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. Tennisguypitt

    It was MUCH lower before we invaded!

    I'm confused, he was supporting the Iraq war, then he may agree to 16 month withdrawal, then he justifies it? Can you say FLIP FLOP?

    Obama '08

    August 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Gary Chandler in Canada

    If McCain asked for a second splurge in Iraq, which is inevitable under his policies, would you still believe the first one was a success? Some of his lug nuts actually would!
    I couldn't quite hear him, did he say the surge was a 'precarious victory' or a 'Petreus victory'?

    August 7, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Robert in Seattle

    And the evil leprechauns would be building pixie dust bombs, the tooth fairies would be stealing nickels from under pillows, and gnomes are trying to undermine our national security.

    Get a grip, this is an election for President of the United States, not story telling hour.

    Obama 08

    August 7, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Moe

    You got to be kidding me, how stupid do the GOP think we are. You can go start wars on "What Ifs"... God help america if this Bozo gets the job....

    August 7, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Karl

    Hmmm...

    I'm willing to accept $4 / gallon in gas if it means that 4000 troops won't have to lose their lives and countless other troops won't be injured.

    I'd also be willing to accept $4 / gallon in gas if it meant that the US was not responsible for the death of over 100,000 innocent Iraqi citizens.

    August 7, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. Senile

    Certainly sinking $500 billion of borrowed money into a war that destabilized and stirred tensions with the middle east while investing next to nothing in alternative energy for eight years had no effect on gas prices. What a shameless panderer. Republicans make me sick.

    August 7, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. young grad

    so it was over oil....

    August 7, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. JCH Philly Democrat

    I love to read liberals whining... Now c'mon my starbucks drinking, volvo driving friends, who has better Judgment on matters of military commitments and foreign policy – McCain or Obama?

    McCain supported the surge (i.e., anti-insurgency strategy) which has created a stable Iraq and the opportunity for our troops to return honorably, whereas Obama – not only opposing the Surge – proclaimed that it could not succeed. Now we all see who had the better "judgment" on that issue. But despite this, Obama (who flip flops on every other issue) can bring himself to say that he was wrong in opposing and would vote against it knowing it would be a success??? Why – because he can't admit that he was wrong? It is this type of liberal arrogance that will make Obama a terrible President if he is elected.

    Therefore, since Obama told Hillary is was Judgment – and not experience – that matter, since McCain has both I am voting for him.

    August 7, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. Dem

    So we go to war for energy sources now? Oh man, my children are screwed!

    August 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  10. Gary Chandler in Canada

    oh, and by the way, the invasion and destabilization of Iraq led to the high oil prices!!!!
    -----–
    Why was McCain for his insignificant $40 tax break, but opposes Obama's substantial $1000 break?
    He says, out one side of his mouth, taxing oil companies is close to unpatriotic; then brags how he voted against tax break to oil companies??? it's a wee bit confusing!

    August 7, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. Grandma Dee

    Could someone please send John to a branwashing facility? All i hear is Bush, Bush, Bush ideas, similarities.

    Get rid of him, please, vote for anyone else, or don't vote! But not him!

    He is so old and forgetful and lives in the past!!!

    August 7, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. jeanette

    I thought Saddam Hussein ALREADY HAD WMD's, John.

    August 7, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. tony

    So does this mean we are invading Iran next? Iran is sitting on bigger total oil reserves than Iraq, it has an active nuclear (weapon?) program (unlike Iraq, whose nuclear program was apparently defunct prior to the invasion), and Iran's president spends most of his time verbally attacking the U.S. and Israel. Just imagine what Iran can do with the sky-high oil price. How do we deal with the Iran threat when our troops are tied up in Iraq, Mr. McCain?

    August 7, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Fordy

    This man ties every domestic issue to WAR.
    Yesterday he called for an economic surge, which nobody in the world knows what the hell he's talking about. Now he's linking the iraq war to the price of oil. Well, as long as we're gonna blame the war for everything, McCain is senile because of the was in Vietenam. Psyche..he's senile because he's old. LOL

    August 7, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Chris

    The reason we have high gas prices is BECAUSE we went into Iraq . Sure, Saddam isn't making the money, the oil companies are!!! Profits they wouldn't be seeing if we hadn't gone into Iraq. Saddam would never have witnessed such high oil prices. Don't let McCain, Bush and Cheney pull the wool over your eyes. We wouldn't be in this mess if we had avoided this situation in the first place. Don't be a sheep!!!

    August 7, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain's an idiot. Bush asked the Saudis for oil, what are the Saudis doing with their oil revenue. I guess they too are using the money to make WMD's along with OPEC that control the cost of oil. What an idiot.

    August 7, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  17. Carl from MI

    THE ENDS DON'T JUSTIFY THE MEANS!!! Is this guy an IDIOT or what??

