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. BV

    Cut General Clark loose?? What on earth is going on here? He can call an ex- President lousy but don't let anyone give an opinion on Senator McCain. Is this an example of how he is going to run the US? He will be under fire for many things if he becomes President. Is this going to be his approach to everything that is said in opinion of him. Just get rid of them. Kind of like his "You Gain Peace Thru Strength" mentality?
    I think that Senator McCain is trying to send a very big message here. Don't anyone question his past. IHe's a War Hero and if you have any doubts just listen to him.......He's built his campaign on it. Don't cast any doubts his way. Just leave it as it is. He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. It's what he says it is so leave it alone.
    Makes me want to see those sealed service records now more than ever before.

    July 1, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  2. Mk

    Here is the question that should be polled.
    Does being a POW and in the military automatically mean you will be a good president?
    Because McCain is using that argument to say he will be a better president.
    We all know he is was shot down and was a POW for 5 years.
    NOBODY has said anything bad about that.
    It is quite fair to ask the question about his POW and military experience as it relates to be qualified to become the president of the US. This is a very grown up question. McCain and his supporters make themselves look quite childish by reacting the way they are.
    Maybe McCain's mother needs to remind him how a grownups are supposed to behave.

    July 1, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. susie

    Obama did not distance himself from Clark's comments, when he was giving one of his speeches. He waited till after and someone else from his camp did it for him.

    July 1, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  4. Emily

    So, Obama should get rid of Clark, but McCain doesn't need to get rid of Black? That's absurd.

    July 1, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  5. Ridgeway

    CB please share with the group your vast military experience. Did you serve with Javone? Now I don't mean hamburgers at McDonalds but in the military.
    Clark is a crackpot just like Jimmy Carter, Ayres, Phlegler, et al. You guys should get lasik so you can see the light.

    July 1, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. Kamran

    HA!...Cut him loose? Do I smell fear?

    Here comes someone with years of service to his country, who served in the upper echelons of the military state HIS opinion...Which is 100% right. It's logical, and completely rational what General Clark stated....

    Heck...If I was a traffic police officer, would that quality me to be a race car driver in terms of safety?...Absolutely not..

    I have to admit, everytime I see McCain open his mouth, I just end up laughing, I just can't believe people support this buffoon.

    July 1, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  7. Steve

    It's interesting that McCain is directing Obama's campaign to do things, when he can't even run his own. This is a character flaw very similar to W's. Lost of mandates and directives without a clue or a care. The days of the president being the supreme power in the known universe are over, John. Get your own house in order, and then let's talk. Until then, please find something useful to do out of the public eye. You're nothing but annoying.

    July 1, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. zeph

    Oh, please cut Wes Clark loose Obama! Please! I want my General as far from O! as he can get before the implosion!

    July 1, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  9. Alice in Florida

    We are PUMA's, hear us ROAR in numbers too big to ignore (sorry, Helen Reddy 🙂 )

    Don't worry, McCain – you've got enough of our votes to win

    Don't get carried away, we're only doing it so that we can elect Hillary in 2012, once Dean and Pelosi are out of jobs, thanks to their incompetence!

    July 1, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  10. GP

    Still don't see what was wrong with the comments in the first place . . . Clark recognized and praised McCain for his service – but is there something about being a POW makes one particularly suited to be President? Certainly desereves a debt of gratitude from everyone in this country – but how does it make him a better President? I don't see it either Wesley.

    July 1, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  11. Dave. San Diego, CA

    Mr. McCain, shut the heck up. You have got problems of your own. You need to dump Mr. Black, you need to dump Mr. Day (the liar). You need to dump YOURSELF! You are the biggest hypocrite of all the candidates that are have been in this entire presidential race. It is time we lock you up with the rest of the terrorists at Gitmo.

    July 1, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Independent

    Words taken right out of my mouth about Mr. Black.....is he McCain's Karl Rove was to Bushie???????

    I have never seen such whinners in all my life....

