July 28th, 2007
11:28 AM ET
12 years ago

Iraq won't change McCain

McCain is holding firm on his Iraq stance

(CNN)–Despite the effect the issue is having on his poll numbers, Senator John McCain says he will not change his stance on the Iraq war. "I'll take my stand on this war," he said Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina. "I would much rather lose a campaign than a war."

He took issue with Congressional Democrats who, he said, want to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq too early. "We will not allow the United States to lose this war," the Arizona Republican said. "If the war's lost, who won? Al Qaeda? Tell that to the 160,000 brave young Americans who are serving and sacrificing in Iraq today as we speak."

McCain attended a minor league baseball game in Greenville on Friday evening. He was due to meet with supporters in Aiken, South Carolina Saturday afternoon.

–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Iraq • John McCain • Race to '08 • South Carolina
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Mark Rosenthal, Bonn, Germany

    You gotta say, the man sticks with his principles, more than can be said about other politicians in the last 24 years...

    July 28, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Damien,Belpre,Ohio

    McCain hang in there America will open their eyes and see you a true leader.

    McCain 08!!!

    July 28, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Will - Miami, Fl

    I can’t believe the media. I’m no McCain fan but, the people writing about McCain’s poll numbers are either dishonest or ignorant. Here’s why: Republicans are upset with McCain because of the immigration bill and his refusal to listen to us about it. We saw him as a man that would NOT listen to the party and we cannot tolerate that. It made us mad. We’re finished with him because of this NOT his support of the Iraq war.

    That said, Ron Paul has my voate and, again, it’s not because of his stance on the Iraq war. I like the idea of smaller government, fair taxes, and liberty. I DO agree with him about our foreigh policy while at the same time thinking that, although we contributed to the hate, we should still beat it down. I’m a bit conflicted on that point but I’m working it out – lol.

    I’m a former 82nd Airborne paratrooper. I’ve been out since 1995 – well before this all started but I know how soldiers feel and I believe that our men and women in uniform today DO think they are fighting for a nobel cause. I love them all! They’re patriots and heros!

    Posted By Will – Miami, Fl : July 28, 2007 2:54 pm

    July 28, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. L.R. PA

    Go away McCain!

    Take Bush/Cheney with you!

    Ron Paul 2008!

    July 28, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Mrs. America

    I thought the whole world was fairly much in agreement that the war can't be won militarily but instead politically. Wonder how McCain missed it. Now is his opportunity to bow out gracefully (as gracefully as possible under the circumstances) as he's already admitting to everyone (and sounds like to himself as well) that he killed his own campaign by aligning himself with Bush on the war (and immigration).

    I think John McCain has done a lot of good for Arizona over the years. He should step back from trying to win a winless situation. He is ruining what would otherwise be an excellent legacy of public service, all for nothing.

    July 28, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. Cheryl Fontaine, Lake Stevens, WA

    Hey – it's a good thing you don't mind losing because you sure as hell are going to...and the war? what war? you mean where we illegally stampeded, destroyed, and lied about another country at monumental expense to thousands of families and every single U.S. taxpayer? Yeah, losing that too.

    July 28, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. SweetWilliam/WildBill Rock Hill SC

    “I would much rather lose a campaign than a war”

    Doesn’t he realize that both are lost?

    July 28, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Doug, Aghanistan

    John-thanks for being the only candidate with some backbone. Sure, the war has been criminally mismanaged and it was a mistake to start the Iraq battle in the first place, but once in it, we must win it.

    July 28, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Schorner, Reno, Nevda

    Maybe the title should read: McCain won’t change Iraq.

    July 28, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  10. steve, bakersfield, ca

    I admire Mr. Mc Cain. Not many in his position are worth admiration. His stating on this, and other issues, that he is staying with his convictions rather than going with the polls is why I have, and will vote for him.

    July 28, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  11. Tom, everywhere USA


    July 29, 2007 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  12. Dana Summers, Ocean Shores WA

    With regard to Ron Paul.....the man is a Libertarian in Republican garb. If you want governmental gridlock because of a record number of Presidential vetoes.....by all means put the man in the White House. Look at his congresional voting record.

    July 29, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  13. Mark, Lavallette, NJ

    If we pull out of Iraq, who wins?

    For one, the majority of the Iraqi people, who want a U.S. withdrawal and an end to the occupation!

    July 29, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  14. Jeff C, San Francisco

    McCain has no answer to his own question, "If the war's lost, who won?" There are no winners in this mess.

    Another question he doesn't ask is, what would a "winning" result be? Best outcomes imaginable at this point are either a Shiite theocracy or fragmentation into 3 sectarian sub-states.

    Talk about "winning" and "losing" is silly for a war has neither any realistic exit strategy nor any realistic goal.

