October 4th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
5 years ago

'I take exception' to McCain's remark, Jones says

I don't play politics with national security, Obama adviser and retired general James Jones said Sunday.
I don't play politics with national security, Obama adviser and retired general James Jones said Sunday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A top military adviser to President Barack Obama said Sunday that politics does not play any role in the advice he gives to the president.

Last week, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, the former Republican presidential hopeful, said on the floor of the Senate that Jones was one of the president’s advisers who doesn’t “want to alienate the left base of the Democrat [sic] Party” as the White House considers whether to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Asked to react to McCain’s comments Sunday, National Security Adviser James Jones said he “took exception” to McCain’s remark.

“Sen. McCain knows me very well,” Jones, a retired Marine Corps general, told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “I worked for Senator McCain when he was a captain. I’ve known him for many, many years. And he knows that I don’t play politics with national – I don’t play politics. And I certainly don’t play it with national security. And neither does anyone else I know. The lives of our young men and women are on the line. The strategy does not belong to any political party and I can assure you that the President of the United States is not playing to any political base. And I take exception to that remark.”


Filed under: Afghanistan • James Jones • John McCain • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. steve fielder

    You seem to have a lifelong habit of stabbing your friends in the back for your own personal advantage, Senator McCain. And you wonder why you lost the election.....

    October 4, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Susan

    "GOP October 4th, 2009 12:23 pm ET

    Bush never declared victory in Afghanistan. Get your facts right before you write this down.
    In addition, the people on the right understand how to fight a war while you on the left only know how to protest wars!
    Most people on the right have been in our nation’s military service while most on the left only call these brave people nasty names.
    I will stand on the right because I know others here have my back and love our country. You liberals want to stab our country in the back and to live off the backs of hard working Americans."

    Gosh, Bush did TOO declare victory in Afghanistan, on the date stated. Took me 5 seconds to find that out.
    I am under the assumption that the right is conservative and religious, so how do you reconcile any war with your faith? And I would like to see facts from you that your assumption of more Repubs serving than Dems is even accurate. And if you are so good at fighting wars, why weren't Bush's wars won BEFORE Obama came into office? These have lasted longer than any other...if you want to take credit for that, you're on.
    Right, WE want to see America fail. No, that would be Rush and you guys, who are so wrapped up in your flags and your indignant behavior that you refuse to accept a black President who believes he is the President of us all, not just the rich white guys. America is either going to change and be stronger, with all our help, or we are going to see the end of this republic, and maybe the world. It is not 1900 any more...times and people have changed.
    And for the record, my husband has been employed by the same company for 33 years. I started work at 15 and have been employed in some capacity ever since. We have never been on welfare, and both children are college grads (one has her law degree) and are gainfully employed.

    October 4, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. William in San Jose

    Somebody give him another plane! And Senator McCain, this time do it right! What a pathetic excuse for a US Senator.

    October 4, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Farrell in Houston

    John McCain can't lead or follow but he can get out of the way.

    October 4, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. Joyce Becker

    General Jones is correct in his statement and Senator McCain should apologize to him for that insulting statement he made about him in the Senate. McCain should know better than that, the General is honest, more than I can say for the Senator.

    October 4, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. indiana voter

    All I can say is look at his approval ratings and try to defend that. You can't blame everything on Republicans forever when you have control of all three branches of Govt.

    Obama hasn't accomplished anything since he came into office, except showing us how to spend money that we don't have.

    October 4, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Maria - Proud Democrat

    This Democrat is with McCain on this one.

    Our kids are in danger over there and sadly many are dying. In order for them to do their job they need the appropriate tools, whether it be more troops, equipment, etc.

    So give them the troops if they need them or bring them home NOW!

    Stop putting our kids in danger while you sit comfortably in the White House and your kids are safe at home.

    October 4, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. D. D.

    That woman he gave us! The woman who went astray from his campaign and on to SNL before the election. I am happy that she and her family are reaping the monetary benefits for her time and effort. Now she can purchase those clothes she and her family wore so well. Give credit where credit is due. So she didn't read much- she looked better than those who did. Poor Mc Cain Palin made him look older than him standing by Cindy.
    Mc Cain has lost a creditibilty in politics. So we don't give him much credence. He knows it; that is why he is raising money for Romney.

    October 4, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. zap01

    Well, Dave, I like to see any POTUS discuss military strategy with anyone qualified to give advice. I assume you prefer your president to go into war without consultation, guess that means you're a big fan of W Bush!

    October 4, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Connie, Indiana

    It seems to me most of these comments are not based on anything other than for or against the President. So be it.. But the meanest comments are from the ones who don't like Obama. What is amazing to me not a one of you in the comments section or myself have sat in the White House, but you all seem to know the answers, I wish that the ones against Obama were so "vocal" when Bush started all this..But then again he was a republican with a war-monger for VP and that was acceptable..Start thinking with your heads, start to use some rationale instead of "I know everything,you don't", because that will not solve anything.. I dare say there are people in this country who do not want peace, do no want a living wage, don't want to live under constition,don't want to help your neighbors etc. who are you? If the president fails, much to some pleasure we all fail, that my friends is selfiness, but who cares as long as the President fails, and you can say with a big smile "I told you so". Selfish Selfish people.

