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. ne,pa independent

    McBush certainly is a warmonger, and he's beating the drum for a war with Iran.
    This man is not mentally sound.

    April 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Jim

    The dictionary definition of warmonger– one who advocates or attempts to stir up war.

    Well, sounds like the shoes fits!

    John-Boy has been nothing if not an advocate of this Iraqi quagmire.

    April 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Cammie

    It sounds like Ed Schultz, whoever he is, is a bit of a nitwit.

    April 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Albert

    Does John McCain think that we don't remember his "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" remark. If the shoe fits, use!

    April 5, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. Navy Veteran

    Excuse me but wasn't it McCain who sang recently, "bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran" on a nationally broadcasted televised conference? Yes, would be the true answer to that question. McCain is a warrior.

    April 5, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Ted Chase

    "Warmonger" is the perfect word for John McCain and his ancestors.

    April 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Ron

    John McCain IS a warmonger...with an apparently fragile psyche.

    April 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. angie

    Just more proof Obama isn't mature enough to take the job!

    This man needs some humble pie, go back to chicago!!!

    April 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Dave

    When you support the pre-emptive doctrine, you ARE a warmonger. The only moral way to use the force and might of the US military is in self defense.

    April 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Mike, Kalamazoo, MI

    Trying to link Obama to Saddam Hussein by repeatedly emphasizing Obama's middle name is in no way comparable to calling McCain a warmonger. The fact is, McCain helped launch an illegal war when there was no immediate threat of harm, and wants to continue that war for the next 100 years. How is "warmonger" not an appropriate term?

    April 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. pacheco

    I dont think Obama should denounce every thing his fan says.

    This is politics, besides will Mcain denounce everything his fans have said about Obama such as the right wing talk show hosts.

    April 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. Independent

    he apologized as soon as he heard about it. End of discussion.

    April 5, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. nadeem

    I don't know why he is criticizing Obama.

    This was not an Obama event, and both Hillary and Obama spoke there. It was a North Dakota Democratic Party event, not organized by Obama and he did not select the speakers the NDDP did.

    McCain is tying Obama to it because he knows he will have to face him in the fall.

    April 5, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. Sharon Minnesota

    McCain is a moderate, not a warmonger. The Obama campaign should stop their twisting of his remarks about the "100 year war".

    He's no George W. Bush as some would like to make him out to be.

    April 5, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. Gary

    No, I couldn't possibly believe the man who stood in front of an audience and sang "Bomb, bomb Iran" could be a warmonger.

    Must have been somobody else that did that.

    April 5, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Marguerite

    Oh for pete's sake, he IS a warmonger – McCain backed the war in Iraq, signed every bit of funding on it that Bush pushed through and wants to keep troops in Iraq for at least 10 & up to 100 yrs if necessary – he also advocates war with Iran. Just because he was a POW doesn't mean he's for peace – quite the opposite, he seems fine with war and with providing both his own sons and others for continuing with war. Let the republicans get over themselves – they need to watch the rumours and lies that their own insidious people start before worrying about truthful attacks against one of their own.

    April 5, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Dave Young

    Remarkable, and unfortunate for supporters of John McCain, is the
    fact he is a warmonger. One would think he was never a
    prisoner of war in that infamous war we should also never have
    become involved in – Vietnam. He opposed our troop presence
    in Haiti, Somalia and practically everwhere else but he thinks we
    should be in Iraq. He's a warmonger for Iraqi oil and U.S. corporate
    control of it.
    If elected his time in office will prove worse and more costly in lives
    and money compared to the other warmonger, George Bush.

    April 5, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Jazz

    When compared to the Obama campaign everyone will soon realize,
    John McCain is the candidate of hope and unity. He didn't hesitate to denounce and apologize for the comments of Bill Cunningham. You're going to have to give'em hell John.

    April 5, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Political Jonze

    Bomb, bomb bomb
    Bomb, Bomb Iran.

    April 5, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Richard Schladen

    If you back Bush's War, you ARE a warmonger. It is a purposeless war which hurts this country and benefits no one except companies like Blackwater, Boeing,etc.
    You can attack my patriotism but how patriotic is it to get over 4,000 young Americans killed with many more terribly injured while you sink us very deeply in debt for NO good reason.

    April 5, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. CHERYL


    HAH!!!!! WHAT A JOKE!





    HE NEEDS TO GO!!!!!!


    April 5, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. cb

    Get used to it, McCain. This is what Obama and his campaigners are all about – negative personal attacks and self-righteous, self-serving statements.

    April 5, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. 2sense

    What does Hillary say? If she plans on running against McCain she should weigh in. She is slowly getting marginalized.

    April 5, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. Peter

    I hope that candidates from both sides will refrain from speaking at events where radio talk show hosts get up and address the crowd.

    Just about every radio talk host is a self-serving rodeo clown who is determined to promote his or her radio show by attracting attention to themselves in any way possible, and to promote division in the American political scene because, without polarization, these clowns would have no easy arena to work in. Much easier to have clear, politically-driven heroes and villans, and blame every problem known to man on the other side neat and clean. I am talking about BOTH right and left. Recent comments at events by Bill Cunningham, Randy Rhodes and, of course, the greatest self-promoter since P.T. Barnham–Anne Coulter, and now Ed Shultz, just re-enforces my view that these people are more decedents of Walter Winchell than of Walter Cronkite.

    Candidates should steer clear of these superficial parasites.

    April 5, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Vince

    Ah, I see, another well done attack by Obama.

    As long as he doesn't say anything, he can come back and say he didn't believe that.

    When will America wake up and see that he plays the politic games more than anybody?

    April 5, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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