October 6th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain targets Obama's year-old comment on Afghanistan

A new McCain ad questions Obama's past comments.
A new McCain ad questions Obama's past comments.

(CNN) – John McCain's campaign released a new ad Monday that targets year-old comments from Barack Obama about the conflict in Afghanistan, calling them flat out "dishonorable."

The ad comes as the Arizona senator's campaign aggressively steps up its attacks on Obama's readiness to be a commander-in-chief and raises questions about his background with only a month remaining before voters weigh in.

Watch: New ad targets Obama comments

"Who is Barack Obama? He says our troops in Afghanistan are ‘just air-raiding villages and killing civilians,’” the ad's announcer says. "How dishonorable."

The ad refers to an answer Obama gave at an August 2007 town hall meeting with New Hampshire voters, during which the Illinois senator was asked whether he had plans to shift U.S. troops out of Iraq to other terrorist hotspots like Afghanistan.

"We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there," Obama said of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

Those comments were immediately seized by GOP critics. The Republican National Committee sent out a press release shortly after the remarks calling them "offensive," and demanding he apologize. The McCain campaign has also highlighted the comments several times this campaign season. An AP Fact Check later reported Western forces had been killing civilians at a higher rate than insurgents.

"Congressional liberals voted repeatedly to cut off funding to our active troops," the ad also says. "Increasing the risk on their lives. How dangerous. Obama and congressional liberals."

Palin also made similiar comments in an interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric last week and on the campaign trail in Florida Monday morning.

The campaign says the ad will run nationally, though it did not reveal the extent of the buy.

Responding to the ad, the Obama campaign released a statement from retired Admiral John B. Natham.

"Senator Obama has consistently voted to fund our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and, just as importantly, a proven record of support when they return home," he said in the statement. "That's why independent veterans organizations give Senator Obama higher marks than Senator McCain. Despite consistent distortions of his record, thousands of veterans like myself support Senator Obama because he has the judgment, character and integrity to be a great president. We will need a great president to lead us in these very challenging times."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. ltd1974- Ohio for Obama

    Keating 5 McShame

    October 6, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. KEATING HIGH FIVE

    Yawn! Old news – TURNS OUT THE US MILITARY HAD BEEN KILLING MORE CIVILIANS THAN MILITANTS WHEN THIS COMMENT WAS MADE – so yes SENILE McCain – IT IS TRUE.

    October 6, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. JD in NC

    Wow, even other Republicans are demanding he withdraw these ads.

    I guess there is such a thing as too much slime.

    October 6, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. anon

    As though McCain knew anything about honor.

    I despise the McCain/Palin ticket more and more every day. They disgust me. They are more of the reason American citizens have been seen wearing Canadian flag lapel pins while overseas.

    Seriously, if the McCain/Palin ticket was up against the Bush/Cheney ticket, I would vote for Bush... and trust me, that says a whole lot!

    October 6, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Tom

    CNN, please stop treating every lying word out of McCain and Palin's mouths as a news story. They are bankrupt on ideas and morality, and they are now slinging any piece of mud they can think of and hoping something sticks. Act like a news organization, please! (You could start by posting this comment.)

    October 6, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Snappa

    It probably would be if it weren't true, just like the right wing, never point out the obvious to anyone not looking. Any idiot with a TV knows exactly whats been happening over in Afghanastan, we have been bombing from drones and planes and we have been killing civilians. Just why do you think Karzai has been asking us to stop doing it.

    Had we had enough troops to begin with we wouldn't have to be doing that.

    Thanks again Mr. Bush for a wonderful eight years, please do not let the door hit you on the way out!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. Bob, NY

    Why hasn't CNN asked these questions? Most trusted political news sourses or what??

    October 6, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. So was Viet Nam and Iraq

    America has/had no business in any of those wars all started by Republicans.

    U.S.M.C
    68 – 71

    October 6, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. G. Robinson

    The next month will be a desperate run for McCain that will be done in vain. Please Senator McCain stick to the issues that the American people are concerned with. Try to preserve the ounce of integrity that you have left. After tomorrow's debate and surely after the final debate, Barack Obama will have sealed the deal just like the Stevie Wonder song he's been using during his campaign: Signed, Sealed, Delivered, the Presidency is his (OBAMA'S).

    We the American people are not interested in your negative attacks that are irrevelant to this campaign. You should go crawl up under a rock.

    Thank you Senator McShame for handing Barack Obama the Presidency. You've made it very easy. We thank you.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08-12 ALL THE WAY!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Vic of New York

    Well, it looks like it's back to "John McLiar" again. A great response would be to air the AP fact check and then ask "Who's disreputable now, John McCain?"

