September 8th, 2008
02:19 PM ET
2 years ago

McCain attacks Obama on military spending

McCain is attacking Obama on military spending .
McCain is attacking Obama on military spending .

LEE’S SUMMIT, Missouri (CNN) –John McCain is launching a new line of attack against Barack Obama, criticizing his rival for saying Sunday that he would buck his own party by calling for an increase in the size of the U.S. military.

“Of course, now he wants to increase it,” McCain told an audience in Lee’s Summit, Missouri Monday. “But during the primary he told a liberal advocacy group that he’d cut defense spending by tens of billions of dollars. He promised them he would, quote, ‘slow our development of future combat systems.’”

Watch: McCain says he will 'veto every earmark'

McCain was referring to a YouTube clip from last October that features Obama promising the non-profit group “Caucus for Priorities” that he would reduce wasteful military spending.

“I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending,” Obama said in the video. “I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems.”

In the video, Obama also said: “As president, my sole priority for defense spending will be protecting the American people.”

Obama, now the Democratic nominee, was asked on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday to cite examples of where he would be willing to break with his own party.

“I’ve said that we need to increase the size of our military,” Obama answered, noting that such legislation might anger some on the left.

McCain, who claimed in his remarks that the world is simply too dangerous to reduce military spending, said Obama is guilty of general election pandering.

“Sen. Obama told the extreme left what they wanted to hear during the primary, now he’s trying to tell you what he thinks you want to hear,” McCain responded in Missouri. “My friends, you may not always agree with me but you will always know where I stand.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. Candy West Virginia

    To reduce wasteful spending yet keep a strong military is called sound judgment mcliar, something you have yet to show us. By the way mcsurge where is the 'gas tax holiday you promised???? You consistently lie and pandar to voters, but where do you stand on anything because it changes like the wind? People should search Huffington Post for 'John Mccain pushes lady in wheelchair' to get an example of his violent temper.

    September 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. McCain + Sarah = empty suits

    Old man, don't have a stroke.
    You look like you're loosing it.

    September 8, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Foo Man Jew

    drilling against then for
    taxes for rich repeal then keep
    honorable campaign before he was getting trounced
    against more troops in afghanistan before, now he likes it

    I want to know, dod he pull out his vetoin' pen? Obama should pull out his blackberry and email mccain that earmarks are transparent now and cincy should go google them if she can stand the carpal tunnel pain

    McCain used to be cool, now he's 0.9Bush
    Palin is Bushette

    September 8, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Arkansan For Obama!

    Obama is right! We don't need Billions of Dollars of Missiles setting up in space like the so called "Star Wars System" that Bush Sr wanted. We don't need to spend Billions in Nuclear Weapons either.

    Wars are fought with Soldiers, Guns, Tanks, Ships, and Planes. That's how we have fought every war in the Modern age, and that's how we are fighting in Iraq. That's where the money should be spent!

    Putting a missle defense system in space is pointless. But for some reason that's what Reagan, Bush Sr, Bush Jr, and McCain wants. Maybe they are aiming at Aliens or something lol.

    September 8, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. COUNTRY FIRST McCAIN/PALIN

    Obama is a LIAR. He has lied to the American people since he first arrived in Chicago years ago.
    This dangerous liar needs to go back to Chicago where he belongs.

    COUNTRY FIRST McCAIN / PALIN 2008

    Obama get used to it...............SARAH PALIN will be President of the United States after John McCain leaves office in 8 years.

    September 8, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Michael in Houston

    Wow McTwist, you are reaching deep on this one. He said he would cut WASTEFUL spending, he said he will increase the size in PERSONELL in the military. You are an idiot McCain and do you actually think that we cannot see right through you. Nice play on words but only you uneducated followers will listen to your play on words. I know you have a group of flunkies that write down KEY words for your ads McTwist but even the dumbest person can see you twisting what Obama said. You and Paliar disgust me. You will never be my President McCain!

    September 8, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. a real person

    From what i've seen and heard from Mr. Obama, is that he will military spending by Billions, by bringing home the troops and ending the war in Iraq that is the "wasteful spending". That's how you cut the budget by billions, but increasing the size of the military will not cost the $10 billion a month that we are presently spending.

    September 8, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. KG

    Obama's lack of knowledge about national security matters alone is enough not to vote for him. The world we live in is not Utopia. The world does not sit around singing Kumbaya. There are countries and ethnicities out there that hate it each other and hate us. We can't just turn a blind eye and we've got to be prepared because I'll guarantee you, they are getting prepared.