    July 29, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Penna.

    McCain's afraid of being labeled a "flip-flopper" so he's stuck.

    He's another one who won't admit he's wrong about this war...SO...LOTS MORE troops in Iraq... which means we'll be drafting.

    This is a man that comes off soft spoken but is extremely tempermental...mental issues.

    He'll bring the illegals in the back door while we're at the front.

    He kisses up to Bush as he did in 2000(while being bashed by them).No spine!

    His campagin is failing but he states "it's going well". For herd mentality.

    He's not fooling me with his actions. He's very caculating!

    I consider McCain another disaster for this country.

    July 29, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Will- Miami, Fl

    Danna from Wa,

    Yea, a record number of vetos putting the Congress in gridlock would be a good thing! I'm tired of them passing so many laws and spending so much of MY money. I think it's time that we realized that we don't need so damn many laws and we don't need to spend so much money.

    By the way, he wouldn't have to run as a republican if the system would allow him to participate in debates and actually have a chance as a 3rd party candidate. It's about time we change this system. Both of the parties (and I'm a Republican) have screwed us for too long. We need REAL change.
    Vote for Congressional gridlock!!!

    July 29, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. bret, atl, ga

    re: the "gridlock" commenter –

    Yes, as a matter of fact, I would PREFER gridlock to a Democratic Congress / Democratic President and their socialist agenda; likewise, I would have preferred it to the Republican Congress / Cheney President that we've had for the past few years. LOOK AT THE TROUBLE THEY'VE GOTTEN US INTO. Think, people, think! Open your minds. Paul speaks the truth.

    McCain is 100% delusional. His immigration thing annihilated whatever chance he had. The Bushies have betrayed him in favor of Thompson, and good riddance to the lot of them I say.

    There is NO WAR in Iraq except a Civil War that we have no business policing or being involved in. We must return to our sense, we MUST return to our principles, we MUST WAKE UP from this statist/fascist nightmare.

    July 29, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. fedupwithourgov't

    Dana, WA:

    I'd LOVE to put Ron Paul in the White House!

    He's exactly what this country needs!

    We've been jerked around for too many years! It is time for change!

    Go to his website everyone...

    July 29, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Dana Summers, Ocean Shores WA

    Many of Ron's ideas are naive. He wants to return to an era of political and economic isolationist policy which I can guarantee you will make this country less safe in the future. The way to stay our of wars is through economic ties.....make the idea of war too expensive. No one contemplates going to war with Japan now even though 60 odd years ago we were engaged in a world war.

    He has definatly got a lot of country charm and some of his ideas sound good on the surface.....but you need to dig deeper and think about the consequences of what his policies would mean.

    July 30, 2007 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  20. Will - Miami, Fl

    You obviously are not paying attention to him. He wants to engage in trade with all countries and return to a money system that will eliminate inflation and ensure that the US economy is strong and remains that way. As for war, he is ALL for a strong defense and going to war when neccesary in the PROPER way (congress declaring war). However, he does NOT believe that the US needs to meddle in the affairs of other countries or go to war because of UN sanctions.

    If you have not actually taken the time to listen to him, you really should visit YouTube and listen to HIM talk about his ideas/beliefs instead of listening to what others are saying that he stands for. You will be converted if you do...

    July 30, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Choose honesty and vote for Ron Paul in '08

    July 30, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Dana Summers, Ocean Shores WA

    Well let's see......Ron Paul wants to end NAFTA/CAFTA.....withdraw from the UN the WTO and the WHO. I assume he would also advocate withdrawing from the World Bank and the IMF. I assume from reading the Issues section of his website that he wants to eliminate the Federal Reserve......you cannot "eliminate" inflation......that is just total bunk. Even in a barter system there is inflation.

    Why don't we just become like China at the turn of the last century and wall ourselves off from the rest of the world and become technologically backwards.

    July 30, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  23. Jason, Seattle WA

    This is my friendly response to Dana Summers from Ocean Shores. I highly suggest that you do a google search on the North American Union and the Amero. Many of these "free trade agreements" (NAFTA, etc) have been the undercurrent that is leading up to the North American Union and the Amero. Also... Regarding the federal reserve. One should definitely cast an eye of doubt on the federal reserve. The federal reserve was created on December 23, 1913. A pretty strange date for such a significant law to be passed considering its two days away from Christmas and all of the Senate is on Christmas break. I might also add that the prize winning economist, Milton Friedman, who died recently, claimed that the Great Depression was caused by the Federal Reserve; in contrary to what the FED was established to prevent. Also, the Fed has significantly contributed to inflation with its absurdingly low interest rates during the Bush administration; this has helped create this massive housing bubble.

    July 31, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |