June 14th, 2007
12:10 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain calls Reid comments 'inappropriate and regrettable'

McCain called Reid's comments on Gens. Pace and Petraeus "inappropriate" Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Arizona Sen. John McCain sharply criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday over the Nevada Democrat's comments earlier this week reportedly bashing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, David Petraeus.

"It's incredibly disappointing that Harry Reid would make such disparaging remarks about both the highest ranking officer in the U.S military and the commander of our troops in Iraq," McCain said in a statement. "Generals Pace and Petraeus are two leaders who have spent their entire lives in service to their country and Senator Reid needs to clarify his criticisms, which can only be described as highly inappropriate and regrettable."

In a conference call with liberal bloggers Tuesday, Reid called Pace "incompetent" and made similarly disparaging comments about Patraeus, according to The Politico.

This is not the first time Reid has come under fire for controversial comments. The Senate's top Democrat faced a sharp backlash from the White House in April when he declared the Iraq war "lost," and was quickly criticized by Republican colleagues for calling President Bush a "loser" in May 2005.

On Friday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced he would replace Pace in September. He speculated that Pace's renomination would lead to a "contentious" hearing on Capitol Hill.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Harry Reid • John McCain
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Robert Cadalso

    McCain needs to get real life and stop lying about this war.

    June 14, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Kevin Soper, Lacey WA

    I'd call anyone "incompetent" if they didn't stand up to their boss when they knew that what they're being ordered to do is wrong or won't work. I don't really think Patraeus is incompetent, he was just stuck in a messed up situation and he's doing the best he can with the orders he has. However, I don't think all the time in the world would help the situation any, so they should really just get out now.

    June 14, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. David, Gilbert Arizona

    McCain, the senator that drops the "F" bomb on other members of congress, has the audacity to tell someone how to exercise their right to free speech.

    June 14, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Jim L, Lansdale, PA

    I'm not sure, but being criticized as being "incompetent" by a lying, kick-back taking, double-standard elitist limosine liberal who never saw a piece of pork he didn't like might just be a compliment

    June 14, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Dave, St Louis, MO

    This guy's a jerk. How he's made this far in politics is a mystery. He's also overly critical of the GOP, when he's got as many bones rattling in his own closet. In relation to his position in the government, I wonder how many of his friends & relatives he has on the payroll??? To me, that's a huge ethics question.

    June 14, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Dave, St Louis, MO

    By the way, I was referring to Harry Reid...............

    June 14, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Providence, RI

    I agree with Robert Cadalso. McCain is a joke! An old horse from 2000. There is no way he would be nominated. No way! Not for Million dollars!

    June 14, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. Connie, Louisville, Tn.

    Seems like Reid has been right in all his comments.

    June 14, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Tom, Mission Viejo, CA

    For anyone truly interested in the situation in Iraq, they'd be best served to read up on France's little mess in Algeria during the late 1960s.

    the French military was close to crushing the Islamists in Algeria when the 'political' pressure became too great and the government withdrew the troops. Within 6 months the Islamists had taken control of the country. For years, France has been dealing with Algerian refugees who fled Africa for France. They simple had no backbone to win the fight. Just like many short minded anti-war folks in the US.

    June 14, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Well...McCain is right about Reid needing to "clarify" the comments about imcompetence.

    However both McCain and Reid are clowns.

    The commanders only are doing their jobs...don't blame them for the lousy mission there are tasked with doing.

    Mission is NOT Accomplished (1500 days later). Never claim victory before it is over.

    Hitler made a public announcement in WW2 declaring the battle of Stalingrad was won as well.

    June 14, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Hammond, Brunswick, ME

    Reid has no moral or professional compass. His behavior and speech is repugnant.

    June 14, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. Steven Tye, Orlando, Florida

    General Pace has been ineffective, has failed to inspire confidence and should go. However, that in no way justifies the comments made by Reid. If Reid is going to be the Senate majority leader, he really needs to learn how to speak like one.

    June 14, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  13. marc, ontario, ca

    I don't believe the two Generals are speaking the current situation on the ground. General always speaks what the Commander In Chief wants to hear. If not, they will not be nominated to be Generals.

    June 14, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  14. Jesse Salt Lake City, UT

    Well Tom of Mission Viejo CA, I don't care about France, this is the USA if I need to remind you. You have apparenly have not suffered any lost in your family from this or any past war such as my family has. It's people like yourself who have the nerve to love war and send our fathers, brothers and sisters to there death without a decent cause. I certainly hope people like yourself with the "I LOVE WAR ATTITUDE" are almost gone from this county kind of like Hitler or the KKK disappeared, because if not, we have not witnessed the last of tragety to come from our society. As for Reid, it's like taking constructive criticism from your boss. If he told you that the job you are doing is great when in fact it was not, you would never become better at your job. It's that simple! No one is trying to attack these folks character. Last, the guy bringing up limos, come on! What politiion is not wealthy, Democrat or Republican??

    June 15, 2007 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  15. Mark, Bremerton, Wa

    I think several people here are missing the point. Reid insulted the military's leading generals, including the one in Iraq. This again only plays into the hands of the insurgents and liberals against our military. Liberals and others need to wake up and realize that they have their freedom because of people that Reid has decided to insult. When he insulted our leading generals, he insulted the entire military.
    Many people do not understand what will happen if we pull out of this war now. It will mean victory to the insurgents and terrorists. It will open the door for terrorist to begin more direct actions on America’s soil and its people around the world. Do you want to live in a country like Israel where there is constant fear that you might be killed while riding the city bus to work or school? I don’t!
    If you want to win this war, you need to show it. You have to back it with everything we have. You have to let the generals have what they need……and keep the politicians out of it. When politicians run the war, you will not win. More troops are needed to secure the borders and cities.

    June 15, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. James Forbes Newport NC

    Senator Reid's comment about Gen Pace makes mockery of our military leaders. His failed leadership has not gotten him nowhere except the wrath of many Americans. The American people want to win this war over terror and Ried is trying his best to make us the losers because he does not have the guts to win, he's the loser.

    June 15, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. DICK Blake Frostproof, FL.

    the man has right to say what he thinks..this is still free country..

    June 28, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |