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. Randy

    George Bush the II was the worst president this country ever had, the guy did nothing but spend spend spend and now we are all in the crapper and he lives like a king who knows all the under handed crap he was doing in the white house, the guy has a mind like a mule.

    October 4, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Dixie

    Concerned American...."Sarah Palin is intelligent, honest and a role model for good American women." Where in this world have you been? I must say that your standards for intelligence and honesty are extremely low. Did you too, take 6 years and 5 different colleges to obtain a bachelors degree?

    October 4, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Mike S.

    Why would anyone care about what a senile two time loser says? Anyone dumb enough to gamble a national election by adding Sarah Palin to the ticket has poor judgment anyway.

    I'd be more concerned if McCain praised me.

    October 4, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. indiana voter

    Dan October 4th, 2009 12:14 pm ET

    You sound like a racist yourself and a mastery of name calling. You must be a liberal who does name-calling and hates people, but only sees it on others instead of yourself. A true Democrat indeed.

    October 4, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. kenny west

    Asking Generals advice on war is like asking children about candy,they want it. If your asking how to win a battle ask a General, if you want to know if the battle is worth fighting you need more independent thought. I trust President Obama with this, more then a General who's whole career is based on fighting wars. My solution to this problem would be to pull out, if Afghanistan falls we can then fight a proper war aganst another country, we can send in the bombers instead this house to house stuff.

    October 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Framl

    It amazes me just that just because McCain was in the military and a POW makes him an expert in strategy. Everyone knows as of late McCain only knows how to play politics. That was proven during the election when he picked Palin. He picked politics over country. When I know more about foreign policy more than the v.p. pick for McCain that says it all. It is easy to read a speech written for you especially if you have charisma. She is a pretty lady, was a governor and now adds quitter. Some pick.

    October 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Gentwelve

    For Conservatives (McCain, Palin, Limbaugh...) it's all about "the party" and "idealogy", so they are accustomed to politics and military decisions going ahnd in hand. Pathetic.........

    October 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Obama's failures are piling up and up!!

    How many more failures from Obama must we suffer before people (Dems and the Media) begin to hold him accountable. While his failure with Chicago hosting the Olympics is a little more than an embarrassment – Obama's failures with the economy (unemployment near 10%) and with foreign policy (Iran and Afghanistan) threaten our prosperity and our very lives.

    Obama is fast becomming outed as nothing more than an intellectual elitist with no true grasp of how to handle the job of leader of the free world.

    It's a shame that so many have been fooled by him – only because he can give a good speech.

    October 4, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Barry S. Ziegler

    Mr. Obama and General Jones are playing politics with the lives of American soldiers. I watched the same thing happen 40 years ago when the democrats played politics with the war in Vietnam. 55,000 young americans were killed and we lost the war. We need non-waffling leadership that will unconditionally support our troops. Just this morning an undermanned outpost was overrun and 8 americans were killed. NEEDLESSLY!! If the president and his lap dog, General Jones, backed our sons and daughters rather than pandering to the liberal left, perhaps the islamic facists would have paid the price rather than our kids. My strong personal support for President Obama is rapidly weakening.

    October 4, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Dan

    Where all you republicans asleep when President Bush's policies where destroying this country..you all of the sudden woke up and now want to blame President Obama for the mess Bush and his cronies left us with. I , for one, believe Bush thought he was doing right...but we now see he was wrong. I am confused as to why all you "tea baggers" and "I want my country back" protestors never went out in the streets the past 8 years..whats differant( oh...I know....)

    October 4, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. john

    Don't respond to pressure of an idiot mr. president..

    October 4, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. david

    "It is clear that you want his presidency to fail, and if you want him to fail, you want the country to fail. "

    Since those on the left continue to fail to understand this elementary logic, here goes. Again. I don't agree with many policies that he's trying to push through, so OF COURSE I WANT HIM TO FAIL. I want those issues that I and so many others disagree with to fail in order to maintain this country. You know, kinda like how people like you wanted Bush to fail when he wanted to go into Iraq. Rocket science, I tell ya.

