May 30th, 2008
02:25 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain admits mistake in using Petraeus picture for fundraising

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" A fundraising e-mail sent to McCain supporters Thursday."]

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (CNN) - John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for president, said he was wrong to use an image of Gen. David Petraeus in fundraising material, and it "will not happen again."

His admission came hours after the Barack Obama campaign criticized an e-mail showing McCain shaking hands with the general who has been commanding U.S forces in Iraq.

It was not the first time McCain had used the picture of himself with Petraeus; it appeared on the candidate's website for several days in April before being taken down.

McCain has been hammering Obama for days over the length of time been since the Democratic front-runner last visited Iraq, mentioning Friday it was "873 days."

"I have visited Iraq on many occasions because I think the most vital decision that any president of the United States can make has got to be about the security of this nation and the lives of the young Americans who are serving," McCain said in an e-mail to supporters sent Thursday afternoon.

Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently took the unusual step of admonishing all members of the military to stay out of politics as the presidential campaign heats up.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (362 Responses)
  1. Teddy

    Military is supposed to be independent of parties according to constitution. It is wrong for McCain to use any military leaders as an advantage. There is no doubt Petraeus would prefer McCain. In fact, most generals are Republicans. But they cannot endorse anyone.

    John McCain quickly admitted the error. I do not think it will hurt McCain. In fact, it actually might help McCain because the Iraq war is going fine now. McCain proposed the surge years before Bush administration adopted the proposal. In fact, very few politicains were willing to support the surge one and half years ago. McCain was one of the only few. Now, he is trying to take the credit. Anything about Iraq war might actually help him now.

    Obama needs to focus on the cost of the war. He cannot just say he opposed the war at the beginning. I was 100% against the Iraq invasion (about 70 to 80% Americans supported at that time!) because U.S. did not have rights to invade another country. Now, U.S. must help Iraq to rebuild.

    U.S. and its European allies have destroyed Serbia and did not do anything to help that country to rebuild. Now, we Americans destroyed Iraq, and we would just simply leave?

    May 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. Elizabeth, NC

    McCain, if you want to shake someone's hand so much to raise money and raise your standing in the polls go shake McClellan's hand at the same time begging for his forgiveness.

    May 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. carlos

    No one can accuse McCain of useing the Military, they love him and he
    will do his utmost to protect them.

    May 30, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Geoff

    McCain will continue to sell Iraq with CNN as some kind of sick honor.... or highschool dignity "we can't surrender" when 650,000 civilian Iraqi's have died for a military plan that is supposed to solve a polical solution in which not even an objective with goals has been put out after 5 years. Plans on other countries per McCain "set list of things they need to do...if so then talk". Question McCain... if you're not going to exercise your political position as president for diplomacy, who will? Isn't that your job.... to prevent war for your people?

    May 30, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Brian

    McCain is a disgusting and DIRTY politician he will sell his soul for the presidency!

    In another point: How many times did President Bush tour Iraq before invading it?????? Oh, you have to tour in order to STOP American men and women dying but not if your FOR American men and women dying.

    May 30, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Joy

    I remembered why I disliked McCain when he ran against Bush–sarcastic, sly and whines when he is criticized but can sure dish it out. McCain has been honored many times as a war hero which I also respect. However, I do not believe that necessarily makes him the expert in the Iraq war.

    May 30, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. H Arnold; Chicago IL

    Americans you can vote for Senator McCain if you want but be ready to send your sons and daughters to an additional war (Iraq) and get ready for extremely high oil prices.....The middle easterns do not like him and they will turn up the anti to protect themselves and their oil reserves.....He has zero strategy to deal with the oil situation in our country and more Americans will suffer. I am also afraid that some additional conflicts will start and when they do, the government will be forced to have the draft despite Senator McCain's promises...........

    Senator McCain talks about the war over and over again as if he is obsessed while not talking about everyday American struggles.......

    May 30, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. Kelly, Austin, Tx

    Mccain is NOT going to win this election if he keeps letting the Obama camp define what is and is not acceptable, what is and is not up for debate or scrutiny. I expected more from the Republicans. McCain is going to have to toughen up and understand that the Obama camp is going to cry foul on ANY issue and try to back McCain into a corner.

    May 30, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. Randy - Denver

    As an ex Navy enlisted, retired, MMC/SS 21 years, I can tell you that the Military takes disciplinary actions against those in uniform who publically support ANY candiadte or political party. While you wear the uniform of the United States YOU SPEAK FOR THE UNITED STATES. Every person in the military is taught this and any person who was EVER in the military Knows it is enforced. For general Petreaus to have allowed this is unforgiveable, for Mr. McCain to say it was a mistake is also unforgivable! I have seen enlisted people demoted in rank for less, seen them demoted for having a bumper sticker on their car when they drive to work in uniform. This IS NOT allowed. Pure and simple. Both Mr. McCain and general Petreaus should be ashamed of this action and general Petreaus should be held accountable by a Courts Marshall and recieve, as a mimimum, a letter of reprimand.

    May 30, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. a vote for MCCain is a vote for the same

    Iraq,Iraq,Iraq..Iraq is all that John McSame knows.What about Afghanistan?Isn't Osama Bin laden in Afghanistan?What happened to finding him and punishing him for killing our American's here at home.I ask of you Mr MCCain why did the our troops have to die in Iraq? what was the purpose of them dying ? WAs it for Oil like you stated a few weeks ago and the media let that story die down

    May 30, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. John

    Lets get real obama is for aborton were over half a million babies are killed every year . SO He is clearly for the murder of Children. Why would anyone want that type of person to be their president .

    May 30, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  12. Outside America

    l think the whole world would like to see Obama as the president of united state of America. l swear is just a pity that people outside America does not vote, like 90% of world popultion would have vote Obama. Mccain is just talking Rubbish. Please American we need a man like Obama to leed us.

    May 30, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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