April 8th, 2008
03:05 PM ET
14 years ago

Dueling petitions over McCain positions


(CNN) - As the Senate holds major hearings on the war in Iraq, a set of dueling petitions – both featuring presumptive Republican nominee John McCain – are circulating online.

Shortly after his appearance at the Armed Services Committee hearing attended by Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, McCain sent supporters a fundraising appeal that asked them to sign their names to a petition “calling on Senators Clinton and Obama to support our troops on the ground and the mission they are carrying out.”

In the message, McCain said the Democratic candidates “will surely echo the sentiments of their extreme liberal supporters and call for a pre-emptive withdrawal from Iraq. The American people deserve better.

“I encourage both candidates to move beyond empty and destructive rhetoric and elevate the debate to a level that the country deserves. There are tough decisions ahead and America deserves leaders that are up to the challenge.”

Last week, former Army General Wesley Clark’s political action committee, WesPAC, and the anti-Iraq war group VoteVets launched a petition drive urging McCain to pledge his support to a new Iraq veterans benefits bill co-sponsored by Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel.

“Why … is John McCain silent on passing a new GI Bill for our ‘new greatest generation?’” read the appeal, which linked to a petition calling on “John McCain to do the right thing and co-sponsor the new GI Bill.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Jason

    Shame on McCain for these McCarthy like tactics!
    How dare he question Clinton and Obama's support of our troops.

    That is truly, truly despicable!

    April 8, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. Craig in Texas Democrat and supporter for Obama

    Yea Mccain didnt you oppose bills that would help veterans like me.

    April 8, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. honkey white guy from cali

    well if he continues with this Obama is going to have no problem defeating him in November! How can he continue to support this occupation and still call himself an American. We are absolutely no safer today then we were before going into Iraq if not worse off and can not afford even one more year at this without seriously and permanently damaging our economy back home and are reputation around the world no one seeing the US as being a leader any longer we are falling behind other nations one after another

    April 8, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. Boye

    McCain wants to shine in the one and only thing he know, WAR. If there is no talks of war, McCain fades into the background.

    April 8, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. kim portland, oregon

    how dare you OF ALL PEOPLE accuse obama and clinton of not supporting our troops-YOU are the filthy pig who doesnt support the troops. how dare you not stand up for our troops from day one of this illegal invasion. for god's sakes, they didnt even have a freaking exit strategy-where were you then, johhny boy?!?!!? mccain you are DISGUSTING!

    people dont be stupid enough to take what this man says at face value, he is a filthy hypocrite with a foul mouth and a terrible temper--EXCELLENT qualities in a president!!!!

    read the real mccain, being released next week, and come back here and defend this dangerous, lying hypocrite!

    April 8, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. William

    I imagine that a few mindless republicans will sign such a petition since they have no mind of their own. Never think that such a tactic will work with the dems, they know better.

    April 8, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Steven - Salt Lake City, Utah

    What a stupid old school tactic. As an independent my form of petition will be a vote for the Dem that faces McCain in November. Hopefully there will be enough votes/petitions against McCain in November to end this costly war.

    April 8, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. William

    I do support the troops, I don't support this war, I don't support this president, nor will I support anyone running for president who votes to keep them there. The best way to show that you support the troops is to call for them to come home to their families.

    April 8, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. ne,pa independent

    McBush is so blood thirsty.
    His behavior shows there is no doubt he has mental issues and should never be commander-in-chief.

    April 8, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. Grace

    What a crock of bull. McCain is just trying to drum up some brownie points. He's trying to bully Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama in signing off on his petition so that he can throw it back in their faces come November.

    I mean talk about a Bush/Cheney tactic.


    April 8, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  11. bad idea

    What is this new Gi Bill?My husband is a veteran and he has received more than any americans.So before any of you condemn about anything,you guys should read the bills first before commenting.This will make you look stupid.there always a hidden agenda on the bills.
    The war is wrong nobody disputed that but if we leave now,what does it says about us.heartless...We destroyed their country at least we should be decent enought to help them rebuild their country.
    And you guys are the only ones who said that we should leave..It alway about you,you,you.how about the gi who went to that war that your congress approved it?I have a son who served in Iraq and I also have nephews,cousing,uncles who went to the Iraq war and still there. and my husband serves the war in Iraq before he retired.They dont even complaint and they gladly lay down their lives so that we are free to celebrate our freedoms and not to faces another heart breaks of 9/11.We shoukd stand behind our troops not uses them as political gains.If you guys ever think that the world was peaceful before we invaded Iraq,then you guys are stupid.It took years to create mess of a country and it also took years to rebuild it.

    April 8, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. kevin asheville

    McCain hasn't even looked at the Bill? Some champion of the vets he is? I believe him to be a tired old man all talk and he has failed to vote for vetrans on many issues. To me ..another Right wing Hypocrit

    April 8, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    Aren't we forgetting that one factor that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union was their economy, due to them being bogged down in Afganistan. Is Al Qaida just waiting for our economic collapse? They may not have long to wait!!

    April 8, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. paul oregon

    mccain sure seems to be trying to sell this war to anyone that will
    listen, sounds like awar monger to me i know some people that served in vetnaim they are war heros to . they dont sound cry baby mccain.

    April 8, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |