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. Democrats 09'

    Why is it that everyone thinks they can tell Obama what to do or what he should do? McCain, you should run yours and let Obama run his.


    July 1, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  2. Irvin

    McCain needs to cut loose " Bud Day" of the Swiftboat Attack ads, that is what he should do!

    July 1, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  3. Know the facts

    How dare John McCain make this suggestion! McCain employs "Swiftboat Veterans" on his "Truth Squad," takes $70,000 in money from swift boaters, and has his surrogate, Orson Swindle, insult General Wesley Clark, a four-star general who came back from Vietnam on a stretcher! It's the height of hypocrisy for McCain to take those actions and then say someone should be dismissed because they express an opinion. If Clark had attacked McCain's service, that would be one thing. But, Clark didn't do that. Clark simply said that being in the military doesn't automatically give you the judgment to lead this nation. So, now is McCain against free speech for people who are critical of him?

    July 1, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  4. DM, Arlington TX for Barack Obama 08

    I see this that McCain would like for Obama to cut a General loose because he tell the truth about McCain. McCain is a liar yet he is still a war Hero except he can't tell the truth.. He keep having these Senior Moments...

    July 1, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  5. kelvin mays

    Try using that same statement for the swiftboat bandit.

    July 1, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  6. Tough Love

    What a hypocrite this reptile McCain is? Did he fire Black when he made inappropriate comments or for being tide to international criminals? Obama need to SLAP (figuratively) him down for even suggesting he cut General Clark loose. The McCain camp is laughable...............my side is hurting from laughing. I wish November 4th was tomorrow.

    July 1, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  7. Brian from Texas

    McCain sir, you are a disgrace. Up to a few minutes ago, I held you as a canidate in high esteem. Now I despise you. This is an entirely new low for anyone in this campaign. You know very well what Clark said and what Clark meant. The only thing he said to you regarding your service was that you were honorable, respectable, and a hero to him! And you have the nerve to ask Obama to kick out Clark, and for what?! Just another stunt to trap and frame Obama negatively.
    You are sick McCain, and have gone way over the line.
    I never thought an honorable man like youself would have pulled a stunt like this. Slime!

    July 1, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. AA

    I think it's funny, really, that Clark took a blow to the only "upholding" trait McCain thinks he has. Low blow, yes, but let's be wholly honest with ourselves, people... military experience means nothing when it comes to running a country. After all, it's not like the prez is going to get off his expensive, White House lounge chair and physically go fight for our country. Seriously, please. Cry McCain. Just go off and cry.

    July 1, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  9. J Lew

    This is crazy! How many times do I have to hear people say that Clark "attacked" McCain's POW or military record? An attack would be like this..."John McCain NEVER REALLY SERVED in the military" or "McCain's not really a patriot" -That's an attack. Just mentioning his war experience as a part of a qualifications argument is not the same as an "attack."

    It seems to me that politicians rely on people who get all emotional about issues without thinking them through. Why can't we prove them wrong?

    July 1, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  10. Bettie

    Where does McCain come off trying to STOP someone from speaking
    their mind. That's what happened when Congress became afraid to
    question the Bush Administration concerning WHY America was going to war with Iraq. Has he dumped Black? Continue to speak your mind Gen Clark do not let John McCain dictate to you.

    July 1, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  11. That's Reality

    CB – McCain is more honorable than Wes; that's why he has the guts to run for presidency.

    July 1, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  12. Jon

    C'mon McCain, grow up!

    Now about those back taxes??? You should be ashamed!

    July 1, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  13. That's Reality

    Fazio- It's obvious that Obama does't understand the big picture. Look at history and facts about Obama and get with reality.

    July 1, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  14. That's Reality

    Fazio- It's obvious that Obama does't understand the big picture. Look at history and facts about Obama and get with reality. C'mon CNN how about some balance to the media?

    July 1, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Rave

    McCain is already cut loose by people. His brain is cut loose from his body too.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    July 1, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  16. LA2NC

    Senator Mccain, I'm an Obama supporter and you may have a point. We'll consider it as soon as you cut Charlie Black, Lieberman and the rest of the Lobbyist Gang loose...............

