August 11th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain again condemns Russian military action

McCain condemned Russia's military actions in Georgia.

McCain condemned Russia's military actions in Georgia.

ERIE, Pennsylvania (CNN) - With his Democratic rival vacationing in Hawaii, John McCain used the political vacuum to polish his foreign policy credentials on Monday morning, issuing a lengthy statement to reporters condemning Russian military action in Georgia and calling for further diplomatic against the Kremlin.

“Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin must understand the severe, long-term negative consequences that their government’s actions will have for Russia’s relationship with the U.S. and Europe,” he said.

Watch: McCain condemns Russian military

The presumptive Republican nominee said Americans should be concerned with the “remote, obscure” country because of its commitment to democracy as well as strategically important trade routes and an oil pipeline that flows through Tblisi. He also noted that Georgia was “one of the world’s first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion.”

He accused Russia of trying to intimidate other neighbors like Ukraine who have sought to strengthen ties with the West.

McCain called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to travel to Europe and begin “high-level diplomacy” to support Georgian independence, and demanded that Russia call a cease-fire and withdraw all troops from Georgian territory. He urged the U.N. Security Council to condemn the violence, even with the threat of a Russian veto. Russia's actions, he said, must be submitted to "the court of world opinion."

In his remarks, McCain repeatedly mispronounced the name of Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili. The gaffe comes in the wake of several incidents last month when he referred to the Czech Republic as the nation of “Czechoslovakia,” which no longer exists.

The Arizona senator spoke with the Georgian president over the weekend about the situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. RENEA

    Mccain is not the President ! He needs to pipe down. He is not helping with his cowboy bully remarks.

    August 11, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. My Friends let me tell you

    The timing of all these events seem to be a bit mysterious.Whos attacking whom?

    August 11, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. David Goldman for OBAMA




    August 11, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. tigerakabj

    Alright McCain, don't start saying that Florida should not have attacked Georgia.

    He should lay off the hard words and similar names and just stick to saying surge, Obama sucks, Paris Hilton and drill off-shore.

    Obama/Sebelius 2008/2012.

    August 11, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Connie

    Obama goes overseas on a tour and the media and republicans accuse him of acting like the president and he was arrogant. Now McSenile gets on television and states what ever one should be doing and that is alright,Americans are being fooled.McSenile should have gotten on TV the first day that Russia invaded Georgia and told America what happens when you invade a country that did not provoke the fight ,like Iraq maybe.Maybe John should have called his good old friend Bush in China and told him to get the hell back to the white house and act like like the president in this situation, after all his has been acting for seven and half years. Connie from Indiana

    August 11, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Willow, from Iowa

    I have been reading that this is a separatist battle between Georgia and S. Ossetia. Its a Civil war, and the Russians are helping the weaker of the two to leave Georgia. Don't you think we should stay out of this? Its not our war, its a local problem.

    Unlike our war with Iraq, under very questionable circumstances, far from our own country, over WMD that they didn't have, etc.

    August 11, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. RDS

    And here we go....McCain is being a bit presumptious wouldn't you say. Why is he trying to overstep Pres. Bush on this issue? Note to McCain...YOU ARE NOT THE PRESIDENT, so your threats to Russia mean absolutely nothing. Just what we need right now to get involved in yet another international debacle. I pray that this man is not elected or WW3 is imminent!

    August 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Super D

    Where's all the Obamo people......ohh yeah....right.....foreign policy, national security issues......Rock Stars don't bother with that!

    August 11, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    McCain....send Condi Rice to start diplomatic dialogue......right......better yet.........why doesn't he send more US troops......if the international community is so concerned, then let's see additional troops from other countries supporting Georgia.

    August 11, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA







    August 11, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. ben

    What is McCain plan to do with Russia? Start a war?

    August 11, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. Michael, Lorain, Ohio

    Though I support Obama, I will say that the overall message from McCain is correct.

    And it is good to see that he didn't get the titles of Medvedev and Putin mixed up...Hey, 2 out of 3 possible gaffes ain't bad John

    August 11, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Len in Washington

    So what, now Sen. McCain? Nuke em till they melt?

    While I'm at it. You keep saying "I know how to win wars!"

