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. Silvia Hall

    Excuse me, Mr. Flip-Flop: Who are you to tell Obama what to do? What about Mr. Black and his comments regarding that an terrorist attack will benefit McCain? Please his comments were very offensive, will you cut him loose? General Clark stated something that is actually right, having been a POW does not qualify to be commander-in-chief; he did not question McCain military service, in fact he honored it. Please can the media set the record straight on this matter? Can the media remind McCain about Mr Black's comments again? Maybe, McCain will shut up.

    July 1, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. Vanessa

    In February 2003, Sen. McCain said "Absolutely not," when asked whether "military service inherently makes somebody better equipped to be commander-in-chief."

    "Harry Truman was in the artillery in World War I, which was magnificent," he continued. "Ronald Reagan did most of his active duty in the studio lots in California. It might be a nice thing, but I absolutely don't believe that it's necessary."

    July 1, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. Lack of respect

    Wow, you people show a whole lot of respect for a POW. And Clark's comments are absurd at best. he talks about McCain lacking qualifications to be President. And what, pray tell, are Obama's qualifications? Being a senator of little substance for about 3 days? Coming up with a catchy campaign phrase? All of his policies are based in fantasy land. It's called research, people. Try it some time.

    July 1, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. WISDOM

    I agree 100% with General Clark. Nobody is doubting McCain's honorable service to this nation, but that alone doesn't make him a better leader. In fact, I rather trust younger and less experience, but honest man over older man with life time of rotten experience who ditched his wife and kids over a younger and rich girl. You know who I'm talking about: John Mccain is the one who ditched his wife and kids over then a rich young girl, Cindy.

    Now, how can you trust a man like McCain as your president? He is now criticizing Obama for changing his mind on Public Campaign Financing issue? What a hypocrite he is....

    July 1, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. Scott L

    Not sure why Clark says that McCain's military background does not qualify him to lead this great country of ours. Not only is it his military background, but also his xyz years of service in the US Senate and reaching across party lines and foreign policy experience.

    Obama has zero experience. If Obama is qualified to be president, then I will become a Senator (read up on how he won his seat by ousting others from the ballot) and then I will just run for President.

    I can do it, oh yes I can!

    July 1, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. Obama-Clark '08

    We have a measure of the lengths Mccain's campaign will go to distort and spin the truth. Obama should make this an issue.

    July 1, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  7. VM

    He has to be kidding! It's not like the man said anything ABOUT his service. He just said that what happened didn't necessarily qualify him for presidency. This was in response to a question asking him to compare the two candidates' experience.

    They make him seem more and more like an old fool every day. Seriously disgusting.

    July 1, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    I Agree With What Clark Said! It Was The Truth! Here Is Some More Truth For You Mccain . . . Your Head Looks Like A Boiled Egg!

    July 1, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Heather in SoCal

    Haha! So Clark got under his skin! Someone who outranks McCain called him on his act!!

    Sounds like Obama's next move is to put Clark on the ticket! Woot woot!

    July 1, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. Timothy from South Bend, IN

    I think Senator MCLame is trying to get rid of all of Obama's best advocates so he can have the upper hand come November. We as Democrats will not be fooled by his tactics. Not this time! Just wait until Obama gets to go toe to toe with him in a debate. Senator Obama (the next president of the United States) will come out smelling like a rose.

    Go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. Brian Quirk

    Let's be honest about what this is all about: Gen. Clark as Obama's V.P. would be a real threat to McCain's attempt to corner to market on military experience.

    July 1, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. Chris in Texas

    Gee McCain, why would you want Gen. Clark to sever ties with Obama? Could it be because both men are reputable and with Gen. Clark's credentials, it would make you lose credibility? Or is it because Gen. Clark has a point and since both men have opinions, you'd love for Obama to just let go of all of his surrogates so that a few months from now yours will attack Obama alone?

    Get real!

    Obama 08'

    July 1, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. Chut Pata

    McCain should cut himself loose who is questioning Obama's ability to become a commander-in-chief. He should cut loose the entire republican party, especially his "swift boaters" who question Obama's patriotism.

    Wesley Clarke has been a successful commander in chief, not a shot down pilot. He knows who would be a good commander in chief who would not.

    July 1, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. Vanessa

    In 2006, McCain appeared at a late-stage but crucial fundraiser for Illinois Rep. Pete Roskam, who was being challenged by Democrat Tammy Duckworth, a veteran who had lost both her legs in Iraq. The nail-biter campaign for the open seat, which was won by Roskam with 51 percent of the vote, was marked by heated rhetoric over service and war. Roskam, who won the endorsement of the organization Veterans of Foreign Wars, accused Duckworth of wanting to cut-and-run from Iraq. McCain held his fundraiser shortly thereafter.

    July 1, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. William Robert

    Wesley Clark is nothing more than a "hired gun". He can take either side of the topic. He likes the camera time and the Sunday morning talk shows. He wants people to think he knows what he is talking about. I wouldn't believe the man if he said the earth was round.

    July 1, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. Loretta from California

    If he does, "cut Clark loose" he will definitely lose my vote. What about your ignorant surrogates......YOU CUT THEM LOOSE!!!

    DEMOCRATS UNITE!!!!

    July 1, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Cole

    McCain is really starting to upset me.

    General Clark did not dishonor his service, and this rebuttal attack on the character of General Clark is shameful.

    John McCain should be ashamed of himself. He responds to a valid critique on one of his talking points by this shameless attack on a higher ranking military official.

    John McCain you are a sad and pathetic man.

    July 1, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. Debby

    I agree with McCain, Clark is a loose cannon with his comments lately.

    July 1, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. Nana

    when did mccain become this big joke? what is wrong with him! Obama should cut Clark loose for what reason? this is ridiculous!

    July 1, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  20. M.S. Indiana

    McCain and what about your rape women friends ??? At least this guy is dead on spot... and what about your swift boater friends ??

    We have millions of people who have served this country and are younger and in touch with the American people, why don't you step down and let one of them run ??

    July 1, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  21. Ilona Hussein, Proud Canadian!

    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease

    Barack please DON'T distance yourself from Wesley Clarke!
    Wes Clarke did nothing wrong!!

    By the way John McCain, do your supporters KNOW WHERE YOU ARE? Do they know WHAT YOU ARE DOING IN COLOMBIA?

    You are NOT IN THE WHITE HOUSE YET, and here you are in COLOMBIA, making another CAFTA DEAL! .....I cannot believe that your supporters continue to believe that you are Presidential Material!

    July 1, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. NO SIR!!!!

    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."............DID you cut BLACK loose.......Clean YOUR HOUSE!!!!

    July 1, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  23. This is ridiculous....

    The MSM has blown this WAY out of proportion. I would encourage everyone to look at a video of Clark's comments, and see that Clark never questioned McCain's patriotism or military service. Republicans are amazing at faking outrage.

    July 1, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. BigBayin CA

    He hasn't even reputiated the comment by Black. He said "I don't know what context it was said in" and "it is not true" but now he wants Obama to get rid of someone that had the gall to say the truth! Get rid of Black!

    July 1, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  25. Michelle

    Barack Obama thinks that the American public is stupid.

    Everyone knows that Obama's campaign is behind these attacks on McCain and that Obama knows full well about them.

    Obama is letting surrogates do his dirty work for him. Then he feigns
    surprise and fakes an apology. Oh, and then a big speech for Mr. Teleprompter.

    July 1, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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