June 11th, 2008
04:05 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain's latest Iraq comments draw fire

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/11/art.mccainiraq.ap.jpg caption="The Obama campaign is attack McCain over his recent Iraq remarks."] (CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign seized on an interview Wednesday by presidential rival John McCain where he said the date when U.S. troops can begin to withdraw from Iraq is "not too important."

The Arizona senator made the comments on NBC's Today Show where he was asked if he had an estimate of when a withdrawal process may be possible.

"No, but that's not too important," McCain replied. "What’s important is the casualties in Iraq, Americans are in South Korea, Americans are in Japan, American troops are in Germany. That’s all fine. American casualties and the ability to withdraw; we will be able to withdraw."

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Obama surrogate and former presidential candidate John Kerry said McCain consistently confuses facts about the war and is "unbelievably out of touch."

"It is unbelievably out of touch and inconsistent with the needs of Americans and particularly the families of troops who are over there," the Massachusetts senator said. "To them it’s the most important thing in the world when they come home. It’s a policy for staying in Iraq."

Later when asked if calling McCain "confused" could be taken as a shot at the 71-year-old senator's age, Kerry said that suggestion was "unfair and ridiculous."

Meanwhile, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the Obama campaign is launching "a false attack."

“The Obama campaign is embarking on a false attack on John McCain to hide their own candidate’s willingness to disregard facts on the ground in pursuit of withdrawal no matter what the costs," he said.

"John McCain was asked if he had a ‘better estimate’ for a timeline for withdrawal," he also said. " As John McCain has always said, that is not as important as conditions on the ground and the recommendations of commanders in the field."

UPDATE: In a conference call Wednesday afternoon, McCain supporter Joe Lieberman said he's dissapointed with the Obama campaign attacks.

“This is exactly the kind of partisan political game the American people are sick and tired of," he said.

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (380 Responses)
  1. Terry


    June 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Welcome Hillary Supporters

    I'd like to welcome all the Hillary Clinton supporters to the republican party and thank you for coming to your senses and backing the best candidate, John McCain.

    Together we can:

    1) help reverse Roe v. Wade and make abortion illegal – let's stop the murder of unborn babies!

    2) stop gays from getting married – let's get a constitutional amendment to stop gay marriage and let them know they are not normal!

    3) keep fighting the good fight in Iraq for as long as it takes – remember 9/11 and what we are fighting for!

    4) get ready to invade Iran – we know they are planning to nuke us – let's get them first! McCain will make sure we do!

    Good to see democrats finally waking up and becoming more conservative!

    June 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. McCain08

    McCain will lead the way. We will win in Iraq with him as our leader.
    Hillary supporters welcome to the right side. We will have a push this time to stop the MURDER of babies. Glad that you have seen the light and will vote McCain this time. Obama is for gay rights and we need to keep marrage between a MAN and a WOMAN. They want to uphold Roe V Wade but we will shoot it down now. It is my hope that with your help we can overturn some of this left wing stuff.
    Vote Life Vote McCain08

    June 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. mollygonz

    McSame please go away! Everything you say lately is a total gaffe and then you deny it. I am a military wife who is an Obama supporter because atleast he has sense enough to work on a withdrawl method whereas you have no idea!! I hope and pray you do not become president because then our military will be in such dire straights. They are bad enought right now. They don't need to be burdened for years to come.

    June 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Peter

    Enough already.

    GO HOME MCCAIN!!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Uncle Sam

    Are you still grateful that the Obama campaign promised a new kind of politics?


    June 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Peter


    What's this about Bill Clinton canceling his speech at UCLA?

    June 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Alice in Florida

    I bet CNN has an altar to Obama in their employee lounge where all the employees can go worship their God and leave offereings.

    June 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. David Goldman for OBAMA









    June 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. IAMWMD

    Tales from the McCrip has to stay the course after making promises to George Dubya Bush for raising money for his so called Straight Talk Express which is being driven remotely by none other than Carl Rove.

    June 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Down with Obama

    Meanwhile, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the Obama campaign is launching "a false attack."


    Everything about Obama is false!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. Yasriel

    Is this the man Clinton supporters would like to vote for? If they do, then it shows that they were not supporting her for the issues rather for other reasons far removed issues.

    June 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Mb

    Staying in Iraq is not the same as staying in Japan, Germany or South Korea. They do not have a part of thier citizenry that would die to remove us from their country. Why can't we as Americans accept the fact that we should not be in every country in the world militarily.

    June 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. b black

    McAdulterer, has lost his mind!
    obama 08!

    June 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. The Clear Thinking Independent

    On the Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    When asked about his energy plan and any relief that he could bring Americans from the rising price of gasoline before before the election, Senator McCain said,

    We need alternate energy solutions. We need new battery technology that would allow a car to travel 100 miles.

    When the interviewer expressed skepticism that battery technology was likely to advance it that period of time, Mr. McCain stayed on point and did not waver.

    I have a couple of problems with this.

    The 1st is, we already have batteries that meet his threshold; he is uninformed / out of touch.

    The 2nd is that, when someone tried to point out the flaw in his position, instead of reconsidering, he " stayed the course".

    June 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Damian Salter

    Keep digging that hole McCain. By the November you'll be all the way to China. At least while you're there, you'll be able to ask for a trade debt reduction!

    June 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |

    Typical mcPig Repig comment.
    He is out of touch. He won't make the best choices for our country.

    June 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Former Clinton / Now Obama

    The audacity of John Mccain!! He is so out of touch! He is not listening to Americans. Former Hillary supporters do we really want to vote for a man that doesn't understand what is going on!! I'm just as hurt as you are but come one. He is pro-life, for continuing Bush economic policies and national security policies. We can't afford to let this country continue on the same path we have been going on the last 8 years.

    Obama 08

    June 11, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. MD

    McCain is right. You all know what he meant. Kerry continues to be unimportant on national and international issues – though he knows a lot more than Obama.

    June 11, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. Herman in LA

    What a joke, he makes me sick on the stomach... If a black man was this old and running for president and making this many mistakes he would be hung and thrown out to dry.

    June 11, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. rice, bryan

    too bad he won't remember saying this either. kinda sounds like reagan, and iran contra doesn't he?

    June 11, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. McCain Democrat

    Should I support a candidate for whom a majority of his supporters can't name any of his accomplishments?

    Former Clinton Supporters for McCain '08

    June 11, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. George

    He is running for the Bush's third term and how he will withdraw troops from Iraq. Some idiots still support this guy and they want more blodd in Iraq. shame on you guys who support Bush's third term

    June 11, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Why is there no mention on CNN home page of the filing of 35 Articles of Impeachment against Bush by Kucinich?

    June 11, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    McCain is just off to an awful start for his general election campaign now that he actually has a competitor. Why does he keep saying such things? Maybe he truly is out of touch with what Americans in this country are going through. And now he is going on some world tour to Canada, Mexico and Columbia. This man is out of touch with Americans and is obviously not trying to get in touch with us.

    Lets all vote Obama 08!!!!

    June 11, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16