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. Dave - Independent

    I hope our so called "commander in chief" actually makes a decision about additional troops in Afganistan before we lose another group of soldiers overnight. Either add more troops or get our soldiers out of harms way. Even most of the liberal nut jobs would agree with that.

    October 4, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. CBR

    I think it is time to stop the insults and start worrying about the people who are fighting for us every day, They are the rjeason that you have the right to make these statements about our leaders.

    Retired or not, General Jones must think like a military leader when advising the President. I do not think either man would use politics in the final decision. I do believe that the President just met with our leader in Afghanistan. His input is important.

    We left Afghanistan to pursue Hussein. We should not forget that fact. The insurgents did come back during that time and we have to do what we failed to do the first time.

    If this is the degrading language that we are using to speak about our leaders I believe we all need to take a collective breath and calm down. This accusatory rhetoric used against the President, ?Sen, McCain, General Jones is out of place. This is just the rhetoric that makes our men and women in the military feel that we are not behind them.

    Been there and seen that all before. We just never learn from our past mistakes when we combine hatred, disrespect, and rudeness into the discussion.

    October 4, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. T Mckinley

    ANYONE who would rather see America fail than to see a democratically elected, African American President succeed, is absolutely sick, twisted, and deranged.

    October 4, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Wanderer

    Like some religions, they pick on anything the other religions’ however petty the imperfect is in order to glorify their religions. Is this what the GOP doing? I wonder.

    October 4, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Dee, 1 Vote

    Sen McCain, You got your miltary thing, Grandpop and Dad, not you!

    October 4, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. Rob

    McCain needs to sit down and shut up. He is a loose cannon who's brain are mables bouncing off one another, imo. Look at who he picked as a running mate..and this man opens his mouth to speak and yet occupies a senate seat and we wonder why the country is falling apart.

    October 4, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. hjs3

    The Senator from AZ has been clearly spending too much time in the bunker and now from the floor no less. It's apprently clear that he too has joined the loons from the far right who will say just about anything come press time....

    October 4, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Bev

    The U.S. involvement in the "war" in Afghanistan MUST end. How many lives must be lost before we realize that we have no business being there with guns blazing. It wins no hearts, and costs the lives of our finest. Time for an exit strategy – way past time for an exit strategy. With all the brillance in this country – why or why does it always fall back to shooting a gun? More troops – NO. McCain is living in the world of payback – and Obama has forgotten his promises to the American public. This military mom voted for Obama because I thought he would be smarter than to get up mired in another bottomless pit conflict. I am sorely disappointed.

    October 4, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. 2012 Begins

    Is about feeling safe under Bozo the Clown.?

    How many troops died today because all this Bozo knows how to do is vote present.

    October 4, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. bluebird

    There's no need to for the GOP to hope and pray and wish that Obama fails. Obama's inability to make any change of consequence to get this country moving again speaks for itself. His critics are only pointing out the obvious. He appears to be inept and in over his head. He doesn't seem to take anything very seriously, and I'm sick of listening to him and YOU point to the Bush Administration. He's CEO and needs to turn this country around and he can't do it. I'll give him another 6 months and then, I give up on him.

    October 4, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Janice

    McCain showed he would play politics and stick to a failed ideology regardless of the facts during the campaign. Had he stuck to his values, he might have won. But in the end that played the biggest role of all as to why he lost. Almost anything Republicans now accuse the President of, or his advisors of, that's allegedly bad, is something they themselves would do even if the country as a whole suffered.

    October 4, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. 2012 Begins

    Thank you Fringe media for putting this clueless man in the WH.

    You will have to answer to the people.

    October 4, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. kareena

    McLame, never met a camera or t.v appearance he did not like.

    Sarah the quitter with the litter on twitter at least brought the crazies out to his campaign.

