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. American

    McMoron, there is a difference between Wasteful spending and Useful spending, as in tax payers dollars being wasted in an unjust war in Iraq..... or wisely going after our real enemies in Afghanistan and protecting the U.S.

    As Americans get to know more about McBush and Gov. Pain lin the more people will choose what is best for this country.

    Obama/Biden '08/12!

    September 8, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. ReverendZ

    Why doesn't anyone pay attenttion to the actual words that anyone says?
    Obama stated that he want to cut "wasteful" spending – and to reduce costs of "unproven" weapons systems. This is far different than pandering – it's actually an explanation, something the McCain campaing falls far short on – explanation.
    Next time you get to ask McCain a question, how about asking why – on his own website – he states that he wants to cut all non-military, non-discretionary funding for a full year. That means no new money for schools, roads, or health-care – and is stated fairly point-blank on McCains official website.
    People on all sides, and in all parties, need to start paying attention to what is actually being said – as opposed to grabbing whatever sound bite seems to take a bigger jab at your opponent.

    September 8, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Gerry in Virginia

    We all know how John McWar will spend the military budget. It certainly won't go to the soldiers who need medical care or decent housing or good weapons or good armor or newer military vehicles...
    This old geezer will say anything to get elected including lieing about what he "plans" to do... Everything out of his mouth has been proposed by Senator Obama already in his platform...
    JOHN MCMOUTH.... WHEN ARE YOU GONNA HAVE AN HONEST IDEA OF YOUR OWN....

    **** ATTENTION CNN.... AM I ON YOUR COMMENT BAD LIST OR SOMETHING? WHY DON'T YOU EVER PUBLISH MY COMMENTS?

    September 8, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Marty Pacino Chicago Il

    We don't even need to talk anymore. We won this election when we let a woman rise to the top and Obama's bots destroyed the best woman their party has ever seen. Thanks Democrats for another complete collapse. I really thought you might have us this time, but as time has proven over and over again... only the republican party has the intelligence and wit to run this country. A democrat when given power will self implode.

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 8, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. ATLian

    Is McCain so senile he doesn't see the word "wasteful" in there?

    September 8, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. robert

    you should attack your buddy Bush not Obama. You and your frind destroyed this country

    September 8, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. mollygonz

    McCain you are such a liar...you and Palin both. Today you are blasting Obama for earmarks when the AP reports that he has not asked for any earmarks for the last two years. Also, when he did, it was 311 million worth while Palin requested nearly 750 million so QUIT THE LYING!!!!!!!!!!!! LIKE OBAMA SAID, YOU MUST THINK WE ARE STUPID!!!Do you think we don't pay attention to the news and the facts. You are outrageous and people will get wind of this if they are smart enough!

    September 8, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Dan , TX

    McCain and the republican party are liars.

    Everything will be ok once we get the liberals out of Washington? Are you insane! The conservatives have controlled Washington since 2000!

    The Conservatives took budget surpluses and turned them into huge deficits...Decreasing taxes on the rich and powerful as we fell further in debt to China. NOW McCAIN wants to borrow more money and give bigger tax breaks to the rich and powerful.

    Obama will spend LESS than McCain. That is a fact – google it. Don't let them fool you again!

    September 8, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Richard

    Know where McCain stands?? He has flipped FOUR times about the single issue of whether he will have no new taxes or not. We know where he stands when it comes to honesty when he told two lies in only one sentence when saying that Sarah Palin sold a plane on eBay at a profit.

    September 8, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Get Real

    HOW COME ALL THE COMMENTS ARE IN FAVOR OF OBAMA, BUT THE POLLS AND MEDI COMMENT FAVOR MCCAIN.

    COULD IT BE THAT THE MEDIA IS SCARED OF THE REPUBLICANS AND ARE IN THEIR BACK POCKETS.

    THE EMEDIA IS OWNED BY BIG BUSINESS. THEY ARE REALLY SCARED OF THE REPUBLICANS PULLING THEIR MONEY.

    I HATE REPUBLICANS AND THE MEDIA IS ONLY LYING TO BUILD-UP THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO COUNTRY FIRST.

    September 8, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Julie

    But remember John McCain Obama voted against this war and wanted to finish the war in Afganistan with our real enemy at the time, Bin Laden.
    He has said he will do everything he has to to help the troops and get them home. He said it during the Primary also.
    John McCain you scare me with the way you always talks about fight, fight, fight…..all you talk about is that you were a POW…admirable but being a POW does not make the Presidency a given. Start talking on other issues besides war as that seems to be the only thing you know are well versed in. What else do you know about regarding getting this counrty back on it's feet?

    September 8, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Julia

    Sen. McCain, we are not your friends, we are voters who see through your tactics. P.S. the media is not sexist toward Palin, you are sexist for selecting her for the simple fact she is a woman.

    September 8, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Jason, Los Angeles

    Obama wants to reduce WASTEFUL military spending. His voting record and his campaigning shows that Obama is committed to spending federal dollars on the troops and on the military. Even in his convention speech, Obama explained that his plan was to rebuild the US Military after the terrible depletions of recent years.

