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. Becky Montgomery

    McCain does NOT speak for me.

    According to his campaign, he doesn't even speak for his campaign. They have to take his cell phone away from him.

    Don't even get me started about the arrogance he accused Obama of after he did this today. I'll even bet he practiced his little speech in front of a mirror to get "that look" after his speaking for all of us.

    August 12, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Not fooled by distractions

    Ah, Mr. McCain – we already have a president and you're not it. Back off Senator. Who's being pretentious now?

    What a hypocrit.

    August 12, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Brian

    Saakashvili is insane. He is the Georgian versian of GOP hawks playing the nationalism card to escape political trouble. He almost destroyed his country and tried to drag the west into WWIII for his career.

    I'm surprised McCain is sticking up for a guy that starts a fight and then plays the wimp\victim card.

    August 12, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Republican for J.M.

    The funny thing is- you people saying about not being Georgians...if it were Obama who had made the statement- you would have been all for it.

    August 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. McCain = War

    McCain is the K-9 unit of war. He's sniffing out the possibilities everywhere. It doesn't matter if he doesn't have a clue on world history and can't pronounce anything foreign. War and negative ads – It's all he's got in the bag, people!

    August 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. McFear's cold war nostalgia

    Can't wait to hear him take credit for threatening Russia into agreeing to the ceasefire

    August 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Jim, MI

    Sorry Mr. Anti – Russia.......I am not a Georgian.

    As soon as Russia lets the press into South Ossetia and they don't see burning buildings like in Georgia........they will see ALL the buildings in the captial have been destroyed by the Georgians. McCain will have to back peddle to say the US has nothing to do with that madman Saakashvili.

    Don't forget that Bush was upset last year when there was a peaceful protest in Georgia and Saakashvili killed and wounded many of the protesters. Bush told Saakashvili he better get his act together or he won't be getting into NATO. I am glad to see McCain is showing his true nature and supporting this helps me in deciding my vote later this year.

    August 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. CJ

    So by "today we are all Georgians" did McCain mean that today we are all citizens of a country who decided to attack its own people while the world was distracted by the Olympics? And then didn't like the smacking it got while its hand was in the cookie jar?

    Weird...I wonder what he would have said if the Russians had said they were looking for WMD and had good intelligence that it was there...

    August 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Gerald C, Madison, WI

    Amazing how Democrats align themselves so astutely with the view oppsite that held by John McCain. Russia's actions are hardly something we should be defending. However, no one's hands are clean here. Stop the violence first. Full disclosure will show that Georgia, too, has some explaining to do.

    It's a shame when such an important situation has no true innocent, well-meaning victim.

    August 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. California Gold

    McCain made the statement after one of his policy team called him on his cell phone. Seems McCain's problem is his cell phone.

    August 12, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    McShame, do us all a favor and go run for president in Georgia...they need you there during this time of WAR; your Vietnam experience will be valuable in nuking Russia!

    August 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    McCain always touts his "experiance", but how come on every issue he comes across like a 12 yr old and Obama sounds like the grown-up?

    McCain sounds more like McCheney.......errr, Cheney everyday. God help us if McCain wins this election.

    August 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    Dan, or anybody else

    Please tell me how McStooge is so far a head on national security? What has he done in his 26 years in Washington, which makes him such an expert? Please list his accomplishments for me.

    People are just caught up in the fact that McWar is old and has been in Washington for 26 years, but no one can list any of his accomplishments. Same as Hillary Clinton who claimed to have 35 years of experience, but she didn’t accomplished anything either. You ask me, they are just a waste of our tax payer dollar! They get paid to do nothing! TIME FOR A CHANGE!


    August 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Jen

    My foot, I am a American. I don't want to be Georgian ? One more thing, speak for your self, Not behalf of all Americans dude.

    August 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Dennis

    "Today we are all Georgians" and the media labels Obama presumptious. Evidently McCain is not happy with fighting in only two countires at the same time.

    August 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Steve From Dallas

    Where is inexperienced Obama in all this...?

    August 12, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Sacto Joe

    McCain is just another politician trying to make hay out of other people's misery. He should be ashamed of himself, and fire his handlers!

    GO OBAMA! That's the way to keep a level head!

    August 12, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. larry from minnesota

    Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's provocative military action provokes a Russian military response–a response that should have been expected–and John McCain proclaims, "Today we are all Georgians." Oh brother.

    August 12, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA








    August 12, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    Dear Concerned Citizen: So what you are saying is that you prefer a president that is going to keep the war going in Iraq, ignore Afghanistan, start a new war against Russia, and while he's at it, he will bomb Iran. I guess we can all sleep easy with that going on.

    August 12, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Mike in NYC

    "... I know I speak for every American when I say to him, ‘Today we are all Georgians.’”

    How poetic. He doesn't speak for me.

    The Georgians got uppity and the Russians slapped them back down.

    Pulling the bear's tail isn't too bright.

    August 12, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Paul

    McCain is NOT a cowboy diplomat.
    Bush's failed Russian policy is what Obama is empracing.

    Learn from history guys. You do NOT appease a dictator. From Hitler, to Stalin, to Mao, to every major bad guy.

    This s what Putin is. McCain has stood up to Putin all along. We must hold the line Putin must be stopped.

    McCain Palin 08!

    August 12, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. Joseph, Los Angeles

    I guess we are all Iraqies to.

    August 12, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Rick L Beightol

    I always seek the wisdom of my grandfather who bears the scars not just from war but life as an American . Grandpa lived through the depression and then fought for our country and raised a family over decades. John McCain has my vote because he knows the heart of every American.He has been to the edges of hell and felt the breath of death upon his face.He was blessed with vision and courage . He may not be blessed with many more years but every second he is our leader will be everlasting in it's impact . Barrack hasn't truly been tested but instead has been up-lifted by the lifes of indivuduals like McCain and my Grandfather who put their lives on the line so that True freedom that Hillary and Barrack could be in the position they are today. Harvard dorm room or a Viet Cong prison cell. Which provides the best enlightment on wisdom and leadership. McCain is the type of American that would throw himself on a gernade to save Barrack a "fellow American" . Barrack if in the same position would throw Hillary on it!

    August 12, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Danel

    Goodbye concern citizen. You think that being an American is ONLY for you. NOT!! Being an American you can see the good and the bad. You can criticize your government without being unpatriotic. You can love America just as much as you love your family but to think that Republicans are the ONLY ones who got that right is dillusional!!

    August 12, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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