    The high cost of oil is BECAUSE of the WAR IN IRAQ!! This is a no-brainer!!

    Of course, McCain IS a no-brainer... which is why it all makes sense, if only to him!!

    August 7, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Jason, Los Angeles

    Right...just like he was doing during all those years he held office? When was Iraq ever a legitimate international concern? Sure they were regional bullies, but didn't Saddam have enough time between Gulf War I and Gulf War II to build wealth sufficient to buy what he wanted?

    John McCain wants nothing more than to find new justification for this fiasco, all the while ignoring the original, and misleading, reason we went there in the first place. McCain's like that stubborn grandfather who refuses to buy a touch-tone phone, even though his arthritis acts up every time he turns the rotary.

    Welcome to the 21st Cent., Senator McCain. It's time to retire.

    August 7, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. 2008 MINUTE MAN

    WOW. MCCAIN REALLY HAS A TALENT FOR SPIN. EVEN AFTER 9/11 THE CONCENSUS WAS THAT WE NEEDED TO GO TO AFGANISTAN TO CONFRONT THE WAR ON TERROR. WE DISREGARDED THE ACTUAL INTELLIGENCE, DECLARED WAR ON A SOVEREIGN NATION, ARE LOSING THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN LIVES, HAVE A WEAKENING ECONMY DUE TO THE WAR AND GOP ECONONMIC POLICIES, AND ARE WITNESSING THE WIDEST GAP BETWEEN THE HAVES AND HAVE NOTS IN THE PAST 40 YEARS. TO SAY THAT WE WOULD BE WORSE OFF IF WE NEVER WENT IS UNTRUE AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS FOR ANY LEADER TO SAY.

    WE ALREADY HAD A PRESIDENT WHO WOULD NOT ADMIT A MISTAKE. AMERICA, LETS ACKNOWLEDGE OUR MISTAKE IN CHOOSING BUSH BY SELECTING THE DEMOCRAT THIS TIME AROUND. THE COUNTRY DESERVES IT.

    OBAMA 08

    August 7, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. Soldier for OBAMA

    I am in the US Army and I realized that had it not been for the WAR Bush would not be President in 04 either. McCain shows his ignorance everyday, Saddam was under UN restrictions and could only sell a few hundred barrels per year. The notion that he would have benefit is a huge dose of BS because oil would not have been that high. The WAR caused the industry to manipulate the markets, the Saud's got rich, the bombers came from Saudi Arabia and we went to Iraq, where is the outrage. The Saudi's are the one who instigated the WAR, and are pushing to go to Persia to attack the Persians. I am sure the Sauds are busy building Nuclear Wepons but no one is watching. John McCain has no military success except been a Prisoner of WAR. In training he crash 5 airplanes, so more or less he crash in Vietnam and everyone said he was shot down,...it is the biggest frabication of a lie ever! This guy is a fraud and a weasel!

    August 7, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Patriot

    McCaint is shameless, and very dangerous if he cannot come to grips with the fact that the Iraq bush war HAS ONLY COST AMERICANS in every way!

    The Iraq war has not benefited Americans in any way.

    Yet McCaint continues to support his huge bush blunder?

    Even clearer reason to not allow McCaint to continue the failed bush policies, and further destroy America.

    August 7, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. tigerakabj

    Nice try McCain, trying to put a good spin on why we went to Iraq. Since you can't win the foreign policy debate, now you're trying to spin this on speculation.

    We are there for oil. You admitted that yourself when you had a senior moment a few months back. Never was and never will be about WMDs and bringing democracy.

    Obama/Sebelius 2008/2012.

    August 7, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. Chris

    McCain, you friggin idiot, the reason why gas is so expensive is because your little war has cost us so much that the dollar is worth nothing. Your war leads to insecurity in the Mid East and artificially raises the price of oil.

    You and your party are the reason why oil is so expensive, so don't pretend you are a prophet and you voted for war when oil was $40/barrel because you knew, all these years later, that oil would be $120.

    And CNN, when are you going to call McCain out on this kind of BS?

    August 7, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. mb--texas

    Why does McCain have to repeat his words to make a point?The war in Iraq was about the oil.Now we find that the major oil companies
    are trying to bid to drill.Gas prices are going down at this 3.58 in my
    town now we complain high prices they will lower the prices gradually
    when they think they can the price where people are complaining
    that is what we will paying until the next.Read an article in 1975 Time
    magazine at that time gasoline prices new car prices all going up,
    and natural gas shortage.Double page ad
    title America"s coal: a gold mine of energy talking what Exxon is doing to help put coal"s energy to work today..Ad decision 75 energy independence-will we go where the action is?Coal is the anwer;Now. This in 1975 still talking but doing nothing.

    August 7, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  25. Morningstar

    All people with IQ 100 or lower should vote McCain, the rest please vote Obama.

    August 7, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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