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. RDS

    He has been saying this for month...goodness this election is getting so ridiculous!

    September 8, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Marina CA

    Barack,
    It's time to really fight back. Forget your long and thoughtful responses to questions. Go with one-liners! Hit them fast and strong. People who are on the fence will like it... We all know your views at this point. Go disarm those liars with their own weapon. Attack first! PLEASE! You might lose the election. Stop being the nice guy.

    September 8, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. soy

    if people are too stupid to understand the difference between reducing wasteful military spending and increasing the size of the military then i seriously think this nation is in more danger than I thought. It's a testament of the poor state of education in this country when reading, writing and comprehension is too much to ask from the average person.

    September 8, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Sarah Palin implemented windfall oil profit tax in Alaska

    THE DRAFT PEOPLE – THE DRAFT – THE DRAFT – THE DRAFT

    JOHN MCCAIN = 4 more years of the same PLUS an extra war or two. JOHN MCCAIN ANTAGONIZED PUTIN AND NOW RUSSIA IS FLEXING THEIR MUSCLES. TWO STUBBORN WAR MONGERERS THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CANNOT ALLOW TO GO HEAD TO HEAD.

    JOHN MCCAIN'S stubborness and temperment combined with the world galvanizing against the USA should Obama not be elected is a recipe for doom. Add to that the Republican way of Economics and you have FOREIGN AND ECONOMIC DOOM AND THE RETURN OF THE DRAFT.

    September 8, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Sooze Hawaii

    If John wants to stop the pork barrel spending he might start with his running mate. She wanted and then didn't want the bridge to no where but she FAILED TO RETURN 335 Million DOLLARS for the bridge. SHE KEPT IT FOR HER STATE!
    Oink Oink!!!! Go to it Johnny....

    September 8, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. prairieguy

    Quit closng post for comments so quicly like the one you posted just 20 minutes ago about McCain Ad is a lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Tim

    I look forward to the day when the networks hook politicians up to polygraph machines before they speak... that way we will know if they really believe what they are saying!

    September 8, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. April in Texas

    What about you McCain voting AGAINST vet rights? Two can play this game and as an independant you have yet to sway me in the least. I am a woman who is smart enough to do research and with all the lies your campaign keeps attempting to put out there only turns me away even more.

    Smart people will look at both canidates and compare the issues which will effect them personally. I for one cant afford 4 more years of the last 8 years. My pocketbook can not handle it and look for to paying less taxes with the Obama plan rather than MORE taxes with your plan..

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 8, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. spiderweb

    "Obama will do and say anything the DNC wants him to say.," quoted by Williy Brown, poster. McCain will do and say anything to win this election. Forget about integrity which is one of Obama's greatest attributes. Brown, I'm sure you voted for Bush both times....and look where we are today. McCain is in a box and that's why he had to call in Palin, plus she's also in a box. the only thing he can definitely attet to is that he's a military man (no offcense) but that's all he has going for him as a ma-vo-wreck!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Connie

    I believe McSenile likes the 700 dollar toilet seats at the pentagon, or was it hammers ? OBAMA/BIDEN
    Connie from Indiana

    September 8, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. suzyku

    Anything mcsame and his cohorts say are lies! Now they are lying to get themselves elected at all costs! They are putting their right wing agenda's as well as his "ambitions" to continue the bush/cheney policies ahead of this country and IF the people of this country fall for this garbage again they will deserve what "they' get however they will drag the rest of us down with them!

    September 8, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Mary, Kansas City, Missouri

    If you can't win on your own merits, Lie, Lie, Lie. John McCain is hustling the American people by lying. What is so terribly sad Palin thinks like McCain, and McCain thinks like Bush. Some would rather vote for a party than to break from failed policies that's causing so many little people's pain. Those that want to vote for McCain should honestly search for the reasons why. If you are a die hard Republican, more power to you. If you are someone who use to vote republican but now you are not sure because they are using Palin as a Pawn, you may want to read, read, and read. if something happens to McCain Palin does 'Not' have the experience to lead this country. America had better not get suckered the third time or it will be devastating. This is not a 'GAME'. Just be advised that other countries are waiting like vultures, China is #1. At least hold McCain accountable for the "Truth". That's something easy for an honorable POW. Right? He's a liar.

    September 8, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Single Mom Virginia

    I believe that change can happen! John McCain in no way can relate to the American people, or even understand what anyone of us has been through. During his speech he said he realized the "people" were struggling not "us". Where was he included in there? How can a Clinton supporter/democrat change their minds just because she's not on the ticket, are you really supporting your party or being sexiest/racist!

    September 8, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Female Voter

    And what did he offer up on "military spending"? Oh I forgot, McCain was against the new GI bill before he was for it. LIAR!

