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. ann

    Well if Hillary isn't the Democratic nominee, McCain gets my vote. I certainly trust John McCain to protect our country more than Barack Obama! McCain was in a prisoner of war camp while BO was doing his drugs!

    March 3, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. BABucher, NYC

    There's only one way to settle this – call each candidate at 3 am and see who's most coherent.

    March 3, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. me, NY

    Hey my friend, you'd better step aside
    What does make you think you got better judgment than a 46-year-old man. Experience u gonna respond?
    And see what your experience takes us, to a illegitimated war in Iraq
    It's time to turn the page and let a new generation to take the lead of this country. The worse is you are going the same methods as the jerk G. Bush ...

    March 3, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. dick bohanon

    has he been up @ 3a.m. in the last ten years?
    (except to go to the bathroom)

    March 3, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Hillary For Ohio NOT Obama!

    He's what I call him way over the hill!

    March 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  6. Regina Brown

    Of course he is, he's already be up three times to pee.

    March 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. Judie Taylor-Texas Born and Raised



    Obama '08

    Mccain- '74

    March 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |

    Go JOHNNY!~ Now make Huckabee your running mate so you can get the conservative vote and we're set!

    March 3, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Nana

    Were Hillary in Obama's shoes, the calls for his suspension of the race would be loud and deafening. But, of course, he is Obama running for office in USA and must justify his name, religion, pastors, friends, speeches, patriotism, wife's thesis, failure to attend senate meetings while campaigning for office, etc.

    I am surprised they have not asked him to justify how he got into Harvard. But that too is just a question of time.

    March 3, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. john

    Joke McCain he so tired he has taken several weekends off, What will he do after a few stressful months in the Whitehouse go to his texas ranch for long periods OH OH that was Bush in his first term. Looks like McCain and Bush are trending into identical twins.
    This must be ther biggest laugh since McCain called himself a LIBERAL.

    March 3, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. Tom Wittmann

    I AM REALLY UPSET BY THESE IDIOTIC COMMENTS REGARDING McCains age. He being 72 at inaugration, Reagan was 75 on his second, ADENAUER in Gernany 89 when he retired,Greenspan 76 or more, as is the much admired Warren Buffet.

    if somebody is interested I am 77 abd executive Chairman of a Public company,

    I will only repeated what Ronald Reagan 75 answered to a moderator
    during a presidential debate with Walter Mondale asking him regarding his age:



    March 3, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. Judie Taylor-Texas Born and Raised

    McCain if it TAKES you this LONG to get on this 3am kick, then I sure as heck don't want you running this country.


    sLoW oLd MaN.

    Obama 08

    March 3, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Elle

    McCain is up at 3 a.m. because he takes his daily nap during the day after watching Matlock.

    March 3, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  14. You All Ought to Be Ashamed

    You Obama supporters are horrible bigots! My God, you act as if 70 is old and all 70 year olds should be treated like dirt. Remember that when you hit this age, because you probably will, and I hope someone treats you with this type of lack of respect. Only in America do we throw away people over 65. Other countries are smart enough to learn from and respect these valuable leaders. Check yourselves! The younger generation has ZERO respect for anyone or anything, including God. This will be the demise of this country. SHAPE UP!

    March 3, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. Seth

    Robert Whale March 3rd, 2008 7:26 pm ET

    Shucks, 3 a.m. is for pantywaists. What we are all dying to know is who is the best at picking up the phone at 4 a.m.? That's where we separate the men from the boys. And more to the point, how would they describe their phone-picking up technique? A manly thrust of the arm and a grunt? A crisp and decisive lift? A snappy movement like a military salute that thrills all patriotic Americans to their red, white and blue socks?

    LMAO......the best post on the ticker to date....

    I agree, its a bit old already..........

    March 3, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Dave

    I'm sure he'd be great answering the phone at 3 am, after all, that's when the old folks get up anyway. What happens at 3 PM during his afternoon nap is another story...

    March 3, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. karen

    I am a democrat but McCain better beat CLinton if she wins the nomination, because she is deceitful and racist. She claims false experience by being the first lady. She cries everytime she loses and a president can not do that. GROW UP Hillary. You should not be the first woman president, nancy Pelosi is better.

    March 3, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. Zach

    Indeed he is the best at 3AM. When that phone rings and McCain needs to press the big red button, he will not hesitate to invade or nuke Iran or whatever country he deems his enemy. With his amazing history, at 3AM I see John McCain starting no less than a major war in his time in office, leading us down a suicidal path against Iran.

    March 3, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. CG

    Hero? Yes. Best Leader-either by experience, judgement or example? Hardly. He's just the least bad candidate of an incredibly weak and out of touch GOP Field. So, let him have his Bob Dole moment in the Sun before getting roundly thrashed in the General Election. Vote Obama in 2008!!

    March 3, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  20. rachel rae + republicans

    go mccain – you are the best candidate with the best history and the best record to keep our country safe in a crisis. I just wish that people would settle down and listen to the actual issues instead of seeing which candidate has the best endorsements or the most money. All of us need to sit down and examine each of the candidates for who they really are and then go from there on their choices. I am only sixteen years old and have more common sense then people half my age. I have been following each of the candidates, write articles on each of them for my school newspaper, and am trying to get into a political program. If i don't know my candidates by now there must be something really wrong with me. I may be a girl but I do not want Hillary Clinton running this country and I do think that we need a change but Barack Obama is not the person to be doing that. John McCain is the best candidate to be running the nation and most of the old people I know ( I am a CNA at a nursing home ) stay up very late into the night and are light sleepers. LOL

    March 3, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  21. Al

    Yeah, he would be the best at 3am crisis because he's old and only needs 3 hours of sleep.

    March 3, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  22. J. "Invincible" Forbes, Independent

    I'm sort getting irritated of all this nonsense I'm reading from all of you liberal commenteers on this blog page.
    All I see many of you liberals doing is making fun of McCain, rather than attacking him on issues that have substance. Maybe that is because you liberals (and your candidates) have no real substance.
    When people make fun of someone, it many times is because they not that person is right and they are wrong.

    Check the experience between the three leading contestants (Clinton, Obama, and McCain.) If you view the evidence honestly, you'll have to conclude that McCain has the most experience.

    McCain '08

    March 3, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. Ozz

    Senator McCain, Of all the money your party spend on COMMERCALS, Why did't you hand it out to the poor and the people who's house beeing taken away from them?

    Commercals, don't work or change people mind. I had never seen a Commercial that drive to to go out and buy anything.

    LA, CA

    March 3, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. Outside of the box

    The phone would ring a hundred times, get put on hold, and then McCains people would conference in George Bush to make any decision needed.

    March 3, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. william - Georgia

    Well it is wonderful to see that the surge is working.

    I am very happy to see our tax dollars go to ensure that the leader of Iran can take a casual stroll through Baghdad.

    Give me a break. This war is not the end all and be all for McCain.

    March 3, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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