July 2nd, 2008
04:30 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain had advance knowledge of Colombian raid

ON BOARD THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN PLANE, En route to Mexico City (CNN) - After a scheduled meeting between John McCain and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Tuesday, the presumptive Republican nominee was briefed on the upcoming hostage rescue raid carried out Wednesday.

As he left Colombia Wednesday afternoon, McCain learned that raid had been successfully completed, and congratulated Uribe by phone.

Senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, both traveling with McCain, were also briefed. Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders.

UPDATE: John McCain released a statement on the operation later Wednesday afternoon. (Full statement after the jump)

“Today, I spoke by phone to President Uribe. He told me some of the details of the dramatic rescue of the people who were held hostage. Three Americans are now free and Ingrid Betancourt is now in good condition. I’m pleased with the success of this very high-risk operation. Sometimes in the past, the FARC has killed the hostages rather than let them be rescued.

“So I congratulate President Uribe, the military and the nation of Colombia. It is great news. Now we must renew our efforts to free all of the other innocent people held hostage. With regard to the three Americans and Ingrid Betancourt - they had been held many years, as many as six years.

“Last night, President Uribe and the defense minister did brief us that the operation was going to take place today.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Doris,Memphis,TN

    This will not help you John McCain!
    We are prisoners in America.
    We have been held hostage for eight years
    by George Bush and the republican party.
    NOT THIS TIME! We will not be fooled by
    all of your stunts and predicted terror attacks.
    Back to the Arizonia ranch for you sir!

    July 2, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. jim

    columbia wants to make sure they keep getting the tax dollars from republican presidents to fight this war. obama might actually make them negotiate and end this conflict.

    maybe if mccain goes to pakistan, they will find bin laden...

    July 2, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. JOHN


    July 2, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Michele Hussein, Oregon

    Senator McCain, I'm NOT BUYING IT! Too Transparent. Hope the American people see right through this for what it is.

    The President of the United States PLAYING SHILL for his party's candidate. AN ABUSE OF POWER AND IMMORAL!

    July 2, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. andy dufrain

    BRIAN: SPOT on.. I bet the Bush-McCain camp knew so they thought why not send McBush down there so it makes him look better..

    McCain seems just as bas a Bush and I suspect he will be worse than bush as he has some level of inteligence which bush lacked.. he is more likely to make sinsiter moves knowing full well what he is doing, whereas bush would just do what oil men need.. after all they sent him to the whitehouse..

    July 2, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "Lieberman said McCain's advance knowledge of the raid signals a vote of confidence by foreign leaders."

    OH PLEASE, SHUT UP!!! how stupid and gullible do you think we are, LIEberman?!?!?!?! the silly repug tactics dont work on 75% of us anymore, so dont even waste our time with your nonsense...and the october surprise BETTER NOT kill anyone, you've killed enough people already you vile, disgusting neoCONs!, !!!!

    they had to wake mccain from his 3 PM nap to give him the news

    July 2, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. ben

    I didn't even make the waiting moderation with my last post and I understand. I still am a fan of CNN

    July 2, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. McCain's Man

    Ok, the timing of this is just too close.

    Did McCain know about this in advance and wanted a photo opt. Sound like a karl rove moment.

    July 2, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Winkzilla, Tucson

    Liberman's thought process involves mindless statements without any foundation behind them.

    We have another Out-of-Control Republican claim's of self-appointed superiority. Liberman is a Republican white elephant for the Democrats.

    His affection for McCain is actually kind of creepy.

    Liberman should go... He should be honest and change to the GOP.

    July 2, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. Ruby, Kansas

    Pssst! It was all a big show America. More of the same!

    July 2, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. w.l. jones

    This were a sham for none military persons.

    July 2, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. ben

    Hey! There is nothing wrong with Lieberman. He is just backing the wrong candidate

    July 2, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. jon

    GM the best car manufacturer is now valued at $9.78 per share all because of the bush cheany war in iraq people dont buy the best made suv anymore also gm may very well go under the end of an AMERICAN giant people wake up vote right vote obama

    July 2, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. John McCain-McFlip-Flop-McBush is no "maverick"

    Lieberman and Graham can't hide the fact that McCain just doesn't know his stuff. You can't have your hands up his back moving his mouth 24/7 boys!

    July 2, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. U.S. Common Sense

    Great to hear that these hostages were freed safely.

    July 2, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. MD

    What a farce.

    LIE-berman is pandering in the hopes of getting the veep spot. I hope he does get it, because then McCane would lose the GE in a landslide.

    July 2, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. dave

    Well he should be aware he is a leader on the Foreien Relations Committee in the senate. He has been involved with these types of things for quite some time. Glad it was successful, sounds like a job well done to me....

    Democrat for McCain

    July 2, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. MK

    This guy McBush is so desperate to appear to be relevant. Rather than entrust our gov't to McTemper, I think we should let him work full-time helping his wife manage her finances.

    July 2, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Gretchen

    Doesn't surprise me in the least that McCain and Lieberman would stoop to an attempt to politicize the story for campaign purposes. How sad.

    Had McCain not been in the country, no 'briefing' would have been provided. And Senators Lieberman and Graham would be hearing about it on the news too. What a group.

    July 2, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. mark

    Was the timing of the raid and the GOP candidate in Columbia a coincidence? Sad to think the hostages could have been freed so much earlier.

    July 2, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  21. lilacs

    How stupid does the republicans think we americans are, if it smell like a polecat you can bet it is a polecat. This trip was set to make MccMccain look good. Not Fooled at all. BUSHS PUPPET. "FOOL ME ONCE SHAME ON YOU FOOL ME CANT FOOL ME AGAIN' . Right bush, but the Republicans can are able to fool 28%of america. SCREAMS OF PHOTO-OPS

    July 2, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. Donna Mansfield, Everett, Washington

    Excuse me, Mr. Lieberman – but leaders all over the world, with the exception perhaps of Columbia and Israel and MAYBE Iraq, do NOT want anyone other than Mr. Obama. Your statement is incorrect – like a lot of things you say.

    July 2, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Texans for Obama

    Kudos for John McCain. I am very happy the hostages were released but America's economy is in big trouble. Could he please stay here for a minute and stop traveling the world. McCain probrably received a briefing on the military operation and now he wants someone to give him credit for the rescue I guess. Who knows, he is too old to become president. Here is a man that been in the senate for years and lord he doesn't know anything about the economy. He is old school and we need someone fresh and new. This is about our children's future.

    We need big time change in America and someone who knows something about the economy. All the Republicans are trying to do is scare people about a possible future terrorist attack. Sorry that is not going to work. McCain please retire. Yes we can and will!

    July 2, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. California Gold

    McCain is out of the country campaigning in Columbia and Mexico. Why? Does he have plans to invade Mexico too? Columbia also on his top 10 list of countries? He is a never ending source of comic relief.

    July 2, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. Michele Hussein, Oregon

    Ben, don't feel bad, it is happening alot these days especially when you have something very legitimate to say like the President of the United States of America has immorally used his presidential power to play SHILL for his party's candidate in the Columbia hostage situation.

    Or when you are not a hater on these blogs and give a balanced critique that does not fit the mold of the divisiveness the media wants to keep feeding.

    You are a better sport right now Ben, but I am fuming over this and hope to get posted this time..

    July 2, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10