August 13th, 2008
08:50 AM ET
1 year ago

Georgian president to McCain: Move 'from words to deeds'

CNN

Watch the entire interview with President Saakashvili.

(CNN) – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili on Wednesday called for John McCain and other American leaders to do more for Georgia in their response to the conflict in his country.

“Yesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, ‘We are all Georgians now,’” Saakashvili said on CNN’s American Morning. “Well, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, it’s time to pass from this. From words to deeds.”

McCain told a crowd in Pennsylvania yesterday that he had called Saakashvili to express solidarity with the people of Georgia, saying: “Today, we are all Georgians.”

McCain’s foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann told reporters on the campaign plane Tuesday that McCain’s remark “obviously meant a lot to Saakashvili personally, but more importantly the message it conveyed to the Georgian people in this really, time of unprecedented national emergency.” Scheunemann said McCain and Saakashvili are friends who have speaking daily throughout the crisis.

But Saakashvili said action is more important than rhetoric in the face of “brutal” and “deliberate” Russian violence. He urged the United States to take the lead in installing an international peacekeeping force.

“We should realize what is at stake here for Americans,” he said. “America is losing the whole region.”

“What Americans should do know, first of all, clearly make known their intentions,” he said.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Lisa Lee Erikson

    Premier Putin threw down the gauntlet and we were helpless to respond...except with words...it was easy for our leaders to attack lesser countries such as Vietnam, where my loving husband lost his life and Iraq....Our world status has degraded to the point where we cannot support our allies when faced against a powerful foe....the only hope we have is that President Obama will right our ship and we can at least have the moral high ground....Senator McCain reminds me of a yesterday person who doesn't know reality and is tilting at windmills that can never fall.

    August 13, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. mel

    McCain, been in office for 26 years he suppose to know the
    foreign leader.Obama,this is his first term and this why we
    need new young blood as leader because what McCain done
    in office all these years and now he want to do a lot. This what
    have hurt this country america, the older politics. We have young
    Doctor over bodies and we trust,but here a young man whom I
    believe will make wonderful president but think it's who he that's
    allow some individual to look the other way. Let's stop negative
    campaign McCain and fight fair if you call yourself a leader,what
    are you going to do,lie to foreign leader and be negative .

    August 13, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Sean, atl, GA

    wow....McCain gets a reality check from a Country's president....supposedly his friend: don't use international conflicts as political talking points.

    August 13, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. John

    This is what happens when Dems become in charge and scare our military away with horrible political tactics... down sizing and make us look bad for wanting to defend someone (name calling like Mcsame and all that kiddie bull). Had this been anytime before bill–we could have taken this issue with ease.

    August 13, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Texas Trail Dog!

    McCAIN YOU AND ALL MOUTH OBAMA NEED TO HOLD UP ON WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. YOU TWO ARE NOT PRESIDENT YET. IT'S UP TO THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION TO DO SOMETHING AND I HAVE NOT HEARD A PEEP OUT OF BUSH-CHENEY REIGN OF TERROR. EVEN THOUGH GEORGIA IS A BIG OIL SHIPPING PORT TO THE THE UNITED STATES. UNCALLED FOR ATTACKS SUCH AS IRAQ AND NOT GEORGIA IS ALL IT TAKES TO PLUMMET THIS WORLD INTO WORLD WAR THREE. WE'RE NOT FAR FROM IT NOW. STUPID WORDS WILL ONLY FAN THE FLAMES. WHIMPPIE WORDS SUCH AS OBAMA'S WILL NOT CUT IT. BIG STICKS WILL ONLY DO THE JOB.

    August 13, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Gerald in Georgia

    Okay McFoot -In-Mouth, just what do you plan to do now? That is why it is very dangerous to elect some one with the same mentality as GW BUSH. They shoot off at the mouth trying to sound tougher than the Dems but no regards to the consequences of "JUST WORDS".
    OBAMA08!!
    "REAL CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN"

    August 13, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Bob Texas

    According to McCain every conflict in the world and the USA goes to war. Remember we don't talk just fight! A real John Wayne president.

    August 13, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Tom Swift, Shopton USA

    `
    When McCain said "‘We are all Georgians now..." he was wrong.

    Not all.

    You all can be Georgian-for-a-day if you want, but count me out.

    I am an American.

    The correct phrase should have been "[i]some[/i] of us are Georgians now..."