    July 1, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. Eric

    Please don't Obama. If anything you should be asking McCain to cut Lieberman loose after his disrespectful attacks and fear/war mongering.

    July 1, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. David Goldman






    July 1, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  15. McCain=the draft

    Cut this loose, McCain.
    Wesley Clark is 100% right!

    July 1, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  16. Tom in VA

    McCain: "Obama is too chicken to say these things on his own, he has to do it through a surrogate."

    McCain: "I'm not going to worry about comments that General Clark made. I have plenty of people of who will respond to that kind of thing."

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

    So let me get this straight. Obama needs to say these things directly to McCain, but McCain will use "people" to respond. McCain does not worry about what Clark says, but takes the time to say he should be cut loose. Oh, and by the way, Clark holds no official position with the Obama campaign, so it's unclear what he'd be cut loose FROM.

    This does not even TOUCH the real issue at hand, in which Gen. Clark is 100% on the mark, but unfortunately questioning it is taboo (and probably unpatriotic, but we can probably dodge that since it was a General who said it, after all). All of this is a joke.

    July 1, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  17. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz


    July 1, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. sage4obama

    this guy is a piece of work...just another Bush after all

    July 1, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  19. No McCain!

    Uh... you can't criticize someone for speaking the truth, McCain!

    Obama '08

    July 1, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. Linda of Atlanta

    McCain just doesn't think anybody has a right to question his fitness to be President. General Wesley Clark has a right to his opinion and, from reading the blogs, most Americans agree with him. McCain's Military service does not represent executive level experience that would benefit him as President. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize that. And he should stop bringing it up, expecting people to bow down to him. He lacks the judgment, and mental agility to be President and that is what is important.
    When will McCain realize that Obama doesn't care what he says?

    July 1, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  21. Jeremy

    I agree with Senator McCains stance on the issue of the comments made by General Clark. I think it is very difficult to discredit the miltiary leadership capabilities of a man who has spent five years in a prison camp. Also, it is rediculous to begin to believe the idea that the main person responsible for leadership of the military and for the decision making on military issues is solely the president of the United States. There are so many other aspects that go into large decisions like that, for example the intelligence communities ability to gather and dissemninate correct answers, and whether or not the intelligence gathered presents a serious concern for the safety and security of the United States. So to qualify myself i would not say that McCain is the best choice, but that it is pointless to pin all the responsibilty on one man when the nature of our government ensures that large decisions will be made not by one ruler but by multiple leaders. So instead of us concentrating on whether McCain or Obama is capable of making large executive decisions, the General should be more concerned with how capable our intelligence and military community is in providing the necessary information for the president (whoever he may be) to make the right decision.

    July 1, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  22. Matt

    What a waste of space this is (the article or McCain, you choose). How is it that he can say "I'm not going to worry about comments that General Clark made" and then turn around and say Obama needs to "cut him loose", when he's not even a part of Obama's campaign? Is it that McCain is afraid of the advantage Clark would bring as a VP? McCain is pathetic.

    McCain, since you made such a big deal about Kerry releasing his full military records how about we get to see yours? Then we can decide just how accurate Clark's comments really are.

    July 1, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  23. O Boy


    Are you guys kidding me????????? Where is mr black.... PLEASE not even close to the same thing. Mr. Black says mcCain would get a bump if there was a terror attack.... which is true by the way.... And then Clark attacks McCains character...

    How is this the same thing????

    o its only the same thing with ignorant liberals


    July 1, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. Venus


    See last week... McSame's camp were sicting his dogs on Obama!

    This week – Obama sicts on dogs on McSame!

    It's pleasure to see the McSame's camp outrage! He,he,hee!

    July 1, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |

    Why is it always McCain calling fo ryou to drop folks, he has Black , Liberman and The swiftboat gang plus all the GOP lobbist.

    HE NEEDS TO CLEAN HIS own CLOSET!!! You can not let him run you as a person of faith. He is constantly throwing stones! Did he forget it all comes back on that person.

    July 1, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
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