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. Funkemariechen

    [Quote]“He [Saakahvili] 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,”[Endquote]

    Great, I guess all Americans will burst into tears now.
    Funny Mr. Saakahvili, that it was you who had the super idea to march into South Ossetia. Your "tiny little democracy" just walked into the big fishs mouth.

    [Quote]McCain said. “And I told him that I know I speak for every American when I say to him, ‘Today we are all Georgians.’”[Endquote]

    Naiv. Such as we've seen the past 7 years.

    I'm not American, so I can speak for myself:
    I certainly feel with the citizens, that have to suffer under that circumstances of war. But I do not feel with that idiot Mr. Saakahvilli.

    It ain't that easy, Mr. McCain.

    August 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. gl

    McWar wont' end the Iraq was in the USA, but want to give advise to stopping Russia attacking Georgia – What a joke McShame/McWar!

    August 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Jeremy Sun

    What a hypocrite. What's his IQ? 90?

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

    Sounds like McCain wants to return to the bad old days of the Cold War. Threaten Russia? With what? Our military kind of busy right now on that whole surge thing. Our moral authority? Didn't America lose that when we conquered a country that did not even attack a US peacekeeper? Georgia DID kill some Russian peacekeepers before the Kremlin sent in the tanks, and at least they have not occupied the Georgian capital, but does McCain mention that?

    Oh, yeah, his foreign policy advisor is a lobbyist for the Republic of Georgia!! Concern Citizen, you love your country and love peace and will vote against Obama?? What an idiot.

    August 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Response to MoveOn

    Just because the little girl's parents are liberal democrats doesn't mean that they want to give to people who can help it. That's your misconception or basically you don't care because you live far enough away from the beggars and the homeless.

    I wonder how many preferences you have been afforded due to your affiliations. Some people need a hand up not a hand out. I glad I'm not a republican because they really stand for intolerance.

    August 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Debbie - WV

    Mccain has definately lost his bearings

    August 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Gail

    Lesson: Holier-than-thou grandious words do not hide the reality of the world and cannot replace experience and the pragmatic approach that McCain brings to the table

    Experience? Really – Keating 7, Cheating on your sick wife, Lobbyists bought and sold – Canary in Vietnam, Failed economic stance, confusing countries, factions – is this the experience and reality you speak of ?

    And what about the little girl – apparently she got left out in the cold. Just like all honest working Americans do when the GOP is in control.

    McSame – never!

    Obama 'til 2016

    August 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. The Bu

    I'm sorry Senator McCain, but I'm American. Why don't you go over there and help them fight. Don't get me wrong, what Russia did was evil and horrible, but you're the one who wants to go to war with somebody to tout your foreign policy experience, so go ahead over there!

    August 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    McStooge is the biggest joke in US history. He just looking for a reason to go to war. Hey, why don't he work on America first, before trying to help Georgia?!

    NOTE: 89 DAYS before Election Day. The GOP is shakin' in their shoes!


    August 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Andrew

    I fail to see why some of you chastise McCain for commenting on international issues and demand he focus on domestic issues while Obama is glorified for his premature "Victory Lap" around the world. I for one think that the response of the candidates to international crisis is very important as it gives insight into how we can expect our future president to act. You may disagree with McCain's thoughts, but please don't condemn him for putting them forth for consideration.

    August 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. RB

    Jphn, move there!

    August 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Len in Washington


    You DON'T speak for me you old S_B!!!! Don't ever think you will.

    Now who's acting like he's already the President? Just stomped on Bushes toes and inserted himself into something he has no business being in. I don't like Bush but, McCain, HE'S the President not you.

    August 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Kjetil

    Im from Norway and think that its strange to be so black/white on this.

