September 28th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain retracts Palin's Pakistan comments


Watch: Palin answers questions during a cheesesteak run Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN)— Sen. John McCain retracted Sarah Palin's stance on Pakistan Sunday morning, after the Alaska governor appeared to back Sen. Barack Obama's support for unilateral strikes inside Pakistan against terrorists

"She would not...she understands and has stated repeatedly that we're not going to do anything except in America's national security interest," McCain told ABC's George Stephanopoulos of Palin. "In all due respect, people going around and... sticking a microphone while conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that's—that's a person's position... This is a free country, but I don't think most Americans think that that's a definitve policy statement made by Governor Palin."

Saturday night, while on a stop for cheesesteaks in South Philadelphia, Palin was questioned by a Temple graduate student about whether the U.S. should cross the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

"If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should," Palin said.

During Friday night's presidential debate in Mississippi, Obama took a similar stance and condemned the Bush administration for failing to act on the possibility terrorists are in Pakistan.

"Nobody talked about attacking Pakistan," Obama said after McCain accused the Illinois senator of wanting to announce an invasion. "If the United States has al Qaeda, bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights, and Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out."

McCain emphasized Sunday, Palin "shares" his view on the matter.

soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Die Hard Republican

    There she goes again, opening her mouth and contradicting her own Running Mate, she cannot even remember what she heard the day before and keep her story straight. She is scrary.

    I was a very very strong Palin supporter and would have voted for her, but after her interview with Katie Couric, I think she is a disaster waiting to happen.



    September 28, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Larry of Boston

    So everyone jumps on Palin for saying the US would go into Pakistan to chase the bad guys – so what. Palin did not say that the US would not coordinate any such attacks with the Pakistan Government. Palin did not say that she approved going into Pakistan against the Pakistani government's wishes. This is a lot of hoop la over a cheese steak sandwich...

    Now ,let's look at Obama's and Biden's recent misstatements. Obama did not know that Russia held a seat on the UN Security Counsel – a big oops. Biden said that his father watched FDR as President during the Depression in 1929 - er, Joe - FDR was not president in 1929 or during the depression......and there were only 50 television sets in the entire US in 1929 - another Biden fairy tale. Obama, unlike Palin, said as President he WOULD violate Pakistan's sovereignty and attack terrorists inside the country without permission --Big OOPS

    September 28, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Clinton Democrat for Obama

    Sound like Gov. Palin sides with Sen. Obama on several issues:
    1) Sen. Obama's legislation that opened up the government's checkbook online
    2) Sen. Obama's energy policy
    3) Sen. Obama's policy toward fighting terrorists in Pakistan

    It's sad when Sen. McCain has to control what Gov. Palin thinks and dismisses her thoughts.... how sexist!

    September 28, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Deborah

    I thought McCain looked very uncomfortable and testy when asked about this comment of Palin's this morning.

    I am trying to figure out how he's going to be standing beside her at the debate on thursday night whispering his approved answers in her ears.

    September 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. Michael in NC

    So we're not supposed to pay attention to what candidates say?! C'mon, Senator. You're being ridiculous. It's not like we have anything else to go on, as far as newbie Palin is concerned.

    September 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Bill, Michigan

    "When Putin rears his head" and flies over Alaska . . .etc. This woman
    is unbelievable.

    Democrats 08.

    September 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. The COSMOS and McCain ROCKS!!!

    »McCain/Palin=Presidential DREAM Ticket/Team. The WINNERS. Yes.

    September 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Real patriot

    He'll follow Osama to "the gates of hell" but not into Pakistan?

    September 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. jam

    Sounds like a husband telling his wife he knows what's best for her. They are typical Americans in the worst way.

    September 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Maggie

    The McCain Camp is imploding before our very eyes!

    September 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Troy B.

    I guess she really needs to have her cards out at all times. She might as well jump on her cell phone and call McCain himself and repeat what he says over the phone. This woman is about as sly as a brick and as capable of running our country as a brick too.

