December 17th, 2007
10:16 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain blasts Sen. Reid in South Carolina radio spot

McCain gets tough on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a new South Carolina radio ad.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Sen. John McCain's campaign, sensing new momentum after a slew of high-profile endorsements, is up with a new radio ad in South Carolina that attacks Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for saying in April that the war in Iraq is "lost."

McCain's first ad in the state it echoes two familiar themes from his stump speech: that Democrats in Congress lack resolve on military matters, and that McCain is the most electable Republican in the presidential race.

"Seven months ago, Democrat majority leader Harry Reid said the war in Iraq was lost," the ad begins. "Well, he was wrong."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, McCain's most prominent booster in the state, speaks for the majority of the spot, saying "the troop surge is working" and that "we need a president prepared to win."

Graham says "no candidate can match his record of service" and that McCain is "the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton in the general election."

The ad is another signal that the Arizona senator's campaign is stepping up its efforts here in advance of the January 19 Republican primary - a contest that will be crucial for him were he to win the New Hampshire primary a week earlier.

A McCain spokesman said the ad buy amounts to "1,000 spots over a concentrated period" and that it's the beginning of a “larger advertising program" in the state.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: John McCain • South Carolina
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. RealityKing

    Meanwhile..., From the troops on the ground:

    "I feel we are back in '03 and early '04. Frankly I was here then, and the environment is about the same in terms of security in my opinion," he said. "What is different from then is that the Iraqi security forces are significantly more mature."

    The Harry and Nancy may have choosen to lose but our brave volunteers on the ground in Iraq have not..

    December 17, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. LeftyLoosey

    But Harry has done such a wonderful job since we elected him...., NOT!

    December 17, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. roger, conway sc

    BIG DEAL...GW McCain & Graham's buddy said the war was won a couple of years back, if I remember GW had on his flying gear and was on a ship or maybe I am dreaming...McCain & Graham are both wackos....If McCain is the GOP nominee expect him to choose either Liberman or Graham as his extremests on the right keep that in mind....

    December 17, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Ron, Racine, Wisconsin

    Just because Hawk Lindsey Graham and the Republicans say the troo surge is responsible for the downturn in violence doesn't mean it's so. The reality is that Cleric Al Sadar has told his army to stand down. And the Sunis have done that as well. If they wanted to, they could start it all back up again. Lets face it, the war was a mistake from the beginning. We should back off and let the Iraqis work it out.

    December 17, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. JB, Hillsdale, MI

    McCain, you are an idiot. Are the costs benefits really worth it to "win" this trumped up war? So much for fiscal responsibility. Elect Ron Paul and get these fake conservatives out of Washington.

    December 17, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Alice, TN

    Hey, Reid's a Democratic, what do you expect? When Americans feel badly about the war, Dems will oppose the war. If things turn around, they will want to marshall the victory parades. They're weasels without political backbone.

    December 17, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Over whom will we celebrate the victory?

    The current surge, is just as failed as the other presumptive bandaid strategies–with as much hope of long-term success, as establishment of an Iraqi democracy based on western principles.

    To the west, eastern Islamic values, and tradition are foreign and backwards, and heathen. To the east, western judao-christian values and tradition are blasphemus, hedonistic, and heathen.

    Where will we find common ground? So far–oil has been the only common denominator–they've got it, and we want it.

    Frankly, Mr. Reid was correct–the mission is doomed to failure becuase the logic behind it is one of unreality and unachievable realistic goals.

    If saving face is what Mr. McCain wants for the U.S., then lets say it. But do not attack differing viewpoints of logic–to support a war that was enacted, and endures due to illogical reality and illusions doled out by the spoonful to the public–of some "hope" of a victory.

    The "victory" we deisre for our U.S. forces was achieved when they toppled the statues in Baghad. What they are doing now is filling in all the gaps–huminitarian, law enforcement, infrastructure–not striving for victory, but struggling to leave with at least some credibility and dignity for the history books. We have bitten off more than we can sustain–and still the administration has not attempted to broaden U.N. or international support to help with the "post-war" mission of rebuilding Iraq.

    How much longer are the American people and their armed forces going to have to continue to sacrifice for a nation who doesn't want our help, and has no concept, nor intentions of creating a peaceful democratic society–which will give us victory. Mr. McCain–you are small-minded, and you're being deceitful by ignoring the facts on the ground and in your heart to achieve political gain.

    December 17, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Eric Hermanson

    Dear Senator McCain,

    In March 1997, thousands of people witnessed a mile-wide UFO hovering over the capital if your state, Phoenix, Arizona. The object was caught on tape by hundreds of people and news organizations.

    Ten years later, on two occasions this year, your ex-Governor Fife Symington, held a press conference to indicate that his gubernatorial investigation of the incident led him to believe that the object in question was 'an alien spacecraft' flying over Phoenix.

    Senator McCain, you have not properly addressed to the public what this object was, especially considering you were probably briefed on exactly what happened as one of only two Senators to the state. Please let the people know what this mile-wide object was that hovered over Phoenix in March, 1997.

