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. david


    July 1, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  2. Sarah


    July 1, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  3. Aaron

    McCain is grasping at straws. He knows he's gonna lose big time, and this is just the beginning of the Republican cry-fest. Clark paid all due respects to McCain's service, and questioned only McCains qualifications to be commander in chief. That is a legitimate question for all of us to consider from a man who thinks things in Iraq are just peachy.
    Obama needs to stand behind Clark and anyone else who respectfully questions McCains military intentions. If he keeps caving in, the Repubs will pounce on this weakness and McCain will get a free ride on the issue he's most vulnerable on besides the economy. Risking your life flying in combat deserves all the respect in the world, but it doesn't automatically qualify you to be president of the US.
    McCain lost his argument in any case when he hired the swift boat slime machine as his "truth squad." This is gonna be one ugly campaign.

    July 1, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  4. Sweetie

    Hey Mc Cain, be nice, leave Gen. Clark alone. He served his country too.

    July 1, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  5. Chloe

    General Clark is an honorable man. He spoke the truth and obviously hit a nerve! No apology required. Stop whining, Senator McCain. Suck it up!

    July 1, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  6. David Peter

    This is just one of many instances where McCain loses his temper over simple comments that question his judgement (and why shouldn't we?) McCain has far more skeletons in his closet.

    July 1, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  7. Adriana

    What is he doing in Colombia? Of course its about the Free Trade Agreement,at the same time trying to get support from the latinos.Ain't gonna work McSame,aint gonna work.

    Latinos for Obama 2008

    July 1, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |

    Gen. Clark has every righ to speak his mind. Mccain just playing game. Gen. clark stay in the Obama team.

    July 1, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. Teresa, Georgia

    And Black's comments were acceptable?...McCain=hypocrite

    July 1, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  10. DOH!

    ROFL....nice try McSame.....

    July 1, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  11. pb

    Did McCain cut loose Charlie Black when he made the statement that a terrorist attack would benefit McCain? How in the world can he be such a hypocrit and having double standards? This old man is ruthless and unreal. He distorts the truth because he cannot come up with one answer on how to get this country back in line. As much crap as he and his supporters have done, he has the nerve to tell someone to break loose from Obama? Wesley Clark was right on the mark. Because someone was a POW automatically qualifies them to be commander in chief??? The rebublicans are indeed dirtbags...all of them. They are liars, hypocrits and will do nothing to tear a man apart in order to win...every last one of them!

    July 1, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  12. mitchell hussein martin

    get over it loser.you surrendered!wesley clark is right!you dont even know difference in sunni and shiite!warmonger!

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

    McCain needs to knock that off. He needs to take the gloves of and get down in the mud with Obama. Clark was just doing what Obama told him to do, no more no less. You don't win the presidential election by being a "WUSS". You see what happen to Hillary Clinton. Bill would have won and she would have won if she had got in the mud as Bill said. She had fools running her campagin. Let the dirt fly. Obama has a few tons of it. If john McCain wants to win he better recognize that and turn the republican party loose. He will win easy with the dirt Obama has.

    July 1, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  14. Steve, AZ

    McCain runs ad after ad showing him as a prisoner in Vietnam. General Clark simply pointed out that being shot down and held prisoner is not a prerequiste for being president -no matter how many such ads Mccain may run. What is controversial about that? What? Does McCain believe being a prisoner IS a qualification for being president? If not, what are he and is cronies complaining about?

    July 1, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  15. Kevin

    Sure, the minute that you cut loose all of your surrogates that have spewed racism, insinuated that terrorist acts would benefit you, lobbied for corrupt dictators, or just happen to be named Phil Gramm you might have a leg to stand on. A bit hypocritical to hire the head of the "swift boaters" and then try to complain about people judging your military service. Guess it's true for the republicans, if you can't win on issues then just throw out smears and hope one sticks.

    July 1, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  16. Ethan

    Wesley Clark was absolutely right. Once again the pro-McCain media has a field day over NOTHING.

    And McSame?

    Flip: "I'm not going to worry about comments that General Clark made"

    Flop: "cut him loose."


    Barack. Landslide.

    July 1, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  17. J Lindsey

    McCain knows that Gen Clark is a man of honor, and respects all of those that serve or have served. Take a look at 'VoteVets.org', take a look at 'Securingamerica.com', and you will see that Wes has every right, if not the DUTY, to say what he has said.

    McCain's service is worthy of respect, his actions as a POW worthy of admiration.. but the simple fact remains that his experiences in the Navy in NO WAY prepare him for the office of President. They prove he is a man of character, but do nothing to show his judgment (or lack thereof).

    July 1, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  18. Dana

    McCain, you don't call the shots in this campaign! You should cut Fox News loose...Dream on, Clark has your number.

    July 1, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  19. Willy

    BHO, keep Westly Clark around. You need another rent a preacher like him. He'd be a good cabinet pick for public relation for the Veteran issues.

    July 1, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  20. Tom

    Clark is entitled to his opinion in a free country. It has nothing to do with Obama. I'm entitled to my opinion too, I agree with Clark.

    July 1, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  21. Peter E

    'Clark, a former supporter of Hillary Clinton, does not hold an official role within the Obama campaign. '
    Look at Obama's record from the primaries.... do you think it is even remotely possible that Obama will stop using Clark to do all his dirty attacks for him? He needs such attack-dogs! Otherwise people will examine his actual campaign and realize it's not a positive change buta flood of negative personal attacks!

    July 1, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. Jake

    If Obama gets rid of Clark I will no longer volunteer for him or work for him whatsoever. This is ridiculous. Military service does NOT qualify you to automatically be Commander in Chief. It took someone like Clark to point that out and if Obama distances himself I don't think I could support him. Take a stand Barack. Wesley Clark is an American Hero who had the courage to speak the truth.

    How about McCain gets rid of all his advisers who worked for dictators and then we talk about "distancing" ourselves from decorated generals.

    July 1, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  23. reggiesmom

    Hmm......OK. How do you cut someone loose when they are not tied, in any way, to your campaign?

    I suppose that "tough talk " was McCain's way of trying to scare Wes Clark into issuing some sort of an apology. HA! McCain is losing his grip on reality. That statement just proved it.

    July 1, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  24. paul oregon

    mccain is so full of it may be he could join j. carville ,t. mcauliffe and the clintons and they could have one big circle jerk.

    July 1, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  25. Fazio

    How presumptuous of McShame!

    There are plenty of surrogates of the Republican party that are disparaging Obama... and do we hear calls to fire them??? No.

    McCain is trying to make this a splintering issue.

    Bottom line is... Does McCain really have the capacity to lead military troops? We all acknowledge and are grateful for his service in Vietnam... but leading a military? Does McCain comprehend the "Big Picture"?

    I don't think so.

    So, please, McCain, just stop whinning if someone is speaking their mind and it runs counter to the image that you are trying to portray to all of us... it won't work.

    July 1, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
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