    Too bad it is too late for you to change your mind now, John.

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. Donald

    The wheels are falling off the McCain-Palin wagon and there is nothing the RNC can do about it. It was just a matter of time before this ugly head would rear itself. Plain is so confused right now that she doesn't know night from day! This only furthers the desperation McCain and the RNC have put themselves in.

    Friday night showed the real John McCain, an old fart who is way past his prime. While I laud and admire his service in Vietnam, he does not have the basic tools to become the leader this country needs in the 21st century. No matter how the RNC tries to spin things, they have a complete turkey on their hands!

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Kevin in Ancorage AK

    McCain should retire... To Baghdad!

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Don

    This whole campaign has become "adventures in damage control". It's hard to stay on message when you can't even decide among yourselves what the message is. I know, the message is, "This campaign's a mess."

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Cheryl

    It's not Gov. Air-Head's remarks which need to be retracted, it's the moron herself. I gotta be honest, her stupidity was fun to laugh at for a while but the joke's worn off for me. This country, and our world, have too much at stake for her to continue as a candidate with a real possibility of becoming President one day. I wish to God, not as a Democrat but as an American citizen, she's be replaced on the Rep. ticket as soon as possible.

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. TexicoFrom Mexico

    oh please McCain and all you Republicans....the bottom line here and I blame McCain for this. He chose someone to help GET HIM ELECTED withou vetting that person or even knowing that person. Obama on the other had could have won this election on "popularity" bu choosing Hillary but he didnt! He put the health of his administration first to help govern this country. You Republicans and the McCain campaign are being EXPOSED for all you are. I am sure that you will even TRY to say McCain brokered a deal on this bail out....NOT GOING TO WORK FOLKS...McCain is an opportunist and is self severing his interests only!

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Gary Chandler in Canada

    The president of Pakistan was just on Blitzer saying he would SUPPORT what Obama and Palin would do if Bin Laden was spotted in Pakistan!
    NOW he is going have retract his retraction and CLAIM is was his idea in the first place!!!??

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. who does he think he is?

    sarah paylin is worse

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |

    Geezer's team should consider this a training session for all the retractions Geezer's team will have scamper and retract Friday morning after the bobble head Gidget is gutted by Obiden Thursday nite.

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. MLD

    Why in the world would any self respecting woman choose to be the running mate of John McCain? I can just imagine what goes on behind the scenes knowing about the famous temper of McCain. This guy, should he be elected, will have absolutely nothing to do with her except to pull her out for photo ops. Ego first on both their parts.

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Mike Wagner

    Bottom line: you're funny. whose campaigns and what debate have you been watching? how does that kool-aid taste? you really have no clue, do you.

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Scott Tucson

    I kind of like the remarks of Biden and Hillary when they said Obama lack any experience and would be a poor choice for president. Guess that makes Biden a flip flopper too.

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. Tasha from Houston, TX

    Just wait and see...Sarah Palin is going to have a family emergency that is going to keep her from the debate this week. She is not ready, McCain and his advisors know it. Just you wait and see, there will be a family emergency and she will have to go home.

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. T Collins

    I don't know, I mean, going around and listening while people are having conversations... isn't that where ideas come up? Isn't that how a person gets their policies across?? OH! You mean, when she doesn't have 4 handlers there to help her answer the question! How stupid of me. I LAUGH at the Republicans talking about free speech. LAUGH!

    September 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged

    The Obama supporters PROTEST too much that the great Obama should win and will win.

    In reality the Obama campaign is the pig with lipstick. They campaign on a message of unity and hope and then they employ vulgar, foul filthy tactics to divide and conquer their own party, to gut and trash the BEST democratic candidate and to steal the nomination.

    The whole world is aware that the BEST choice was HRC- yet the superdelegates installed Obama.

    Now the pigs in lipstick try to force the very voters they trashed- to vote for Obama. Some strategy and some hope. Some unity and some change.

    September 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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