July 1st, 2008
07:00 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain to Obama: Cut Clark loose

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/01/art.mccainclark.ap.jpg caption="McCain traveled to Colombia Tuesday."](CNN) - Sen. John McCain appeared to raise the stakes in the ongoing back-and-forth over Wesley Clark's controversial comments, saying Tuesday evening that Barack Obama should "cut him loose."

Speaking to reporters on his press plane en route to Colombia, McCain suggested it’s time for the Illinois senator to completely sever ties with the former general and onetime presidential candidate

"I think it's up to Senator Obama now to not only repudiate him but cut him loose."

Clark, a former supporter of Hillary Clinton, does not hold an official role within the Obama campaign.

Clark caused an uproar Sunday after questioning whether McCain's military experience qualified him to be commander-in-chief. Obama has said he disagrees with Clark's comments, calling them "inartful."

But McCain wouldn't say if he thought Obama had sufficiently repudiated the remark.

“That's up to others to decide," he said. "I'm not going to worry about comments that General Clark made. I have plenty of people who will respond to that kind of thing.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (480 Responses)
  1. Bradley In Colorado

    Clark was right. Obama may distance himself from the retired general, but he cannot deny that Clark's a brilliant man who simply misspoke (that's right, misspoke) his point.

    July 1, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  2. Chompioe

    General Clark did not say anything that isn't true. General Clark is probably one of the only people qualified to point out McCain's lack of qualifications when it comes to military matters. Why can't we touch the myth of McCain? Why has the media trounced on General Clark? And, who is McCain to tell Obama to dump Clark? Please don't do this Senator Obama (like FISA) or we will probably wish we voted for Hillary.

    July 1, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  3. NoBushThirdTerm

    Don't do it. Gen. Wesley Clark said what everyone is thinking. McCain has played his "war hero=presidential experience" card one time too many.

    If anyone can call this spade a spade, it's Clark. He spoke a truth and McCain, true to his campaign's general M.O., is playing the victim by swift-boating.

    Getting shot down and being a POW does not make you presidential material. John "I will never surrender" McWarmonger is still trying to win the Vietnam war.

    July 1, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  4. Ed

    Here's what McCain knows that Obama doesn't. McCain knows the the impact of his decision to go to war. McCain knows what torture is and torture is not. Obama and Clark don't have a clue.

    July 1, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. Bradley In Colorado

    And America should distance itself from McCain and his GOP cronies.

    July 1, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  6. Ugo

    Like u cut Black! What a snake.

    July 1, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. Bradley In Colorado

    Coloradan to McCain: Leave the race; loss is inevitable.

    Obama '08

    July 1, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. Jeet

    I don't understand what is wrong with General Clark's comment about McCain's military service. I think it is a legitimate comment. He did not say it was not honorable. McCain is the one who keeps bringing up his military service. He is pretty much running his campaign on it. Military service does not qualify him for Presidency. General Clark' s comment is honest and very clear to me. I don't understand why honest people are put down for their honesty again and again. I don't understand Barak Obama's disagreement with that comment. I think Obama is becomming as phony and ignorant as most of the politicians. There were a few things about Obama that I did not like, but this one irritated me the most. He didn't have to criticize General Clark. It was unnecessary and unthoughtful. What was he thinking? People should never surrender their honesty and ethics to achieve their ambitions.

    Off course, I will vote for a Democrat because I just don't trust Republicans with running the country. Our country needs to gain its honor back. It needs economic stability more than anything. Any Democrat will be better than any Republican; however, Obama personally failed to gain my respect.

    Excuse me if I am politically incorrect. Thank you and best regards.

    July 1, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  9. BUSHED!!!!!

    CNN) — Sen. John McCain appeared to raise the stakes in the ongoing back-and-forth over Wesley Clark's controversial comments, saying Tuesday evening that Barack Obama should "cut him loose."
    McSame ...............You are not incharge.......when you were in vietnam you were not incharge.......by the way did cut MR Black LOOSE......
    OLD HOG JAW

    July 1, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. dukeboards

    McCain sickens me. He talked about running a respectful campaign but has allied himself with the worst smear merchants in America. He has even sunk so low as to call on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an organization he called "dishonest and dishonorable" in 2004. He'll do and say anything to fulfill his personal ambitions.

