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. cbenji

    Does Mccain think what we've done in Iraq has been a success? a victory? he is clearly delusional. but I guess if I was walking around in 500 dollar loafers I wouldn't be too concerned with gas and food prices.

    August 9, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. jon

    You spelled "judgment" wrong, you lightweights.

    August 9, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Irishspacemonk

    Instead of "skewers" you should be accurate and say "skews" Obama's record. Or why not just be honest and say, McCain flat out is lying about Obama's record...no wait that would mean you actually did reporting.

    August 9, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. LINDA

    …Looking at a face like McBush's, doesn't exactly give me... "A FRESH FEELING"

    OBAMA 08′
    Yes We Can!!!!!Stop all the drama, and VOTE FOR OBAMA!!!!!

    August 9, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Jason

    I used to like McCain, but more and more, as he goes further negative and continues to falsely accuse, I've come to the conclusion that he's just another 3 letter word for a donkey.

    August 9, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  6. John Bonds

    It is just unbelievable that any politician can get on the air not just McCain but any politician and not tell the whole truth on subject matters they are tiring to get the American people to buy into. Shame on that news network which allows this type of campaigning and not bring that individual to task. If we as country want a leader in office that is truly there to improve the American way of life we must all disclose any form of trickery or deception as it is presented and who is better equipped to do that but the major news networks!

    Just a hopeful dream as a follow up, only in politic can a person interview for a position and after obtaining that same position fail to live up to the claims made while partitioning for it. If only there were bench marks along the way of a politician’s ruin of office and based on weather he or she met those marks would determine if they were allowed to stay in that office we may have better results from all the time and effort we put into electing these officials.

    Just another bewildered American that is disgusted with the mis-leader and deception.

    August 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  7. PUMA-Jessie

    Obama is a serial flip flopper. He has had about four sides on Irag . First he wanted them out in 16 moths, then it was when conditions on the ground warrant it, third it was hopelully in 16 moths after talks with the military and it would be warranted and last in 16 months without conditions on the ground and regardless of what the military advised, just pack up and leave. He will do or say anything to get a vote.

    August 9, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Orville

    John "McShame" is still hashing and rehashing old news...if all he can do is try to skewer Obama on Iraq then it will be an easy victory for Obama in November. As a republican faithful I am so tired of hearing from McShame about nothing but the Iraq war. Where is his positive, "this is what I will do for you, Middle America" speech?...I'm afraid my republican vote is going for Obama.

    August 9, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. Independent in New Mexico

    And where was Senator McCain when Rumsfield was sending troops into combat with inadiquate equipment ???? And the "new" GI bill ? The way he talks only career enlisted personel should qualify... My father and uncles qualified durning WW2 went to college and bought homes. Others used the bill after Korea, and I served durning Vietnam, after which I attend college and bought a home. To be truthful, we have to ask how much of the "Troop Funding" was actualy used for and by the troops and how much went into the pockets of politicaly connected "contractors" ?????

    August 9, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Pepou

    He is right. McCain voted against the GI Bill and should be ashamed.

    August 9, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. made20

    well he has a piont he Flip-Flops on economy, irag, nafta ,fisa, he votes for more than 130 times pressend.
    he has no agenda no more because the withdraw plan from irag came from clinton 16 monds, obama said by the end off 2009 a 9 monds plan, so many things he agians now he is for, starts from withdraw plan on irag till offshore drilling.
    to bad because the real idiea`s came from clinton on intrest rates, on healthcare obama stops in 1993 plan, on regulations of banking came from clinton. 99 of 100 idiea came from clinton he obama just agreed on it.(look for your self if you like at him org )

    August 9, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. jason, tx

    McCain failed when he voted for the war in the first place. Also, his record on supporting vets is horrible.

    August 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. R

    John McCain is SOOO trying to make something stick to Barack. Old dude keep trying. HAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    August 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Shut Up

    McDummy

    August 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Karen-phoenix

    OH how McCain lies!!!! That's what he did! I do believe a bit of dementia is creeping into McCain's head!!