    September 8, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. DENICE RICE

    I can't believe a word that comr out of McCains mouth

    September 8, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Ms. Reality

    What ?????????????? You want to spend more on defense so that you can go over another dumb war in the name of Security!!!!

    NONE of the educated ones are falling for this now – look where we are and how much of OUR money is wasted on this war!!!

    Mccain – You are too old styled (am NOT talking about his age but his intellectual thinking) and he cannot run such a globalized environment. C'mon there is NOTHING to boast about this stupid war in Iraq that cost us all billions – simply NOTHING. And we should TRULY work on improving our image in the Globe – it is VERY VERY important. He just doesn't consider these as priorities!!!

    WAKE UP AMERICA !!! GROW UP AMERICA!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Beth

    Lies have a life of their own. After a while you can't really remember the lie you started out with. Add to that a large amount of senility for John McCain and a huge amount of dumbness for Palin and you have got the kind of lies they are spewing to the American People.
    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!
    I would love to see an interview with most of the world leaders and ask them about who do they think is better qualified to lead the US after George Bush!

    September 8, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. GIGI IN LA

    T R I V I A-–R E W A R D:::::

    N AM E--- A N--–I S S U E----O N---W H I C H--–

    O B A M A--–I S --–N O T--–O N ---B O T H--–S I D E S-

    O F --–I T----R E W A R D S--–P A I D--I N-–V O T E S

    September 8, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Lesley

    Obama has not changed his position. He is against wasteful spending by the military, not against fortifying the military to meet our national security needs. McCain is doing more blustering and it's up to Obama to set the record straight. It's unfortunate that most people seem to think that because of McCain's military background that he is the only person skilled enough to keep our country safe. But it takes more than military experience to make the proper decisions when to use the military and balance that with the global issues involved in military conflict. We need someone at the helm who can work with allies to enforce global diplomatic efforts and not just somebody who "knows how to win wars." War is different now than it was 40 years ago when McCain was a POW. It requires skillful negotiation among allies and an understanding of the big picture, the consequences of sending troops into battle, knowing your enemy and the different factions at work in a country such as Iraq or Pakistan for instance. McCain only knows how to use military force. And now Palin is going around telling Christian groups that our soldiers are fighting God's war in Iraq! Why hasn't the media completely vetted this remark? Why hasn't the media questioned this position on use of military force? I didn't know that the US engaged in religious wars. Given the opportunity, who knows how many more holy wars McCain and Palin will get this country into. Wake up America! These are new times that require new thinking, not the same old foreign politics of the past.

    September 8, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Ted van Tol

    Again fear wil rule the USA!
    Again the Americans wil elect the wrong candidate!
    Again America wil lose support of foreign countrys!
    Again no healt ensurence for everyone!
    Again a new war to come and two others to end!
    Again four years economic disaster
    America, America, where is your dream?
    The land of the free wil become the land
    of an old tired man and his pitbull.
    What a shame!

    CNN post this please!

    September 8, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. MN2000

    This accusation coming from the same man who has repeatedly voted against funding for our troops and veterans?

    How did he refer to an upset veteran's complaint? Static.

    And yes, when we're ordering water warcraft machines worth billions of dollars each to fight a war in a landlocked country... that is wasteful spending for our defense.

    Secondly, the truth is we WON'T always know where he stands... He has changed his position on nearly every issue since he ran in 2000. If McCain would have received his party's nomination in 2000, I would have voted for him. However, he's not the same man who ran 8 years ago... His policies and views are entirely different.

    September 8, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Annie

    The GOP/Rove lying machine is up and running and they don't play nice, they play to win at all costs. Did they ever consider that they may ruin Palin by using her so they could have their own celebrity on the ticket? No! And why is she in hiding? Is she working out the script that Charlie Gibson has to follow to interview her over 2 days?

    September 8, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Alex

    The problem is what the definition of "wasteful spending" is. A bunch of military projects might not come to completion until 15 years from now, but might be useful 15 years in the future. Future defense systems might not seem so wasteful if we actually need them 15-20 years from now.

    September 8, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. DWoods

    When our young people go to war they return to a Military Hospital where the rooms are infested with roaches, rats and other pests. And of course, Bush claimed he had no knowledge of this. Prior to this, it was determined that the troops had inadequate armor and other tools for efficiently fighting the war. What are the politicians in power doing with all this money? Last, but most important, you allow our troops to return home to a fight against their own government for physical, mental and monetary benefits rightfully entitle to them. And you wonder why so many are against the war.

    September 8, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Pops

    This is absolutely ridiculous. He never said he would reduce the size of the military... He said he would reduce spending. Those are two very different things, and someone with as much experience as McCain should know that.

    September 8, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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