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

McCain criticizes Obama over speaker

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Obama campaigned in North Dakota Friday.

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. Dave

    I love you Barack, but you got to apologize for this, even if you didn't say it.

    April 5, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Shutupheisawarmonger

    Correction to the previous commment
    If he wants a war let him send his son's and daughters, Bush's daughers and Mitt Romeny's son's to the war and let us see what his view would be after that. Thanks

    Obama/Richardson 08 and 12

    April 5, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. John

    How ridiculous...That's like saying that Obama shook hands with a convicted felon at a campaign speech and now he should apologize for ever coming into contact with such an undesirable. Should Obama make apologies for every person or statement the GOP happens to disapprove of? Notice McCain ends with: "I hope that in keeping with the spirit of Sen. Obama, that they condemn, that Sen. Obama will condemn such language..." funny how he asks for an apology while putting a label on his opponent with negative connotations. I hope the American people don't fall for such verbal tricks this time around.

    April 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. John Pittsburgh

    Obama and McCain may just be the most civil and respectful general election ever...... Good !!

    April 5, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |

    Let's see, 100 years in iraq, i guess that makes him a tourist not a warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. NW Independent

    Yes, but when a speaker at a John McCain event crossed the line Senator McCain made it very clear that he would not tolerate those types of actions.

    I guess Senator Obama doesn't have the integraty Senator McCain possess?

    April 5, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. F. Lynn

    Why would Barack denounce it? He didn't say it? Is this the trend now? Whenever anybody says something people don't like Barack has to apologize or denounce it? Stick up for your self McCain and stop crying so much, man you remind me of Hillary!

    April 5, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. SUE, Michigan

    I think that someone who says we will be in Iraq for 100 years could indeed, be labeled "warmonger." If he doesn't like the term, maybe he should rethink his stand on war. It is going to hurt him this fall.

    April 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Gobama

    A 'warmonger' is a lover of war as primary solution to problems or to create problems.

    John McCain may tease Americans from one side of his mouth that he does not care for war.
    However, when McCain's primary emphasis is to glibly sing about "bombbombbomb bombbomb Iran", and talk about 'a hundred years in Iraq', Americans would be foolhardy to not know that they would be unwisely electing a war President in Iraq, WHICH WILL MAKE AMERICA EVEN MORE UNSAFE!

    April 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Sean

    Why should Obama have to apologize and denounce everybody? Get over it people.

    April 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Henry

    McCain, what's the link between this man and the Obama campaign ? He doesn't even support Obama, why does Obama have to apologize and condemn his statements while he he wasn't even present when the guy talked and he wans't even aware of his statements ?

    We all know you're for the war, you supported it and still supports it, so we can say that, it doesn't chock me man, and you said we could be in Iraq for 100 years, so...

    warmonger ??? it doesn't chock me McCAIN, be cool man, just chill out hight ?!!

    April 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Pixie

    Of course McCain is a warmonger. According to him, invading Iraq was a good decision and staying there indefinitely constitutes victory. He can hardly wait to begin his next war and is already laying the groundwork by making numerous "gaffes" about Al Qaeda being trained in Iran. Obama spoke the truth by calling McCain for what he really is, and as we have seen, nothing makes the Republicans run to the fainting couches faster than hearing the truth.

    April 5, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Jeff

    How about 'enough already' with the denounce and renounce calls? Our dandidates will have enough to do keeping their own every thought and word on track, without having to respond to every other supporter, advocate, pastor, fund-raiser, introducer, etc etc through the campaign. I don't remember this folderoll in previous campaigns. How did we become so hyper-sensitive? Which candidate will have the guts to just say, "I'll speak for myself and no one else in this campaign" and be done with this silliness?

    April 5, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Nate

    Um, why do we have to be so P.C.? McCain is a warmonger, he wants badly to continue a war the majority of Americans don't want. He is trying very hard to continue this war, therefore he is a warmonger. Simply put, why sugar coat the truth? We are not a society of idiots who cannot see the forest for the trees.

    April 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. J. Ryles

    I understand John McCain's request for some statement from Obama regarding what radio host Ed Schultz said in calling John Mccain a warmonger. I really do not think John McCain is a warmonger, oh, but I can think for myself, imagine that, people thinking for themself.

    April 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Santiago

    I really don't see why the McCain campaign is getting all bent out of shape, because the anouncer at Obama's rally was right, John McCain is in fact a war monger, who wants to bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran, we need change in this country not more of the same

    Obama 08-12

    April 5, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. John

    This was a Democratic Party event, not an Obama Campaign event; therefore, BO has no responsibility in the matter.

    April 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. CGS


    April 5, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Sharon Olds

    Neither Obama, MacCain or Clinton should not be judged by what their supporter say about the other candidates. The media also should not give negativity so much coverage.

    April 5, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Eric



    April 5, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Independent in IA

    As much as I am opposed to Senator Obama, I see no reason to denounce truthful statements.

    April 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Jay Dee, Victoria B.C.Canada

    I Have yet to meet a veteran who has served on "active Duty"who can be called a Warmonger. That term in more commonly used by those who can clearly be identified as cowards!No Vet likes war!

    April 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Smiley from Conyers, GA

    GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Are we going to start denouncing every little thing that's said. Everyone has an opinion and no matter how insulting it may be, they have a first amendment right to say what they want.


    April 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. john

    I agree with Ed Schultz.

    April 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Allan

    My dictionary says:

    warmonger – a person who advocates, endorses, or tries to precipitate war.

    John McCain does the first two with the misguided war in Iraq and the third with Iran.

    What's the issue?

    April 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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