He wasn't thinking about oil prices then, just how to fight a war that the American people didn't want and he did. Trying to justify a war is signature McCain. He's still thinks we could have won in Vietnam if we'd stayed there long enough.

    August 7, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  23. Obama For President

    Could it be McCain has ESP to predict what Sadam would do today or maybe he is just trying to justify his IRAQ vote?

    Let me answer the question: McCain realize he need to defend his vote and putting feelers out there for voters. McCain wants Obama to say the "surge" is working and Obama will say America wouldn't be in this mess if we didn't invade Iraq. I bet he will say something similiar during debates with Obama when asked "Senator do you regret voting for the war?"

    August 7, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  24. gene

    Yeah... just forget about the fact that the Enron Loophole on oil speculation that McCain voted for is the primary reason why oil prices are so high.. and forget the fact that it's the GOP cronies that are getting rich from the high oil prices...

    McCain and his speculation,... but Obama said it best... he has facts on his side... not speculation,

    August 7, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. McAbel

    Does McFear remember that Saddam had essentially agreed to allow inspectors in the country indefinitely?

    August 7, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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