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. Willy Brown

    Team Obama you'd better take care of the troops.

    October 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Alicia

    I find it hypocritical that the Republicans gave Bush/Cheney a blank check for Halliburton, Blackwater and so for Iraq.

    We all knew after 9-11 the terrorists were in Afthanistan.

    The same party is now not wanting war????

    October 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Cookieman

    The Prez and Gen. Jones are being very even handed. It seem that the Senator from AZ is being political.

    October 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. victim of republican greed

    On June 15, 2004, President Bush claimed victory in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. He said,"Afghanistan is no longer a terrorist factory sending thousands of killers into the world.

    October 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. cspurgeon

    Good for the
    General. McCain is an idiot sore loser who uis doing his best to undermine the administration and should retire and go home to wifes money....

    October 4, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Patriot

    It's amazing to me how much the right-wing suddenly cares about Afghanistan. When Bush was in office, our troops there and the original mission of finding Bin Laden were forgotten in favor of the misguided debacle in Iraq, which has made us less safe.

    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) and go back to the tried and true strategy of national security and scaring people.

    October 4, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Kevin

    To GOP:

    You say that most people on the right have fought in wars. Let me elaborate on some of the Right's heroes:

    Dick Cheney 3 or 4 deferrments to get out of Viet Nam service
    Rush Limbaugh no service
    Shawn Hannity No service
    Bill O'Reilly no service
    Glenn Beck no service

    October 4, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. david

    "October 4th, 2009 12:24 pm ET

    George Bush the II was the worst president this country ever had, the guy did nothing but spend spend spend"

    This coming from an Obama supporter....man, you can't make this stuff up. Priceless.

    October 4, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. emporersnaked

    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.

    October 4, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Turnabout is Fair Play

    ggb October 4th, 2009 11:22 am ET

    Let's try to understand Obama….this spring he strongly implores Europe to add troops without hesitation to Afghanistan, now he wavers. The European news reports him as "weak". He fires one military commander and does not heed his new commander's advice. The man on the ground. Oh excuse me, Obama has military experience. Do the dems not read history? Did they not learn anything from the Russian conflict? Once again, it is cut losses, let the brave men of this country die for lack of a coutnry' support. No one cannot convince me this is not politics and placating the dems! Obama showed his lack of military support all through his campaign. For this alone. I do not respect him as an american.
    ------------------------

    Riiiiight...tell yourself that his lack of military experience is why you do not respect him...CONVINCE yourself that that is the reason...boy, the cloaked racism just does not STOP with you neo-cons does it.

    October 4, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Dinah

    McCain the majority of American people didn't want you for president. You lost the vote. So shut the "f" up! We don't care what you think.

    October 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. pa. independent

    I thank God everyday McCain didn't win. We'd be in WWIII by now.

    October 4, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. slp

    Obama's failures are piling up,

    I have an answer to your question. There is a certain group in this country that will never hold President Obama accountable. It will always be Bush's fault and he will run this country into the ground and never have to answer for anything. If you try, you will be branded a racist or you will be unamerican. At least I can look myself in the mirror and lay my head down at night knowing that I didn't vote for him.

    October 4, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. emporersnaked

    What most of you COMMENTors CAN sa is not a solution, but to blame, ignore anyones opinion instead of examining the evidence... you just parrot the news you hear..DO RESEARCH from OTHER SOURCES...get educated to all points of view, you will change your opinions if you do. Then we will be able to IMPROVE the "crisis" and war obama lets continue

    October 4, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. krejaton

    Our Campaigner-in-Chief is "acting stupidly" and his staff is following his lead. I had high hopes for this administration and it is proving to be more incompetent than the last. All of his campaign promises are being shown to be nothing but hot air and we have been lied to.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we will soon be looking with admiration at the fantastic accomplishments of the Carter administration in comparison–that is assuming our country hasn't been spent into oblivion.

    October 4, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. suzyku

    mccain is a jerk! always was, always will be! mccain absolutely proved beyond a doubt that he is the one who puts politics above his country and the people who fight for it! He proved that he was willing to say anything, do anything and choose anyone, however moronic, ignorant and plain stupid she might be in order to win the Presidency. mccain cannot be trusted, mccain is still playing politics because he hopes it will get him re elected!

    October 4, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Shame on Senator McCain. A Republican administration put American troops in Afghanistan in a disadvatage by concentrating on fighting a war in Iraq for 8 years. Now that we are playing catch up, the GOP is years late in its criticisms.

    October 4, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. B

    You thought that McCain might be above playing Politics with national security issues?

    Wrong, -– Thank God that he is not in control right now !!!!!

    October 4, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. carlos, THAT one

    let's draft every single repugnant in the country.....send them to afghanistan..............that will be the fastest we have ever lost a war

    October 4, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Emma

    Individuals like McCain can be dangerous because they do not understand that integrity is not a situation of being right all the time.

    October 4, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Bob R., Lanham, Maryland

    This devisiveness ship just doesn't end.

    October 4, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Blue

    The GOP sat on thier hands and let Bush/Cheney destroy our country and lives in eight years, and they expect President Obama to come in and turn the country around to what it was in 2000 in nine months. He will turn this country around before the elections of 2010. Then what will the GOP do?

    October 4, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. High School Grammar Teacher

    I have a grammar correction for Martina Stewart regarding John McCain's statement (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). He did not use the phrase "Democrat Party" incorrectly. We have a democratic process, a Republican Party and a Democrat Party. Republican's are not "Republics".

    October 4, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. John

    America is a Country where there is no Dearth of Intellect. We have the most Brilliant Men and Women in the World. We have Professors; Jurists; Scientists; Nobel Laureates; Physicians; Chefs; Engineers; Poets; Novelists; Comedians; Artists; Academicians; Priests; Pastors; and many many other Noble People of Character.

    Rush Limbaugh is an Unqualified Quack, who Spreads Rumors, Misleads and Concocts Stories, Buffs and Gossips. Rush Limbaugh is a Person who Spreads Hate, Jealousy, Animosity, Disparage, Negative Criticism and Negative Opposition, Disharmony and Disagreement.

    Rush Limbaugh is Uneducated, Illiterate, Idiotic, Characterless Drug Addict and Distraught. Still GOP supports him.

    I don't understand why people listen to him, when there are so many Brilliant Men and Women to Hear. God Please save Americans from being Swayed by Evil, Wicked and Immoral Men like Rush Limbaugh.

    October 4, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Right Wingers are destroying America

    Hello all of you Right-Wingers in Fox and Limbaugh Land!

    President Obama is now dealing with the mess that was created FOR 8 YEARS UNDER GEORGE W. BUSH.

    Bush went to Afghanistan to get Bin Laden, then forget about him and invaded Iraq. These wars have cost billions, and have exploded the deficit.

    Bush gave the wealthiest Americans unnessecary and reckless tacx cuts in a time of war, adding billions to the deficit.

    Govt. spending SKYROCKETED under Bush, adding billions to the deficit–that is why many conservatives turned against him.

    Bush de-regulated the banks, crashed the economy, then told us in September of 2008 that the American taxpayers wouldn have to bail out his Wall Street buddies.

    On and on it goes, and now you right-wingers want to blame Obama for this mess? I don't agree with everything he's done, but he's doing his best to deal with the problems created by Bush.

    Indeed, why weren't you right-wingers protesting in the streets for 8 years under Bush? Sheer hypocrisy......

    October 4, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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