    `

    August 13, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. SM

    Now who's presuming to be president? I thought Bush was still our president?? Oh, that's right, he's over in China whooping it up. How dare McCain, or Saakashvili, presume that McCain will have anything to say about what America does or does not do! Maybe the Georgian president better start worrying about what President Obama will do-DIPLOMATICALLY!

    August 13, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. mike in portland

    Winston Churchill, who might be considered the patron saint of neocons, said, "Jaw, jaw is better than war, war". We no longer have the moral standing in the world to intervene in any other country's political fights, much less the soldiers, guns, and money. Senator Obama understands this; McCain chooses to ignore it.

    If you want another term of baseless threats and (god forbid) mindless carnage on the world stage, vote for McCain.

    August 13, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Alan Boyer

    Well, McCain's jet-skiing buddy just called him out. Ouch! That has got to hurt. McCain must be picking his face up off the floor.

    August 13, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. JA Cook

    I'm sure that Saakashvili appreciates that he got to jet-ski with McCain and become close personal friends. Now McCain can save him.

    McCain can't pronounce his name but now he can talk tough about Georgia and if Russia doesn't stop, well we'll, we'll.... We'll think of something to do that will make them sorry for bombing or not bombing that oil pipeline.

    August 13, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. 11 Bravo

    See what this shoot-from-the-hip, cowboy diplomacy gets you? Senator McCain seems to have let his mouth write a check that his can't cash

    He is in NO position to commit our over-burdened troops to any kind of action in Georgia

    In hindsight? I'd wager he wished he'd have given a more measured and thought-out response to this conflict instead of shooting off his big mouth

    August 13, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Steve

    More nonsensical political rambling.

    Sometimes I just feel sorry for McCain. He wants to be the President so badly, and he's trying so hard, but he can't seem to do anything right, and he just doesn't have a prayer. Poor guy.

    August 13, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. raw is war

    if McCain gets elected, there's a good chance we'll end up going to war with someone else (Russia maybe? Iran possibly?). one thing I haven't heard brought up is that if we keep occupations in multiple countries we'll need to expand our forces and resources. now why don't the pundits and speculators talk about the possibility of a draft?

    August 13, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Dale, Kentucky

    So we should support the aggressors?
    Georgians were the aggressors here, my guess is it comes down to who will get the profit from the pipeline running through Georgia.

    Georgia should stand down and stop their aggressive push.

    August 13, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Dave in Boston

    Clearly the President of Georgia is not impressed with McCain's "experience," nor does he care that they went jetskiing together two years ago...something that McCain seems very proud of.

    August 13, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. Anon

    I hope Sam is right about McCain's bravado being false. But I think McCain is just crazy enough to go to war with Russia if he were President.

    August 13, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. 17 year old future politician

    There is no way we are going to take anytype of responsibility in another conflict overseas. The Geogians started it, and now are trying to use the words of one ignorant comment as a way to squeeze America into this conflict. We don't have enough money to defend a country who initially ended the PEACE, and as soon as the conflict began, used force instead of promoting PEACE. McCain's comment about speaking for all Americans was obviously false, and the Geogian president knows that...he just wants to find anyway possible to con us into this conflict.

    August 13, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. ran

    We now have a clear example of how mccain will deal with issues and it an't pretty. People we need OBAMA and the DEMOCRATS now more then ever.

    August 13, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Sane John

    Oh snap. Somebody called the empty shirt REPUBLICAN candidate on his total lack of substance. And it was the President of Georgia. Ouch.

    How about those national security credentials now, eh?

    August 13, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Hmmmmm, McCain's top advisor is a lobbyist for the country of Georgia. Naturally, McCain comes down squarely on Georgia's side in this, and now the president of Georgia is making demands for action.

    We should probably expect McCain to demand action shortly.

    August 13, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Jason L. Hubsch

    First of all, anyone that adds their own replacement suffix to Mc____ instead of referring to him as McCain is not worth taking seriously.

    Secondly, I think this is good news for McCain. It shows that the Georgian President values McCain's words and hopes he acts upon them, whereas there was no mention of Barack Obama from him.

    August 13, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Obama?

    Since you are so quick to rush to judgment....what exactly is Obama's plan for Georgia?

    August 13, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. gman

    See what happens when you dive head first in to BS. Now what are you going to do? Didn't we see this rerun before...in the lead up to the Iraq war. Will we ever learn or are we doomed to repeat our mistakes.

    August 13, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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