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. James From Chicago

    Everyone know McCain is an idiot.

    October 4, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Willy Brown

    Jones drank the Obama Kool-Aid.

    October 4, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Seattle Sue

    Jones hit the nail on the head, McCain never does or says anything that is not calculated for politics. McCain is still a delusional,bitter old man.

    October 4, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. Tony in Maine

    General Jones – McCain is a politician today, not a military officer you came to outrank. His standards have slipped considerably, especially as a spokesperson for the Party of No. Your old CO is no more.

    October 4, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Paul

    Its really hard to take anything the Song Bird of the Hanoi Hilton serious about military, or for that matter anythign else. This man was considered a mediocre pilot, rose through any rankings because of nepitism, involved in the loss of 5 military jets, and was called by the other of our POWs held in Hanoi as the "Song Bird" because he sang about our military operations to make his stay easier. Not very impressive really.

    October 4, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. windfall

    McCain will say anything. We see through the mask, sir, and we have no respect for you.

    October 4, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. katiec

    Just another example of republicans speaking out against anything and everything.
    Their party first, destroy our president, win at any cost, support big business have brought additional heartaches to the American people and our country.
    It is time for the republicans to put our country and us first.
    It is time for the republicans to work for our survial.
    It is time for the republicans to stop their sewer tactics, their fear mongering, lies, hate and become politicians who do the job they
    were elected to do.

    October 4, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. Joan

    Why didn't Sen. McCain and his party "win" this war in Afghanistan over seven years ago? If they have all the answers now, why didn't they solve the problem then? Oh right, they dropped the ball on this war and moved on to Iraq which had nothing to do with 911. It's pretty hypocritical for the Republicans to now criticize how Pres. Obama is handling Bush's first war which he started over seven years ago. This is another mess that the President has to clean up.

    October 4, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. victim of republican greed

    The majority of Americans take exception to McCain's remarks. I swear, McNasty wakes up from a nap a speaks up without thinking. Most out of touch republicans, like McCain, are getting pretty good at going after military advisors.

    October 4, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. Mclame sux

    Glad that old man and his nurse didn't win.We would be ten times worse off..

    October 4, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. geraldine

    Uh huh. I don't buy that for a second. Every word or thought that comes out of the white house is driven by expected political reaction.

    October 4, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. Stu

    We haven't fought to win since WWII. Now we have politicians playing politics with military matters and a preoccupation with playing nice on the battlefield. We need to return to the reality of war, it is hell. If we are going to use military force, it has to be overwhelming, total, and absolute.

    October 4, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. ben

    Whatever McCain said; I also take exception to it.

    October 4, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. victim of republican greed

    We lucked out when McCain was sent packing last November. The incredible shrinking party has nothing to offer but unwarranted attacks on those who try to fix this republican mess.

    October 4, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Jerry, Illinois

    McCain, go drink your warm milk and cookies.

    October 4, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. victim of republican greed

    All the wingnuts do is play politics. So far, that has translated to their being rejected by a vast majority of Americans.

    October 4, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. best sellers list

    Lets face it,McCain and most of his followers should be in old age homes.

    October 4, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. Stu-Florida

    It seems as though the BALLS are starting to drop...
    The spines, they are emerging!
    Don't stop now!

    Keep reminding this GOP who really runs this country and it is NOT THEM!

    October 4, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. sara

    I agree with Jones – When it comes to the lives of our military and our National security there is no room for politics. Why can't people learn to just get along and work together. Last I heard we are one Nation under God, with Liberty and justice for all. I wish everyone would just get over them selves.

    October 4, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. HJA

    Everything the RepubliNAZIs say is negative. They don't involve themselves in the process only be critical . Their idea is "we are right, you are wrong, do it our way". Like their health care bill, they are a joke.

    October 4, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. tjampel

    "Willy Brown October 4th, 2009 10:12 am ET

    Jones drank the Obama Kool-Aid."

    Actually Obama has been following the advice of McCain thus far in terms of his foreign policy; he's added 20,000 troops in Afghanistan and been slower to withdraw from Iraq than we originally expected. 58%of Americans want to get out of Afghanistan and he's refused to consider that strategy. You can't be serious in thinking that, just because one General says to send 40,000 Americans in harms way in a place where we're basically hated anyway, we should just go ahead and do it, no questions asked, no serious meetings, no looking at alternative strategies.

    Furthermore there's absolutely no evidence that Jones has altered his views one bit since becoming an advisor to Obama . Show me where he drank the kool-aid; or, are you just responding in a knee-jerk way to McCain's comments. If McCain said so it must be so. If that were true we'd be in great economic shape I guess since the "fundamentals of our economy" were so strong.

    Why would you choose to attack and denigrate the former head of the United States Marine Corps this way? Don't you have any respect for him or his service to this country?

    October 4, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. jaye

    Who cares what John McShame says – he's a sore loser.
    Anybody that would pick Sarah Palin to run as VP is just plain senile!

    October 4, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. victim of republican greed

    The 'Obama Kool-Aid' is called common sense. It is time for the wingnuts to stop trashing the United States and embrace common sense.

    October 4, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. Petena

    About time somebody says it like it is. The Republicans will just criticize Obama for everything including giving a kiss to his wife in public. And what is all that Kool-Aid talk Willy Brown? Get over it.

    October 4, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. Death Panel Sarah

    Jones is a great man!!!

    October 4, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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