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. Dan

    @ Indiana voter...get real man. You seem to be the only one calling names....No one here has to point out the racist comments or feelings that are so obvious in most of these entries...Its obvious, its hateful...and if you think you can put the blame on someone else you are indeed a sad person. Its killing most of you that Barack and Michelle Obama are in the White House...well guess what they are and I am a proud white South Carolina voter who helped put them there.

    October 4, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. George Liquor

    Not about politics? I am ashamed of what this country has become. It is all politics. We have a president that thinks he is still campaigning. You can blame GW and republicans as long as you want but it doesn't get us anywhere. Where is the change? In the cups of the homeless. I don't like obama but I hope he proves me wrong. So far he has done nothing.

    October 4, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Turnabout is Fair Play

    emporersnaked October 4th, 2009 12:49 pm ET

    At my writing there are 184 comments. Most are defending Jones, lampooning McCain, and blaming Bush and Cheney.
    THE TRUTH, this President is naive, yourr liberal agenda is destroying america, and while you look blindly at others you can not discern the truth. the 50%+ that suport this guy are brainwashed by propoganda media. OPEN YOUR EYES you blathering idiots. Unemployment, Banks, Economy, War, International relations…name an area this prresident suceeds? NONE and most of you defend obamanation like he is going to save the world…stupid.
    ----------------------

    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.

    October 4, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. g

    with Isreal and the republicans banging the drums for another war in iran better think afganistan over bush lost that war when he went after the oil war in iraq

    October 4, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. rkm

    Why the delay? Obama has to ask George Sorros what to do next.

    October 4, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Adelita

    If you look at McConnell, Boehner, Greer, Wilson – I could go on and on – McCain looks pretty darned good! I'm thankful he and Palin aren't in the White House, but he's certainly not the worst Republican.

    October 4, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Farrell in Houston

    Jones is right on the mark, our President doesn't take orders from any party or John McCain who is only interested in his own political scoring points. It's way past time for McCain to take a back seat, he was sitting in a prison and not fighting a war.

    October 4, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Stu-Florida

    Some of these supporters of McCains "hero status" really need to READ more of the truth about him. His military records are considerably less than stellar.
    POW... yes, but so were a thousand of others. Hero? ... I don't think so.
    Our wars have, unfortunately, given us much better heros. And also, unfortunately, they will continue to do so!

    October 4, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Shelly

    The GOP and its crazy party should move to Mars. They do not support or provide any constructive and meaningful solutions to Americans and other citizens of Earth.

    October 4, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Frank, Middletown NY

    High School Grammar Teacher:

    We have the Republican Party, and we have the Democratic Party. Martina Stewart was correct in using [sic].

    It's no wonder McCain is using the term "Democrat Party"...Bush did the same thing time and time again, in his attempt to rewrite history to his liking.

    EPIC FAIL!

    October 4, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Nea

    Im Glad that President Obama is taking his time to think things over before he start sending more troops to afghanistan. People lives are at stake and yes these servicemen and women knew what they was getting into when they signed up for the military but that does not mean we suppose to use them without coming up with a stratergy that is planned out carefully, The President have to be the one who have to face families when these men and womens are killed not the senators or the General he is the comander-in cheif so more responsibilty falls on the President. So im glad he is rethinking his decision.

    October 4, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. John

    Obama is playing politics to his base?

    Coming from Republicans who cater to the tea bagger and birther mentality, that's really rich.

    October 4, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Simmy

    Those who continue to pile up on the president tend to see the glass half empty......And they are correct.......They, however, have misguided focuses......FP Bush left US with an empty glass.....So far, President Obama has gotten it back to half full.....We still have a long way to go, but thank God for a leader who thinks before acting, and humble enough to take the advice of others.....

    Those who continue to be quided by the words of Hong Kong Sue, Beck, Limbaugh, Insanity (FOX), Dick Armey, joe, the heckler, etc, are all empty glasses in need of something, anything to fill the void in their lives....Such sad people....Devoid of direction – Devoid of hope.....Empty.....

    October 4, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. oldtimer

    Mr McCain has a war mongering mentality, as is expected of a military person. But that does not mean that all of us should feel this way. Vietnam was the wrong war for the U.S. and so is the Afgan war. Irag was the wrong war, but if Bush had any balls they should have taken out Saudia Arabia, since that is where the 9/11 bombers came from.

    October 4, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. david

    "I'm still wondering when they will try to be part of the solution"

    If Obama and the Dems idea of a "solution" is the socialist-leaning, massive spending, weak foreign policy drivel exhibited so far, I myself can say "never". Judging by Obama's plummeting poll numbers, a majority of Americans don't want any part of your "solutions" either. Enjoy your brief run.

    October 4, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. david

    "It's clear that the Repubs are playing politics–they are trying to take the focus off of Healthcare Reform (a battle they are losing)"

    It's clear you aren't paying attention at all. Look at the polls....support for Obama care continues to plummet. He can't even get all of the Dems on board. Keep your head in the sand if it makes you feel better, though.

    October 4, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. Laughs at Grammar Teacher

    The official name of the party is the DEMOCRATIC Party, so YES, Senator McCain is incorrect. There is no Democrat Party only the Democratic Party.

    October 4, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. virginia for obama

    @ Dan, Amen to that buddy. . . .They just want to over look what Bush did to this country. All you TEA BAGGERS need to read Dan's comment and take heed to it. Don't let your hatred for Obama blind you from what happen in the last 8 yrs. You were BETRAYED so call them out on it and don't keep letting them use you for VOTES. ( code words, obortions, fear, tax & spend, etc.) something they're guilty us themselves.

    October 4, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. No Hillary = No Obama

    Another untruth told by the military – politics doesn't play any role? And they call David Paterson blind.

    October 4, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. Hennessy Cognac Black, WI

    The Russians were far smarter than Americans will ever be regarding Afghanistan: after committing 250,000 troops to that Neanderthal land, where only knuckle dragging Repubs and ignorant indigenous natives live, they took so many losses – America was fighting against them too by supplying bin Laden and the Afghanistan’s with weapons [Meddling like we always do] Special Ops people, training, etc. – that they got OUT.

    There is nothing to WIN in Afghanistan except DEATH for our children, BANKRUPTCY for AMERICA and a total lack of PRESTIGE in International affairs. Only the Repubs want to WIN that…

    Whatever President Obama decides to do, we will eventually LEAVE, and our accomplishments will be those mentioned above.

    The Repubs are great at functioning like the Mafia: “If you don’t understand it and can’t control it, KILL IT!”

    October 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. lila

    It really was a rather low class remark by McCain. And McCain should no better.

    October 4, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Scott

    McCain made it clear during the last election that "playing politics" is more important than anything else – including national security.

    Glad he's effectively minimized himself to just another GOP nobody.

    October 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. Burns NH

    Sorry General,you were not mentioned by Obama when he made
    mention to those he would consult in a time of need. Don't you feel used in your position.

    October 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. An Ex-NC-Pub

    Old Grandpa McCain is still running his irrelevant mouth. John, no one is listening.... you lost!!!!!!!!!!!!

    John, do not forget that you and your co-horts rushed us into Iraq. That was certainly a well planned thought through strategy. John, get out of the way and give these people time.

    October 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Susan

    To High School Grammar Teacher,
    You may well be correct, but why in the history of the Democratic Party, has this term "Democrat Party" just turned up in the last year, from Republicans, who use it as a pejorative? That is why we don't like it...over the years, the term has been Democratic Party, and rightly or wrongly, that is preferred. I never hear a Democrat say, "As a member of the Democrat Party," do you? It has to be finished, it makes the case correct.

    October 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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