    July 1, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  17. kaydeedee, nashville

    This is totally insane! Clark said nothing wrong, in fact he was correct. Has the whole world gone crazy? If Obama doesn't diplomatically defend Clark, I will lose some respect for the candidate. (I already have over his embrace of faith-based groups getting federal money.) He needs to stand up to McCain right now, not take orders from him. This is just a ploy to keep the furor over the incident going and to see how overly-politically correct Obama will go. Don't do it, sir!

    July 1, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  18. Augustine

    This old huntchback just wont shut up. Wesley Clark has earned the 4 stars on his shoulders. Just shut up McCain. You were a mediocre soldier just like you were a mediocre student at the naval academy.

    July 1, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  19. William Lynch

    McCain is not qualified to be commander in chief. He knows a little about military tactics, but he has no judgement about when the military should be used. In fact, he is clueless about who the enemy is. For example, he claimed that Al Qaeda in Iraq was being trained in Iran. Al Qaeda terrorists are Sunnis; they kill Shiites. Iran is basically a Shiite country. McCainalso didn't even know how many troops are in Iraq, claiming that we are already down to presurge levels. Not true, as he was reminded publicly.

    McCain talks about how he objected to the troop levels in Iraq as being too low. Not true. For the first two years he didn't object. After all Hell broke loose, then he starts objecting. That is not strategy, it is simply reaction.

    McCain does not know enough about the world to distinquish a good plan from a bad one. If you elect McCain, you basically get the same level of strategy that you would get by picking any "Joe 6-pack" off the street and giving him the job. I like Joe 6-Pack as a pal, but not as a president.

    July 1, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  20. tim

    This is the saddest day of McCain. Clark speaks the truth, and McCain wants people to reject it. Should reject that the Earth circles around the sun as well?

    July 1, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  21. Dan

    Courage, character, AND loyalty beyond what most Americans have. Clark has no honor to me. Clark is a disgrace.

    July 1, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  22. ANGIE

    hey mccain why didnt you cut good oh charlie loose when he pretty much said a terriost attack would help you i mean really thinking a terriost attack harm on others so you will win is just SICK SICK and hes still part of your campaign so mccain shut the h - up and please go to mexico and columbia AND DONT COME BACK!!!

    July 1, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  23. MikeJ

    Of course Sen. McCain wants Sen. Obama to dump Gen. Clark, because Gen. Clark is the ONLY PERSON who can take on Sen. McCain toe-to-toe. He's the only one that can put Vietnam military experience up against Sen. McCain, who can say he rose through the ranks and commanded full armies while playing the tricky political game between national leaders, and he still managed to get a war settled and brought a war criminal to justice. Put that up against Sen. McCain's "I was shot down, I was a POW" repetitive comments supposedly meaning he has some experience in being a CinC.

    Gen. Clark would be the best possible VP for Sen. Obama. He has the awards, the background, the political and military savvy to take on Sen. McCain and the various Swiftboat liars head-to-head.

    And if anything this shows the utter and absolute hypocrisy of the GOP, telling Sen. Obama to "cut loose" Gen. Clark and yet you didn't see President Bush or the others (especially VP Cheney) distancing themselves when the Swiftboat Liars did everything to destroy Sen. Kerry's military record.

    And Gen. Clark hasn't even come close to doin that, in fact he honored Sen. McCain's service, his actions in wartime, however Sen. McCain is running his Presidential campaign on his military record and Gen. Clark called him on it saying that Sen. McCain's particular record does not at all lend to becoming President.

    Frankly if Sen. Obama, and the DNC overall, doesn't start showing some teeth against the visciousness of the GOP and their attack dogs they will get slaughtered just as Sen. Kerry did. Instead of backing away from Gen. Clark and his comments Sen. Obama should embrace them and him and start hitting and hitting hard because that is ALL the GOP understands. And one thing Americans don't like is weakness.

    This election will come down to the Vice Presidential candidates. If Sen. Obama picks wrong he'll lose. Sen. Obama should pick Gen. Clark for already stated reasons.

    July 1, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  24. Silvia Hall

    My question is: How many times we have to honor and be grateful for his service in Vietnam? Once is enough I think. Very presumptuous. Time to discuss the real issues now.

    July 1, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  25. Don

    McCain what happened to you. You've turned into a baby... did little Wesley hurt your feelings? I'd say grow up but ... well lol I dont think your body could take it.

    July 1, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
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