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. Former Obamabot

    The Deprogrammed for McCain '08

    June 11, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. He is the man

    McCain is the man and the 44th President of USA....

    June 11, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Sammy

    He basically said what he has been for weeks now. His main concern is casualties and its noble. So long as there are no more soldiers wounded or killed he sees no real need to leave quickly.

    Those that want to stay say either:
    A: Iraq is still a dangerous place that needs our help.
    B: Iraq is rebuilding and doing well because we are there.

    WIth those two arguments as a rationale we will never leave.

    June 11, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |





    June 11, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. kenneth

    I have never once voted Republican in a national election, however I would have voted for John McCain . . . 8 years ago. The man I see now I don't recognize at all. I realize that this is his LAST chance at the presidency but it seems this John McCain will say and/or back anything to get elected. It saddens me that after what George Bush and Rove did to him in South Carolina (debatably worse than the Swift Boating of John Kerry) that he climbed right into bed with them to gain the Republican nomination. Then tops that off by pandering to the far right wing of the party all the while talking out of the other side of his mouth to try and gain favor from independants and HRC's upset constituency. This man, this John McCain, isn't even a shadow of the man who USE to stand up for his principles . . . now he doesn't seem to have any at all!!!!!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Gadissa

    Obama 08 and 12!
    Obama 08 and 12!
    You don't like it? Cry.

    June 11, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |

    To 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... blah blah"

    1. is a state by state decision not DECIDED by PRESIDENT
    2. is also a state by state decision not decided by president.
    get your facts straight and vote accordingly. you are so misguided and backwoods. Stop voting based on what your daddy and momma told you and think for yourself .

    June 11, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Mike

    For all you BILLARY supporters:


    Remember Vince Foster!!

    Remember Vince Foster!!

    Remember Vince Foster!!

    June 11, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. Mike

    Only Weak Wimpy Women think Obama is arrogant!!

    STRONG Women recognize STRONG Men!!

    June 11, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. McCain AGAINST Womens' Rights

    Abortion is horrible. Your right to choose is a travesty.

    McCain '08!!!

    June 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Linda31

    False attack? You are once again on tape. Get with the program, you would think that since this war is so unpopular that you would be careful of what you say, guess not.

    You must be confused if you think when our troops leave Iraq is not important.

    June 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Richard, FL

    Is McCain campaigning for McCain or Obama?

    June 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Peter

    Hey everyone. CNN needs to post this.

    The Clintons and their supporters are keeing an enemies list

    Bill Clinton just "denied" this on Fox.

    June 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Don in Seattle

    McCain is simply unreal. When I watch and listen to his listless comments, dead tone and hollow words I ask myself is this who we want to lead our country? Absolutely not! He is a very nice man and has served his country well but he is NOT presidential material. He sings the same song, relies on the same old tactics and wants us to believe he is a "change" agent. Get real folks! The same old, same old and the people of America have had enough. The margain of support for Obama over McCain is increasing each week and will continue to do so as the summer goes on. The republicans will lose big in November. Yes, republicans continue to trash talk Obama as they are simply afraid of running against Obama as it is a sure fire ingredient for failure on their part.

    June 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Belle June 11th, 2008 1:48 pm ET

    CNN does not post any negative comments about Obama.

    Yellow Journalism at its' finest.

    Still waiting for Obama to tell the truth about Rezko."
    He already did. There's nothing there. Nothing came out in the trial. Rezko was convicted, there was no connection to Obama, and that's that.

    Sorry to disappoint you. 🙂

    June 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The major difference between Korea, Japan and German is that there is no currently active combat zone in those areas. Iraq is currently considered by many to be an active combat zone. There are active duty troops there needing to go on missions to kill those that would kill us.

    June 11, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Glenn

    Warmonger! McBush is totally out of touch with reality and his judgement is definitely lacking. Not surprising for an old man who has lost his bearing.

    June 11, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Len in Washington June 11th, 2008 1:48 pm ET

    I don't care if Kermit the Frog was the Democratic Nominee…I'd vote for him over this guy."
    You said a mouth full. Do you think that Miss Piggy would make a good running mate? 🙂

    June 11, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Republican for Obama

    Can he please do a better job of that SAD comb over. It is really sad.

    June 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. Hillary Supporter

    I am so upset with the DNC so I am definitely voting Republican in the fall; here are some Key reasons why I like John Mccain and why I think the 18 million Hillary supporters should switch and vote for Mccain also

    McCain has a 0% pro-choice rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood.
    * He has vowed to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.
    * McCain voted against reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for five years.
    * He voted against the restoration of the Fair Pay Act.
    * McCain voted to suspend the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993.
    * He voted to shut down the Title X family-planning program, which provides millions of women with health care services ranging from birth control to breast cancer screenings.

    I am so in love with this guy
    he is so cute
    This is definitely the change I can believe in.

    MCSAME 08

    June 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. erika morgan

    Let there be no mistake:
    Every dollar spent on an American to feed, house, employ, educate, medicate, transport, supply utilities, provide for a secure retirement; defend against injustices foreign or domestic, physically and legally, is a dollar spent building personal hope and is thus a dollar spent for a capitol gain. That means it will give back to the wealth of the nation.

    Every dollar spent on the war machine is a dollar wasted, it is a pure loss like the plastic Christmas toy that breaks bringing tears almost before the smile. In fact it would be smarter to burn the cash because then it would not foment the fear, jealousy, pain and resentment the grandparents of terrorism.

    Is America ready to be the adult? Or are we intending to continue the antics of a spoiled child turned bully, that have prevailed for the last 7 years.

    The prosperity we enjoyed during the fifties and sixties were a direct result of the GI Bill, the FHA housing loans, the CCC and New Deal, and the Marshall plan that helped rebuild what the war destroyed abroad. Whenever the Republicans dominate the economy tanks and we fall into depression! just fact.

    June 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Brian

    Now, now, Mc Flip Flop..... You know you got to be careful what you say. Seems like you support Bush on leaving the troops over there as long as needed and in the mean time let our economy suffer here. Something is not right with that picture. Dont you get it... Our troops and folks here are BOTH suffering!

    June 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. knigge

    This again shows how out of touch he is. He constantly blunders, forgets...I think the man is going senile.

    June 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Welcome Hillary Supporters June 11th, 2008 12:55 pm ET

    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!"

    Dream on! 🙂

    June 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. harry



    June 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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