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. adm

    I am tired of McCain trying to dictate what Obama should do with his campaign. I hope Obama does not. I don't know who McCain thinks he is. He needs to worry about his own campaign.

    July 1, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  2. INDEPENDENT WHITE WOMAN FOR OBAMA

    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."
    McCain...........You are Flat out order SIR .........I recall A young man intorduce McCain @ a Rally and yall can have TIGER Woods we got McCain however nothing was said .... no MEDIA !
    McCain......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.”

    July 1, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    McCain has lost his way. Wes Clark is a national hero who misspoke but was only expressing an opinion on a collateral leadership issue–not on the honor of McCain's service. McCain's call for obama to "sever ties" with Clark is a confirmation of one of Clark's points - that being a war hero does not necessarily mean thay you have judgment or character.

    So much for sticking t ohe issues, John.

    July 1, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  4. cmb

    No need to apologize. He has a right to his opinion–and what he said was true.

    cmb

    July 1, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  5. Ali

    How about letting your friend Mr. Black loose first Senator McCain.....hypocrite.

    July 1, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. Tim

    Why is the big deal about someone actually telling the truth. Yes, McCain was shot down and was a prisoner of war. That has nothing to do with him being qualified for President. I have great respect that he sacrificed for his country, but trying to get sympathy vote because he was a prisoner is NOT GOOD.

    Lot's of people were prisoners of way, but that doesn't make them qualified to be President. Clark was not putting McCain down for his service to the country, but was making a point that his POW experience was not a qualification for President.

    The republicans are way too sensitive. This is nothing comparaed to when Republicans smeared John Kerry for his patriotic service.

    July 1, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  7. Barbara in Nevada for Obama

    ...Aaaaaand since when does Sen. McCain get to make staffing decisions for the future President Obama?

    July 1, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. CHANGE

    Being a POW does NOT make you qualified to be Commander-in-Chief.

    Get over it.

    July 1, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. Peter

    Wow, if this is the standard then McCain needs to fire his entire staff and probably consider putting himself in time-out also.

    Here comes the spin that the Republicans have made an art form.

    July 1, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. Sam

    Sorry McCain, what General Clark said is true and it wasn't disrespectful, you are acting like a crybaby.

    July 1, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  11. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    mccain, you should dump 'Black', see you had to get on your plane before you made a comment. Clark is not a surrogate of Obama's, he speaks the truth and so does Webb and many other's. What's your comment on speaking with Colin Powell or what was so secretive about your meetings with the Iraqi leaders. So now you are being backed by the group that lied on Kerry when he was running for president, but now they are spending thousands of dollars for you.
    Do you by chance have the moderator for 'Face the Nation' in your pocket too? You are just not a flip flopper, but you are a tired old FLIP FLOPER

    CNN. please post,

    July 1, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. jomama

    John McCain was a horrible pilot, my friends.

    July 1, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. J. W. in Europe

    As General Clark (and he said nothing wrong) did not speak on behalf of the Obama Campaign, McCain is out of line for asking Obama to sever ties.

    July 1, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  14. Ikem Umealo

    Gen Clark was right. POW status is not a status that confers leadership experience for any organisation, yet we are talking about the The USA here. Perhaps it was "inartful" as Senator Obama said and should not be on the lexicon of this political debate. But was Gen Clark right? Of couse!

    July 1, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT, SENATOR, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!

    July 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Venus

    Yes we know you have your attack dogs and we will keep Clark!

    We will not cut him lose! Funny – if you are not worried about Clark's comments...why should Obama cut him lose?

    Go Bam! Go Dems! Step it up on the GOP!

    July 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. bernice

    McSybill should just take a loooooooonngg trip out of the country and stay there.

    July 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. Hispanic For McCain

    Listen you morons CB and Javone stop with the Hate!!!!!!!! John McCain is a Honorable Person!!!! so get with the PROGRAM!!!! Hispanic people will support McCain and that you can take that to the BANK!!!!. The Puertorican, Mexican, Cuban, Colombian and all my LATINOS People will support McCain. Again you all are Liberal Morons!!!!! You will see McCain will win in Ohio, Mi, Fl, NM, PA,, and NJ that is two state that will turn RED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! plus alot more!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. Tim

    I think its pretty ridiculous that McCain would say something like this when he regularly takes money from Swift Boat Vets and even stands on stage next to them. His surrogates are now attacking Clark's service as well. I think both campaigns need to take a step back, because the American People don't care about this crap and have far better things to do, and much more to worry about, than this.

    July 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. This means you, Senator McCain.

    July 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. jason

    go home mcbush!!!!!!

    July 1, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Michael

    My God this guy is as two faced as politicians get!!! I listened to a conference call where McCain surrogates spent a good 20 to 30 minutes trashing Clark from every angle, that's okay, it's okay to have Charlie Black make a comment that a terrorist attack would benefit McCain's campaign, it's okay for him in his quest for a "respectful dialog" to give Obama the label of "Dr. No". These are all okay from himself and his surrogates, but for Clark to respond as he did should call for "cutting him loose". Lets keep in mind that Clark did not come out of the blue with this comment. Lieberman made the declaration that Obama was not qualified because he had never been shot down in a jet, Clark's response was to Lieberman's comment! This guy is pathetic, he's stoking the fire to keep people distracted on other issues so you won't take a good hard look at what he's all about.

    Hey McCain before opening up our coastal water and other wildlife refuges to the oil companies why don't we force these oil companies to drill on the 69 million acres they already have....

    Hey McCain why don't we talk about what you plan to do with the waste from all these nuclear power plants you want to build...

    Hey McCain lets talk about how a voucher system like the one you want to implement will further the achievement gap for our children!

    Hey McCain lets talk about your plans for ending the sub-prime mortgage crisis we see today!

    People take a close look at this guy, this is guy is a horrible choice for America and the more I hear of McCain, the more I listen to him, the more I research his positions, the more convinced I am that this guy is a horrible choice.

    July 1, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Sacto Joe

    Senator, there's an old saying:

    If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    Cut the whining and get on with it!

    July 1, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. ct voter

    I hate Mccain, biggest hypocrite in the world!! Obama don't do it! Don't listen to this lieing Bush! Don't fall for it! GOD NOVEMBER CAN'T COME SOON ENOUGH!!

    July 1, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. AngryRepublican

    This is rediculous. "Cut him Loose" ??? Clark is loose, he is not a part of Obama's campaign team in any way.

    Besides that, Clark's comments were correct and justified. I can't believe no one is talking about the question the moderator posed. The moderator said "john McCain rode in a fighter and was shot down." Clark didn't make that phrase up, the moderator did, and he simply responded.

    I'm a conservative but this is one reason I could never vote for John McCain.

    He panders, lies, and flip-flops over and over again.

    I will be supporting Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate. He is a true conservative and a someone you can trust to speak the truth, unlike John McSame.

    July 1, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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