August 10th, 2008
09:28 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain, Obama both speak with Georgian president

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili spoke with both U.S. presidential candidates on Saturday.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili spoke with both U.S. presidential candidates on Saturday.

(CNN) – John McCain and Barack Obama both spoke to Georgia's president Saturday and continued to call for an end to Russia's bombing of the former Soviet republic.

Both candidates pressed for recognition of Georgia's sovereignty pushed for diplomacy in the conflict.

"For many years, I have warned against Russian actions that undermine the sovereignty of its neighbors," said McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, on Saturday. "Unfortunately, we have seen in recent days Russia demonstrate that these concerns were well-founded."

Obama also condemned "the violation of Georgia's sovereignty" and called for "an immediate ceasefire."

"Russia must stop its bombing campaign, cease flights of Russian aircraft in Georgian airspace, and withdraw its ground forces from Georgia," Obama said.

McCain said he has spoken to Georgian President Saakashvili twice since the conflict began. "It is clear the situation is dire ... I again call on the government of Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia."

He called the conflict a "threat to Euro-Atlantic security," and supported attempts by Western powers - including the United States, the European Union, and NATO - to broker a ceasefire.

Obama is receiving breifings om the situation while on vacation in Hawaii. He also spoke with Saakashvili, and in a statement afterwards direct talks between Russia and Georgia are necessary.

"Diplomats at the highest levels from the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations must become directly involved in mediating this military conflict and beginning a process to resolve the political disputes over the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia," he said. "A genuinely neutral mediator - not the Russian government - must begin a process of negotiations immediately."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Annie

    Obama has ZER0 experience and should not be speaking on behalf of the U.S.

    NO O B A M A

    August 9, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  2. Veteran for Obama

    If McCain were President he would attack Russia. He loves war. The problem is McCain would send all of the remaining troops we have in America and there would be nobody left to protect our homeland.

    McCain loves war. He is lucky the Vietcong saved his life so he is able to go around and spout off hate and lies today. He would have died if the Vietcong did not save his life in the first place.

    August 9, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  3. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Spoken like the true president we already know you are President Obama. McCain would instantly want to start bombing Russia with our long range Stealth bombers and then you could kiss our @sses goodbye.

    August 9, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. ex-Republican for Obama

    America needs Obama as commander-in-chief, not that old guy who doesn't even work weekends.

    August 9, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. Tyler

    I am behind Russia on this....Georgia is the aggressor. I guess for both candidates, sovereignty is only an issue when US allies are invaded...but when US or its allies violate sovereignty of other nations...its okay. Where is the candidates outrage on the brutal bombing by Georgian troops on South Ossetia's capital???? I hope Russia teaches little Georgia a good lesson.

    I will not be voting...both candidates foreign policies are the same, except for the issue with Iraq and negotiations with Iran, small details.

    August 9, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. MM

    Why are either one talking to the Georgia President? Neither one is the president. They shouldn't be mixing campaign politics in with the Georgia crisis.

    August 9, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  7. bill for barack

    Did McLame ask if things were o.k. in Atlanta /

    August 9, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  8. Renata Sanders

    With all due respect, please note how the writer has disproportionally written more about Obama's briefing of the situation while on vacation and has finished the essay with a whole paragraph about Obama's position. That is such a Pro-Obama stand. And I am telling you this not as an uneducated , lay person but as a psychiatrist. You can infer from the article an almost unconcious, ego-syntonic preference for the democratic candidate. In case this doesn't get published, please forward my comments to the journalist .
    Renata Sanders, MD

    August 9, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  9. Loving Obama

    Let's hope McCain does not decide to bomb Russia!

    August 9, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  10. David Goldman for OBAMA

    WOW MCSCUMBAG WANTS RUSSIA TO RESPECT

    THE SOVEREIGNTY OF IT'S NEIGHBORS?

    I GUESS WE'RE OK WITH THE IRAQ WAR,

    BECAUSE IRAQ IS NOT OUR NEIGHBOR?

    MCSENILE HAS A DIFFERENT SCAM FOR EVERY MINUTE.

    August 9, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Doesn't Chechnya deserve a little sovereignty too?

    August 9, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. Charlotte

    This is a major concern for all of us. We cannot afford to do battle for others, we would be in dire straights if we attempt to intercede.

    August 9, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. Rabblerouser

    Blah, blah, blah – does BO ever say anything that has any substance?

    August 9, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  14. Bill

    Can someone explain again, why did Georgia strike Russia first? before we decide we need to win this war too

    August 9, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  15. MD

    Neither of these two are the president of the US yet. Both must stay out of the situation, and let the government handle it.

    August 9, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  16. aaaaa

    mccain doesnt need to talk because he has no plans. Obama cant stop Russia but hwe will do his best to prevent future wars when he takes office.

    August 9, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  17. jimmy

    CORRECTION: GEORGIA HAS A RIGHT TO SUPPRESS REBELLION IN ONE OF ITS PROVINCES.!!!!

    August 9, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. mk

    One more reason not to vote for Obama. Who would want him as President in this situation? Not me.

    August 9, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  19. TN for Obama

    McSame Ole Thing: The world does NOT need your type of help. Remember "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb.....Bomb, Bomb Iran." NOW you want to be taken seriously? We know you like to "Have a little fun...." but we don't want a president with your type of humor.

    August 9, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  20. jimmy

    PRESIDENT BUSH WAS QUICK TO CONDEMN THE ATTACK AND URGED BOTH SIDES TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT AND QUIT THE FIGHTING.. NEVERTHELL, THE DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE AND S. OSSETIA OF GEORGIA WILL NOW BE UNDER RUSSIAN CONTROL.
    THIS IS THE SORT OF INTIMIDATION THAT RUSSIA IS PURSUING
    TO WARN OTHER ANTI RUSSIAN NATIONS JUST HOW EASY RUSSIA WILL USE ITS ARMED FORCES AT THE SLITHEST EXCUSE AND WITHOUT PROVOCATION. IMAGINE ALL THE NATIONS NEAR OR AROUND RUSSIA WHO HAVE IMMIGRANT RUSSIANS.????

    August 9, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  21. Dennis

    Not only is it unfortunate that the Georgians and Russians went to war on the start of the Olympics, but John McCain choose tonight's Olympic coverage to run negative attack ads on Obama. Totally tasteless politics from McCain, totally inappropriate tone for an event celebrating peace and the human spirit of goodness. McCain, no shame whatsoever.

    August 9, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  22. JB illinois

    And our president is enjoying the olympics, he has no conscience, and war belongs to men of greed, arrogance and no conscience.

    August 9, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  23. Chicago Red

    CNN) — John McCain and Barack Obama both spoke to Georgia's president Saturday and continued to call for an end to Russia's bombing of the former Soviet republic. What About George did he talk
    with anyone he still the President
    ***Russia must stop its bombing campaign***I wonder if Russia said any thing to USA about Iraq ****

    August 9, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. California Gold

    McCain sounds more and more like a dictator.

    August 9, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  25. s.positive

    MCbush, you see why having the common sense to work and solve problems evenwith an enemy like Russia, makes more sense, Would you bomb now or talk with them? Talk about so called experience...

    August 9, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
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