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. Goodbye Babylon

    Now this is just ridiculous! Barack Obama shouldn't even had to have censured Wesley Clark, let alone sever ties. He had a valid point, that being that this alone does not constitute experience as McCain would tout it does.

    July 1, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  2. case

    I want McCain to start talking his positives and what he brings to the table rather than what Obama does not.

    Same Ole GOP crap. No wonder they will get beat again.

    McCain used to be great now he is a stooge.

    July 1, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  3. adam

    I THINK MCSHAME NEEDS TO CUT OFF BLACK. I THINK MCSHAME I NEED TO VISIT HIS OWN CAMPAING. BUT I THINK MCSHAME IS TRING TO DISTRACT VOTERS BECOUSE HE DOSN'T HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER THE AMERICAN PPL. & PPL ALLREADY KNOW IT IS THE BUCH'S POLICY.

    GO OBAMA

    July 1, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  4. Sensible Joe

    How ironic... "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth" [sic] spread lies about Kerry's true military record in the last presidential election campaign, and McCain was mute. A real general with an honorable record and genuine patriotism makes a valid observation, and McCain goes apoplectic. What brazen, naked hypocrisy on the part of a man who claims "Straight Talk" as a slogan, but does very little of it.

    July 1, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  5. Alex

    I would rather hear Obama acknowledge the validity of Clark's words and scold McCain's campaign for scandal-mongering. Bringing up McCain's military service as a neutral factor in his qualifications to be Commander In Chief is not even remotely insulting. Regardless of how much respect you want to give McCain for his decades-past service, his recent foreign policy positions pretty clearly show that it would be dangerous to allow this hawkish business-tician any sort of control over the military. Seeing how strongly the McCain campaign is relying on his service as a selling point, it's ridiculous to complain every time someone on the other side of the aisle brings it up.

    July 1, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  6. Al

    McCain is not in jail yet for supporting invasion to Iraq? Well, what do I know, even Bush the son is still free and has a government job...

    July 1, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. john williams san diego, ca.

    Weasley Clark–the cry baby General...

    July 1, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  8. Bulldog

    Clark was absolutely correct in his statements. They may not have been "politically correct" but they were true. Getting shot down means you got caught. What kind of heroic treatment did you buddies who avoided being shot down get? They actually performed their missions.

    July 1, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  9. The Bu

    You want him to cut Clark loose???? HUH??? well, in that case, I want YOU, SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN, to cut Charlie Black AND Joe Lieberman loose for once again spreading the politics of fear. GET A LIFE!!!!

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

    Excuse you!!! Did you cut loose Charlie Black or Karl Rove?
    Did you repudiate FOX5 and hannity?
    Is MC Crazy?

    July 1, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  11. Johntfs

    Has anyone gotten around to discussing the negatives of John McCain's Vietnam experience regarding his foreign policy position, especially regarding the Iraq war? I recall reading an article in a recent Sunday New York Times discussing McCain's report to the military after his release from captivity. He plainly states that he believed the Vietnam War failed largely because the military and the administrations at the time did not properly convey its importance to the rest of the country.

    It occurred to me that John McCain suffered permanent disability and harm in a war that the country effectively "chose" to "lose" and that he may see Iraq as a way to compensate for that loss. Or, at least, he may be determined not to allow the US to repeat the mistake of Vietnam – giving up before the job is "done." However, such a narrow focus inevitably leads to tunnel vision. I think McCain is so focused on Iraq and "winning" there that he's to a degree ignoring other aspects of US foreign policy – including completing the defeat of the Taliban and Al Quaeda in Afghanistan.

    July 1, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  12. Norma

    McDumb is out of his mind ..Gen.Clark knows alot more about the military the McDumb ever will.

    July 1, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  13. Martin P

    Seriously, the guy above me can say McShame and gets posted, but me...someone who didn't deingrate anyone can't get posted? How slightly messed up is THAT!?

    July 1, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  14. joey

    wait. did i miss something? did clark come out and say something else after sunday? because all he said sunday was that being a pow doesn't make you qualified to be commander in chief. he didn't call out mccain's patriotism. in fact he even complimented him on serving and the manner in which he served.
    but clark was saying that that alone does not make one person qualified to be commander in chief.
    this is really pathetic. maybe someone needs to read clark's comments to mccain so he fully understands the context.

    July 1, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  15. Unempressed

    In business and politics... when someone is "RIGHT" about you, you eliminate them to avoid more support getting behind them.

    The truth hurts – and McShame can't handle it OR address it directly OR move along and just call it a weak attack. It obviously has merit.

    What a weak "leader" McSame is...

    July 1, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  16. gerry

    Why would McCain dump on Clark when all Clark did was tell the truth.

    July 1, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  17. Heidi

    I SEE NO REASON WHY OBAMA SHOULD CUT GEN CLARK LOSE FOR TELLING THE TRUTH, GET OVER YOURSELF MCCAIN. NO ONE IS TRYING TO DEMINISH YOUR MILITARY SERVICE, BUT YOU ARE RUNNING AS A CANDIDATE THAT CAN HANDLE IRAQ AND TERROR BASED ON YOUR MILITARY SERVICE, BEING IN THE MILTARY DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU ARE ANY MORE READY TO BE COMMANDER AND CHEIF OF THIS COUNTRY.

    July 1, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  18. Dan

    John McCain is crazy... He wants Obama to dismiss Clark, and yet he continues to allow his surrogates to run a campaign of fear. Obviously, Senator McCain does not feel his own record can withstand the scrutiny.

    This is getting pretty stupid. Get real McCain or get out of the campaign.

    July 1, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  19. SDunn

    Can you believe this hypocrite???????

    July 1, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  20. Independant Vet

    When is the NEWS Media , gonna break the full story on OBAMA, not being a citizen of the USA . Therefore he can not be President.

    Buy his way in ???? REZKO got the cash.

    July 1, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  21. Jo Ann

    How in the heck can John McCain tell Obama to cut Clark loose. I the
    General I think he spoke the truth. He has been on the front lines and the questions he raised was very good, not taking anything away from
    McCain's service to the this country but it does not or will not make him
    a good president based upon this along. That was over 30 years ago give it a rest.

    July 1, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  22. JohnLee

    And Sir McBush. Is this going to help the country in some way? Is it going to help people who can't buy gas, who don't have a job, who have lost their home? What pray tell me is Obama "doing as you command him to do" going to do for the country?

    It looks like since you can't run on solutions, you can only act like a schoolyard bully. And Sir McBush, we're tired of that in this country. You, your party and the President have given us our fill of this.

    And I'm so sorry I voted for Bush in 2000! Was that ever a mistake!

    July 1, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  23. Isaac

    Oh come on! This is AMERICA, isn't it? Ever heard of "Freedom of Speech"? Can't we all "agree to disagree"?

    Nevermind the fact that Clark is also a war hero and NOT on Obama's payroll, but whatever...

    Somebody as sensitive and easily offended as McCain doesn't deserve to be in a position of power.

    July 1, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  24. Bishop

    He should cut him lose. McCain is too weak to fight the fight he started...

    Obama '08

    July 1, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  25. Miguel

    Oh, no, here's the Straight Republican Express again. Bringing domestic politics to foreign arenas is a disgrace to the USA. How about cutting loose Mr. Black for saying that a terrorist attack would help McShady win the election.

    July 1, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
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