    I think both Russia and Georgia is untrustful. First. Russia has interfeard in regions in Georgia that is not good for other contries to do. Even that, people in three regions in Georgia wants to be independent from Georgia, and most people that lives there are not georgians. Even if thats true, Russia has not been to nice on their own regions that dont want to belong to them. So here i think Russia is bad. But... it was Georgia that did go in last week and maked a lot of civilans die and escape to Russia. It was they who started the war last week. What did they belive? That Russia would stand at watch? Offcourse not. They wanted to protect people that want to belong to Russia and that have a russian citizinship. Even if Georgia have supported a lot in Iraq last years, it dont give them any reason to attack civilian and go to war: and then expect Russia to sit stil. When that is said, its wrong of Russia to go into Georgia with the suffering that brings. This is a conflict between to contries that both have blood on their hands. I think a candidate for President should be more "gray" and less easy like black/white, good/bad guys. Its not that simple in this conflict. In others it might be, like in Burma or other contries.

    August 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Belle


    If you actually listen to his speech, he talks about freedom and your arguments are baseless.

    By the way...Senator Obama didn't even bother calling the President of Georgia. Although he took great care to follow McCain's lead in condemning Russia.

    Sue, your remarks are untrue and not appropriate.

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

    No were not !!! John McCain does not speak for me. How dare he say all Americans are Georgians. Georgia attacked first. Google Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce leadership board you can so you can see who the real power in Georgia is The Iraq war planning group and oil Companies. This was a PNAC strike and Russia just smaked the think tank down.

    August 12, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. RayRay,NC

    To DAN...

    You can go ahead, along with your vote for McCain, sign up and take arms under his leadership. I for one will not vote for him. While my heart goes out to the Georgians, I dont think McCain can react to the Russian attacks when we have our own dirt to clean up in Iraq and consider the bad judgment he had on going in there.

    A vote for McCain is a vote for more war under his leadership and anyone that votes for him should be willing to enlist and back that vote up.

    August 12, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. bob garland

    McBush or is it Mr. Magoo that other old geezer who was blind as a bat. Let's all sing along as McBush leads us in another verse of " Bomb,bomb- bomb Iran" or any where else in the world. Solve the problems on the home front before you draw another front line for our troops to be used for target practice.

    August 12, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. JJ

    Why is McCain speaking as though Georgia was the innocent party??? They are as much to blame as Russia. They equally bear this and they need to just sit down and figure it out with the European Leaders.

    To McCain and Bush: Please don't tick off Russia. The last thing we need is WWIII

    August 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. aaa

    yes! were georgians today not americans anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yes mccain you are so smart and intelligant!!!!!!!!!!!! get a life

    August 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. JB

    Hey MoveOn,

    Great story! But it has NO relation to the war-mongering, plan-less old candidate that the republicans have chosen to represent them!


    August 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Janet Jacme

    Slow down there, hot rod!

    We're already up to our necks in the middle east, and here you go foaming at the mouth about Russia.

    Let Europe handle their own conflicts, m'kay?

    August 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Matt, New York

    You people show how mindless America has become. This is the single biggest event that has happened in the last month. Where is your beloved Obama while this is all happening? Oh yeah, hes on vacation in Hawaii. For all other sensible people here, McCain is giving a $1000 a plate dinner tonight in Teaneck N.J. if you want in. Might be a good chance to meet the future president of the United States.

    August 12, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Jim

    I'm still really confused by this whole thing. I feel for Georgia and think there was no need for such killings, but we aren't innocent of this as well...what I don't understand is the other side of the story, they are saying Georgia was the aggressor and Russia stepped in to help it's ally supporting it's freedom, so I am very confused.

    August 12, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. J

    Russia is out of line. However it's ironic that McCain thinks so since the US was out of line in invading Iraq and is out of line when it comes to detaining political prisoners – both positions that McCain supports. I've come to the conclusion that most governments are inept and incompetent no matter their perspective. One government body might claim to represent one set of values while taking actions that clearly don't agree. In other words, question authority... none of them can be trusted.

    August 12, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Josh

    See I hate it when people say McCain really cares for the world. While Obama was in Europe McCain was in a schnitzel house talking to a used car salesman. Wow, how international.

    August 12, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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