March 3rd, 2008
04:23 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain: I am the best at 3 a.m.

 McCain said Monday he's best equipped to handle a 3 a.m. crisis.

McCain said Monday he's best equipped to handle a 3 a.m. crisis.

(CNN) – Each of the two Democratic presidential contenders said this weekend they were best-suited to handle a foreign policy crisis should the phone ring in the White House at 3 a.m. On Monday, John McCain said they were both wrong.

"I would believe that my knowledge and experience and background clearly indicates that if the phone rang at 3 a.m. in the White House, and I was the one to answer it, I would be the one most qualified to exercise the kind of judgment necessary to address a national security crisis," McCain said at a campaign stop in Phoenix.

"I've been involved in every major national security challenge for the last 20 years that has faced this country," he added. "I look forward to having that debate as to who's most qualified in the event of a national crisis and the phone ringing at 3 a.m. in the White House."

McCain's comments follow dueling campaign ads from Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that pose the scenario of a foreign crisis in the early morning hours. Clinton's ad, which launched first, argues the New York senator is more experienced to handle such a situation. Hours later, the Obama campaign launched a spot in response that says his initial opposition to the Iraq war proves he has the better judgment to deal with 3 a.m. emergencies.

- CNN's Tasha Diakides contributed to this report

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. The Truth

    Is anybody getting tired of this foolishness
    This question is so stupid
    as well as the argument
    Give it a rest let's move on to a real issue

    March 3, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. Bill Clinton

    Maccain should be in a retirement home period.

    March 3, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Marey

    He'll only hear it if he sleeps with his hearing aid in and on!

    March 3, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. curtis

    Me too!! Me too!!

    How about some original ideas?

    March 3, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. JOHN


    March 3, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. Looking In

    Security is McCain's strong suit. I can only hope that Democrats try to go toe-to-toe with him on it. And of the two Democrats, Obama is the far more formidable candidate.

    March 3, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Tim St. Louis Mo

    Sure Mac. If you say so.

    March 3, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. James CA

    McCain is seriously misguided. Honnestly what has 'he' actually done on foreign policy other than being a war veteran? I don't understand how this is guy is suddenly the foreign policy expert? What international diplomatic missions has he succeeded in that put him in a better position than Clinton or Obama? Fighting in a war doesn't make him an automatic foreign policy leader if anything it probably has a negative personal effect which will ultimately effect his judgement.

    March 3, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |

    Well. John, your phone will not ever be ringing in the
    White House on Pennsylvania Ave.because you will
    not be winning this race.

    Republicans and the cronies that represent our people
    have just about overdone your welcome in the Senate
    and Congress. Go independant if you want to stay in
    Politics. Bush ruined it for all of you: not that you are not
    also responsible for the mess you have made.

    No more big shots for me.

    OBAMA 2008

    March 3, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. cathy

    Probably, but it's the other 23 hours that scare us

    March 3, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  11. Lonnie- Toledo, Ohio

    Actually bond it's $12 billion dollars a month, but your point is so very true and valid. McCain is a war monger just like Bush. He wants to take his revenge from being an 8 year P.O.W. out on the next country that "crosses us", and maybe stay there for a 100 plus years doing so. He's a bully just like Bush is a bully. And plus he's 71-years-old. People can say age doesn't play a factor but most Americans know that it does. This is not discriminatory towards the elderly, it's just when I'm that age I hope to be retired and enjoying life, NOT TRYING TO RUN THE MOST POWERFUL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD...FOR THE FIRST TIME!

    And it's so easy to say let's continue with the war when you don't have sons, daughters, and relatives over there fighting and dying for a lost cause.

    March 3, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. McGyer, SD

    Hillary started this mess. If any of them are not ready to pick up the phone at 3:00am, we're all in trouble. Hell, just hire a 3:00am phone operator, let him/her pick up the phone. Jeesh–this is silly.

    March 3, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Sharon

    You Rock McCain! Notice the only one not resorting to copying other people's ads and simply changing a few things to use them for himself. That's our next President! Woo Hoo!

    March 3, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. Brian from Los Angeles

    McCain is great. He will keep our taxes low , keep us safe, and our government small. You want a stronger environment, and more money for yourself, don't vote for a liberal democrat.

    Hey democrats, we had an experiment of which system works best between socialism (democrat's dream) and capitalism with low taxes (republican's dream) and it was Korea.

    North Korea lost the argument. Wake up democrats. Tip for those on the left, if you want to increase the tax revenue you need to lower taxes not increase them.

    Why, because the tax base shrinks when you punish business!

    March 3, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. capodicapi

    sorry bond is it 12 billion dollars or 12 milliion dollars? the republicans are killing that country. texas for Obama!

    March 3, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. J.K.

    Hillary has defined herself in a way that ensures she will always be considered a fledgling beside John McCain. The only candidate capable of drawing a contrast in this race that is favorable to the Democrats is Barack Obama.

    March 3, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Nikole

    CHARLOTTE–This post is not about Obama, but since you mention it, HRC does not want to compare her record of making mistakes against his.

    March 3, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Lonnie- Toledo, Ohio

    Charlotte, are you really comparing a property deal gone wrong to a war in a Iraq that has cost thousands of soldiers their lives? Honestly? I would rather him make a bad deal with Rezco and make the right judgment on the war, than vice versa. Properties come and go but the life of a humans being doesn't.

    March 3, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. Kevin

    John McCain seems to forget that legislative experience does not equal executive experience.

    March 3, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. Charlotte

    Quit worrying about McCain, it won't be him answering the phone. It will be Hillary!

    March 3, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain might confuse the red button for the red phone at 3am in the morning and say he thought he heard a bomb ringing in his ears. He's just too old.

    March 3, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. rd3

    How could anyone but McCain claim they are the most equipped to handle that phone call.

    If there was a threat to our national security Obama would do what? Give a 3AM rally speech. Clinton would hide our troops and try to offer everyone attacking us cheap healthcare.

    March 3, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. ne,pa

    McCrypt couldn't find the phone at 3 AM!

    March 3, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. kerry d

    it is so fun to watch the democrat party supporters on this CNN site make such fools of themselves. rush is right, let us watch the dems tear the heck out of each other, while the only man left qualified stands tall and presidential. John McCain, the President we will trust to keep us safe.

    March 3, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. Pat M Canada

    Right John .... By the time you and your Cane get to the phone, there will be no one on the other end and they will have called Hillary!

    America doesn't need Old Men and More War Mongers who enjoy spending Trillions to hear the noise of guns and IUD in the distance!
    Just put in a War CD for entertainment and save all Nato's Economies!

    March 3, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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