April 5th, 2008
04:58 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain criticizes Obama over speaker

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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/05/art.obama.ap.jpg caption="Obama campaigned in North Dakota Friday."](CNN) - John McCain criticized Barack Obama Saturday for not denouncing comments from a speaker at a North Dakota Democratic Party event calling the Arizona senator a "warmonger."

The comments in question came Friday evening at an event in North Dakota where Barack Obama also spoke. Radio talk show host Ed Schultz addressed the crowd, during which he criticized McCain's support of the Iraq war and called him a "warmonger." Obama was not present for Schultz's comments and spoke later at the event.

"I hope that in keeping with the spirit of Sen. Obama, that they condemn, that Sen. Obama will condemn such language since it was a part of his campaign," McCain said. "But that kind of language is unnecessary for this campaign. I think its very clear how I feel about war and my experiences with it."

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday McCain should not have been described that way.

"John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such. He's a supporter of a war that Senator Obama believes should have never been authorized and never been waged," she said.

Obama's campaign also notes Schultz is not an official supporter of the campaign and was asked to speak by the North Dakota Democratic Party, not the Obama campaign.

Meanwhile, the McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds noted the Arizona senator denounced a radio-talk show host last February who at a campaign event repeatedly referred to Obama's middle name, Hussein, while criticizing him.

"The quickness he showed in rejecting the charged environment should reinforce in the minds of voters that there are some elected officials, like John McCain, that walk the walk, and others that are only talking," Bounds said.

(3:45: Updates with McCain comments)

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (447 Responses)
  1. William

    What's wrong with telling the truth about somebody? If the truth hurts, then maybe they ought to look at themselves and decide if that's the kind of image they really want to project. But don't get all upset that someone calls you out when you say things like we should be in Iraq and will probably be there for 100 years. Or when you sing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran".

    If you don't want to be known as a warmonger, John, then don't be one.

    April 5, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. Blaine Hoffman

    What's wrong with calling a warmonger a warmonger?

    April 5, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. KW

    Once again Obama will be asked to denounce the thoughts and ideas of another supporter. This is getting rediculous and the media plays a large roll in the outcome of these kinds of comments. This guy is inot even a member of the Obama campaign staff. McCain is a grown man let him fight for himself, this has absolutely nothing to do with Obama's positions or feelings toward McCain. At this rate he will have to start denouncing the comments on the CNN ticker!

    April 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. Nick, Rochester, NY

    It is clear that Obama is a weak-minded person who has difficulty repudiating the extreme Left, first in the case of Rev. Wright and now Schultz. Contrast this with McCain's unambiguous and resounding repudiation of the extreme Right.

    Go McCain! If not, go Hillary but NEVER Obama

    April 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. fredo

    MaCain doesn't have the balls to say what he thinks, he is a flip flopper. He has been war monguering his way to the republican nomination and now he doesn't like being called what he is.

    April 5, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Tiffanie

    McCaint is a war-monger!!

    April 5, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Ron R

    Give it a rest John........for crying out loud.

    April 5, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |

    MaCain is exactly what he was called. WARMONGER

    April 5, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. Ellie

    This is getting pretty petty, I mean every time someone says something about McCain, they blame Sen. Obama. Sen. McCain needs to call the Senator who called him a "warmonger"!!

    Why is he going through Sen. Obama? Obama is NOT the Senator's FATHER.

    LET'S MOVE ON....

    April 5, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. Djools from the Netherlands

    This has already been repudiated by The Obama campaign.

    April 5, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Maggy

    Anyone who wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years is a Warmonger. Anyone who wants to stay in Iraq for another year is a Warmonger. This war MUST end so that the US can save itself from itself.

    The Bush administration has made a mess out of this country. It all started with George Bush's War. This country is close to being broken to the point of no return; we do not need a 72 year old POW with PTSD to complete our downfall.

    April 5, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. James

    Obama was mentored by a pastor for over 20 years that preaches hate and devisiveness. Obama never denounced him until it was politically expedient to do so.

    Why would anyone think he would do the right thing and denounce this statement?

    April 5, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. v.ananthan



    SAME OLD POLITICS, NOTHING NEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 5, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. Nathan

    McCain IS a warmonger. Mr. Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran, and stay the course in Iraq, supports current wars and is keen to wage new ones. That is precisely what a warmonger is–you can run from the truth Mr. McCain, but it will always catch up to you...

    April 5, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. Fran

    It's really interesting that Obama's constant excuse is that so and so is not officially part of his campaign.

    April 5, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. Chris

    "War·mon·ger·ing" \-g(ə-)riŋ\ noun : One who urges or attempts to stir up war ... Webster Dictionary
    (You be the judge)

    April 5, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. John G Charleston SC

    Seems like the least Obama could do here is denounce the comments personally and immediately.

    When the guy introducing McCain at an event a few months back referred to the Illinois Senator as Barrack Hussein Obama, McCain did not hesitate or wait for polls to come in – he denounced the comments as soon as he got on stage.

    If Obama genuinely disagrees then he shouldn't be talking through a spokesperson he should be speaking himself-he's good at talking a lot.

    This just shows that as the candidates go McCain has a great deal more honor than anyone else in the field.

    April 5, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Hey, Obama

    Up for a debate? It's easy to take shots from the campaign trail. But, if you become the Dem nominee you will have to stand on your own to feet and will not have Hillary to agree with.

    We have all seen how you hold up in a debate.

    April 5, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. TellItLikeItIs

    "Obama's campaign also notes Schultz is not an official supporter of the campaign and was asked to speak by the North Dakota Democratic Party, not the Obama campaign."

    Schultz isn't even apart of Obama's campaign or an official supporter nor was Schultz asked to speak by the Obama campaign. The North Dakota Democratic Party asked Schultz to speak which means that McCain and his campaign need to get their facts straight.

    Then again, these types of misstakes are consistent. There's definitely a problem with that when that type of person is running for the highest position in the country doesn't it?

    April 5, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. Trollmaster CA

    Why should Obama be sorry? It's true, McCain is a warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |

    Are we a bit touchy, McCain ? Sounds like you feel left out and want also 'be apologized to' .

    April 5, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. Sue, NY

    He is a warmonger....he voted, supports and feels the need to remain for an unlimited period of time...in a country that did nothing to us.
    He also teases about "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran". ...what do you call it then?

    April 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  23. jo

    Are you kidding me?!

    Grandpa IS a warmonger and needs to go take his geritol and shut up!

    Why don't these people get it right. McCain and Hillary want to always blame Obama for something that he is not responsible for.

    That speaker was not a part of Obama's campaign and has the right to say whatever they wanted ot. McCain needs to take his whining to the person who made the comments, NOT Obama.

    They are just pissed, mad and angry because the nation is finally getting it right and not falling for all the political hoopla and nonsense of yesteryear.

    OBAMA 08!

    April 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. John in KY

    If the shoe fits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. Eric

    Schultz has been shilling for Obama from day one so to say he is not an offical Obama supporter is laughable at best.

    April 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
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