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. hmmm

    So I noticed some new attacks on Obama now include likening him to Carter and also referring to him as a Socialist/Marxist.

    This won't work on me because a. I wasn't cognizant during the Carter years but I am aware that republican policies in place today have failed in all fronts (foreign policy, domestic, and the economy) and the republican nominee wants to continue practically every single one of these failed policies and b. I happen to be educated and I know that socialism means that the state controls and owns everything and that is clearly not what Obama or any Dem for that matter stands for. I find it ridiculous that you have the gall to use this argument when the current President has basically abused his executive office powers, making a mockery of checks and balances, and dragged this country through the mud for the last 8 years.

    So try again Republicans, the people are waking up to your tired smear tactics and this time, even Rove won't be able to save you -you're going down!

    June 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Dickson

    Mcsame is just as confused as President Bush who is now regreting his comments preceeding the Iraq war. To the vindictive Hillary supporters who want to vote for Mcsame may God help you all, your shame will be full when Obama is sworn in as our next President come January 09.

    June 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. FL-Steve

    I'm a veteran and I like Obama. I don't see what a lot of people are saying are "scary" things that Obama is does. What I would like to know is:

    What is so scary about Obama?

    What is your evidence?

    How can you support a candidate that self admits that he knows nothing about the economy or anything else much besides the war? (He's only running on that one item. Past that, he doesn't have any substance)

    Do you really think Roe v. Wade will be repealed? (That's a matter of law, not what the President wants. Otherwise, Bush would have already done so.)

    I don't see any problems with gays being married. What they do in the privacy of their own homes is their business, not yours and not mine.

    Do you really think that the war in Iraq and 9/11 were tied together? You would believe anything then. I've got some desert property here in Florida for you to buy. Lots of heat and no humidity. For Iran to attack us, they have to have a good reason. They don't want to come over here and live. They like where they're living right now. If we were to be wiped off the face of the earth, the entire global economy would collapse, and they realize that. They aren't stupid, unlike some people.

    June 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. pj4521

    Now, now, let's not be too hasty to judge Senator McCain. I understand that he often times told his friends at the Hanoi Hilton that his release date was not important. At least he is consistent.

    June 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. NickNas

    Getting OUT OF Iraq is McCains LOWEST Priority. Just Like Bush he knows the longer we stay there the more BILLIONS they can get out of congress to give to their friends.

    Ask yourselves this. WHY can the U.S. crank out the worlds best trained people in the ARMY, NAVY, AIRFORCE and MARINES in 90 Days of Training but the Iraqis have had YEARS to train and still can't do ANYTHING by themselves???

    Saw reported this morning that Iraq is talking buddy buddy with Iran saying they don't want us there anyway so WHY????

    If we made them self sufficient then WHERE WOULD WE SEND ALL THOSE BILLIONS every month????

    Get it?

    June 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Rosaleen M. Mackay

    My response to Lo-Jack is that part of the reason we have so many veterans is because people like McCain and Bush pushed for a war that was not merited. I was fully behind going into Afghanistan– even though any war is problematic on so many levels– for we had clear intelligence that the 9/11 masterminds came from training camps within that country. Perhaps if we had spent our resouorces their, we might have caught Bin Laden and helped Afghanistan get back its life, one not policed by the Taliban

    June 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Peter

    And Mit would probably legalize poligamy again. He's their prophet dontcha know.

    June 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Crush Rush

    He reminds me of that poor horse with two broken legs.Hes down and out,right out of the gate.

    June 11, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. flavoter

    Everyday McSame continues to sound and look older and older. And I worry about that and what those years in captivity have done to him mentally. He reminds me of the jokes of Reagan being so old he may press the red button by accident. What I see is my grandfather having a ( everyone just leave me alone moment, then not recalling it). McSame will send our kids off to war and want be able to recall it.

