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. Micheal shoemac republican voting for Obama

    this guy is they funniest guy in the world....

    Wat a joke,,,

    N E one that will vote for McCain is completly stupid, and i am a republican

    September 30, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. CM

    I thought the American people deserved a president who always told them the truth Johnny?

    Seems like you (once again) disqualified yourself from the job.

    September 30, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Jinny Lee

    Holy crap....can you imagine these two fruitcakes in the White House? Not me, that's why I'm voting democrat.

    September 30, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. McCain THE LIAR

    Has Palin ever touched a minority person other than during her recent meeting with world leaders. I have never seen a picture of her with anyone that isn't white. I am curious about her relationship with minorities as well as John McCain's. It is so important for Obama to reach out to whites, what is it with the double standard? Why is McCain not held to the same standard of reaching out to minorities, specifically the black vote. The vote of Blacks and minorities aren't considered of value....I get itl!

    September 30, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. ACORN = obama = corrupt

    Hillary had some slip ups in interviews too, but that never meant she wasnt ready to run for presidency. She would have been 10 times better then the arrogant Obama.

    Sarah Palin will do fine. she is very likeable and comes across really well on camera. I still love the fact that she could be VP of this country.

    September 30, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Dianne

    These LIES out of the McCain Campaign are becoming troublesome. Obviously their new mantra is:

    LIE ... BABY ... LIE!

    September 30, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. mlb

    pathetic liars. America won't be stupid enough to fall for that, will you?

    September 30, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Baze

    More clean up for Palin aisle two!

    ONE NATION

    September 30, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Palin Power

    Nothing wrong with Palin's response.

    It was not a call to attack.

    Leave Palin alone.

    Parsing each of her words.

    September 30, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Oh Boy!!!???

    When I say that I am absolutely voting for McCan/Palin, I mean to say "What! Are you freakin nuts!?"

    Yeah, that's what I really mean.

    September 30, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. open your eyes people!

    The world is astonished by the fact that the American people might actually fall for this crab again after the last eight years of failed policies. Think people!

    September 30, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Mrs. McIntosh

    McCain a student asked Pailin a question, and she sound confused and uninformed.

    September 30, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Independent for McCain

    I've made up my mind – McCain/Palin 2008. Senator Obama could not answer one question directly and concisely during the debate. What in the world is he thinking?

    September 30, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Latina for Obama (nj)

    GET LOST MCCAIN!!! AND TAKE THE PIT BULL WITH YOU....WILL YOU????

    YES WE CAN!!

    September 30, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Glenn in California

    McLAME. 'Nuff said.

    Just say NO to Bush 44 and Caribou Barbie.

    September 30, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Leah,Texas

    I will personally buy an airline ticket for McCain to go back to Arizona and another ticket for Palin to go back to Alaska. I cannot stand listening to either one of them anymore!

    September 30, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Brian

    Nice to know the past few weeks haven't led McCain to lie any less.

    September 30, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Leah,Texas

    The harder they spin the harder they fall.

    September 30, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Walt

    I no longer question anything that comes out of McCain's mouth. I discount it all. But, what scares me, and badly, is that there are still people that support McPalin. And, get this, they are technically intelligent.

    Say what you want, call it what you want. But, anyone with half a brain knows McCain is unfit, Palin is worse, and their supporters are generally afraid of seeing a black man in the white house.

    Why? Don't answer that, it was the first question on the test and you already failed.

    September 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. David Peter

    COMPULSIVE LIARS. McCain has no more honor than the terrorists we fight today.

    September 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. mike

    mccain himself said at the repub. convention that he would go to the gates of hell to find bin laden.... well he's over that afghan hill, probably smokin hash in pakastain, laughing his butt off because he sucedded in bringing our economy to its knees.

    September 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. Amy, Montana

    So the comment doesn't count as legitemate if it is made face-to-face to a voter, but it does when it's made to a town hall audience? How, AS A VOTER, am I supposed to trust your word if, at a very basic, interpersonal level, I can't consider your word legitemate?!!! What a joke!!!

    September 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. bob in L.A.

    McCain play Gotcha politics and then critizes the media. He runs partial quotes form interviews and claims them to be substantitve.
    He even tries to compare Palin to a 12 year govenor that was a Rhoads scholar and a2 term ogvernor of the largest state in the union.
    Yes, everycampaign doe sthi sosrt of stuff, but for someone who wanted a new style of campaign and nothing but facts, his campaign makes Carl Rove look like someone on sodium penithal.
    What happened to John McCain 2000?
    And for the record John, you have insulted Americans with the Palin comparrison. She's a uneducated bumpkin by comarrison to either of the men you tried to tie her to. Let her stand on her own credentials if you truly believe in her.

    September 30, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. Jessica in IL

    Yet another example of McCain's idea that If They Do It, It's Bad, but If We Do It, It's Right.

    What a bunch of crap.

    Tell me the American people see this!!

    September 30, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy [ventriloqiust and dummy, respectively] have nothing on these guys!

    The wages of stupidity and lies is unelectability!

    September 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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