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. richard

    Everyone should look at Obama and Mccain's voting record.

    Obama has 85% approval for "womens issues" and 100% pro-choice.
    Mccain has 15% approval for "womens issues" and 0% pro-choice.
    Obama has 90% approval for veterans issues.
    Mccain has 40% approval for veterans issues.

    I, too, was surprised by the veterans issues numbers. I ask you all to look it up yourself to confirm.

    June 11, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. NLC frm New York

    To Christina in Chicago, IL. Let me get something through your thick head, I as a Hillary supporter regret having people like you trash her for no reason. People need to stop blaming others for what is not their problem. Hillary supporters are bitter and with people like you we will be pushed further into voting for McCain. If Hillary is future Obama's running mate then without a doubt we Hillary supporters will vote for him but if this is not done keep your comments to yourself.


    June 11, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Obama v McCain

    while eating his bran..IRAQ IRAQ!! all day long while people are asking him questions he really wants to shout SCREW THIS LETS TALK ABOUT IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT... NO SURRENNNNNNNDEERRRR!!!!

    June 11, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA


    Where exactly did you get your information?

    In the last survey they did in Iraq, with American servicemen, out of 11 only ONE said he would vote for McCain, the other ones were either Hillary or Obama.

    Get a life.

    June 11, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |

    why not let the gas price be 10 dollars. let us loose more jobs. war start with lie with no reason.....

    June 11, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. carlo

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't U.S. military bases located in generally safe areas and have military families living on them? I don't see how having a base in the Middle East makes sense. Can you see an entire base full of American people being safe ANYWHERE in a region where most of the people are angry that we are there in the first place?

    June 11, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. Kathy

    Hey Lo-Jack,
    Here's one Veteran who is for Obama!!

    June 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Franky

    "Richest 2% of americans (but they have to NOT care about the rest of us, the war, the economy, and the environment)."

    Hey, I care about you guys, LOL!!

    June 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. M

    Can I really write in Hillary's name?

    June 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. milly

    McSame should tell that to all of the families waiting for their loved ones to come home from Iraq. I'm sure he would hear a very different response. How insensitive can Gramps be? Why doesn't he re-enlist and take continuous tours of duty and see how he likes it ? It's so easy to say this when he isn't the one there.

    June 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. USAF Staff Sergeant

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

    Wow, you are something else.

    I don't support abortion, but if it's outlawed, do you know what will happen? Back alley abortions and dumpster babies.

    We are NOT in Iraq because of 9/11. Afghanistan, the war you have forgotten, is a result of 9/11, NOT Iraq.

    Calling to nuke Iran? Idiotic.

    Now I like to believe you don't really feel this way, but since the senile John McCain has this mindset, you are just supporting him.

    June 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. randy

    This is to show how out of torch john mcain is when it comes to this issue you might be a war hero but if your not right on your policies you not win an election. From what I am seeing from john mcain he is going closer to the loser lane.

    June 11, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Nicole

    my 3 yr old daughter has more sense than mcbush and anyone else that thinks staying in iraq is in the best interest of the american people. this war that should have never be started to begin with is only bankrupting hard working americans. the cost of food, gas, college education, health care etc is sky high thanks to the failed mcbush administration.

    June 11, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. AJ

    I voted for Kerry but now question his jugement. His man crush on Obama makes me believe that we are lucky he didn't get elected. He would have been just as incompetent as Bush. Too bad the realistic choice we now face is between Senator McCain and Mr. Ego in a suit. I don't know if I can stomach voting for McCain. I know I cant stomach voting for Obama.

    June 11, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. robert ga

    You mean we don't have a walmart there alread?

    Now that is unbelieveable.

    June 11, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. John in NY

    In early 2000 I loved McCain and agreed with almost everything he said. After Bush used dirty tricks to beat McCain I voted dem. I knew then b4 anyone else that Bush was too dumb to be president. Looks like I was right.

    I can clearly see that McCain is not the man he used to be. I don't know why it is. If he opposed the Bush Tax cuts and the Bush war then I could vote for him. I just don't understand how he could vote against the tax cuts and then say they are needed.

    On top of that it seems as if he mixes things up all the time now. I am not worried about him now and I am not worried about him dieing. I am worried about him a few years from now and him losing his mind.

    June 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Republican for Obama

    'Welcome Hillary Supporters'

    Great post! Those are many great reasons to vote for Obama!

    June 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Observer

    John McCain has become a permanent Prisoner Of War-mongering.

    June 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Agnostic Democrat

    For all of those hardcore, hard-headed individuals out there, who like McCain, don't get it: When you invade a country – (that hasn't "attacked" anyone in over two centuries just for the record) -based on lies, there does at some point have to be an end date.
    And again to remind you, AlQaeda in Iraq wasn't there until we INVADED! Get it?!

    June 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Kenneth M


    June 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. L mckee

    Other than the many other things I feel is wrong with Mccain, the main thing that IS evident, no matter what he talks about, is he is showing his age (seriously). You people may not want to face it but he is confused at times..it is JUST LIKE Reagan when he was in early stages of his Alzheimers, and it did show in his public appearances/speeches.It is showing publicly with Mccain...ask anyone who remembers Reagan's last year or so.

    Realistically, Mccain is too old! Shame on those of you who deep down inside know this but because of hate and partisanship will vote for him. Vote in the best interest of the country not on partylines, status quo ideas about the other party. Too many people treat it like it is JUST a contest of the two parties as if this were some college football rivalry. It makes me sick and sad that mine and many others are serving & dealing with this war while this type of bickering goes on here.

    The Iraq war SHOULD be #1 on our list, it is where all the OTHER problems have trickled down from...wake up America.

    June 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Uncle Sam

    "I know John. My Democrat friends may not like to hear me say this, but John hates war and he would do everything he could to get us out of Iraq." (Sen. Joe Biden in a 2008 televised interview)

    Americans for McCain '08

    June 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Ron, LV

    The real question is why do we have all these bases in all these countries around the world? In many of these countries, the local inhabitance don't want us there. Also how much does it cost us here at home to have all these troops stationed all over the world? Why can't most of these countries support and protect themselves instead of us doing it?

    June 11, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Vote Nader

    To FactCheck 1:18,

    Sen. McCain did not use that word, a lady at one of his town hall meetings did.

    I am positive the accusation that he called his wife that has been proven untrue several times.

    I know nothing of the pay issue, although the President doesn't set salaries so it doesn't really matter what opinion he has on that.

    Again, the President does not make or interpret law so I wouldn't worry too much on Roe v Wade. I have not yet heard him claim that ruling needs to be overturned either. He has stated he will appoint strict constitutional judges to any open positions. And if you really think an issue such as this would ever be overturned you're crazy. It may be defined more completely, but never fully overturned. Stick to the issues that are actually, well, issues.

    Nader/Gonzalez 2008

    June 11, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Amy

    Mccain is for war and more war.

    June 11, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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