    September 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Sheryl

    McShame you sir are a bold face liar!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. T.O, New York, NY

    I guess McCain doesn't know the difference between someone saying he'd "cut WASTEFUL military spending" VS "defense spending that's fueled by protecting the American people"......Oh i forgot; the Repubs are spin masters.

    America wake up! The world is watching.

    September 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Steve, Madison WI

    Increasing the military (i.e. personnel & conventional weapons) vs. Star Wars, etc. Pretty clear to me.

    Everything isn't black or white, yes or no ....... unfortunately that's how a republican mind works – it can't see nuances of reality.

    September 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Independent but Leaning

    This is a good example of why I'm leaning McCain. Obama is developing a track record of saying whatever the audience of the day wants to hear. Empty promises.

    At least McCain has substance and experience.

    September 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. TexasVet

    As and Retired Air Force Member who worked in Military Finance and wife of an Active Duty Aquisitions Officer trust me, there is plenty of wasteful govt spending. The military continues to employ crooked contractors who promise us the world at a low cost and ultimately NEVER deliver. Sound familiar? Obama is right! The military has been drawn down and replaced with lazy contractors.
    Vote to put your tax dollars to work and rebuild our military.

    Obama 08!

    CNN I HOPE YOU POST THIS

    September 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Allan dallas

    I love the polls. Finally American wake up. I told you Obama is rock star. HIs convention was like coronation of king Obama Husein . Obama offer play in movie " The rock star go home" THANKS people of America,

    September 8, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Debbie

    I think anyone would want to cut wasteful spending. What's so controversial about that?

    September 8, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Sorry John, but you're comparing apples with oranges. He did not say he would cut the military - he said he would cut wasteful defense spending. Not the same thing at all, and there is plenty of wasteful defense spending to be cut, some of which could easily be used to fund a larger military, which we also need.

    September 8, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. SLM

    "McCain, who claimed in his remarks that the world is simply too dangerous to reduce military spending, said Obama is guilty of general election pandering."

    I've got news for Senator McCain ... they're all guilty of that ... including him. He really should get off his high horse.

    September 8, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. John

    Words are important, and McCain is twisting Obama's. The operative word in Obama's speech is "wasteful." Cutting wasteful military spending is not the same thing as reducing the size of the military. Cutting military programs that are unproductive allows you to be economical with the money that does go into the "proven" military projects, and could also allow you to grow the military in a fiscally conservative way. All Obama is saying here is that he is going to take an economical approach to military spending, and as a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative, McCain should be in line with it. McCain is betting that the American people aren't smart enough to punch holes in his argument. I hope he's not right.

    September 8, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Chris in Nebraska

    Not sure how expanding the military and cutting wasteful military spending are mutually exclusive?

    In fact, I find it promising that Obama will put the money where it is most needed, and into systems that actually work.

    September 8, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Fed up

    Where are all of you dems? if this was a story on McCain you would all be here commenting on his flip-flopping.

    September 8, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    My friends, you may not always agree with me but you will always know where I stand.”

    Yes, we do. One of the worst Senate records for vets. Did NOT support the GI Bill. Ignored the needs of disabled vets.

    Not everyone can marry $300 million, my friend. What about the rest of us?

    September 8, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Yo, McSame! Cutting out billions of dollars in wasteful spending and out-dated weapons systems may be bad for your pals, the war-profiteers with no-bid contracts, but it is good for the economy and good for America.

    Let's have a good hard look at how you "honor" the veterans but voting against them every chance you get!

    September 8, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Moon Maiden from Lake Michigan

    ANOTHER LIE!

    September 8, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. whiteboy for obama

    obama supported the 'original bill,but, BUSH vetoed it! if the dems ,in congress could have over-ridden it ,it would have been the only way to force bush into a withdrawal from iraq,with a timetable, with conditions on the ground. a 'compromise' that mccain nor bush supported . now, bush is negotiating a long-term agreement with iraq that will have us man 50 bases in iraq.they have no intention of pulling out folks, because they are going after iran, next. if not before the election, and if not ,then after if mccain wins. the only way to stop it ,and restore some sanity to the world is to elect real change with obama/biden.

    September 8, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    I want everyone to think how important this election is the children of those who are serving in the military. This is no exaggeration, this is the plain truth:

    If you want their father/mother to live, vote for Obama.
    If you want to see their parent come home severely injured or in a coffin, vote for McCain.

    The electorate is just as responsible, even more so for these children and their parent's future, just as those who are in an elected position, by casting their votes and who they vote for.

    September 8, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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