April 3rd, 2008
05:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Kerry: McCain's foreign policy made us 'weaker'


Watch John Kerry's interview on The Situation Room.

(CNN)—Sen. John Kerry said fellow veteran John McCain’s military background doesn’t necessarily mean he would be a good commander in chief.

“John McCain can run around all that he wants right now talking about his military experience,” Kerry told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, “but he made the wrong judgment about Iraq, he has a foreign policy that has made us weaker.”

He added that the last eight years have been a failure in foreign policy, “and John McCain has supported it in its entirety.”

McCain himself has acknowledged his support of the war in Iraq could cost him the presidency.

Pointing to former President Ronal Reagan’s lack of military experience, Kerry explained presidents have overcome not having a military background by knowing who to ask questions of, and surrounding themselves with people who do share military experience.

Kerry, who endorsed Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential run earlier this year, said military experience has value, but judgment means more. “[Obama] has a very clear vision on how to make America stronger,” the Massachusetts senator said.

UPDATE: A Republican National Committee spokesman blasted Kerry's comments. “John Kerry has absolutely no credibility on Iraq. Kerry’s attacks on Iraq ring hollow considering his inability to offer a consistent much less coherent stance on the issue," said RNC spokesman Alex Conant in a written statement. "Kerry would be better off trying to explain why Barack Obama broke his promise and voted against troop funding for our men and women in uniform.”

–CNN's Emily Sherman

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John Kerry • John McCain
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Slick Hilly

    That's funny. My foreign policy regarding Iraq is the same as McCain's. Thus, I also have made the country weaker. Hopefully Kerry won't mention that.

    April 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Frank F

    John Kerry why don't you just shut up. I voted for you last election but never again. I have lost all respect for you, Obama and you can go you know where!!!

    April 3, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Patrick

    wow...is he serious? He has the same record as McCain and used his military experience as something to campaign on. He even entertained McCain being his VP. I really regret voting for him.

    April 3, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. April in Texas

    I agree... The war isnt working and I don't see an end to it as well as neither a win or loss if McCain is elected.

    Obama 08

    April 3, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Tom

    “but he made the wrong judgment about Iraq, he has a foreign policy that has made us weaker.”

    I love that. He made the wrong judgment about Iraq. Mr. Kerry, you voted for the resolution, so don't give us that judgment baloney. And since McCain's foreign policy isn't currently being used, how can it have made us weaker already?

    Let the games of negative politics begin!

    April 3, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Matt, New York

    Wow, McCain comes to Sen. Kerry's defense during the Swift boat thing and THIS is how he repays him? By stabbing him in the back and essensialy flip flopping on somthing that HE said about HIMSELF when he ran for president 4 years ago? What a despicable human being. Then again I don't think I'm suprised.

    April 3, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Jeff in WI

    To get the moderates that McCain and Obama will be fighting over, the Obama needs to emphasize the change aspect of his candidacy.

    Obama claiming to be the better Commander in Chief compared to McCain is not something that the majority of independents are likely to buy .

    April 3, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Sony

    John Kerry why don't you run for McCain VP because your are friend right?
    Any way you flip support Obama so might be wrong again this time. Obama not going to win John McCain in general election and you not going to be Obama VP so, now flop to be McCain VP.

    April 3, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Harvey in Va

    Cant believe what he is saying...why did he have the thought of McCain as a VP....John Kerry should vote for Hillary like his state did..I lie others sorry I voted for Kerry but I will not make the same mistake twice by voting for Obama

    April 3, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. That's Reality

    No, McCain didn't make the wrong judgement about Iraq. Cut and run policies WOULD make us weaker. Hang it up, Kerry.

    April 3, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |

    Come on Kerry.
    You bored us to death when you ran for Pres.
    Now you are boring us again.
    Your pride took a shot when McCain said no to a joint ticket and now you are using the schoolgirl tactic of trying to save face.
    Not to mention you also ran on the so called experience of being in the Military.
    Does anyone care what John sKerry has to say anyways???

    April 3, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Superdelegate


    Iraq, Afganistan, Sudan, N Korea, UAE, 911, Russia,
    did I mention 911 ?

    yeah Chad, great game, I stopped playing cause i havce work to do.


    April 3, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. North Carolina

    That's pretty funny, Kerry, since you wanted him as your VP but he turned you down!!! Could it be you just say whatever seems politically expedient to get your sorry butt re-elected?

    April 3, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Angus McDugan

    What value is John Kerry's opionion anyway.

    April 3, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. AJ, IL

    Harvey in Va....

    We in the Obama camp need your support. We can't allow the Republicans to screw another 4 or 8 years. America can't afford it. Democratics Unite!

    April 3, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Indiana Voter

    "Military experience has value but judgement means more" – a comment like this from a person that is supporting Obama – a man who apparently cannot use judgement to determine that it is not appropriate to attend a church that preaches hate and racism and anti-America. I believe I will take the military experience over that kind of judgement any day.

    April 3, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. John SKERRY

    Kerry, you are an insignificant little nothing compared to McCain. Why don't you go douse yourself in some more of that Heinz ketchup?

    April 3, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |


    April 3, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Tired of W, OH

    Get real, Hanging Chad. All of those pale in comparison to the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Keep telling yourself that the Dems are the cause of all this country's problems. Any blind man can see the reality. The only thing worse than the current administration are fools that still support them. Go watch FOX or listen to Rush. I know you do both.

    April 3, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Joe

    Wait... didn't this genius vote in favor of the war in Iraq? Kerry, HRC, Carter, Spitzer – the list of arrogant, self-righteous, and hypocritical Dems who shift their moral and political beliefs as public opinion changes goes on and on. It is really sad and it is also the reason the Dems have lost two presidential elections in a row and are poised to lose a third.

    April 3, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. RealityKing

    Bad foriegn policy?

    McCain wasn't the one that killed a wounded Vietnamese soilder and then photographed himself with the deadman's weapons..., was he??

    April 3, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. jan

    I am so disappointed in John Kerry's choice to support Obama. I thought he was smarter than that. Now, I have trouble listening to what he thinks.

    April 3, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Geez

    Kerry, Obama, Clinton, and the Democrats just want to get out and are willing to lose the war. McCain wants to win the war. Winning this war will make us stronger, and losing will make us weaker. You have it backwards again Kerry...

    April 3, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. Lynn D

    I am so happy that John Kerry did not win in 2004. He is a big loser. No one cares what you have to say anymore. All of you will have egg on your face when Senator Clinton is the nominee. And she will win in spite of all of your dirty tricks and Senator Obama's dirty tricks. The race is not over guys. Far from it. Stop trying to make people believe that is over. It will backfire on you.

    April 3, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Will

    Kerry the LOSER, he could not even defends himself from the Republicans swift boating him. Can not wait to see them swift boat Obama over the flippin cliff. YES THEY WILL. THey are going to have a lot of Democrats to help them.

    April 3, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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