    August 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. AJP,Richardson, TX

    I am an ex vet an McCaain is clueless about war.

    Give me a break, he was only a low rankin tcommisioned officer in the Navy, and a playboy in his time off. He new were the women were for the rest of the guys.

    August 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. Texas Trail Dog!

    More lies. Obama is not a military or veteran supporter. I am tired of his lies, "I'M NOT FOR THE IRAQ WAR, " WHEN HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A VOTE. LIE, LIE, LIE!!!

    August 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. Fabian Blache III, Baton Rouge, LA

    Here is the bottom line to me:

    Governing is much a akin to being a running back. You have to read and react to what is unfolding at the time and make your best guesses and best moves along the way.

    If you pound it up the middle all day and the middle is locked down tight, then you are an idiot for not trying something else.

    This Iraq debate is asinine. We should have never been there in the first place. We should have had our sites set on Afghanistan from day one until Osma Bin Laden was located, cornered and killed.

    Investing as much as we have into Iraq, the human capital and the monetary outlay has been quite the tangent at best.

    I would hope Obama or McCain would be willing to compromise on positions when those positions prove inadequate at resolving a current crisis. I don't want rigidity for the sake of rigidity in my leaders–rather, I want dynamic thinking that comes about from decisiveness born of reason not just hunches.

    August 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Karen-phoenix

    PS: McCain did you not hear, the war is over. The troops will be home by 2010 just as Obama has stated. Get off the war kick. NO MORE WARS! Peace is patriotic!

    August 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Rita - In California

    McBush is repositioning after the DHL – OHIO gaffe. And is returning to what he believes is his strength – the Iraq surge get over it.

    August 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. Kris from AZ

    MCdump is flinging dumb mud again. Check the facts my friends.

    August 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. bill for barack

    Who is the Antichrist /
    McLame surely puts himself squarely in the running with his campaign.

    August 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Susan - Fact Check is a joke,

    Fact Check looks more like Obama cheer leaders.

    Fact check never says yes Mcain was right on that, they try ot dig up other stuff and turn it around,

    McCain said he voted against the funding and he did.

    Fact check is a joke, a bunch of democrats calling themselves non-partisan.

    August 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. Montana is Obama Country

    McCain is such a LIAR and dishonors those who have served..

    August 9, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    JOHN McCAIN.........

    BEHIND ALL OF THESE CLAIMS AND POSITIONS OF SEN. OBAMA LIES THE AMBITION TO BE PRESIDENT.

    Yes Sen. Obama wants to be President, but ONLY BECAUSE HE WANTS TO HELP AMERICA BECOME, ONCE AGAIN, RESPECTED AROUND THE WORLD, AND HE WANTS TO RETURN AMERICA ONCE AGAIN, TO THE FLOURISHING HOME OF THE BRAVE AND THE FREE!

    YES........AND BEHIND THE NUMEROUS MISSPEAKS, GAFFES, FORGETFULNESS, DISRESPECT FOR WOMEN, DISRESPECT FOR HIS WIFE CINDY, WHOM HE CALLED A C*** BEHIND THIS MAN, WHO HAS SIX HOUSES, (while most Americans are losing their only home) BEHIND THIS MAN, WHOSE WIFE FLIES HIM AROUND IN HER PERSONAL JET, BEHIND THIS MAN, WHO TELLS OUTRIGHT LIES ABOUT BARACK OBAMA, BEHIND THIS MAN WHO WILL DO ANY AND EVERYTHING .....LIES WHAT AMBITION?

    THE AMBITION TO BE PRESIDENT AT ANY AND ALL COSTS!

    AMERICANS PLEASE WAKE UP AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR BELOVED COUNTRY IF JOHN McCAIN IS ALLOWED TO SERVE ANOTHER FOUR YEARS OF WASHINGTON'S SAME OLD, SAME OLD POLITICS!

    August 9, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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