    October 4, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Ken, Arizona

    I suppose John McCain would respond to this situation the same way he did the financial crisis while he was campaigning... give it no thought, just react. We have only one Commander-in-Chief at a time and thank God its President Obama and not John McCain. This President is not a reactionary. He takes the time to seek advice from every corner before making a decision. Very prudent. But of course he would have been criticized by the right if he had immediately agreed to send more troops.

    October 4, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Preston

    Perhaps Sen. McCain would have the decency to refer to the Democratic party by its actual name, rather than the "Democrat party".
    This is just a part of the ugly little game that he and his fellow haters have been using for at least the past 30 years.

    October 4, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. RA

    McCain is thoughtless and disoriented. Please forgive him. For he knows not what is talking about. He thinks all are like his partymen, who put politics over everthing that matters.

    October 4, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Bush_Should_Be_In_Jail

    OBAMA ----- vs. ----- BUSH.

    To all those who Criticize Obama for the Chicago Copenhagen Effort:

    Obama flew to Copenhagen to Canvass for Chicago.

    Obama did Nothing Wrong in doing so.

    Obama tried, just like all athletes participate in Olympics, not everyone wins.

    Obama is Criticized by GOP for Canvassing for Chicago.

    Obama tried sincerely, but did not lie to the Nation that Iraq has WMDs.

    Obama did not cause 4300 US Troops to die in the Unjustified War.

    Obama's effort to bring Olympics to Chicago is NOT A CRIME.

    Bush Lied to the Nation causing 4300 US Troops to die IS A CRIME.

    Bush should be in Jail. -------------------–

    October 4, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Liberals are Hypocrites

    Yes, Obama adviser and retired general - "The lives of our young men and women are on the line."

    So either get out of Afghanistan - or keep these brave young ones from being slaughtered - by sending more troops.

    Wasn't the war in Afghanistan one that Obama actually considered important during the primaries/election? You bet it was.

    So what's the deal now? Now that it's gone beyone teleprompter rhetoric, the "president" can't make a decision. What a surprise!

    October 4, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. emporersnaked

    Some REBLICAN ideas are good, and need to be implemented now. Some Democratic ideas are good, and should be implemented when we have the money.

    As for all you "just let the President try" and "it's all Bush's fault" you fail to see that the policies and blame are not producing anything but division. Palin has good ideas, McCain has a few too, Obama has only the polls and surrounds himself with the dregs of society...and some of you defend that with your blind hatred for the past President...a s you party continues the war. Guess you feel better about a war led by democrats with scoldiers being killed than a was led by rubublicans with soldiers being killed. Hypocrits.

    People who will not fight will have nothing left to fight for.

    October 4, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. TH - ATL

    McCain knows the drill. He was better suited for President than the character who call's himself that now. Jones is so far up Obama's a%& he will do anything to secure his position.

    McCain

    October 4, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. emporersnaked

    Comment: from the BLIND: Stupid is as stupid types... And as most of you typically ignorant neo-cons either forget or didn't want to listen when he said it NUMEROUS times, "It took us 8 years to get into this economic mess, it's going to take a long time to get OUT of it." Name ONE Republican president who was able to turn a horrible economy around or stop a war within 9 months. Just ONE. You CAN'T so STFU and as for International relations? Mr. You either with us or against us did a bangup job making sure our relations with those overseas was in tip top shape right? I saw Europeans waving AMERCAN flags when Obama went over there. What were they waving when Bush went over there? A pair of shoes when were thrown and unfortunately, missed him. Brainless parasite on society."
    they wave American flags now becuse they are dominating america.

    Response: How about Ronald Reagan... took the same Obama politics of Carter and changed the ECONOMY upwards and WORLD POLITICS (tare down the wall) but you are too buisy living in a world of superiority and hatred to be intimidated by facts. FACT: this presidents policies if they stand WILL destroy this country. PERIOD. Unfortunately, you have to 'wait and see for yourself' to acquire wisdom others already have,

    October 4, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. emporersnaked

    to – Author: Bush_Should_Be_In_JailComment:
    OBAMA ----- vs. ----- BUSH.

    HELLO, BUSH is gone, it's OBAMA's aby now. How long will you live in he past....as terroists are CAUGHT in cities in America, thanks to BUSH... you have nothing but blind hatred and bolinder support for this Obamanation. ADMITITI, YOU VOTED IN ANOTHER FAILURE; I voted for neither Obama or McCain,,,they are the same.

    October 4, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Mickey, NY

    Back to your bamboo cage, McCain...you COWARD!

    October 4, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. unshrub

    Sometimes is appears the only to terms republicans know when they are talking about Obama are Kool-Aid and wingnuts. It would be refreshing is they could learn a new term. Although I think that's a little too much to ask from people who don't have the intellectual ability of a monkey.

    October 4, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. No Huey in this hunt

    Now remember, the Senator knows base alienation when he see's it . You Betcha.

    October 4, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Paul Lewis

    After and when I hear McCain run his trap, I wonder now just how much information he surrender when they had hin in the chicken bunker ore what ever he called it..
    This guy is a two faced idiot and wants people to know how much he loves our great nation, give me a pile so I can get over this so called country man.
    Lets just face the facts, he lost fair and square to a black man thats much smarter than him, go get back in your little hole and get over it.

    October 4, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Paul Hogue

    Can you imagine the firestorm if a Democratic senator had made such a disparaging remark about a military man during the Bush administration? There would have been a resolution condemning him already.

    October 4, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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