    Just which "wars " have you won? You and I were both in Vietnam and we sure as hell DIDN'T win that one. I don't believe you were in any after that. Correct? So, again, just where does your "War Winning Experience" come from? Your imagination?

    I thought so........

    August 11, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. NoMcSame

    Ok McSurge what are you going to do now? You and McBush just jump all over the little guy so lets see what you have in store for the big dog. Surge on Russia you yellow OLD man. No guts when the dog in the fight is the same size as you. Where is all of your tough talk now. Come on though guy lets go in. You are YELLOW. They came into Iraq to help you so why don't you go in and help them? The answer is your YELLOW. I knew some day that your card would be pulled and PUTIN did it to show the rest of the world that McSame and Bush are yellow.
    Vote Obama a real MAN in 08

    August 11, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. karen-phoenix

    McCain is sooo out of touch. The first words out of Obama was diplomacy and get our European friends and UN behind a diplomatic solution. All McCain did was condem Russia. McCain has no plan. One reason Obama worked so hard in Europe was because he understands this is a global society. We NEED all the friends we can get and work with! Go Obama!!

    August 11, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Bob From Pittsburgh

    Dear Sir:

    Americans in general have no moral standing on this matter, even as I think Russia is wrong in invading a neighbor, American administration have done the same many times over, such as Iraq, Beirut, Grenada, Panama.. Should I mention any more?.

    August 11, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. John

    Did he reference any countries that don't exist anymore?

    August 11, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. LS

    Can't McCain address any situtation WITHOUT using the word OIL?

    We get it alreay, McCain's top priority is OIL !! THAT's ALL he thinks about.

    If McCain is elected president, we are going to the the laughing stock of this country. McCain is going to make American look stupid all over again.

    August 11, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Ian

    They closed out the VP announcement story for comments, but I had to post on the laugh I got.

    "Obama can text and use a computer, and McCain is too old to do it!"

    Yay! What a genius! Obama can use a cell phone.

    But can he land a fighter jet on a moving aircraft carrier? Fire missiles at enemy targets?

    The guy can't even hit bowling pins, but thank God for our country that he can send a text message.

    You people are ridiculous.

    August 11, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Veteran for Obama

    McCain = Bush with white hair

    McCain may be a military veteran but he greatly exaggerates his accomplishments. He is no better than the 4200 plus soldiers who have been killed in Iraq and sacrificed their life at the expense of McCain and Bush and their manipulation of facts in order to go to war. At least McCain survived and is able to walk around and tell lies and dirty jokes like he has been doing. He is sick.

    August 11, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Don't forget. On Friday, McCain called for NATO intervention while Obama called for peace and a diplomatic solution.

    August 11, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. Elly

    As far as hillary might of won
    in the final analysis *fate* has a way of winning the race regardless
    of what may have happened
    Fate was *Obama* rising to the top to tell Americans you can *change*
    your country if you want to
    the choice is yours, following McSame down the same old path as the last 8 years or taking a leap of faith in Obama and taking a newly paved road to change and hope and *Talking to our adversaries*
    unlike MsSame who would drop bombs first like Bush and ask questions later
    Its all up to you!!

    August 11, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. Uncle Sam

    Regarding Hillary:

    Howard Wolfson is a pig. The fact that he's still trying to cause divisiveness WELL AFTER Hillary has conceded is an example of that. He was the perfect person to work for Hillary because he has no morals. Another example is that he is now working for Fox Noise, which is typical of a naive, selfish, inept sore loser.

    David Axelrod and David Plouffe cleaned his clock during the primaries and I can’t wait until Barack wins in November.

    August 11, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Here it comes. Folks will start blaming Obama for the Russian actions.

    August 11, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. ChicagoJosh

    He also noted that Georgia was “one of the world’s first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion.”

    WHERE THE HELL IS THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION!!! Does McCain tell Georgia to stop attacking their own people in South Ossetia and Abkhazia? Did McCain ever say Georgia was the first ones to attack Russian troops?? I know they're our ally because of the oil route, but come on.. this isn't an election issue, this is a war where people are dying. McCain's campaign even said this conflict will be good for them.

    August 11, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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