August 12th, 2008
03:52 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain: 'Today we are all Georgians'

YORK, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Although Russia has apparently agreed to cease military action in Georgia, John McCain accused Moscow Tuesday of continuing to attack, saying that “possibly thousands” of civilians have been wounded or killed.

“President Medvedev stated that he has halted the offensive,” McCain said, “but reports indicate Russian military forces have continued attacks in some areas, and the situation remains fluid and dangerous.”

“Today the killing goes on, and the aggression goes on,” he said.

McCain spoke for seven minutes about the situation in Georgia at the beginning of a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania, praising the country’s “long and remarkable” history and its commitment to Western values. He said he spoke to Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili earlier in the day.

“He wanted me to say thanks to you, and give you his heartfelt thanks, for the support of the American people for this tiny little democracy far away from the United States of America,” McCain said. “And I told him that I know I speak for every American when I say to him, ‘Today we are all Georgians.’”

The presumptive GOP nominee appeared to allude to past calamities in Europe while describing the crisis.

“My friends, we learned a great cost of the price of allowing aggression against free nations to go unchecked,” he said.

He continued his call for humanitarian aid to be airlifted to the country and for international peacekeeping forces to be sent to the two separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Filed under: John McCain • Pennsylvania
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. NMB! Wrong – Again!

    I woke up an American and I will go to bed tonight as an American!

    And I wish you would stop running those divisive campaign ads during the Olympics when I would like to enjoy the accomplishments of our American athletes with pride!

    August 12, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Mike

    "We are all Georgians" und Ich Bin Ein Berliner. Gee McBush sounds just like Kennedy facing up to those Rascally Russkies. Except that Kennedy was President so it actually meant something instead of just grand standing for votes.

    August 12, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Doug

    Okay...settle down, John. We all appreciate the sentiment and agree with it. But with the skirmish in Iraq, your strong desrie to bomb and occupy Iran, North Korea, Syria, Czechoslovakia, and the Ottoman Empire, I think the military would be stretched a little thin for an invasion of Georgia.

    Plus, have you seen the traffic in Atlanta? Hoo boy! No thanks! When did they get their own president anyway?

    August 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Tony

    Texas Tony:

    My sympathies. Texas and Florida, the two most f'd up states in the country.

    August 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. McCain:SmallWeakCowardlyMan OffersMoreOfTheSame TearsOthersDownToBuildHimselfUp

    It turns out that presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain, has attended even fewer Afghanistan-related Senate hearings over the past two years than Obama's one. Which is a nice way of saying, McCain, R-Ariz., the top Republican on the Senate Armed Service Committee, has attended zero of his committee's six hearings on Afghanistan over the last two years.

    Better play catch up on your geopolitical talking points for the average 38 minutes of press coverage to which your own campaign has now limited you. And here you've been whining that you aren't getting enough attention. You can't handle it, you out of touch, misdirected old relic.

    August 12, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Griffw

    'The Man of the Moment', and the Moment...

    August 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Mike, TX

    McCain is showing wisdom in his responses. Obama is still talking soundbites amid meals on a vacation in Hawaii.

    People need to learn from history and not from YouTube or the media if they wish to preserve the freedoms they now complain are being threatened domestically.

    August 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. EMT

    sigh – the rudeness of the 3 comments speaks volumes for the democratic party...

    August 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Tony


    McCain way aheasd on security? Give me a break! Mcain's answer to security is WAR, just like his pal in the White House!

    August 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. John

    We are all Oil Pipe Lines! Er Um Georgians!

    August 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. anonymous

    Get back to the business of the USA McCain. You were not the President My last recollection. Do you think the Rusian people are voting for you. I am really beginning to understand what people are saying you really like war. Well, the American People DO NOT!!!!

    August 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Lois

    " I speak for every American" Stop trying to talk as if you are President. You can barely speak for yourself. You selfish old git. Withdraw from this election and let someone who is more competent run. You are SELFISH for running for President! You know you cannot handle this.

    August 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Chris

    I'm no Georgian – I'm an AMERICAN!


    And NO more WARRRRSSS McCain!

    August 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Stefan

    “I told him that I know I speak for every American ..."

    And this guy calls Obama arrogant? Are you KIDDING me? He doesn't even speak for all of his own party.

    August 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Abby

    Georgia was not an innocent bystander in this, Sir, pease stop.
    I'm over the Hill and I'm voting for Obama.

    August 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Jeremy Sun

    Sureeeeeeeeeeeeeee old hag. McCain: today we are all Chinese ah ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I'm Chinese BTW!

    August 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. SUE, Michigan

    So why is he so worried about the people being killed by Russia in Georgia, and not at all concerned about the Iraqis and Americans being killed in Iraq? War is wrong, no matter who starts it, or why.

    August 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. George

    Be carful America another cowboy diplomacy !!

    August 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Mike

    Remember, John McCain manager is a big time lobbyist for Georgia.

    for CHANGE


    for the SAME!!

    August 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. James

    and if McCain's elected we'll all be Azbahkians, Ossetians, Iranians, Venezuelans, etc..

    August 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Patricia

    Who wrote his speech. Those words don't sound like his at all.

    August 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Scott

    McCain is right! All democratic countries need to stand together.

    August 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. proudamerican

    Please do consistant and be consistent. What we do in IRAQ is same as Russian doing. For their safety. We need to become global

    August 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Joe Kiloz

    Meanwhile Barack Obama's policy is basically run and hide behind skirts.

    Mr. Obama, I hate to inform you, in case the Clooneys or other equally qualified advisors you have, have not brought it to your attention: Mr. Putin is a ruthless dictator who won't be appeased. He loves situations of weakness where Russia comes out unscathed by the world community, regardless of outright disrespect for sovereignty.

    Then you also have a few other characters that you'll have to deal with, in front of the skirts you are hiding behind: Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbawe, just to name a few. And if your advisors haven't told you, these folks are not going away with their " lullabies. "

    One of the reasons why I'm for McCain. Dependable, predictable, leadership, abilities to get the most serious jobs done.

    Obama: Makes for a good HUD chief at most, or run the DNC or "worldly lullabies."

    August 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. ex republican

    we are all georgians? when Obama said he was a citizen of the world, in germany, talk radio hosts went crazy. both sean hannity and michael medved mentioned TODAY that Obama wasnt a real american, just a citizen of the world......and today we are told that we are ALL georgians? about flip-flopping

    August 12, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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