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. manana georgiani

    whay Russens have to invade wholl world? if USA and NATO will not help to defend Geogias Democracy, Putin will soon Putin military bases under foots of USA.

    August 10, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Mike

    So McCain says that the situation threatens NATO, and thus tells the Russians that more is at stake here than just Georgia.

    Obama says Russia and Georgia need to talk.

    Looks like Obama's future Secretary of State is going to be Oprah.

    The Obama joke continues....

    August 10, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. Hillary voter for McCain

    McCain is a courageous leader, while Obama is a weak follower and NOT ready to lead....John McCain for President! Country First.....

    August 10, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. ben

    This is the reason we are so hated in this world. Why do we think we have( our govt. not us mere citizens ) the right to dictate to the world what they must or must not do? Since when have we become dictators of the entire world. I say if Russia wants to invade Georgia let them. I am sure they feel it is in their best interest to do so. Nobody tells us we must lift the embargo over Cuba! Why is it that at one time, we had three of the worst evil dictators in the world right here in our back yard and we did not lift a finger to stop them. We did not stop Trujillo in the dominican republic, Batista in cuba, Papa doc duvalier in haiti. Perhaps Russia feels threatened by Georgia, Who knows? We only get the slanted news from one side.

    August 10, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Tammie from Cleveland,Ohio

    I can understand why McCain would be talking to the President,
    but is Obama?? He dosen't know diddley Squat about foreign affairs.

    August 10, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. onemom

    Are all U.S. Senators receiving these types of briefings? If not, then why are McCain and Obama involved? They are presumptive candidates for the Presidency ... neither of them is President (last I checked).

    August 10, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Sergei

    Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, lay in smoldering ruins Sunday not after three days of fighting between Georgian troops and Russian forces but after the georgian militarists levelling the town with multiple rocket launchers and killed more then 2000 ossetins.

    it is not the best way to integrate the people back.Unless you only want a clean and ploughed land plot and no Osetians on it.
    This time Russia was left with no choice

    Georgians keep on killing women, children and old people, they killed an old women, hit her with tank, she was running away. At the same time Georgian authorites dont want to get back to parley. Georgoan soldiers gun innocent people when they are trying to get out of basements where they are more than 3 days without water and food. Russia is trying to help people with medicine and food, but georgian guns our mission.

    August 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Alexander

    People! Do not trust the TV! CNN and BBC say lies! Georgians kills women and children! The Georgian terrorist army continues aggression against South Ossetia. The Georgian soldiers have killed 2.000 Ossetic peace inhabitants. The Russian Federation evacuates peace citizens from South Ossetia and protects Ossetic cities from criminal Georgian attacks.

    August 10, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. E.C.Coleman

    Just another Act of Russian Aggression, and the leader is Putin. Don't forget, World, Putin was the director of the KGB. The World has all heard about the transgressions of Russia's KGB, and Putin is still calling the shots.

    August 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Democrat No More/San Diego

    With the latest crisis in the world my vote for McCain is now etched in stone. Obama is too young, too inexperienced and too arrogant to be the leader of our country. What a lost opportunity it was not to have nominated Hillary with Obama as her VP. The White House would have been a democratic for 16 years.

    August 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Sarah

    I'm surprised that CNN posted an article like this without even mentioning that McCain's foreign policy adviser – Randy Scheunemann – was a lobbyist for Georgia for several years and is still a principal at the lobbying firm working for Georgia.

    Whether that hurts or helps McCain, shouldn't you at least MENTION it to put his position into perspective?

    August 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Darryl Miller

    The real question is what is the " UN" doing as well as other member of the "G-8". Our current President is playing "Volleyball".

    The world leadership at it's finest..

    August 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Andrew

    Georgia is a known trouble maker, I want my elected officials to stay as far from her as possible

    August 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Jon Ross

    The international community no longer takes America seriously when it sees a large number of our citizens supporting and swooning over someone of like Obama who is such a frightening shell. We will see this chaos escalate up until the U.S. election. If Obama wins there will be a world wide meltdown of violence because they know America when no longer defend ifself or its allies.

    August 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. len

    Barack Obama's approach of "talking" with the enemy/adversary proves to be weak because of its results. I agree that all avenues should be used before force. But Obama's "kumbaya" approach is not a strong position before enemies of the character of Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamfacists. The Russians little by little are going back to their style of the old Soviet Union.

    Jimmy Carter's style created more problems than any, if any at all, solved situations.

    The position is not to be a bully, but to make those who hate the US that we will not stand idle before their threats and actions agains the US and our friends.

    August 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. PUMA-Jessie

    I think both these guys should stay out of foreign policy now. What happened to the time old policy that politics stop at the waters edge. They can not speak with authority and commit this nation to any course of action. All they might do is confuse the situation.. On top of that when it comes to foreign policy Obama is dumb as a rock. He is a serial flip flopper and will do or say anything to sway a vote.

    August 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. Warning

    Pleace Stop Bombing Georgia Place 😦

    August 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. greenfun

    I thought BO was in Hawaii while HRC was out campaigning for him. Slacker.

    August 10, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    So John McCain fully approves of and supports George Bush's unprovoked and illegal attempted conquest and occupation and colonization of oil-rich Iraq, a sovereign nation, yet lectures Russia on its attack of Georgia, a state that had suceded from the Russian union some years back. This is bald-faced hypocrisy at its worst and makes clear he would continue Bush's alienation of America from the world.

    August 10, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. Matthew

    Obama is quoted as saying, you know, I spent a few years in another country when I was like 8, so, I think I am more than qualified to, you know, uhh, umm advise you on this.

    August 10, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. bob in LA

    Since neither is an offical nominee and I think they should stay out if international politics. Obama, back to bodysurfing and McCain, its nap time. Yuo will need your rest to understand how the telegragh wroks.

    August 10, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Texas Trail Dog!




    August 10, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. McWar

    Although the war in Georgia is condemned by most, John McWar is the only politician so quick to go as far as to say that Russia should be kicked out of the G8 – Not even the United Nations, not Barack Obama not even George Bush is talking this extreme this early. People, you are warned, if McWar becomes the next president be prepared to be at war with almost every country – even Canada for saying the word "eh" too much!

    August 10, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Leko

    They talked to Gorgian authorities, they hardly talked to Russian authorities, but they have never talked to South Osetian people who are the real victims in this conflict. Why has not anybody asked opinions of the Osetians, 1600 of whom were killed by the Georgian Army on the first day of the conflict when there were no Russian forces in Georgia?

    August 10, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Shannon

    I wonder if Obama thinks the state of Georgia is under attack, it's times like this that his inexperience is so obvious.

    August 10, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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