August 10th, 2008
09:28 AM ET
10 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. Luke

    Has Russia really done anything wrong here? I see a lot of condemnation from the west for what really appears to be legitimate peacekeeping. The Georgians have been hitting Tskhinvali pretty hard

    August 9, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Even tho obama is a democrat as opposed to McCain the republican I don't see how either one of them could have the nerve to try to tell Russia or Georgia presidents what to do. With the way bush invaded Iraq and turned it into a killing vehicle for Americans as well as Iraqi the best thing we could do is SHUT UP. By trying to mediate the fighting our presence would only inflame it.

    August 9, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  3. lila

    McCain has an overcompensating napoleon complex. McCain reacted like an old short man who wants to be seventeen again. McCain is risky. Obama gave the mature reply that reflected other world leaders on an international stage. McCain, the overcompensating scrappy-doo would start world war 3. McCain would start a war with both Iran and Russia.

    August 9, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  4. DR. YES

    i wish obama were president.bush/mccain are scary in these situations.

    August 9, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  5. Victoria Nikolov

    When did TV news ever put the Democrat candidate's website on the News website? That is not allowed , to push one candidate over an other. You are supposed to report the news, not make it. From now on, you must adhere to That means, No fund raising ads for Obama. Isn't that unethical. or website access to his website.

    August 9, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  6. aware

    Give it up Obama! You have no right to speak to this issue! 😦

    August 9, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  7. lila

    And I say that in reply to the whole statements that McCain vs Obama gave. CNN gave surgepants a cover-up with this ticker.

    August 9, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  8. Raymond Duke

    Neither one of these yahoo's should be saying nothing to the Georgian president. Neither one should be involved trying to make policy or promises for the United States. George Bush is the president until he leaves. Only him or his spokesman should be sending the message.

    August 9, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  9. NPA

    So the Obama camp has allowed the McCain camp to successfully change the debate from the Iraq war to the surge? Over and over, the evidence is showing that the McCain camp is intellectually more capable than the Obama camp, though for the candidates themselves this is the direct opposite. Perhaps Obama should attend those townhall meetings with McCain after all. This debacle reminds me of Bush's machine telling the American people how down is up and up is down. It is fullish to resort to quotes such as "I hope the American people is smarter than that." It is the job of the candidates to convince the people. The Obama camp is losing on mental capacity.

    August 10, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  10. denise

    Is this a preview of how Obama will handle foreign issues...?
    Vacationing in Hawaii and briefings from his staff?
    THIS is a REAL situation where Obama could shine but choses instead to relax with the family .....Big Boo Boo in my eyes.

    August 10, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  11. Len Clark

    Talk about hypocracy. Maybe they both should look at country of Iraq
    which they invaded. They might want to re-think their wording.

    August 10, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  12. cal

    this election is waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too long.

    why are either of them speaking to the president of georgia?
    neither of them is the president, yet.

    August 10, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. Keeping An Open Mind

    So this is what an Obama presidency would be like? Him lounging around in Hawaii while there is a crisis going on that could erupt into a full blown war? He is showing he is not fit to be commander in chief

    August 10, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  14. Abby

    Keep obama away from any REAL issues/problems – this FRAUD is not qualified to lead our country – let alone advise another country.
    Obama is NOT qualified and will never be elected.
    We can TRUST McCain – and he is NOT on vacation – again.

    August 10, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  15. Ken

    They shouldn't even be involved or be talking about this.

    August 10, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  16. CB

    We can clearly see from the responses what kind of leadership each will offer internationally. McCain will see a "threat" everywhere and escalate the situation by calling for "unconditional" withdrawls. Obama will see that the situation can be resolved and looks for mediation BEFORE it escalates into something irreversible.

    McCain is to quick to make things escalate. A scary thought if he becomes President.

    August 10, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  17. all do respect to McCain and Obama

    But they have no business talking with the Georgian President.

    They are US Senators. Unless they are part of a commission designed to talk with him, then so be it.

    Let Bush talk with him. He is the President, whether many of you like it or not. This is not some issue for a presidential candidate to stick his head into right now.

    2,500 dead with more to come, but it's okay! I can capitalize on the platform and try to get elected!

    Let Georgia, Russia, the world leaders, along with NATO and the UN work this out....

    Speaking of NATO, you guys at CNN do realize that this is what this war is about right? Georgia is a democracy wanting to join NATO. Russia sees this as a threat and will use her realm of influence to crush any competition... especially since 4% of the world's oil comes from a Georgian pipeline.

    August 10, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  18. JWK

    John McCain and Barack Obama should issue a tough joint statement on this matter, so that Russia is warned that America will stand with Georgia whoever wins this election. For the love of God, whatever happened to the leader of the Free World?

    August 10, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  19. White 53 year old Obama Mama

    McCain will want us to get involved in another war – the warmonger that he is.

    P.S. When will we hear about McCain's affair with the lobbyiest? Is there a media coverup again?

    August 10, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  20. Jeanine G

    to prove how "tough" he is McCain would spark a new cold war. For votes he would close the iron curtain again and stand around and talk big and strike poses.

    August 10, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  21. Mark Ramsey MD Milwaukee WI

    Time to get our troops and our treasure out of Iraq. The Russians are on the move again.

    August 10, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  22. K of TX

    i really do find the "I told you guys this was coming and I spoke with them more times than Obama" political tone annoying coming from McCain. The man would try to politicize ANYTHING to score points.

    One Question:

    Are you better off now than you were 8yrs. ago?
    McCain seems to think so...

    Obama '08

    August 10, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  23. Rob indetroit

    With all do respect Georgia attacked Russian forces first russia is defending itself, by the way we can't talk ,iraq didn't do anything to us and all we did was cover throw their goverment kill their president and his two son's along with his 14 year old Grandson. we need to mind our own business, ooh! i bet the war hawkes don't want any part of russia.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 10, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  24. Mariam

    I am amazed to read and watch CNN materials on the situation in Georgia. The information is presented extremely white and black.

    Georgia is portrayed as a victim of "Russian aggression" but there is absolutely no information on how this whole thing has started, therefore I choose not to watch your channel as it is very opinionated and biased (against Russia).

    August 10, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  25. Bill Dennis

    Now that John Edward has confessed that he had an affair. It's time
    the the News Media check out John Mcain and his true connection to VIkie Iseman.

    There was a time when the News Media investagated news leads, not just read the teleprompter every night.

    August 10, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
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