    July 1, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. Former GOP

    McCain why should Obama cut Clark Lose? What did Gen Clark say the was WRONG!
    OR are you made because he told the truth! How does being a POW quilife you for being the president after all McCain you were subjected to 5 ½ years of Soviet driven "brain perversion techniques." Are you really fit to be President and Commander in Chief of the military? the mainstream news media has refused to stop idolizing the so-called straight talking maverick John McCain long enough to question the mental health consequences of the years you spent as a "special" prisoner of the communists in North Vietnam.
    McCain, as the presumptive Republican candidate for President, you could one day have your finger on the "red button," and have a flash back the you are fights the Gooks! You claim the communists subjected you to 5 ½ years of nonstop indoctrination sessions so intense that you attempted suicide. You said that! So why now who is want you as my leader!

    July 1, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. Bradley In Colorado

    McCain says this because he knows Clark is right. And he can't handle the truth.

    July 1, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  13. rosemergy

    He's "not going to worry about comments that General Clark made," yet he's asking Obama to "cut him loose?" Riiiight.

    By the way, Sen. McCain, have you fired Black yet for his comments?

    July 1, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. Chris

    They're attacking me!
    They're attacking me!

    sounds pretty weak from a "tough guy" and a sympathy distraction.

    sad, very sad...

    Obama '08

    July 1, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  15. Bradley In Colorado

    "McCain to Obama: Cut Clark Loose"

    Like you did to your first wife, John?

    July 1, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  16. WhoWhat

    CNN you should start reporting the NEWS, never did Obama ever refute Clark, he skirted the topic in his wish-washy two-faced manner during his "I am a patriot" speech, not once did he mention Clarke. Note his new love for America. Obama is a slippery con man, talk about politics as usual, watch out America you're being duped!!!

    July 1, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  17. Michael

    I love it. Mr Black says bring on the attack so mccain can win, but the minute Mr Clark points out something we all get here in middle america, he's to be shunned? Sounds to me like McCain and the team are threatened by Obama having a "pull no punches" vet on their side....

    July 1, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  18. Concerned

    Senator McCain needs to dump Mr. Charlie Black before he continues this line of conversation. Mr. Black has a very long a filthy history in politics. He is heavily linked with Former Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. He used racism and every other type of negative "ism" to work on the fears and prejudices of the people of North Carolina to help keep Senator Helms in office.

    July 1, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  19. Tuoyo, pikesville md

    AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW shut up MCSTUPID...

    July 1, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  20. Not sleeping at the switch

    I have been noticeing that every day McCain is telling us what OBAMA will do as President and why Obama is not good for us.

    He NEVER says what HE will do as President or why HE is so good for us.

    All I hear is POW POW POW

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    July 1, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  21. George from Toronto

    Gen. Clark's remarks were completely logical. It seems Sen. McCain sees most things in life through his outdated POW prism, which is unfortunate, and that puts his judgment and capacity for higher office into serious question.

    July 1, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  22. Chris, TX

    Who is he to decide who should be on his opponent’s campaign team? Obama should just tune this absent-minded bald headed clown out. He sounds like someone who feels he’s entitled to be heard; an elitist, who owns seven properties worth millions that he owes back taxes on (what does that say about his opinion and experience with money management?). Wait, he’s a regular person like us, right? Yeah…right. He’s more like an illusionist. One who has experience…at using smoke and mirrors! I served in the Air Force under Gen. Clark. Clark is right on! Right on Clark, right on!! My fist is pumped up right now.

    July 1, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  23. Stephen of Red Bluff, CA

    If Clark doesn't hold an official role in the Obama campaign, how can he cut him loose??

    If only everybody would go back and listen to Clark's interview in its entirety, they'd maybe understand the context of Clark's comment. It's really pretty simple, Senator McCain, you just have to pay attention to the whole conversation, not just a sound byte!

    July 1, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. CITIZENS FOR AMERICA FIRST

    HEY SLEAZO, DON'T TELL OBAMA WHAT TO DO.

    GENERAL CLARK JUST CALLS IT AS IT IS.

    July 1, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. TEXAS FOR OBAMA

    McCain means – do as he says not as he does. He talks out of both sides of his mouth. He is so hipocritical. Mr. Black is still working for him. Maybe Columbia and Mexicao will enjoy McCain. He will sell us out.

    My sister worked for Chase/Bank One until they sent the jobs to India. Wow Free Trade is great! McCain is wrong on all issues.

    July 1, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
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