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. Weepy

    CB and Javone: Where is your civility?

    July 1, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  2. Xavier

    If both Candiates would start letting go of people that say dumb things, then McCain wouldnt have much of a staff left.

    July 1, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  3. Chuck, Democrats United We Stand

    Okay McNotInTouch, just continue with your little trip down to Columbia and Mexico selling out American Jobs and make things worse then they are. You and your non-thinking brain may want to consider staying there because I do not want you here.

    July 1, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. JB in Wayne, NJ

    McBush – Stop your crying. There's no reason for Obama to sever ties with Clark. Clark said nothing wrong in questioning your credentials. You were a prisoner of war unfortunately and thank you for your service and your heroism. But being a POW in and of itself, doesn't just automatically make you Presidential material, which is what Clark said and most THINKING people would also say. McBush and his stooges are trying to make a big deal over nothing and get away from the issues that people care about and Repugnant Ones don't care about...health care, the economy, energy prices and Iraq.

    As far as these so-called Clinton supporters that come on here – I bet not one is a registered Democrat. They are all Repugnant Ones.

    July 1, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  5. Big T

    Who is this McCain guy to think he has the monopoly over what legitimate military experience is. General Clark clearly has more strategic military experience than he does, and so any attempt to try to discredit him is quite dishonorable on McCain's part.

    July 1, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  6. Peter E

    Oh, but Obama can onlt act tough with a pentagon general at his back. Without him people will realize he has no clue whatsoever about what the military is about.

    July 1, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  7. Really I Mean Really

    OK JOhn You cut loose MR. Black then we'll talk until then shut up

    July 1, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. KT

    It's about time someone famous said what i've been saying for a long time. How does being captured in war make you qualified to be president of the United States of America. You were captured you nut. I would not let you lead me out of a wet paper bag. I would not even brag about being qualified, you were a POW-prisoner of war.

    July 1, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  9. jason

    if it's "up to others to decide," then it can't actually bother you, eh?

    July 1, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  10. Rob in Vegas

    Clark was being 100% accurate and honest, how does being a POW make you the right person to run a country? he NEVER once said rude comments about his service nor did he question it, all he said was that it doesn't automatically make him the right person to be president.

    July 1, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  11. JA Cook

    Give me a break. Clark did not criticize McCain's record, nor did anyone in the Obama campaign. He simply and correctly stated that being a POW does not make one automatically qualified for being President.

    And THAT is 100% correct!

    McCain is simply trying to divert attention from his lack of ideas and useful policies. It's a standard Republican ploy. They can tear down a veteran's record with the Swift Boaters, and now the McCain camp is even trying to tear down Clark's record as a veteran. But even mention McCain's experience in a NON-derogatory manner and they scream foul.

    I'd say that it's the McCainers who have gone over the top.

    McCain is proving he's more of the same – more and more and more of the same.

    He may be a true war hero, but he is not qualified to be President. He's short on ideas and he's clearly as sharp as a broken tack.

    July 1, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  12. Larry

    Well...we know Clark is now out of the running for VP!

    July 1, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  13. Peter of Oregon

    Wow McCain sure has a short fuse.

    Is this what we'd have to endure if he were to be elected President?

    He's appearing more and more like an adolescent control freak that doesn't have the right temperment to be Commander and Chief.

    The John Keating 5 McCain Express is out of control.

    July 1, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  14. Tell the truth

    Why because Clark is telling the truth? The truth hurts

    July 1, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  15. LSL

    It's a sad day when someone not affiliated with either campaign isn't allowed to speak his mind. And anyway, Clark has a point. Getting shot down and held prisoner for two years doesn't qualify you to be President any more than being a lawyer and a first term senator.

    July 1, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  16. Jerry from Oregon

    I don't often agree with James Carville(Carville is freakishly left-wing sometimes) but he was right on the other night when he said that Clark didn't say anything wrong. he merely said that being a POW alone does not qualify one to be commander in chief. that in no way is dismissing John McCain's heroism!

    BACK off John!!

    July 1, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  17. Marla

    I never believed the Bush campaign's charge in NC 2000 that McCain was mentally unstable ....... but now I'm beginning to wonder

    Does McCain have moments where he goes off the deep end.?

    This whole Hallabalu over General Clark's interview on FTN ( Clark said NOTHING wrong) is beginning to make me wonder if maybe the 2000 Bush campaign was right.

    Over the years, General Clark has been proven right on things millitary and Foreign Policy...I have no reason to doubt him now

    July 1, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. scott

    being a member of the military is not a qualification for the presidency any more than not being a member is a disqualification.

    I am more concerned with the tone of this. That someone instantly made the statement different from what was stated and those who believe the distortion have become whiney crybabies.

    Is this what we want? A nation of sissies who don't even get it right in the first place?

    Its too bad that everyone but Clark in this situation gets to keep their 1st amendment rights.

    I think maybe the manchurian candidate needs to quit the old man snivel.

    July 1, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  19. tai

    Mccain is pathetic.

    July 1, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. Cat

    This is ridiculous. Just because someone has served in the military does not automatically make that person qualified to serve as Commander in Chief. Anyone with a high school diploma and without a criminal record can basically serve in the military, and prisoners of war are not chosen based on their intelligence and leadership qualities. Although McCain's service is laudable, it by no means proves that he will make a competent Commander in Chief.

    July 1, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  21. Ryan

    Until John McCain cuts ties with Joe "we are going to be attacked by terrorists in 2009, so vote McCain" Lieberman and Charlie "A terrorist attack would be good for the McCain campaign" Black, he should just shut up.

    July 1, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  22. Saad from NJ

    If Obama cuts Clark loose, does that mean that Senator McCain will cut 99% of his supporters loose? I mean people like Senator Lieberman, Like President Bush etc.... Where will that leave Senator McCain.... I mean, I respect Senator McCain for who he is but what kinda silly thing is that to ask.... PLEASE......

    I don't agree with people who think Senator McCain is tooooo old to server as the President but this request of his will make me think again....

    July 1, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  23. 24hrlib

    I smell GOP bait.

    July 1, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  24. David W

    McCain thinks Mr. Black should be left alone but Clark should be cut loose as if he doesn't speak truth?! This would be funny if it wasn't so stupid.

    July 1, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  25. No Socialist, NY

    CB – You ought to clean up your comments. McCain is honorable, also, and has more than guts to speak his mind. He has guts to pursue the presidency and protect this nation against such radical liberals as Obama and surrogates. And to think, he spent years in a POW camp protecting the rights of even you, and you spew your garbage at him in return. Obama in the white house will take us all a step closer to radical Islamist terrorism. McCain will stand up to it; Obama wouldn't know what to do.

    July 1, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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