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. Bill - Ann Arbor, MI

    What's dishonorable Senator McCain are your smear tactics, twisting of the truth to suit your needs and ads filled with outright lies! Definitely not conduct of a war hero!
    Bill – Ann Arbor, MI

    October 6, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Michael Dunn

    Well when you have no issues to run on, when you provide no solutions yourself, then you have to try for for half truths and all out lies to hopefully bring down your opponent. McCain has proved time and time again that he'd rather loose his honor than loose this election.

    October 6, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Bill

    This is a dead issue. Come on, John, don't you have anything substantial for us? I'm sorry...I've been a conservative Republican all my life, but I just can't bring myself to vote for this guy. I hate what he's done to my party. And I refuse to be like the sheep who still support the choice of Palin as running mate. She's an idiot, and everyone knows it.

    October 6, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  4. Republican Supporters in the Dark

    Desperation!!! That's the only way the Republicans will try to sway the American electorate – hopefully they don't fall for it this time. They can't win on the issues, they have no substance. It is really sad. Sarah Palin is a joke. She's like a robot, all that comes out of her is what has been programmed in her. This is not Wasila or Alaska (no disrespect to the people of Alaska), this is the national stage Gov. Palin, and you madam are not qualified to be VP, USA and God forbid, President.

    October 6, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. J from DC

    Last I check we has freedom of speech. And a call for more troops is about right. More troops in Afghanistan, not Iraq. I think that is how it goes.

    Also, I heard Madeleine Albright made a public statement about Palin, because Palin was talking bad about her. Does anyone at CNN know what the official story is on that? Is it true?

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. David W., Florida

    This ad and others coming from the Maverick who promised to run a "clean" campaign. If this is clean, I'd hate to see dirty.

    This election is ending like a bad football game. One team clearly behind with no hope of catching up. Other team only needing to hold ground until the clock runs out.

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Greg in MN

    They have to go back an entire year (more than one actually) to find something to get their base angry about.

    I guess the GOP just loves to hate. It's the only thing that motivates them.

    "Never mind that you are losing your house, can't go to a doctor and you job is being outsourced...don't you just hate this guy for what he said last year!?!?"

    Please American...don't go all ADD on this election. Stay focused on real issues like health care and the economy!

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Vote for John

    It will be a sad day for the future of America if Barack convinces the electoral college that he is "The One". Our economy will worsen. Our taxes will increase. Our Government will be huge. Our society will crumble. Barack's election would be the beginning of the end.

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. hello

    McCain cheated his first wife.
    McCain involved in Keating five when he was senator .
    McCain is millionaire he want to keep his tax break.
    he is getting kickback from lobbyist and oil co.

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. Glenn in California

    McSame = Lame
    Palin = Joke

    Just say NO to Bush 44.

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. GA4OBAMA

    yet another lie from mccain. with all that military experience you would think that he would know if you blindly drop bombs on a country innocent civilians will die because if it. that's just common sense. does mccain know the difference between a tactic and a strategy?

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. Dan, Mpls

    When you see and smell dog crap on the street, you don't have to step on the dog crap to prove that it thinks

    The McCain is simply full of craps.

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. A ray of Hope

    Soooo...who's looking backwards now? Could it be the p.o.dubya and the hypocrite in lipstick?

    McBush....your shady tactics are simply running outta time!

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. Rob

    More disgusting lies from a desperate Angry old man. Obama was saying what he has said consistantly. That our strategy in Afghanistan stinks and needs to be changed. The Military Commanders there have recently agreed with him.
    McCain / Palin = Unstable / Unable

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. dave

    He is right. Bush has pretty much ignored the situation in Afghanistan, and needs to get more resources on the job as we pull out of Iraq. The Iraqis want us out, and the majority of US citizens want us out, seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Give the soldiers a month off and start shipping them to Afghanistan to finally finish up the real job there,

    October 6, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. BLUNT

    I JUST KEEP WONDERING IF THAT WINK AND A KNODD THAT

    PALIN GAVE WAS ONE OF THOSE 1950'S AND 1960'S WINKS WITH

    A KNODD OR IF ITS SOME KIND OF NEW ONE THAT MEANS COME

    ON "MY PEOPLE" ITS ME YOU KNOW WHAT WE HAVE TO DO.SOME

    THINGS WILL NEVER CHANGE AND RACISM/EVIL IS (ONE).

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. Gone

    When all is said and done, Obama is going down in November because of two issues that won’t go away:

    1. Jeremiah Wright
    2. Michelle Obama

    There’s not much else voters REALLY know about Obama – but these two will stick!

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. jim

    Daily Rasmussen Tracking Poll Obama 52% McCain 44%
    Daily GW Battleground Poll Obama 50% McCain 43%
    Its not working McFailen

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  19. Mark

    McCain may be stupid, America is not.
    Desperate people seek desperate measures.
    Look what he is teaching young people.
    Go for Obama. He is a better leader for this generation.

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Kaine

    McCain camp is crossing the line. This is no way to run a campaign. What would they do if obama camp decided to bring down every single McCain advisers? They have more skeletons in closet than any other politicians or lobbyists in washington. McCain camp ought to stick to issues.

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. LB

    It's the truth. It is on tape. Can't handle the truth about your "savior"? When are you people going to open your eyes and realize this guy is a crook with the most malicious, anti-American background. Does the fact that he hates Americans, whites and has no respect for women mean nothing to you?

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. Carol

    I find extremely irritating and incredulous that your network along with NBC and FOX would show the entire Palin stump speech without doing the same for Biden or Obama or any of their surrogates. Its seems pretty unfair to me when it's obvious what is happening and all you are doing is feeding the sheep. Good work. Lets have another 8 years of idiots running this country. Maybe in this next go round they can get us all killed instead of just 4500 of us.

    Lost Viewer

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. sarah

    by the way, here is the latest post for McCain/Palin ticket.

    McCain/Pain = unstable/unable

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  24. OhioVoter

    So how did they dredge this up from a year ago while "focusing on the future instead of the past"?

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. Philly Democrat

    I used to have some respect for McCain. Now he's just plain pathetic. There's too many problems with what's going on in our country (and outside) and all he can do is smear and offer no resolution.

    October 6, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
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