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. Grif

    Obama's Tribe. Should have more respect for their Future President.

    John "Man of the Moment" McCain..!!!!

    April 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Mandi Locke

    Even though it is true that McCain is a warmonger, it shouldn't have been said and I am satisfied with the response from the Obama campaign.

    April 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |

    you lose my vote mccain,u started the war that you can not finish

    just wait and see how obama is goin to teach you lesson in general election ,you think that you are strong?

    April 5, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Frank Lee

    Um, John – If the shoe fits..................................

    April 5, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Jimmy Needles

    Would McCain rather be called a war criminal?

    April 5, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Daniel Jenkins

    Sorry McCain, but supporting and furthering this illegal and immoral war in Iraq does indeed make you a warmonger. Truth is harsh. Be a man and accept it.

    April 5, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. ZedLoch

    Warmonger: One who advocates or endorses war.

    "Bomb bomb Iran." –John McCain

    nuff said.

    April 5, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. jimmy

    If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

    April 5, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. John Tighe

    Mc Cain is a warmonger. He wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years, and he thinks bombing Iran is funny; it seems the shoe fits to me.

    April 5, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Jenny Sprowl

    Perhaps Obama should not have said it like that.. But it is the truth. I really think that Mcain likes war. He wants to keep it going. Lets just get our people home and end the war that never should have been.

    April 5, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Edward Stamm

    McCain is the one who 'sang' : "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran". That sounds warmonging to me.

    April 5, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. irishspacemonk

    Give us a break CNN this is not news. Warmonger is not a word that can't be used to describe someone who advocates war policies. It's the truth.

    April 5, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Sheila

    I agree the term war monger is a little strong, but you cannot go on the campaign trail and tell folks, I'm sorry my friends, but there will be more war.. He should be talking about what he is going to do to end this war and talk about what changes he will make on the foreign policy issues to prevent more war..This is what the Republicans and Democrats and Indy's want to hear.

    April 5, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. A CANUCK

    Why is Obama responsible for every idiot that makes a dumb comment. For goodness sake leave the guy alone. He has more
    important things to think about .....like winning this election...........
    AND HE WILL...........GOBAMA2008

    April 5, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. CM

    Sorry, John: if you actively promote and justify an illegal, preemptive war - and then argue for that war's extension into connected areas - you are, by definition, a warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Obama Richardson

    Hopefully Obama will denounce, reject, or whatever it takes to rubber stamp this langauge. Since he wasn't present when it happened, let's give him a fair chance to do that.

    April 5, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. MK

    Please someone with some common sense and intellect explain to the world WHY Sen. Obama has to apologize for the speakers remarks and WHY is he being condemned for what other people are saying??? Sen. McCain wants an apology because??? He is a self identified WARMONGER...He supports the Iraq war and said he would continue the Iraq war if he is elected.

    April 5, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. Tim Granger

    John McCain IS a militarist. I have no doubt that we will have a draft within 1 year of his election, should that happen, because he will invade Iran. Of course, Hillary is not far behind him. Senator McCain is Bush Lite. His foreign policy will revolve around the continuation of the Bush empire building doctrine that has lost us all credibility in the world.

    April 5, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. bk

    Obama don't care as long as he gets their vote. His arrogance is really getting annoying.

    April 5, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. jason

    "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,"

    and as it's true that the war should have never been authorized, and McCain is continuing to promote this undesireable thing, that makes McCain a, yes, warmonger.

    April 5, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Natalie

    Barack Hussien Obama has used these same tactics all along, one of his workers made the comment but not him, Bull. Our Millitary, our Veterans put their live on the line for this country, My husband is a vietnam veteran, the remark is offensive, stop playing patty cake with Obama. Expose him for who he really is a Politician that will do anything underhanded to win.

    April 5, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. ED

    HEY JOHN it is ok for you to promote and use war experience to further your agenda , but when someone calls it what it really is you right wingers want to call foul . You background and behavior will arise many times before the election and you will have many more chances to cry foul, and get a chance to prove them wrong [IF they ARE wrong Have a nice day.

    April 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Terrell

    When John McCain denounced the guy at his campaign he was standing backstage.

    Barack apparently wasn't even at the event yet. Warmonger no, for a war that has no successful military outcome only a political one dealing with reconciliation or agreement between the groups in the country that would be him.

    Barack will get right on denouncing AND rejecting those remarks if that will make John happy.

    April 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Morton

    Why should Obama distance himself from the warmonger remark. McCain is a warmonger. When someone sings "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" to the tune of a pop song that person is not a peacenik. McCain is without a doubt a warmonger. If he is elected heaven help this world.

    April 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. jason

    what? I thought McCain was proud of being a warmonger? Aren't most republicans? Isn't that their "platform" or whatever? Continue the disaster in Iraq?

    April 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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