September 30th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
4 years ago

McCain fudges circumstances of Palin's Pakistan comments

Sarah Palin met with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari last week during the UNGA.
Sarah Palin met with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari last week during the UNGA.

SEDONA, Arizona (CNN) – In a Tuesday interview on CNN’s American Morning, John McCain dismissed news reports about Sarah Palin’s pronouncement that the United States should “absolutely” attack terrorists within Pakistan as nothing more than “sound bite politics.”

But McCain refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden’s recent criticisms of clean coal - comments used by the McCain campaign in a radio ad and Web video - occurred under similar off-the-cuff circumstances.

John Roberts asked McCain about his joint interview with Palin on Monday’s CBS Evening News, in which both candidates asserted that Palin’s caught-on-camera remarks constituted “gotcha journalism.”

“But at the same time you have gone after Senator Biden for a comment that he made under similar circumstances about clean coal technology,” Roberts asked. “Your campaign even released a video of part of his comments. Was that gotcha politics?”

“Well, I believe it was at a town hall meeting that he said it,” McCain said of Biden. “This was - hers was in an encounter in a pizza parlor where the question was framed so that of course we're going to go after terrorists.”


But Biden’s comments dismissing coal as environmentally hazardous actually occurred on a rope line after a town hall event in Maumee, Ohio last week and were recorded by a voter’s hand-held camera and posted to YouTube.

Palin’s mention of Pakistan occurred at Tony Luke’s cheesesteak shop (not a pizza parlor) in south Philadelphia on Saturday night - a stop organized by her campaign. A CNN camera crew, acting as a representative of the five television networks, was brought to Tony Luke’s along with the campaign motorcade and, during the course of the event, recorded Palin’s conversation with restaurant patron Michael Rovito.

McCain, in the interview, suggested that Palin was responding to a general question about whether or not a McCain administration would go after terrorists.

However, Rovito, who had asked Palin two previous questions about her thoughts on Pakistan and Waziristan, asked the governor specifically: “So we do cross border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan, you think?”

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

McCain’s final point was that his administration would never publicly declare a pending attack within Pakistan’s borders.

“What she said was that she was going to respond to terrorist attacks,” he told Roberts. “And I'm saying we're going to respond to terrorist attacks. I'm not going to announce that I'm going to attack Pakistan.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    Still lying...

    We are sooooo screwed if this idiot gets elected!

    September 30, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. Dutch-VA

    He has his chihuaha on a very short leash.

    September 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Obama all the way....

    Nice picture Barbie.

    September 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. faye, NV

    Father McCain is now babysitting Sara how funny. He surely knows how to get out of a bag of rocks. He and Sara really looked funny there. LOL

    September 30, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. John B. From New Hampshire

    which is it mclame?

    September 30, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Obama's The One

    McCain is so hypocritical.

    September 30, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Accountability

    Hey John...lipstick on a pig maybe?

    September 30, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Michael

    All I can say is that you are making me dizzy Senator McCain. Spinning faster than a top.

    September 30, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Jan in CA

    McCain just can't resist a good opportunity to lie. It seem pathological for him. He lies all the time anymore; often when he doesn't even need to. So odd and so scary.

    September 30, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Ex-Republican for Obama

    McCain and Palin are pathetic, morally bankrupt specimens. They are the kind of examples that make many of us ashamed to be part of the human species.

    We need true leaders, leaders that go after issues rather then making up excuses, failing, and then blaming. McCain/Palin: The problem to all of our solutions.

    Obama/Biden '08 For an America with integrity, virtue and success.

    September 30, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Registered Republican for Obama

    Unbelievable. How anyone can trust McBlame on anything is just incomprehensible.

    September 30, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. no to McCain

    BS

    September 30, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Kate

    I'll bet that it's going to be such a relief to McCain and his supporters when he loses...they'll finally be able to speak the truth! All of their lying nonsense must be exhausting!

    September 30, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. sue

    What an idiot.

    It's gotcha journalism to ask a question? It doesn't matter where the question occurs, be ready to answer questions. It's what happens when you run for office. You get asked questions, wherever you are. You should be ready to give an answer, wherever you are. (Not to mention that since McCain's campaign keeps Palin under wraps the questions have to be asked wherever they can get a hold of her.)

    September 30, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Joycelyn

    McCain, McCain, McCain. What can i say? He sat beside Ms. Palin like a Grade 8 student who has been called to the principal's office accompanied by a parent. This is beyond belief. If she can attack all the other candidates on her own without the help of McCain, why can't she answer constructive questions/criticisms on her own? At the end of the day, once in office the vice-president will have to answer some question. Should we expect to see McCain with Palin once they win the white house answer questions together all the time? OH PLEASE.

    September 30, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Brandon

    Someone please put this disgraceful man to bed...

    September 30, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. Elizabeth - TEXAS

    Sarah Palin should have only been the Key Note Speaker at the Convention. She would have done excellent. McCain has abused this woman and her life.

    Another Republican voting for Barack Obama/Joe Biden.

    September 30, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Grandpa totally took control of that second interview with Palin. Sarah may as well have stayed home and dressed a moose. Really not a testament to how much faith McCain has to let this woman off her leash...or her muzzle. Now if he could only do something about her whiny tone.

    September 30, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Bridg

    What's the matter with John McCain? Does he not know that these events were recorded on tape?

    September 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. INSANE IN THE MCCAIN

    To quote a rwally bad band....Hall and Oates...circa 1982..."Hes out of touch...shes outta time"

    September 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Veterans 4 Obama

    Only 36 days left until John McShame can retire!

    September 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Erik

    Spin, spin, shuffle, turn, spin. McCain's little dance isn't fooling anybody.

    September 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. tulsa

    and so John McCain had to be the white knight and ride to the rescue of the supposed "pitbull" of Alaska.
    OOoooooo.... that Katie Couric is a mean one to be sure. Big bad pitbull can't handle an interview..... What happens when McCain kicks the bucket and she's expected to sit face to face with a world leader for more than a 20 minute photo op?
    This is scary folks.

    and a little sad.

    September 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. JT

    REPUBLICANS, please, think objectively about this.

    Are you ready for 4 years of this? 4 years of them?

    September 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  25. Emma

    John McCain picks and chooses what he wants to use. He is a liar and not a very good one.

    It is exactly the same!

    September 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7