October 31st, 2007
05:00 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain: Iraq surge is working

McCain said Wednesday the Iraq surge is leading to success.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – White House hopeful John McCain said Wednesday he believes the surge in Iraq is working, and thinks that if the situation in Iraq continues to improve, so will Americans’ attitudes about the war.

“The situation has dramatically improved,” said McCain during a press availability on Wednesday. “If we can see the same progress in the next 7 or 8 months I think most Americans would be satisfied.”

The Arizona senator is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

However, he added that the Iraqi government still has work to do in order to progress.

“I believe that the (Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki) government understands that they have to make some progress,” he said. “And I have done everything I can to urge them to do so.”

McCain is a vocal supporter of the Iraq war and the decision to increase the number of U.S. troops in the country..

- CNN Political Producer Xuan Thai

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Stephen, Charlottesville, VA

    It really disappoints me that he keeps saying this. The surge is not working. It might start working in the future but that remains to be seen. The surge was to be an increase in US forces to stem violence to reach the actual goal of Iraqi political progress. So far there's been an increase in forces, a decline in violence, and little if any political progress. I would not deem partial success as a plan that is "working."

    October 31, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. Bob, Seattle, WA

    Senator McCain does have the the inner strength and fortitude this country needs to defend and support the American Way, which is the only proven way globally that amounts to a hill o' beans. We are going to need this kind of man to move forward in a very turbulent world. What other candidate can profess this kind of 'proven, on the record' strength? He has also re-thought his stance on illegal immigration due to the citizens of America outpouring the feelings. He has listened in this regard. This is a very good, very intelligent, savvy person with the needed experience that America will find as vital in the years ahead. America could do a lot worse for itself by electing some one else. Senator McCain is a 'real' man. Nothing false here. He makes mistakes but they are honest mistakes resulting from a sincere desire to improve his country. A true statesman.

    October 31, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. Brian, Orlando, Florida

    “If we can see the same progress in the next 7 or 8 months I think most Americans would be satisfied.”

    We will be satisfied when our troops and money are back in the States!

    October 31, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. Jill

    He is a strong man,some good ideas ,and why does he keeps on saying the surge is working,i dont know what to believe,either we are being lied to,in which these politcians do,from both sides dems and reps,and the media.

    October 31, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Olivia

    Umm...yeah...been there, done that, had to buy my own t-shirt. The only improvements I ever noticed were the ones done to the bases. A surge in troops??? All that really does is make more targets. Give these people back their country already. Help them rebuild, don't babysit...
    What was that saying...."you can give a man a fish, but if you teach him to fish....something like that.

    October 31, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Suan, New York

    Hey Bob...what planet to you live in, Denial World...what r u talkin about?...its voters like you that elect idiots like McCain into office

    October 31, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Patrick, Tulsa Oklahoma

    Whether you support the war or not it is clear that the surge is working. Military deaths are way down and civilian deaths are down 80%! That's good news wether you want the war to continue or not. To any McCain doubters, he was one of the few suggesting a surge at the START of the war I think that really shows something.

    October 31, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. jw, canadian,ok

    The surge is working? OMG, only because the US backed Shiite are killing the all the Sunni. C'mon John, you're about as lost as Lieberman.

    October 31, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Bob, Seattle, WA

    To Olivia: We are teaching them to fish.

    To Suan: You made me chuckle.

    October 31, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  10. Matt, Reno Nevada

    McCain is the ONLY canidate that has a chance to win the republican party and the election that is actually a republican. He was one of the few who have said that we did this whole war wrong, saying that we should have listened to the generals instead of the politicians (Rumsfeld). The surge is working and maybe if people started asking the troops instead of listening to all the crap the media spins out, they would know what McCain is talking about.

    October 31, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    "Whether you support the war or not it is clear that the surge is working. Military deaths are way down and civilian deaths are down 80%!

    only because the MSM has chosen, or been directed to not report......

    October 31, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Be a true leader, Santa Ana, California

    "McCain: Iraq surge is working" ...
    Senator John, I don't know who you have been talking to BUT no one I talked to agree with you, John.

    October 31, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    The neighborhoods are almost completely cleared of minority groups, millions of refugees have fled to neighboring countries, terrorist groups have gained thousands of new recruits, and no political process has been acheived (by parties that Iraqies actually respect). Um...progress? It is good to see violence has calmed down some, but I would think that it has a lot to do with the fact that the neighborhoods are divided now and that the people are getting tired of the killing. I'm not sure how much has to do with the surge.

    October 31, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. EJ, Spring Texas

    I normally vote Democratic but I must admit there was a time that I would have voted for McCain for president. That time however no longer exists.

    October 31, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. D. Endo, Honolulu HI

    Now I'm sure he's totally senile!!! He believes that if Fox News is not covering the war, the surge must be working. Here's a clue, Sparky, Fox doesn't cover the Iraq war because even they can't lie that good...

    October 31, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    Those who say the surge is working are forgetting that the muslim holy month of Ramadan just finished (Sept 13th thru Oct 12th). It is possible that it is getting better, but I'm still waiting a couple of month's before I'll agree that it is working. Even then I'm likely to still remain skeptical.

    October 31, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  17. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    I respect John McCain as a man and veteran who served his country well. However, I can't agree with his statements.

    I don't know about Americans but I'll bet the majority of Canadians do not see the Iraq situation as John McCain sees it. And I feel his view of a very dark and stagnant Iraq must be the one seen through his rose colored glasses.

    October 31, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  18. Andrew, NJ

    The problem is McCain forgot what the goal of the surge was. It was not for a military victory...the goal of the surge was to have political victory which is definetly not working

    November 1, 2007 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  19. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Another Republican Candidate spinning the progress in Iraq as if it were a good thing. My God, Sen. McCain, come back to reality and stop spinning the mission in Iraq that is killing our men and women! You should be above playing politics with our kids lives.

    Telling it like I see it,

    November 1, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  20. Hilary, Rochester NY

    The Iraq situation is just a wee bit too complicated for me to conclude that the surge is "working" because there have been fewer U.S. military deaths and civilian deaths over the last month or so. The only way the surge "works" is if the security gains lead to political and diplomatic progress. And the only way the surge "works" realistically is if that doesn't require several more years of considerable U.S. military presence in Iraq, because that doesn't "work" for the majority of the American public.

    November 1, 2007 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  21. James, Brownstown, MI

    We have one month where the death rate is down and he is ready to jump on the success band wagon. Don't count your chickens before they hatch there McCain. We still have 30-40 soldiers dying every month. McCain is content with this? He needs to convey his enthusiasim to the 35 families of the dead soldiers from this month. I bet they would not see the situation from his perspective.

    November 1, 2007 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  22. Steve, Portland, OR

    I suppose it really depends on your view about our military in Iraq as to whether this is tolerable another 7 or 8 months. There are plenty of reasons things are less chaotic right now. Senator McCain:, My attitude about the war will not change when I see the latest report that 3 American soldiers died on the 30th and apparently are being considered OK cause the surge is working?.

    November 1, 2007 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  23. john z, ny

    The idea of a 'surge' is fundamentally flawed. Consider this: when the cops show up to someone's home for a domestic violece call, i'm pretty sure the dude is going to stop beating his wife. Think aboout it.

    November 1, 2007 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  24. Michael "Ameer" Williams

    For those who don't want to admit the surge is working, even CNN has been documenting this!!!!! And someone was stating political progrees..????, thats to be done with the Iraqi politicians not U.S. Forces. The Forces are there to give them ( the Iraqi Parliament) a better atmosphere to iron out there political differences (which they have). Salute to the U.S. Forces you are doing an outstanding job!!! Some Americans DO notice and appreciate your mission and sacrifice!!! You will find that those who do not want to hear good news from Iraq and deny the surge has been successful are the ones that said it wouldn't work in the beginning and are against the war!!! Again..Thank You U.S. Forces!

    November 1, 2007 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  25. James, Tampa FL

    I think it is funny that so many people that have never been to Iraq, somehow know what the situation in Iraq is. If you are not there, you do not know. If John McCain is getting his info from the forces that are there, then I believe what he says. He does not have much to gain by lying to us.

    November 1, 2007 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
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