August 9th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain skewers Obama's judgement on war in speech to vets

John McCain accused Barack Obama Saturday of blocking funding for the troops.
John McCain accused Barack Obama Saturday of blocking funding for the troops.

LAS VEGAS (CNN) - After a week spent trying to poke holes in Barack Obama’s energy and economic policies, John McCain returned to the topic of the Iraq war on Saturday, accusing Obama of “varying positions on the surge” and trying to “legislate failure” by voting against troop funding.

McCain told the annual convention of the Disabled American Veterans that his Democratic rival “tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge.”

“Not content to merely predict failure in Iraq, my opponent tried to legislate failure,” he said. “This was back when supporting America’s efforts in Iraq entailed serious, serious political risk. It was a clarifying moment. It was a moment when political self-interest and the national interest parted ways.”

The McCain campaign made the same charge against Obama in a television ad released last month in key states called “Troop Funding,” citing Obama’s vote against a supplemental appropriations bill in May 2007 during the Democratic primary race. Obama and other senate Democrats voted against the bill in protest because it removed language calling for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

An Obama spokesman said the Illinois senator had voted for every troop funding bill prior to the May 2007 legislation, and the nonpartisan FactCheck.org noted that “Obama cast at least 10 votes for war-funding bills before voting against one last year.”

In his speech to a veterans' convention, McCain accused Obama of being a simple opportunist when it comes to the war, pointing to a recent interview Obama gave to ABC News in which the Democrat suggested he would still oppose the troop surge today despite its current success.

“Even in retrospect,” McCain said, “he would choose the path of retreat and failure for America over the path of success and victory. Behind all of these claims and positions by Sen. Obama lies the ambition to be president. What’s missing is the judgment to be commander in chief.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Unshrub

    Lies, lies, lies. McCain is lying about Obama's votes on the troops and he is lying about claiming Obama voted to increase taxes for everyday Americans. Lies, Lies, Lies. How can the right justify these kind of lies.

    August 9, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. JR, Plymouth

    Blah blah blah....insert negative ad hominem diatribe here...

    August 9, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. McCain supporter

    It's so sad that BO doesn't have any real ideas or insights about what's going on in the world. If this young superstar of myopia does get elected, we'd better all practice putting our heads between our knees and...

    August 9, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. hillaryclinton4barackobama

    Well. at least now we all know McSame WILL NOT STOP distorting the facts to his advantage ...

    August 9, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. Maritza

    Mr. McCain should stop lying because it will catch up with him. Mr. McCain lies every time he opens his mouth; did he show up to vote on the last bill that would have helped the veterans? He chose to stay away while Mr. Obama went and voted for the bill. Veterans deserve more than a pack of lies from Mr. McCain; he is insulting their intelligence; I hope fore veterans to be a bit smarter than to fall for all the lying that Mr. McCain does.

    August 9, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Phyllis/ PA

    Dear John McCain, You are doing much better in you speeches lately. You still are not the "celebrity" but this is not necessary if you just do not make too many gaffs. Stay on script. I only hope that you review the scripts and they are things that represent how you truly feel.

    I will be honest and say that I am a Hillary supporter. Unfortunately the party is about to nominate Obama. He may be ok in the future but no way at this time when our counry is faced with so many major problems.

    If Obama wins the nomination, YOU MUST WIN. From my little circle the only real problem you will have is with my female friends on abortion. If you could say that Obama is such a risk tand that you will promise not to do anything to overturn the right of ladies to have an abortion you just might win. Play politics if necessary and find a way to stay neutral on this subject.

    The country can not risk Obama at this time. Maybe later but not now when our country is faced with many serious problems.

    Hillary Pres. or McCain. Never Obama he has zero ezperience. Maybe later abut NOT now.

    August 9, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. J

    McCain skewers Obama? I suppose the European American media wants everybody to believe that McCain baseless attacks against Obama are having an effect. On what or whom, I do not know. One thing is certain, McCain's (Mr. I own six houses, wear $500 shoes, and am married to blond haired barbie doll) empty headed attacks will never change my opinion on who is the best candidate to lead this country.

    Obama 08 & 12

    August 9, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. tigerakabj

    If Obama's judgment had been noted in 2002, we wouldn't be in the Iraq war to begin with. On the other hand, McCain was one of the main drum beaters of this war.

    Instead of getting a "surge" high, McCain should be explaining what his role is in the DHL scandal in Ohio that will cost over 8,200 jobs.

    Obama/Sebelius 2008/2012.

    August 9, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. A CANUCK

    Check out New in the Ticker.....McCain "skewers' Obama....McCain "slams" Obama.....seems like his campaign is based on "badmouthing".......what happened to the clean campaign he was going to run....reminds me of desperate Hillary !!!

    August 9, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. mike E DANVILLE,VA

    Could Mcain please tell us about his plan and stop talking about Obama. I mean when you spend more time telling me about whats wrong with someelse's plan, I can start to hear about what you maybe trying to tell me about yourself.

    August 9, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. jamie

    How could Osama have any real judgement of the Iraq war? He has only been there once and he has no military experiance, at all.Osama,is nothing more than a silver tounge devel hiding behind a nice smile and a hole bunch of nice words. America,needs a real leader that has more to offer than just a smile and a collection of sleek words...However,Americans in general are too stupid to look beyond all of this! Americans, behave like its a football game and vote for the party(team)and not for the person with a brain.

    August 9, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. Trollmaster

    Being wrong about a detail in a war that should have never been waged is nothing compared to being wrong about waging a costly and needless war in the first place.

    McCain was one of the biggest supporters of the Iraq invasion, this alone makes him very unqualified to lead.

    August 9, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    Another day another Lie from Johnny Mac. This is not news. He wouldn't know the truth if it bit him in the arse.
    Oh, and another deceitful Headline from CNN. Really tired of you covering his spew. You know that some people only read the Headlines or the 1st paragraph of the story. That's why you save the truth for the last paragraph.

    August 9, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. ruffdeezy

    I guess McCain forget that he is against the GI Bill.

    August 9, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. mel

    McCain do not have the right answer,he only was a navy polit
    about 48 years ago I think the time is correct.Time have change
    since his service,we are more advance now. So he would be
    less fix to lead.

    August 9, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. OIF VET

    It's to bad that McCain's support of the troops is just a lot of talk. His record is one that leaves many wondering how a former vet could turn his back on the GI's in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    August 9, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. Sean from Orlando

    As he should, I am a Dem and even I can see that Obama has 0 experience in this area, his last minute trip to the Middle East was nothing more than a "War for Dummies" trip. Obama is the freshman of the Senate. That being said if Clinton is on his ticket I will vote for him, if not then I will join the rest of my family and many of my friends in voting McCain in the fall.

    August 9, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Marie

    McCain is a liar and so is MSM for not calling him on his lies and distortions. Come to think of it ,you didn't call on Bush's lies and distortions either, when it came to the run up to the war. Enough already with McCain this, McCain that. He is going though his second childhood and MSM are bad parents in allowing him to get away with it.

    August 9, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  19. Andrew, PA

    Wait a minute McSame, McBush..whatever..
    First I'm not your friend.

    Jim Webb introduced a bill months back that would have given U.S. military troops in Iraq the full benefits as other Veterans. I know some old guy that voted against such a measure.. oh yeah that was Pro-Military Johnny McSame. His lame argument never really was challenged or even debated in the media.. I wonder why??? hummm.. Journalist can't seem to smell a story when it's rather fowl. Johnny said it would somehow decrease enrollment or re-enlistment.. haha.. that's basically saying ground troops who have to deal with roadside bombs, suicide bombers , and random acts of terrorism , or stuck in a warzone don't require or deserve such benefits.. oh McSame..

    Your just like the rest.. people are expendable .. so why bother wasting money on them when they'll probably get blown up, right?
    There's a big difference between a service man who works behind a desk for ten years and a ground soldier facing possible death each day, yet McCain can't seem to use that type of common sense.

    McCain is so blind.. and OLD!

    August 9, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  20. thomas rogers

    here's my comment. the chicken hawks want us to commend them for thier limited costly success in irak battleground a place where we should never have been in the first place. the chickenhawk republicans have failed in the overall war on terror miserably. actually the chickenhawk draft dodging beltway republicans committed treason and high war crimes getting us involved thier with thier wmd lies. as a new yorker who loved the twin towers im wondering where ben ladin is? what's up in pakistan and afganistan and ethiopia and sudan. the republicans have failed like losers and shjould be publicly disgraced for what they have done to the real war effort' and our rep abroad(gitmo and torture). wow your surge helped a losing unnecessary battle in the overall war you beltway slush fed fat chickenhawks have totally botched. i vomit on your think tanks and mindless brainwash propaganda. brownie resigned so did rumsey so did rove why doesnt condi and dicky hawk? losers you will lose

    August 9, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. frank cortinas

    this war was doomed to fail from day one when the bush administration entered without an exit plan...i hear mc-same talking about victory in iraq...could someone please ask him to define "victory" since bush changes it daily...

    August 9, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. mcSame

    Mccain slings more mud than a stuck truck. Patriotism is the last bastion of the scoundrel.

    August 9, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Robert

    This article's headline is misleading and unprofessional. It's designed to draw attention and imply that McCain scored a solid hit on Obama's record, which the article itself proves he did not.

    Please CNN, report credibly and do not sensationalize.

    August 9, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. angie

    you spelled judgment wrong.

    August 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  25. George

    Yes, McCain is the candidate of war and Obama is the candidate of peace. McCain is like Hannity and O'Reilly at FOX: they have to be always attacking somebody.
    Also, sorry Mr. McWar: BUT, do you think that you can work as president for some 8 to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week... and be effective??, when you will be from 72 to 76 years old?
    I am YOUR age, and I can tell you: it wont work!!! Be honest.

    August 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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