December 27th, 2007
12:23 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain on Pakistan: 'I'm the one with the experience'

Clinton is buying Iowa airtime on the eve of the state's caucuses

McCain said Bhutto's death may remind voters of his foreign policy credentials.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Republican John McCain told reporters that new unrest in Pakistan might serve to help his presidential campaign, given the national security credentials that have been a central theme of his White House run.

In response to a question from CNN's Dana Bash on whether the current situation helps his campaign, McCain responded: “I’m the one with the experience, the knowledge and the judgment, so perhaps it may serve to enhance those credentials, or make people understand that I’ve been to Waziristan, I know Musharraf, I can pick up the phone and call him. I knew Benazir Bhutto, I know the area. But I hate for anything like this to be the cause of any political gain for anyone.”

In response to another question, the Arizona senator also suggested that Rudy Giuliani’s post-9/11 experience would not necessarily help him deal with the Pakistan crisis, if he were president. “I don’t know. I know he doesn’t have any experience there. I don’t know how he would handle it to tell you the truth,” said McCain. “He did a great job post-9/11 in handling a post-crisis situation, but I don’t know how that provides one the credentials to address national security issues. I think, as I say, he did a fine job. …

“But as far as I know Mayor Giuliani has never been to Iraq. I mean I don’t … I’m not saying he is without credentials. I’m just saying I’m the one with the most credentials, and experience, and the most judgment.”

–CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

Filed under: Iowa • John McCain
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Doug, Denver, Colorado

    John McCain must win-that's all there is to it. He is the only candidate fit to face the challenges facing the United States for the rest of this decade and beyond. I do not agree with him on an issue or two. I know that he will listen carefully to those who disagree with him, and that he will do his level best to make the decision that is best for the nation, without the influence of any personal or political agenda. I am an active Mormon and a Viet Nam Vet. John McCain is the only candidate that has my complete trust. I have known him for years and he has never lied to me.

    December 27, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Shari

    John McCain is the only candidate for me. America missed out in 2000. Just think where the US would be today if a true American had gotten elected then rather than the disaster we have had for the past seven years? Besides, Bush didn't get elected either time.

    December 27, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Tom, WA

    McCain is the ONLY candidate that this country can lean on when the going gets tough. He doesn't play games or kissy-face to get votes. He stands behind his beliefs and principles. Thats called integrity. Ironically, the only real complaint I've heard is "he's too old". Where do you think experience comes from?

    I hope McCain starts getting a lot more vocal (feisty even) when explaining why he IS the best candidate for the job. And if someone starts talking "smack", he doesn't have to return the low-blows, but he better fight back with some passion. I sense his passion, but he needs to tell his face! Disposition or not, he needs to get America's attention.

    December 27, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Tim, Minnesota

    Come home from Vietnam John ,the war's over.

    December 27, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |

    “But as far as I know Mayor Giuliani has never been to Iraq. I mean I don’t … I’m not saying he is without credentials. I’m just saying I’m the one with the most credentials, and experience, and the most judgment.”

    Don't know if you have the most judgment, but I would characterize it as the BEST judgment.

    I am working hard to ensure a McCain/Giuliani nomination this year. Has anyone not noticed this?

    December 27, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. ne,pa.

    Blue Dog NYC:
    Bush absolutely SMEARED McCain's family in 2000 and in return he kissed up to Bush! Had he defended his family things may have been different. I still hold that against him and so do alot of others (Google it).

    McCain has a very well documented temper. Maybe from being a POW? Many feel he's mentally unfit to lead (Google, Youtube). The man thrives on war. And he's soft on immigration. Just NOW he's suggesting tightening the borders which I don't believe he'll do. You've fallen for the POW card. By the way, he wasn't the only POW in that war.

    McCain is another Bush. Eight years was enough for me!

    December 27, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. Kerry

    You know what they say: "Practice makes permanent." It seems that most of the time, political experience means one has had enough time in politics to make some real strong enemies. We need a President who can deal with our national security – not the security of Iraq or Pakistan. Our domestic security lies in our economy. McCain is the last person I'd chose in that regard. This is one Republican whose tired of America being the policeman of the world and wants the focus back on America and domestic issues.

    December 27, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |


    December 27, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Joe

    John McLame is a LOSER.......John sold his soul to Bush a long time ago. McLame
    would say anything to get elected "my friends". The straight talk is John sold out
    to the american people and they know that. Sorry, but that bomb, bomb, bomb Iran
    joke was unreal. Go home John. I hear your Arizona constituents are trying to recall
    you. They say YOU SOLD THEM OUT JOHN!!!!!!!

    December 27, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  10. Lynn

    Wasn't it these people's "experience" who got America and the world in the mess it is in today? What is it that they are offering that would change the outcome?

    Time for a change with a president who has judgment and the ability to attract and with the intelligence to listen to advisors and experts in order to decide on a course that brings improved outcomes. The Clinton and McCain experience is not what is needed and fear should not motivate this key election. Surely voters have elearned their lesson and are not going to fall for that again.

    No more of the same!!

    December 27, 2007 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  11. Dale Davis, Glendora, California


    December 28, 2007 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  12. mark wilkes barre pa

    NE pa,,,,, check out whats going on in luzerne county Pa by googleing Wilkes talk radio then go to steve corbatts corner. Listen to this liberal host explain how 70 years of dem control is about to be turned on its head and its new progressive county officials are being exposed. 7 county officials caught up in abuse of power and funds charges. I'll take 4 to 8 years of McCain any day over this debocle

    December 28, 2007 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  13. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Doug of Denver said, "I know that he will listen carefully to those who disagree with him."

    I bet you he won't and I bet you he doesn't.

    Go away, John. And stay away!

    December 28, 2007 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  14. HH, Pittsburgh, PA

    McCain is a lunatic. Pure and simple.

    December 28, 2007 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  15. Rhino

    Anyone who implies McCain is soft on immigration needs to read the proposed bill – as written – first; and then produce the text (in its entirety) which allows for this "amnesty" or whatever you wish to call it.
    Stop being the boobs of the media and other less-scrupulous candidates. Think for yourselves for a change.
    Also take some time to understand what truly separates this man from the rest of the candidates. If you wish to perpetuate the divisiveness that's occupied the White House for the past 16 years, then vote someone else. John McCain is the only one who can unite this country while keeping it strong instead of force-feeding us more political offal.

    December 28, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Just because someone has more in the way of experience and judgement doesn't make them a better leader. Lincoln has little in the way of military experience or understanding of how to put the country back together. I don't buy that just because you have more means you are better. Quanity doesn't always mean quality and the reverse is true. It would be nice to have both.

    December 28, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. ne,pa.

    To Mark, Wilkes Barre,Pa.:

    Google : Keating Five

    December 28, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. PW Va

    Frankly..I'm sick to death of hearing about all this "experience" the candidates (both sides) are touting about themselves. It's this so-called "experience" that's gotten us where we are today. I'm looking for someone who's willing to think outside the box in confronting the very serious issues at hand. Become a bit unconventional, if that's what it takes to get the job done. "Experience", in this context, is just another metaphor for "business as usual." I will not waste my vote on another " experienced" politician!!!

    December 28, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    Whether you agree with McCain or not he's a good man and has done more for his country than all of you sad liberals combined.

    I'd tell you to be ashamed of yourself but you apparently have no honor or respect for veterans like McCain.

    December 28, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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