    December 17, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Jack Jax,FL

    After having achieved the title of the worst Senate Majority Leader in the history of the US, Reid should try to be a man, admit his mistakes, apologize to the American people and simply resign. His spineless actions and comments do nothing but pull this country apart. His only accomplishment was to see who could cave the most when it comes to the liberal freaks at and enhance their misguided thinking that they represent the opinion of the entire United States public. Way to go Harry!

    December 17, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Cleaner44, Goodyear, AZ

    Who is John McCain?

    December 17, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. therealist

    The newly elected democratic government of Iraq will do just fine, as long as they don't follow the example of our liberal do nothing 110th Congress. History shows that they can't do any worse..

    December 17, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    After five years of horrible violence, many lives lost and ruined, and billions wasted, what's to say that a drop in the level of violence in Iraq indicates "winning"? This was a war that should never have happened in the first place. What's winning here? What's the goal? No matter who wins the election, we're not pulling out after building the world's largest embassy.
    Coke or Diet Coke? That's our choice in America. The rest of you are fooling yourselves. Dumb Americans can't remember more than a month or two at best, so by next November the war will be spun as a successful and welcomed "liberation".

    December 17, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. JV, Seattle, WA

    What kills me about liberals, especially Reid...the ones that call Iraq failed, or a disaster, are likely the same ones that criticized Bush 41 for not going into Baghdad after expelling Iraq from Kuwait. They didn't mind nation building back then...or was it just that they had to partisan. Most likely, they are the same sort of naysayers for post WWII Japan and Germany, or for South Korea, or even the vision of a new United WRONG they were, even though, surely, they were just as adamantly opposed to the respective wars. Just a good thing their asses were Iraqi under Saddam's control, huh? Their tune would be a lot different to be sure.

    December 17, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Ron, Salem, MA

    Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL"

    To quote Surrealist: "Mr. McCain–you are small-minded, and you're being deceitful by ignoring the facts on the ground and in your heart to achieve political gain."


    December 17, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. James, W-B PA

    Sen. Reid was correct when he said that the Iraq War is "lost." Bush and McCain's "surge," the "return on success" strategy, translates to "death on failure," and it needs to be purged from our foreign policy.

    Throughout the war, violence and death have both risen and fallen invariably. One terror attack or one needless death negates the neo-con concept of "success."

    67% of this country wants this war to end NOW, and McCain and the Republicans will suffer in the general election. Seeking binding benchmarks and definite timelines are not "dates for surrender," but rather calls for accountability.

    My message to the Republican Party: Pick your candidate. Pick your poison. If you continue to support this quagmire, you will lose.

    Vote Kucinich if you want real change next November!!! Strength through Peace.

    December 17, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Brent, Gulfport MS

    That 67% number is down from 77% a couple of month ago. In another couple of months, it'll be down to 57%. Maybe by November of 2008, it'll be down to 47% or 37%. And then where will the Dems be? Probably claiming that they supported the war all along, much like they claim to support the troops while calling them baby killers and trying to cut their funding.

    December 17, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Bill, Bloomington IL

    I fully agree. Reid is not much of a leader.

    December 17, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Huzzah! We are officially winning in Iraq! Violence is NOW officially down to the level is was in 2006!!! Where are you guys hiding the champagne??

    *obligatory troll protection* – This is not to say that a decreased amount of violence however small is NOT good news, but it's hardly winning, since "win" has previously been defined as producing a stable, self sufficient democracy. We're quite a very long ways from that unfortunately.

    December 17, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. A Rush to Judgment

    Read "The Fleeting Success of the Surge" on the Times website where the US military, Iraqi refugees and Iraqi people express their views.

    McCain remeinds me of his buddy on the aircraft carrier!

    December 17, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  20. Michelle D. - Atlanta, GA

    It's not lost...YET. After 6 years of this crap and Billions of our hard-earned tax dollars, they STILL haven't won the hearts and minds of the country.

    Why can't they get it through their thick skulls that these people DON'T WANT DEMOCRACY? They've lived this way for thousands of years. It's a cultural and religious difference that we cannot ever hope to change.

    Can I get my money back?

    December 17, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  21. Independent in IA

    No, Sen. McCain, the war in Iraq is NOT lost....yet. Scores of troops are killed or wounded each month, but we're hanging in there, and Halliburton and other conglomerates are licking their chops at the thought.

    Are we winning in Afganistan, too? The Taliban are making a strong comeback yet we here at home hear next to nothing about what is being done.

    The flower of American youth is being sacrificed in nations that have battled for millennia and will not stop just because the United States wants to impose 'freedom and justice' on people with a total tribal mentality.

    You, sir, are as arrogant and short-sighted as the man whose attack-dog you are.

    December 18, 2007 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  22. no stinky dems,lA.

    this guy stinks, win the war america!!

    December 18, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  23. Sandra, Roanoke Rapids, NC

    Recently, I see many new powerful backers for McCain, and I fear this is a push by Corporate Un-America to keep control over the Republican Presidency. Can it be because, the powers to be want to keep their ongoing war in the Middle East to never end?

    December 26, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |