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. Mike in Baltimore

    "Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb Iran" can't be viewed as warmongering?

    And what does "We'll stay in Iraq for 100 years" say about the attitude of a candidate?

    Warmongerer might be too nice a label to put on McCain.

    April 5, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Aaron

    Is there a clear distinction between being a "warmonger" and singing "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

    April 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Roy

    Obama is quick to demand people to apoligise for anything they might say about his color! His Color is a fact he cannot hide! Calling McCain a war Monger is outragous! He is a war Hero! Something Obama will never be! He should make it right with McCain! I'm not for this war and never have been, but we have to get our men out save! McCain is not the man to do it, Nor is Obama!

    April 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Sharon Minnesota

    VIP Kathy says, we have heard enough about religeon, race and warmongering in this political campaign this year. How about getting back to the real issues. Qualifications, Experience, Character, and the main issues, such as, how we are going to get our economy back on track and get our troups home from a failed war.

    Let's stop all the bickering, backstabbing and hate speaking. We need to think clearly about the issues we face as a democratic society.

    Who's got the real answers we want?????

    God bless your decision.

    McCain, Obama or Clinton

    April 5, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. BCC

    If Senator McCain is not a "warmonger", how does he explain his willingness to keep the US military in Iraq for another 100 years.

    Oh, that's right; at US military gunpoint; the Kurds, Shi'ites, and Sunni people are going to put centuries of hate behind them and form a USA style democracy.

    So, while Senator McCain is a polite and likable man, he is either a wormonger or he is delusional. Warmonger or delusional? Not a good discription for President and Commander-in-Chief.

    April 5, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. jeremy

    thats nonsense, have you used "lagood.com" ?

    April 5, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Goldie

    Should we now ask John McCain to denounce anything that any Republican, or Fox News, or Rush Limbaugh etc says about Obama? Schultz is not a part of the Obama campaign. He is a talk show host. Rush Limbaugh is a talk show host. But if Obama is responsible for some talk show hosts, according to the McCain camp, then McCain is responsible for Limbaugh. McCain will have a lot of denoucing to do.

    April 5, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Rod Tims

    War and violence are both primitive and abhorrent behaviors. If you sell fish you are a fish-monger and if you promote fighting a war for 100 years you are a war-monger!

    April 5, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. ck

    umm, I'm a Republican and I completely agree with describing John McCain as a "warmonger" because that's exactly what he is. I have a few choice descriptions for Obama and Clinton too. Which is why I won't vote for ANY of them.

    April 5, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Damond, Orlando

    I guess the saying "The Truth Hurts" is true.

    April 5, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. cf

    What's the matter with McCain? Doesn't the truth hurt sometimes?

    He is a warmonger. He chose to identify himself clearly with warmongers like Bush and Cheney, and now he doesn't like the heat in the kitchen. A warmonger, he is.

    However, he is also a bonafide American military veteran and hero, in my opinion. He simply cannot have it both ways. If he worships Bush, he becomes identified with the liar, murder, warmonger that he happens to be. If he would stand against Bush - even I would be happy to vote for him!! Frankly, I would rather vote for McCain than either of the Democrat contenders.

    But, I shall not, will not, cannot vote for McCain since he has chosen to defame his own character and hide his face deep inside Bush's sorry butthole. McCain earned every ounce of respect as a military person. He also has earned every ounce of disdain since he tacked his fortune and star to Warmonger Bush.

    That's the way it is, McCain. You divorce Bush and many of us will clamour to vote for you. You stick with Bush and Cheney and the illegal, ill-begotten, murderous invasion of Iraq and you will go down the tubes in a hurry.

    April 5, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. kays

    Calling Mccain a war monger might sound inapriopriate but this is a candidate that have consistently praise the war and still insist that the war worth fighting for despite four thousan of our dear citizen's blood been sheded in Iraq, if he is not a war monger what shall we call him? a peace maker? . If this guy get voted in as the next American president i wouldnt be surprise if he wage a war agaist iran without any justification just as his friends ,Hurricain Bush and Cheney , did and we all are paying the price now.

    April 5, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. Mary in Al

    McCain is a warmonger. He encourages war and it is for personal reason- political gain. He wants to say "we won" What is there to win? Saddam is dead. Ok,,we won. This war should stop now. It ils the first reason our gas is as high as it is and these gas prices are destroying the underpinning of the US economy. The belief that government contracts during war can cause a nation to prosper has been the misguided ,misstep of this administration. It ain't working! To borrow money for this war is insane. We will be paying on it for 100 years–at least McCain got that part correct. Senator Obama did not sponsor the event. He didn't invite the person who spoke-McCain should address the organizers of this function instead.

    April 5, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. David

    McCain is upset over being called a warmonger? Let's see.

    He supported the war – CHECK
    He is a STRONG ADVOCATE of the war – CHECK
    He calls anyone opposed to the war a "SURRENDERER" – CHECK
    He promised to continue Bush's war after he takes office – CHECK

    If he is not a warmonger, then what is he, a peacemonger?

    April 5, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Margie Miller

    Well, actually, what else would you call McCain? He is in favor of continuing the was indefinitely. I do think that's odd especially after what he himself went through in Vietnam. Is there a different word to describe someone who favors continuing the war?

    April 5, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. Sara Randolph

    Trying to figure this out. McCain was called a warmonger and wants the comment taken back, condemned, whatever. Since its true why would anyone take it back?

    April 5, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. daniel molitor

    There is far too much apologizing going on! If someone wants to call Senator McCain a warmonger....okay, he gets called a warmonger. Better his actions prove he is NOT a warmonger (tough, given his unwavering support for Bush's policies), than demand that someone who wasn't even there apologize.

    April 5, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. may

    Whatever John "Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran" McCain,

    Obama 08, 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 5, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. NB

    Shame on you Ed Shultz, shame on you!

    April 5, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  20. Kyle

    Definition of warmonger: Someone who advocates for war.

    Didn't he support the Iraq war? Didn't he sing "bomb Iran Doesn't he support staying in Iraq for 100 years?

    April 5, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Anita

    Our political candidates need to focus on what is best for our country and grow a thick hide in the meantime.

    Their sensitivities are of no consequence unless they carry that type of immaturity into office. Heaven Forbid we elect a Martyr.

    April 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. Dan in Spokane

    Why should Obama denounce or reject these words? THEY ARE HIS PLATFORM!

    That is even more silly than asking him to rebuke Reverend Wright. I think most people in this country agree with both individuals when it comes to their statements about the war and George Bush/John McCain's failed and dangerous foreign policy.


    April 5, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  23. I used to be a Democrat

    Obama really has got to get a grip if he is going to compete this fall. This is more bad news for Obama.

    April 5, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  24. Rob

    Well maybe McCain stop running his mouth about going to war with Iran and staying in Iraq forever. If you think an Iraq occupation will be like S. Korea or Germany after WW2 you're high.

    April 5, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. E. Elliott, Orlando, FL

    Not a warmonger, that title along with many others belong to the Decider. This story will last the 15 minutes it merits.

    April 5, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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