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. proud dem in nc

    McCain is an ***. He picked Palin as a running mate. Need I say more.

    October 4, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. bc

    McCain like so many in the GOP like to bring politics, especially the military, into every issue today because they know they will have a great number who believe them. How many believe McCain is a know-it-all about the military? If only they did some research.

    October 4, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. McCain, at some point you need to repeat, I lost the election for president

    what you did do McCain was inexcusable: release Palin on the American public, you should appologise

    October 4, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Death Panel Sarah

    Willy Brown... you are a traitor and a terrorist!!!(In the words of YOUR great one....'If you are not with us, you are against us!')

    October 4, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Joshua

    I wonder if McCain will now fall back on the POW card.

    October 4, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Dave

    If politics are not involved, then why is Obama listening to everybody other than his General, who he chose to lead our troops, in Afganastan.

    October 4, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. George in AZ.

    Senator McCain needs to be voted out of the Senate. We need a young fresh mind that can do something. This is just a bitter old man.

    October 4, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Donkey Party

    Just think what we all missed out on... Had McAncient been voted in as President, we might be at war with North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and who knows, maybe even Russia since we're all Georgians and think like Joe the Plumbers. What a total butt-monkey.

    October 4, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. newt ging

    BUSH didnt play politics? MCCAIN drank the LOSER KOOL-AID.

    October 4, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. Gary

    Songbird McCain should not be opening his singing mouth. From one vietnam veteran to another.

    October 4, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Big Blue Patriot

    No, "Mr. Willie Brown," it seems it's you who drank the neocon-President Bush Kool-Aid.

    Mr. Bush, backed by an ideology of aggression loking to recover some vague notion of American manhood after what happened in Vietnam, came into office looking for a war. Hussain was an easy target, but 9-11 complicated things. As Mr. Rumsfeld said, "there's nothing to bomb in Afghanistan." That's ideological, that's drinking the Kool-Aid.

    President Obama may decide to send more troops to Afghanistan, a move I don't think would be right. But if he does, it will be because he's trying to win, not because he wants to dominate the world or line the pockets of his corporate cronies with cash, regardless of the deaths of American service personel or a huge price tag.

    October 4, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Scott from New York

    What's the problem Jones?
    You're not the first General to lie to the American public.
    Remember General Westmoreland...... General?
    I do!
    He and the political leaders of the day played politics with Vietnam too!

    LOOK WHAT THAT GOT US!
    As for Tony, Sue and James......Give us your comments after you start teething.

    October 4, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Donkey Party

    Get off my lawn!!! This latest outburst might have caused me to soil another diaper, McCain thinks to himself.

    October 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. James adamec

    Wow! These postings are even more liberal than I anticipated! Of course politics plays in his decisions. How many of you have really talked to a General anyway. They are selected for their ability to be political....they have to be to survive in the military establishment regardless of service. COL/CPT is usually the cut-off before you have to become some sort of political personality type. Wake-up out there! Stop smoking whatever it is you are smoking and get a dose of reality. Of course this war is going to become political. Obama will have to strike a balance. This could very well be an mill-wheel about his neck come election time. All things are politic with Obama. As far as I can tell he hasn't stopped campaigning yet!

    October 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Dem TIl death

    The Republican party needs to stop playing politics with our future. Their preserve the status quo and obstruct at all cost mentality is really hurting our country. We need to come together and support our government and its' leaders. Perhaps we should stop treating each other as enemies, but as Americans who do not want to pass on a Third World Country to the next generation. Most importantly durind a time of economic destress, Republicans and Democrats need to work together in an attitude of respect and civility. Senator McCain you are a hero. These qualities are desperately needed now. Please don't be so petty.

    October 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Butch Dillon

    Hey you people, quit picking on McCain. He does OK for a guy with an I.Q. of 90. It's just really too bad he's in a position of political leadership with such limited intellectual resources and an instinct to self promote at every opportunity.

    October 4, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. Linda

    mcCain is the one who plays politics – as so all of his Republican cohorts who want to do nothing but try to defeat Dems. They seem to care nothing for the American people. Its all about getting money from insurance companies and oil companies and others who continue to destroy our quality of life and the planet itself. They care only about getting reelected. I would like to vote everyone of them out- beginning with John McCain. He has ridden the coattails of his so called 'patriotism' for long enough. Just the fact that he selected the ill prepared Palin is cause enough

    October 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Rich

    Everybody kniows that Obama is not but a crinimal from the hood.

    October 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    To Dave @ 10:37 –

    McChrystal is the General on the ground in Afghanistan leading our troops, and whom President Obama met with personally in Copenhagen two days ago. Jones is a National Security Advisor who sits in a comfy DC office. Try to get your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion you useless Cluster Fox News cretin.

    October 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. karyn

    We can all sit here and speculate on discussions between Gen. Jones and Pres. Obama. Unless you are in the room with them...shut-up!

    October 4, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. AMERICA LOST AND REPUBLICANS REJOICE ON US LOSING THE OLYMPICS

    THE ONLY PARTY THAT IS PLAYING POLITICS INSTEAD OF SAVING THE AMERICAN WORKING FAMILY IS THE NEO FACIST REPUBLICANS.

    IF Bush was for having the olympics in chicago and went to europe to fight for US i would support him althou i think he was a complete failure. This is the united states of america and some issues politics dont have its place.

    Oh wait a minute Bush was for having the olympics in chicago he was the president that started that bid a year ago LOL

    REPUBLICANS celebrating becuse we the AMERICANS lost

    REPUBLICANS should no longer wave the RED WHITE and BLUE colors during you speeches and campaign. YOU REPUBLICANS have PROVEN by 100 percent you are ANTI FREEDOM, ANTI AMERICAN

    let me guess next the republicans will party and have a good ole time when TERRIOST WIN THE WAR, OUR ECONOMY TOTALY CRASHES, AMERICAN FAMILIES no long have health insurance.

    GO SHOW YOUR PRIDE you TERRERIOST LOVING REPUBLICANS LOL

    October 4, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Paul

    Obama, libs, dems, and all supporters are anti-american traitors. 11 more troops killed in the last two days. Don't worry Mr. Commander in Chief (disgraceful), the troops lives are not important. We know you have more important things to do like fly to Europe and get involved with the olympics and go on Leno and Letterman.

    October 4, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. ICARE

    Mr. National Security adviser,

    Good job for speaking out!!! You've got the stick, use it to stay the course and see US through these turbulent days.

    October 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. Mr. Meteoritical

    Rich said – "Everybody kniows that Obama is not but a crinimal from the hood."

    Hey Rich, get an education. Obama is a Harvard Law School Graduate? What trailer park did you graduate from?

    MikeG

    PS – learn to spell or get a spell checker "crinimal".

    October 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Tristan

    Poor John McCain, fighting a loosing battle for relevance.

    October 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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