    No matter who he picks as VP McSame would still be the President....SCARY

    June 11, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Axis of Evil - OBAMA

    Obama fans are Childish. Whats with all the name calling. No wonder us Hillary supporters don't want to support him. I dont want people to think Im one of YOU!

    June 11, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. portland dem

    Should somebody ask McCain to clear up his opinion of well run foreign policy?? He's been trying to make Obama look weak on foreign policy because he wants to TALK to Iran for ages, but now his mentor and idol, W, is in Europe right now pushing for diplomacy with Iran. I guess he missed that memo.

    June 11, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Steve

    How is it that an article about McCain becomes something about Hillary in the blogs? Give it a rest already! Hillary lost. She will not be back in 2012. She will be in jail (watch the Peter Paul case...it will be entertaining to watch the Clintons go down in flames in a few months)

    June 11, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Democrats Rule

    There is just no contest here – McSame wants to overturn Roe! There are only three real issues here: (1) War, (2) Economy and (3) Constitutional Rights – McSame is on the WRONG SIDE OF ALL THREE OF THESE ISSUES – Makes it a real easy choice for this 64 year old, college educated white woman. I have Granddaughters and this old fool is NOT going to ruin their world!

    June 11, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    If McCain doesn't feel that withdrawing troops is important, then frankly, I'd like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry.

    June 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Michael Bower

    Yep, let's keep that hate flowing, boys!
    Every election is an opportunity for right-wing nazi's to try to marginalize part of the community and play gatekeeper with people's lives.
    Gay people finally receiving the same treatment that you have all come to take for granted will NOT end society as we know it. Ending a woman's right to choose (and the right to choose is not Pro-abortion, it's Pro-choice) will not stop abortions. Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11. And finally, rushing off to invade yet another country just because we hate Muslims is NOT a successful foreign policy strategy. It's time to stop the HATE, the FEARMONGERING, and the IGNORANCE!!!
    It's time for a CHANGE!
    Obama '08

    June 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Gabriel

    Welcome Hillary Supporters....-
    wow the guy below me sounds like he wants to live in Communist Country.
    Lets just take away all of our rights and free speech.
    Last I checked This was America Jack, and we need to stop being behind the times.
    OBAMA 08 BABY!!!

    June 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. L. Abraham

    Those who are smart and want better future for America will vote for Obama.

    June 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Sam

    It seems McCain realized that 100 years is not enough....
    So don't put your hopes so high, we won't be out of there even after a 100 years...

    June 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Len in Washington

    I don't care if Kermit the Frog was the Democratic Nominee...I'd vote for him over this guy.

    Of course he doesn't want to leave Iraq. What would he campaign on if not that debacle?

    Clinton and Obama supporters need to band together here folks. We cannot let this guy or any other Republican win. We just can't.

    June 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. Remi

    Does anyone know John MCCain's record on women's rights? He voted against women in the military and Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) – equal pay for equal work. (but he supports the Iraq war)

    Don't call yourself a Hillary supporter and vote for John McCain...call yourself oppressed.

    John McCain: Experience we CAN NOT afford.

    Obama/Warner '08

    June 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. OldManMcCain

    Where's all the Repu (gnant) blican trolls prentending to be Hillary supporters on this one? It's actually starting to get entertaining watching this fool become unhinged.

    June 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Belle

    CNN does not post any negative comments about Obama.

    Yellow Journalism at its' finest.

    Still waiting for Obama to tell the truth about Rezko.

    June 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. randy

    John you and your good ol boys will have it hard this summer get ready this is just a preview of what's going to spray on you this summer onward till fall. Fasten your seat belt because it will be quite a ride the last man standing.

    June 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Mary WA

    How long they stay is not all that important? Well then, how long he was a POW is NOT ALL THAT IMPORTANT! It's all in a days work, right, McCain?

    June 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. stone cynic

    This is for "welcome Hillary supporters"............I'd like to welcome you and all of yours to go to the nearest recruitment center and sign up so you and yours can fight these wars you're advocating.

    June 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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