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. Carmen

    Of course McCain wants Obama to distance himself from Clark. He knows that Clark would make a powerful running mate.

    Obama, quit letting the Republicans dictate your campaign. We want courage, integrity, and leadership, not catering to the lowest common denominator.

    Obama '08!

    July 1, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  2. Shame on YOU!!!!

    Clark, a former supporter of Hillary Clinton, does not hold an official role within the Obama campaign.McShame you are using this non issue to avoid talking about the ECONOMY..........It's OK for you to CALL President Carter a Lousy President .......It will not work americans are not STUPID .........MR BLACK ....using FEAR mongering .......get back to the SOLUTIONS......... I see you got one the swift boat Guys to JOIN you with these LOW DOWN DIRTY TRICKS .......CNN hopefully you will not continue to discuss this disgusting non issue.....McDIRTY I don't know how you sleep at NIGHT....Shame On YOU OLD HOG JAW!!!! GIG IS OVER YOU Dont have any SOLUTIONS ........SO YOU decided to DIVIDE and CONQueR

    July 1, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  3. WeLuvObama

    This is crazy. McCain has got to be really losing his bearings – a hit dog sure will holler. He is grasping for straws here. General Clark spoke the truth – frankly I'm a little disappointed in Obama for distancing himself from the comments. He can't let them swiftboat him like this. My husband served in the military but that doesn't mean he has experience to lead our troops. General Clark has as much right to comment as anybody else. Good for him. McCain please go take a nap – you are really tired. You little old warmonger!!!!

    July 1, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  4. The D

    Stings, don't it Johnny Boy? Remember that when YOUR buddies start their nonsense in a couple of months.

    Be sure to be just as quick to "cut loose" those knot-heads that sling pies in Obama's direction.

    We'll be watching.........with stop watches.

    July 1, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  5. laurence

    What, like McCain cut his suffering disabled with loose for good ole' Cindy? It's the old folks home for you John McSenile.

    July 1, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. Michael

    I'm no expert, but I believe General Wesley Clark outranks Captain John McCain. The very same military that McCain claims to have given him the experience to be President didn't think that McCain was fit to be promoted to Admiral. To me, that speaks volumes about McCain's leadership abilities...

    July 1, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  7. Jeremy-Columbus, OH

    McCain needs to dump several of his people too, oh wait I guess it's ok to act like a typical Republican and bring the scare tactic back into the mix by telling the American people another terrorist attack is likely in 2009. I'm sad to admit I had some respect for this man, not anymore. I still wish Hillary got the nomination, however I'll vote for Obama because I'm tired of McCain now acting like a typical Republican.

    July 1, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  8. Mike from Houston

    McCain is not qualify to be commander of chief. I think his action has proved it many times. It is funny to see he forget what he was talking about sometimes and mixed up with something else.
    It is not clear how he will run this country.

    July 1, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  9. Ulysses Carter Jr

    In the south we call Sen McCains reaction to all this trifling. There are far more important issues out here thats effecting us then whether or not one candidate can out patriotize the other, Both of them are United States Senators. That in itself is proof enough of there loyalty to this great country of ours. Please get on with discussing the issues that are effecting us.

    July 1, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  10. mjb

    On more that one occasion Sen. McCain has claimed that what is said from or about one military person to another is a privileged form of communication. (Example: His "Bomb-Iran song.). General Clark 's words were indelicate to the civilian ear, but brought up the truth that service in the military, however arduous and sacrificial, does not by itself qualify a person to be President of the United States or Commander in Chief of the U.S. military.

    My question is, how can Sen. McCain be so quick to eject a fellow military leader? This seems inconsistent with what he is saying he is unhappy about. Doesn't he respect the service of Sen. Clark, even if they disagree politically? How ironic that Sen. McCain is publicly itrying to discredit Gen. Clark, a career military member who achieved the high rank of general.