    October 4, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. Henry

    We have a big problem in Afghanistan. If we stay we fight for a completely corrupt, often criminal, vote stealing dictatorship. The people of Afghanistan hate Karazi, and are starting to hate us too. So with this in mind we should pull up and leave them to suffer under the Taliban. On the other hand the Taliban would love this because they could invite their old friends Al Qaeda in to attack America again. Maybe we should stay?

    So if we have this stalemate on policy based on the facts on the ground, maybe American politics might be the best way to decide what to do. After it is the American people’s troops who are fighting. Isn’t democracy about doing what the majority of the people want?

    So maybe McCain wants to dictate to the American people a solution that he wants, and not what they want.

    October 4, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Bob

    Yeah.... McCain never plays politics with the men and women in the Armed Forces by cutting Veterans Benefits.

    What a deuche

    October 4, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. kyle

    Sigh.. To some people it seems as if everything Obama does is a failure. I truly hope these people are not hoping he fails. If he fails, we fail.

    P.S. I take exception to liberals or conservatives faking like they are independents. Trust me, you fool no one when you put "independent" in your name because your words say it all...

    October 4, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Patriot

    McCain and the entire Repub Party are the ones playing politics.

    They are intent on tearing down Obama's presidency at the expense of the American people, including our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The right wing will do and say anything to regain power and take care of their corporate buddies, which is all they have ever cared about.

    October 4, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. Ancient Texan

    McCain is right. Everything Obama does is pure politics. He hasn't made a decision on more troops because his base; Move On. Org and George Soros hasn't told him yet. And also he was too busy trying to enfluence the Olympic Delegates.

    October 4, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Gus The Willie

    McCain is my senator, and must say, he no longer figures into the political landscape with many of the real Arizonians. Not the tranplanted Arizonians who keep propping him up over the years. McCain is only trying to resurrect his parties image after the losses they experienced. Besides the guy needs to look at grazing in the desert, and leave the polical scene for the sake of Arizona.

    October 4, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. John Illinois

    Ever since our new fool of a president took over, we have lost more troops in the shortest amount of time in the whole war. Great strategy Obama, we now lost eight more troops.

    October 4, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. DB

    to 2012....100% less than if we had not gone there...Which 'bozo the clown got us there??

    October 4, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Arthur Wilson

    Amazing! People seem to be at war with each other in the US! North vs South all over again. Democracy – I believed people would present well thought out and considered opinions, debated the facts. Informed citizens would contribute to the debate.

    It is so sad to hear references to Hitler and Socialism linked to the President. It is really sad and wrong.

    I see and hear the hate of other citizens for the President. It is really terrible.

    President Obama seems to be a decent man and President. It has been less then a year since he has been in Office and I think he is really trying to foster positive change in America. This is not easy! But slowly change is taking place.

    Senator McCain knows that the President is trying to do the right thing and he should openly support it. It is not about Republicans and Democrats – it is about America! A united America. However...America is clearly divided...and at this time should be united...more then ever America should stand United.

    October 4, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. annie against biased news

    As the demmies said about the repubbies on the 'die quickly' remark, looks like that is what the demmies are saying about our military in afghanistan. You only contact your general once in 70 days and the 20 min. when the taxpayers are upset with you and then it still takes you weeks to make a decision.

    October 4, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. indiana voter

    victim of republican greed,

    So now that a Democrat is in the White House, you think it is now wrong to stop praying for a terrorist attack on U.S. soil? During the Bush years however, you as Democrats were all for it? My how you change your tune when it your guy in office. The fact is no one wants a terrorist attack on U.S. soil regardless of party and you are irresponsible for suggesting that any American wants that. Than again, you are a Democrat, which have a history of saying and doing stupid things, so it is to be expected. To prove my point, just read the "democrat" statements of hate and idiocy on this site.

    October 4, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  25. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    I simply do NOT understand why Sen McCain didn't graciously RETIRE after he LOST the November 2008 election.

    And, Senator McCain, please do NOT use the slur "Democrat Party." You know DANG well it is "Democratic," and I don't know why you want to COPY George W. Bush by repeating the slur.

    October 4, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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