    October 4, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Mike in MN

    For all you kool-aid drinking left wing, liberal, radical, mentally deranged, Obama worhsiping slaves. Wanting Obama to fail in his dangerours and beyond stupid agendas is not wanting America to fail. It is wanting to save America from Obama and for America to thus succeed. True patriots put the welfare of the nation first. Obama is incompetent. If he were to succeed in implementing his agenda, America would suffer greatly.

    October 4, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. carlos, THAT one

    I dare those insignificant raccoon eaters-repugnants-to go and visit a VA hospital near them ( I bet none of them have ever served in the military because of their below plant level IQ's) and bring a cake or a bag full of goodies for those HEROES, not because they need it, but only to show your patriotism or lack of it

    October 4, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Paul October 4th, 2009 11:06 am ET

    You can't fix stupid, but you can vote him out in 2012!

    -----------------

    Nah, we already voted stupid out on November 4th, 2008. And we're glad we did it too! The intelligent, charismatic President we have in office now will do nicely and be re-elected in 2012 tho! :-)

    October 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Sharon

    I have always liked John McCain, but I started questioning his ability to make good decisions during the campaign. He has always represented himself as a military savvy man and yet he is one of a very few senators that has gotten the low grade of D from the vet's report card. Obama as a senator got a B. John McCain shoots from the hip with so many of his decisions and President Obama is not like that at all. I'm thinking that President Obama is going to take everything into consideration before he makes a decision. Popular or not.. it will be thought out.

    October 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Phil in TX

    Mike in Texas...

    At least there are two of us down here. Well written/well said!

    October 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. E

    Of course Jones is playing politics... just like McCain. Regardless of who's president (Bush, Obama, whoever's next), the people around them always play politics. That's just how it goes. I, for one, have been against the Iraq war since the start and Afghanistan had hope at first. However, it's like we went in and forgot our mission. Whatever happened to stopping Bin Laden? Or did that dream die the day we figured Iraq was Afghanistan 2: The Sequel? Seriously, guys, if you want to win a war then WIN IT. Quit wasting time, money and lives for something that's not looking win-able (yeah, had to make that word up). Maybe we should put a few armchair generals out there with the grunts. Then we might have a plan.

    October 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. david

    "National Security Advisor James Jones, who is a retired Marine Corps general, has a lot more experience in commanding troops than John McCain does, which – in my mind – makes him more knowledgable about military matters than John McCain."

    And McChrystal has more experience than Jones....so perhaps we should listen to him?

    October 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. W l Jones

    Everybody walking on the high road others stuck in the mud...and dont know ???? nobody is guantee any job you have to prepare for it.

    October 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. david

    "It is easy to read a speech written for you especially if you have charisma. "

    See: Barack Obama.

    October 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. DP

    John McCain's first "presidential" decision was to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate.That tells me all I need to know about John McCain!.............

    October 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Randy

    Anyone who has spent any time in the military and espically in a war zone knows and will tell you that you can't win a war without "boots on the ground" . The headlines read this morning, another 8 troops killed in Afgan. How many more must be sacrificed before the self proclaimed know-it-alls in Washington admit they can't run a war from the White House! Lyndon Johnson tried it and see where that got us!
    Let the Military do the job they are trained to do and let the politicians set back and watch it unfold on CNN. As a retired military officer, I'm ashamed and disgusted at what I'm seeing in our elected elite.

    October 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Albert

    Mr. McCain,

    We honor you for doing great service to our Country as a Soldier during Vietnam War.

    We thank you very much and we recognize you great service.
    But, We don't intend you to be our President. We don't want you to lead our Country. We don't want you in Politics.

    Because:
    1. As a Soldier you are not qualified to be a President.
    2. As a Soldier you are trained only to solve problems by war.
    3. As a Soldier you are ignorant about diplomacy.
    4. As a Soldier you cannot understand, Economy, Health Care, Industry, Unemployment, etc.
    5. As a Soldier you only understand, guns, weapons, bombs, etc.

    Please for God's sake leave our Country alone. Let the qualified people take Control. You just need to relax and enjoy your retired life.

    October 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. jim

    (reads comments)

    it's clear that the right wingers here are only interested in saying "no". I'm still wondering when they will try to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

    October 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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