    July 1, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. Dave from Texas

    How asinine to suggest that Obama cut Clark loose. Clark is exactly right when he says being shot down over Vietnam 40 years ago does NOT qualify McCain be president. How could it? Using this logic, someone getting run over by a city bus would qualify them to be mayor. This is the same old political distortion tactic we have seen from Republicans for decades. It is amazing that there is anyone on the planet dumb enough to fall for it.

    July 1, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. Nate

    What service did Clark ever give. A desk job at NATO? All real combat vets should be insulted by this empty suit.

    GO McCain!

    July 1, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  13. james

    Somebody needs to explain to me why a soldier that gets shot down, injured, or caught is a hero, and the other guy that successfully completes a mission and doesn't get shot is just a regular soldier? The last time I played paintball, the goal was to shoot the other guy, and the winner was the guy that came back clean.

    July 1, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. F, MPLS

    McCain should piss off. Barack wasnt calling for Black to be fired after his stupid but true comments, why the hell is calling for the general to be cut loose for his stupid but TRUE comments?

    July 1, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. Lucas, Nashville TN

    Clark TERRIFIES McCain because he's infinite times the military leader AND presidential candidate, AND he'd be a huge threat as a VP on the ticket. The McCain camp can only hope they will find a way to get rid of Clark.

    Spineless.

    July 1, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  16. Adam from NY

    I love how he can actually say these two things one after the other:

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

    “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.”

    So...are the comments so meaningless that there not even worth a response, or are they so egregious as to demand a complete break?

    July 1, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  17. sharon

    Gen. Clark spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    July 1, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  18. INDEPENDENT WHITE WOMAN FOR OBAMA

    McCAIN..........I think it's up to Senator Obama now to not only repudiate him but cut him loose."YOU CUT Mr Black loose............
    Clark, a former supporter of Hillary Clinton, does not hold an official role within the Obama campaign. GEN Clark is a Honorable MAN......
    WE need SOLUTIONS not DISTRACTIONS!!!!

    CNN You ONLY have 3 POST COMMENTS .......HOPEFULLY Tomorrow you find Something New !!! this is the 3RD DAY

    July 1, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  19. Bulldog

    What a HYPOCRITE! The McCain camp came out today disparaging Clarks military service at full throttle on a official campaign call. Clark said his statement on his own schedule on an interview which he was asked a direct question and answered it directly. Clark's comments were not even close to as controversial as the McCain camps comments today and above all McCain hired the worst of the "Swift Boat" hitmen who McCain said himself was dishonorable for the horrible disparaging of John Kerry's military service. Now McCain hires this guy and then says Obama should cut General Clark loose? Again, what a HYPOCRITE!

    July 1, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  20. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    We got your back Sir.

    July 1, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  21. RJ, CA

    Yes, Barack, tell Clark to quit it - if you really meant what you said about not disparaging others' patriotism and service to country.

    July 1, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  22. Joe

    McCain is now whining about Senator Webb joining in the effort against him. Clark pointed out the obvious – being in the military, and specifically in the tactical area, does not necessarily qualify you as a president. The executive responsibilities of the presidency require sound judgment. How can McCain say that Clark is attacking his military service when Clark said that McCain is not only a "personal hero," but a "hero to millions?" McCain's reaction shows me that Clark and Webb's comments are hitting him where he's vulnerable, and McCain knows it.

    July 1, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  23. Omar C. Baez

    whine whine whine...my friends...whine whine whine....blah blah blah...my friends...

    shut the hell up McCain. This whole "uproar" is complete BS. The media is giving this guy a free ride with all his flip flops and stuff.

    They should check out youtube and see a video someone put together of his "straight-talk" express derailed with all his flip flops and all his senior moments.

    ENOUGH ALREADY!

    July 1, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  24. ET

    What amazing arrogance. It's too bad the press would never call him out on such a ridiculous statement.

    I realize that we are in a national mindset where it's not acceptable to criticize people in the military, but McCain claiming that he is beyond reproach is ridiculous.

    July 1, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  25. jm from sc

    Why don't McCain cut every one of his supporter loose that say anything negative about Obama.

    I think Obama should say no more about this. McCain should take this up with Clark.

    July 1, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20