    McCain's record on defense spending is a little less noble if you ask me. McCain has either not voted or voted against all of the following bills that would have given money to troops and veterans: HR4156, S2340, HR4986, S AMDT 4817, and HR 2642. Altogether, these bills would have provided $560billion for troops and veterans, including $180B for veteran education (GI Bill), and one bill that would have put a cap on excessive military spending (which might well have had a positive effect on our economy).

    I'll put it out there: without talking about his being a veteran, which is irrelevant, what has McCain done recently with his position to help troops or veterans?

    September 8, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Ben - Portland, Or

    Spending more on the military doesn't necessarily mean it will be better. Smart spending makes it better. Our country's safety will also be served by investment in alternative energy, overhauling or throwing out No Child Left Behind, providing healthcare to our citizens.

    Does anyone besides me remember the Cold War? Russia had a big, strong army, and they were feared, but not respected. No one wanted to run away to opportunity in the Soviet Union.

    In short, if we have a strong country at home, we'll have more safety in the world. With better education, smarter energy choices, and a healthy population, in addition to our amazingly wonderful freedom, we'll be more respected and admired than if we just run around with a big army.

    The McCain camp will start the traditional Republican tactic of lying and repeating the same lie again and again and again because they think we're stupid enough to believe it if they keep saying it... don't take the bait, folks. If you're a conservative voter, look at the Libertarian candidate. McCain is just another liar. Palin is also a liar. She's got a chance here to be a vice president, so she'll say anything she's told to say. If you're philosophically opposed to Obama, at least listen to Barr. He'll at least give you a straight answer.

    September 8, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ

    "My Friends, I was agaisnt the war before I was for it"
    My Friends, I've made sure to cut funding for better care for our veterans but don't question my priority to them"
    "My friends, the surge is working and we won, even though our troops still have to be there and there is still violence"
    "My friends, I know how to win wars and find Bin laden, but I have yet to tell Bush"
    "My Friends....

    September 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Tired of the Lies

    The main problem in our military is not that it's lacking in technology, but rather that it's lacking in warm bodies. We are spread too thin.

    If Obama reduces military research and development by $20 billion but increases manpower spending by $5 billion, he will have increased the size of the military while reducing spending–exactly what we need.

    McCain lies about Obama's policies the way Bush lies about WMD's and Palin lies about selling planes on eBay.

    September 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. DeMj

    You cannot expect America to change if you are afraid to change. Republicans had their years to right the ship and it's not and will not work. If you look back for the last 20 years, you will notice that Democrat outperform Republicans with the economy.

    September 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Sen. Barack Obama

    Where does John McCain stand?
    Apparently, head and shoulders above me. :-(

    September 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Jean

    Is McCain being called on his twisting of the truth. He looks into the camra and shouts change and the crowd cheers.

    Cutting wasteful speanding is responsible.

    Does he think the public is stupid?????

    Pushie female pundits keeps repeating these one liners.
    DISGUSTING

    September 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Sarah Bell

    The way McCain is dividing the country right now with his "us versus them, small town versus urban, white versus everyone else" is the same way he will divide the world. He will tell all of our allies to chose a side, and he will force anyone who disagrees with us to ally with eachother for one final World War. This is what it looks like on paper: The U.S., the E.U. and Israel vs. Russia, China, N. Korea, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, most of South America, North Africa.

    McBush/Dick Palin '08!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Roman

    Regardles of what all candidates say or do, the are nothing else but puppets who serve the interest of powerful people who use a country to increase their wealth and to protect their interests. So, whoever wins our presidency, we just need to focus in working hard and educating to be able to support our families; the rest is just POLITICS!!

    September 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Dana

    Whatever- twisting words as usual- one he was talking about wasteful spending on unecessary weapons programs- not the whole thing itself!
    ANd John McCain since you want to discuss the Military- why do you keep denying increased benefits to Veterans??
    All for having a war- but not caring for the men and women once they are done fighting YOUR war! Give me a break!

    September 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. KW, Vail AZ

    Another lie but the Republican faithful don't care about the truth, they only care about winning. For six years McCain had the most favorable conditions to effect change; a Republican majority in both the Congress and the Senate, A Republican in the White House, and a Republican majority on the Supreme Court. What makes anyone think that, if elected, he's going to change anything but his address. No, it will be more of the same.

    September 8, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. WHERE IS OBAMA?

    WHY ARE YOU NOT OUT THERE DEFENDING YOUR RECORD?
    COME ON!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. karen-phoenix

    Obama is right!!!! Will this old man please keep his mouth shut!!! We are not stupid Americans!!! I've been a republican for over 40 years!!! I'm soooo sick of his lies and now this "thing" from Alaska that claims God has sent her to blowup the world so Jesus comes back!!! That is a christian "gihad" and its almost worse than what the Islams have done. We killed 4000 Amricans and a million Iraqis!!! AND she wants to wipe out the rest of the world except Alaska. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!
    THis republican is voting for Obama/Biden!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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