    October 6, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. KJ, GA

    Republicans are a disgraceful, despicable party!

    Dem's will win!

    October 6, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    George Washington, the wise first President who didn't even want to see political parties develop, is clearly spinning and vomiting in his grave at the negative and destructive tone this 2008 presidential campaign has taken. BOTH sides are guilty of misstatements and distortion, but the lies and spin coming from the McCain/Palin camp are way over the top..From Sarah Palin's utterly ridiculous and contemptuous allegation that Obama "pals with terrorists" to McCain's repeated lies about taxes, and now this, we are being subjected to an undeserved and unwanted BS barrage. This is NOT what our Founding Fathers had in mind for this republic!

    ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 AND '12!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. Slash

    Remember when McCain voted against funding for the troops, because the plan included a timetable? Apparently McCain doesn't.

    October 6, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. Dutch-VA

    We had a great time in Newport News this weekend. I think my whole city and surrounding cities on the Peninsula were at the Obama rally this weekend. Sen. McCain is sadly mistaken if he thinks he's going to win Virginia. Sadly mistaken!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 6, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. Mike In NYS

    Desperate lies by desperate liars...........

    Obama_Biden 08!!!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. Sylvia B

    McLiar is really desperate and it is showing. He needs to get a life.

    October 6, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. Ya_Ya

    As usual Moose and Squirrel are wrong. At the time the comment was made, it was correct that more innocent people, villagers, etc had been killed than insurgents. This comment had originally made by a military commander.

    October 6, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. Tom

    Well............if you check some facts......it seems to be true.

    October 6, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. JD FROM NEW YORK

    MCCAIN WHAT HAPPENNED TO "NO DIRTY POLITICS"?...I KNOW.... YOU'RE LOSING SO YOU'RE DESPERATE AND SO IS YOUR "JOE SIX PACK" VP.....

    I THOUGHT YOU WERE AN HONORABLE MAN MCCAIN....BUT YOU'RE NOT.....SHAME ON YOUR CAMPAIGN WITH ALL THE LIES!!!!

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE TOO SMART TO FALL FOR IT....CHECK OUT THE POLLS...OBAMA IS LEADING IN EVERY BATTLEGROUND STATE!!!!

    BYE BYE MCAIN & HOCKEY MOM!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Jennifer

    That is so lame.Can someone please tell me why those comments would be seen dishonorable?

    October 6, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. Erik

    Context context context. The DNC needs to respond with atttack ads about how McCain was described by Congress as having poor judgement while he wa sone fo the notorious Keating 5. Another DNC ad can talk about the "family values" qualities of a man who leaves his handicapped wife to marry his latest affair, a prescription drug abuser who stole drugs from a charitable organization. Attack ads featuring McCains running mate might focus on her supportive statements toward a fringe group striving to break Alaska away from the United States, or the ongoing ethics investigation about her possible abuses of power.

    October 6, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  22. GARY

    OBAMA IS SUCH A WHINER. IF HE GIVE'S DIRTY TACTICS AGAINST ANOTHER CANIDATE ITS ALRIGHT. HE CRIES WHEN THEY PICK ON HIM. SHOWS WHAT KIND OF PRESIDENT HE WOULD BE. HE STARTED ALL THE NEG. TACTICS FROM THE BEGINING STARTING WITH HRC. YOU NAIVE VOTERS BELIEVE EVERYTHING HE SAYS. LET ME GIVE YOU THE FACTS. THERE IS ONLY TWO THINGS QUARENTEED IN LIVE PAYING TAXES AND DYING. SO KEEP BELIEVING ALL THE BS. YOUR CANIDATE OBAMA IS TELLING YOU. YOU ALL ARE A JOKE LIKE YOUR CANIDATE. THE ONLY CHANGE HE SHOWS IS HATE,DIVISION AND RACIST. HIS UNITY HAS BEEN DISCARDED FROM THIS RACE ALONG TIME AGO. THE REPUBLICANS ARE THE ONLY UNITY. THEY DONT SHOWBOAT THEIR OWN LIKE O.B. DID HRC.

    October 6, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  23. Baby B

    McCain is running scared. Its not going to work this time. Stop trying to change the subject on the Economy.

    October 6, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. Poetic

    KEATING 5 KEATING 5 KEATING 5

    October 6, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. katiec

    Why does anyone even listen to them as everything that
    comes out of their mouths are lies, distortions and phony?
    It is a shame that our country and the world has to watch
    and hear all integrity and honor being sold to the devil.
    It is one more notch from the republicans in lowering
    the standing of our once great country.

    October 6, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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