June 12th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
11 years ago

McCain 'pleasantly surprised' by Iraqi leader

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BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) - Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that he is "pleasantly surprised" that the Iraqi prime minister "is now behaving like a leader."

The presumptive Republican nominee for president told about 450 supporters at a Boston fund-raiser that the Iraqi government has made notable progress in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul. The Iraqi military, supported by U.S. troops, has launched major offensives in those cities to wrest control from militants.

"That was the whole idea behind the surge," he said. "Go in, hold, clear, establish order and then have the Iraqi military and government take over. And then we can withdraw and then we can come home in victory with honor, not in defeat."

McCain has criticized his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, for proposing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

McCain spoke at an event that his campaign said raised about $2 million.

One of his former rivals for the GOP nomination, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, praised McCain as a "great leader."

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Norb

    You go John. McCain/Lieberman/Keating 08!

    June 12, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. M.K. Ozman

    Yes, for behaving like a leader who's ready to stab you in the back. Just today he was kissing Ahmadinejad for God sake. Iran has total control on Iraq, and if not for the Iranians agreeing to cool it down in Iraq in exchange for certain concessions, McCain would have been seeing flashbacks from Vietnam. Iraq has been sold. Yeah, so much for diplomacy.

    June 12, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. MurphyMorseJohnson

    Mitt said McCain would be a great leader is not what Mitt said during the primaries. For example, on the subject of immigration that would affect millions of lives, Romney said no, no, no! Isn't it amazing how politics stays the same but rhetoric changes ?????

    June 12, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Kenneth

    McCain = Bush

    Obama = Future

    June 12, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. Debby

    I guess if McCain puts it that way then its a step forward which might mean troop withdrawl early as Sept. like was reported.

    June 12, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    By the time this election is over, McBush will be EVEN MORE SURPRISED!!!

    June 12, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. aka1577, MI

    Janey: It depends on what your defination what "best" is...

    Janey for McCain June 12th, 2008 10:47 am ET

    McCain is the best candidate we have had in years–

    June 12, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. JB


    So, the Iraqi Prime Minister meets with Iran and McCain calls him a better leader, yet he calls Obama names for saying he'd do the same!


    June 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. True

    Notice how Romney is McCains little biznatch now that he is vying for the veep position? What a crock these two guys are. Can someone tell me what the goal is for this war in Iraq since Saddam is now gone?

    June 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Clevelander

    As a leader to embrace Ahmadinejad? As a leader to "negotiate" with Ahmadinejad? As a leader to encourage the departure of our troops? As a leader who disregards what our troops had accomplished?

    Mr. McCain, I really wish you can think about your stands on Iraq and our foreign policy. If you align yourself with Bush's policy, our country will become extremely isolated. I don't think that will improve the national security of this great country.

    Think again and think hard!

    June 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL


    June 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Richard

    I love this Bob Barr guy! All republicans should vote Bob Barr! Mcinsane is not even a real republican, he is a neocon wannabe.

    Vote BOB BARR or RON PAUL!

    June 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Obama Yes We Can

    Oh yes Romney why didn't you send your next generations to Iraq heck that could have taken care of the Missionary situation since you believe in this war.

    Rachel – McShame is used for him supporting this shamefull war the war that was started by Bush /Cheney for no reason just their nonsence /the war that has injured thousands of Warriors and over 4,000 killed because of Bush and gang of Oil /Haliburton Megas are filling their own pockets .
    These idiots could care less how many young men and woman are injured and loose their lives
    McCain is a war monger he said it could last 100 years he even vetoed a vote of education for returning warriors .
    Just consider this these young people risk their lives for this country and he vetoes them receiving education after they return home .
    These crooked coots what more damage can they do to this country before some people wake up .Already this country is so mired down with Buysh /Cheney debt will take many years to recover.

    June 12, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Franky

    President Bush= Republican

    Ron Paul=Republican?

    John McCain=Republican??

    I call this one, "Multiple Personality Disorder"! You know, the old way, LOL!!!

    June 12, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain is getting delayed information otherwise he wouldn't be making those statements or is this just another one of his "senior moments". Iran and Iraq are kissing buddies, but McCain you that's okay, you can "EXPLODE" your anger on Americans.

    June 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Q_Mech

    Wow – I'm reading these comments, and I'm not if most of the authors even read the news article. There's an awful lot of raw hate in here, and not much in the way of intelligence. Nice work, gents. Now go back to Kos and your other lefty hate sites and get your banana pellet.

    June 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Chut Pata

    I have news for you McCain. The "matured" leader of Iraq is talking to Iran UNCONDITIONALLY whereas conditional talk by Obama is termed immature.

    June 12, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Sidney McCain

    let's see, its not ok for us to talk to iran, but its ok for al maliki to make out w/ ahmadinejad, shows leadership

    mc-old, can you smell the toast?

    June 12, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Texas Trail Dog

    if Mister stupid Obama gets his way and withdraws the troops from \Iraq all the money spent and the lives lost will be for nothing. I am a military man with 28 years in the U.S. Army(Retired). You can't deal with thes folks like Iran, Libyia, Syria, Pakistan, Saudia Arabia, Palestine they are all terrorist networks and they hate the West and all our allies. If we leave from over there we will never again be allowed back in. The only way will be like Omaha Beach and the Normandy invasion at a tremendous amount of lost lives when it's time for us to go back in. AND THAT IS A GIVEN, WE WILL HAVE TO GO BACK. The Middle East is a powder keg waiting to explode. ALL IT WILL TAKE IS SOMEONE LIKE OBAMA AS PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. TO SET IT OFF. THEY WILL BE PATIENT THEY WILL WAIT A COUPLE OF YEARS BECAUSE THEY ARE A PATIENT PEOPLE THEN ALL HADES IS GOING TO COME OUR WAY. IT'S NOT JUST FACT PEOPLE IT IS PROPHECY. READ YOUR BIBLES AND FALL ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAY BECAUSE YOU ARE ELECTING THE SNAKE FROM THE TREE WHO IS NOW ON THE GROUND TO THE HIGHEST OFFICE OF THE WORLD.

    June 12, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    As an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton and a life long Democrat, I find it hard to vote for Obama, but even more so to vote for McCain.
    Not voting is not an option, but who to vote for is the delema. Obama, McCain or a write-in.
    With Obama I would have to hold my nose, but with McCain I'd have to don a gas mask.
    One reason I would vote McCain in the hope that he would win, is that it would tear the Democratic party apart and from that rubble may emerge a stronger Democratic party that represents the center of the political spectrum.
    One reason I would vote for Obama is the Supreme Court, but their June 12, 2008 ruling mitigated that need somewhat.
    Obama reminds me of Carter and his inexperiance when it came to dealing with realities of national politics. Along with the cliques in the Democratic party each with their own agenda, bolds disaster for an inexperiance Obama.
    McCain, along with Romney, the poster chridren for flip floppers.
    Where were all these Obama supporters in 2000 and 2004? Sitting on their hands or voting for Nader.
    Well let's see how they like it when their candidate loses because others sit on their hands or vote for a third party candidate.

    June 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. Shelly in IL

    "Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that he is "pleasantly surprised" that the Iraqi prime minister "is now behaving like a leader."

    The Iraqi people don't want the U.S. and it's influences there, so why stay, John McCain?

    June 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Reg

    Just replaced the McCain sign in my front yard with a Barr sign – then I come in and read this.

    June 12, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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