August 12th, 2008
03:52 PM ET
6 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. Jones

    Obama once again sent a mixed message. He eventually came out and condemned Russia, but he did it the Obama way, Vauge and empty promises.

    Obama, empty talk, all the time.

    August 12, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. t

    Who is the agrressor in this conflict? McCain does not speak for me

    August 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. biffington, biff

    and HERE IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MCCAIN AND OBAMA

    Obama was prepared for what some inthe media are calling a "3AM Moment". While McCain reads Wikipedia and consults his Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor, who is a lobbyist for Georgia, Obama speaks to President Kaashvili and Condi before he speaks.

    (You know... gathering facts and ensuring a level of appropriateness BEFORE speaking and trying to make political hay out of tihs)

    DEAL WITH IT PEOPLE... DEAL WITH IT !!!

    August 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Staci, LA

    MOVEON...are you serious with that story. Just laughable. What exactly is McCain going to do if Russia doesn't fall in line. Absolutely NOTHING.

    August 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Fed up with the lies

    Sen. McCain is probably thinking of "Georgia" in the SE of the United States. He tends to get geography mixed up.

    August 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Shane

    I guess Kennedy was completely out of his mind sending ships out to intercept the Russian during the Cuban Missile crisis. I guess that Roosevelt was a fool for defending Poland and France.I guess Clinton was an idiot for helping out in Kosovo. We should just duck our heads and hide behind a false sense of security. Obama is sure to talk us out of any crisis that comes along. If you look closely at the posts that clearly are insulting and rude, they seem to be from Obama supporters. Also please note that the vast majority of them can't spell or put together a coherent sentence. They must be products of our overpriced school system. You know... the McDonalds and You Tube majority that spouts out such malediction. Oh no I guess your high school minds may not know what that means. Can you say dictionary?

    August 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Tired of W, OH

    And McCain's supporters called Obama presumptuous and arrogant when Obama used a President-like seal once? McCain is acting like he's already got the job, and we all know from his other Hollywood jobs that he's a pretty poor actor.

    August 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. dEMOBRAT

    Anonymous and Monica for Obama- would you say the same thing about Obama's comments on the georgia/Russia situation?

    Haven't you learned that what happens in that small province has everything to do with America yet....guess whats just on the other side of the Caspian Sea.....IRAN.

    WE NEED RUSSIA TO CALM THE REGION AND BE OUR ALLY AND WE NEED GEORGIA TO REMAIN A FREE AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT.

    This is very much about America

    August 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. Debby

    McCain sure sounds Presidential compared to the cool guy.

    August 12, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Robert

    I feel for the Georgians, but what was the US supposed to do? Put troops on the ground and start fighting the Russians? Russia is no small country like Iraq and has loads of Nukes. Something McCain should keep in mind before losing his temper with the Russians.

    August 12, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. Peter (CA)

    The difference is the pipeline in Georgia is guarded by our "friends" while the oil in Iraq was guarded by our "enemy".

    If McCain wants to be supportive of Georgia, that is fine. But how about noting that it was one of those French guys who got the ball rolling by using diplomacy, not troops.

    August 12, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. Axel

    McCain does not speak for me, McCain is not the President.

    Indeed, if he was, we'd already be in WW3.

    August 12, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Bob American for OBAMA

    NOW DUMB NUBS IS A GEORGIAN & I AM SURE

    HE WILL WANT TO SEND THEM SOME OF MY TAXES,

    AS HE DOES TO IRAQ. PROBLEM IS WE NEED THEM

    FOR OURSELVES & MCIDIOT CAN BECOME A GEORGIAN

    AND A IRAQI, WHICH HE CARES FOR MORE THAN OUR

    OWN PEOPLE, BUT I AM AN AMERICAN. WILL DIE AN AMERICAN

    AND WILL DIE BEFORE VOTING FOR A SLEAZY MANIPULATOR

    LIKE MCIDIOT.

    August 12, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. FL4Obama

    I prefer Obama's humble lead in this type of sentiment when he said, "...fellow citizen of the world." To me, it seemed more inclusive of all countries.

    August 12, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Jeff Siggins

    John McCain says that he speaks for all Americans regarding the situation in Georgia. Can someone please tell him that he is not the President ? He should not presume that he speaks for all Americans. He does not speak for me.

    August 12, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Nando, Florida

    MCCCAIN 08 IGNORANCE YOU CAN COUNT ON !!!

    August 12, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Alpharetta, GA voter

    Georgia killed over 2,000 civilians last Thursday. Someone tell McCain this American living in the state of Georgia is NOT the same as the Georgian Nation south of Russia. Both Obama and McCain messed up condemning Russia when they should have condemned the attack carried out by Georgian military which also attacked the UN peacekeepers composed of Russian, Georgian, and Ossetian soldiers. Shame on CNN also for airing footage of Gori when it really was the ruins of the capital of South Ossetia.

    August 12, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. ANONYMOUS

    Well, guess it is time to cease and decease with any further comments . Have been thinking about it and you know I firmly believe the candidates just love all this. You know ,it would be interesting if they hear no further comments from the american people and we should just sit back like they are doing and see what they have to say. We are only feeding them and they are saying ANYTHING they think we want to hear and we are really hearing NOTHING. Let's just sit back and SEE. Think about it.

    August 12, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Vaxe J L

    I am not. Iam a proud American. That old man just try to get us to onther war. First Iraq, than Iran and Russia. Are you out of your mind old man?

    August 12, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. kendall

    Go pluff yourself, I'm American, And will fight for America not your political pander,
    Go pluff yourself McCain you can be Georgian and fight there war

    August 12, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Bob

    French president TALKED to Russian president, Russian President agrees to cease-fire.

    THERE IS POWER IN DIPLOMACY

    August 12, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. karen-phoenix

    Because of Bush and his crew(which includes McCain) we are helpless to help anyone. We are broke, mentally and finnancially and we have NO army left. McCain best keep is tired old mouth shut before he gets us into something we can not get out of!! AND why is the Navy putting all its ships outside Iran? If we even try to bomb Iran which McCain would love, we will have no America left. Russia and China will defend Iran to the hilt. We are a "forgotten" country with no force! Obama help get us back to the great standing we used to have or least help us here in America and NOT fight the world!

    August 12, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Vote Nader

    I don't know how, but still after all this time I am amazed that people react to things strictly based on their Republican/Democratic, Conservative/Liberal or McCain/Obama "side".

    The lack of rational thought on this website is astonishing sometimes.

    I'm glad the Independents like myself make up much of the electorate and end up deciding the elections, based off critical thought and unbiased views.

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    August 12, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Lorna, NY

    And the US invading Iraq is different? We are not in the position to tell other countries what to do! John McCains comments have no merit. He should keep his mouth shut!

    August 12, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Shane

    Tony,
    Remember that it was a great Republican that brought down the evil empire. Now it will take another great Republican to put Putin in check before he marches down on Europe.

    August 12, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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