July 11th, 2008
08:38 AM ET
8 years ago

McCain misfires on Obama attack

McCain criticized Obama for missing a Senate vote he also missed.

McCain criticized Obama for missing a Senate vote he also missed.

(CNN) - It turns out that John McCain made an off-the-mark error when he launched at Barack Obama this week over Iran’s missile tests.

In a statement criticizing Obama’s positions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the organization claiming credit for the missile launches, McCain wrote, “This is the same organization that I voted to condemn as a terrorist organization when an amendment was on the floor of the United States Senate. Senator Obama refused to vote.”

The problem with the critique? McCain also missed that vote on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment on September 26, 2007. Records show that Obama was in New Hampshire and McCain was in New York instead of being in the Senate chamber for the vote in question.

The McCain campaign admits the error but points to their candidate’s tough stance against the country President Bush once grouped into the “axis of evil.”

“Its time to make the Iranians understand that this kind of violation of international treaties, this kind of threat, threatening of their neighbors, continued military activity is not without cost,” McCain said on Wednesday.

Despite Obama’s voting absence, his campaign is touting legislation he sponsored in March 2007 (S. 970) which also would have designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Obama’s legislation never had a vote in the Senate.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (520 Responses)
  1. Joydev@msn.com

    McCain doesn't always concern himself with the facts. McCain just thinks that he deserves the presidency; facts, policy, and the common good mean nothing to him.

    July 10, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  2. Todd

    Fine, McCain wasnt there, but he was right about what he said. McCain would have voted the way he said he did and Obama wouldnt have voted. His point is correct, we cannot have a President who will sit down and talk with Iran. We dont need a Lord Chamberlin right now.

    July 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. Bruce from Palo Alto, CA

    I'm voting for Obama for social, economic and protest reasons based on the last 8 disgracedful years of Republican rule ... but McCain has the right idea on Iran. We still need a military, we still need to act on the world stage. It is a real tragedy that Bush has blown money and lives and screwed the economy when we do face a global threat like this.

    I wish the social conscience of the Democrats could be grafted to "some" of the practical foreign policy intentions of the Republicans and that we could leave out the bad parts of both sides instead of getting mostly the bad parts.

    July 10, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  4. David Vida

    It's pretty clear as this campaign unfolds that McCain has never been the right presidential nominee. One thing the American people should acknowledge in a candidate is their ability to have conviction. McCain is showing he lacks that, McCain has shown that Bush was the right choice for the last 8 years and Barrack Obama is the right choice for the next 8 years.

    July 10, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  5. West Coast

    Its looking more and more like Obama is the best candidate for the job.

    July 10, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  6. Texas Independent


    I am suprised that his camp does not prepare him better for this stuff. It is all perception people, McCain can sit and have tea with all the muslim clergy in the U.S. and it will be called " McCain is reaching out". If Obama does that it will be dubbed "Obama plots with his muslim brothers", that's why he stay far away from muslims as Gore did from Clinton in 2000.
    Hence, any mistake Obama makes on the campaign is chalked up to fatigue, it has been a long campaign, but any mistake McCain makes it will be "here comes the senile old man". So I am suprised that his camp does not grill him better on his public speaches and positions. Who is running things over there, Mark Penn?

    July 10, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  7. Marie

    Mr. Barack Obama mocks a top economic adviser to John McCain Thursday for suggesting Americans are whining over to the country's economic woes. You know Obama seems to mock everyone that disagrees with him. Look how he has mocked seniors calling them "old folks" and how he mocked Hilary was disgraceful. This guy wants for us to get to know who he is and I am getting a real picture of him and he not a likeable guy. He can't decide if he'll ride the coat tails of Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King or JFK! He is none of these WHY can't he show us who he really is,I don't think he knows himself at all. He keeps trying to run on everyone elses image and words! I can tell you one thing about Sen. McCain, he knows who he is, and is running in his own skin. I just wish Sen. Obama would do the same anf quit this game he is playing with the public and thses historic persons of the past. Sen. OBAMA your NO JFK!!!!!

    July 10, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  8. marta

    distorting truths is not an age thing it is a republican thing

    July 10, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  9. Haley

    So Senator Obama blasts Hillary Clinton for voting for a bill that he did not vote for, but now he is touting his authorship of a similar bill. I know Presidential candidates move to the center during the general election, but I've never seen them sprint as fast as Obama.

    July 10, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  10. nathan

    I am not a Republican so take my words with a grain of salt, but I think it's sad that the GOP standard bearer is so obviously on the brink of senility. It is not good for the country. The campaign would be much more informative and productive with Romney or another more level headed Republican running against Obama. McCain is simply too old for the office.

    July 10, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  11. Kim, Dallas, TX

    I worry about having someone as old as McCain running our country. I don't think he has it together enough to run the show. He forgets what votes he has cast, cannot remember or doesn't know international groups or which portion of Islam certain groups are from. He's way too trigger happy and wants war on Iran. Tonight he was on TV and couldn't remember voting against insurance companies taking care of prescription contraceptives. He was crawling into his own skin when asked about Viagra being insured, but birth control not being insured. I want someone who has his wits about him as president. We have had too many years now of someone who is clueless in the oval office, we sure don't need anymore years of nonsense.

    July 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  12. Educator in CT

    This would not be the first LIE. I am a republican who will NOT be voting for McCain. He lies so much, he cant remember his own lies.

    He does not go to church, and pretends to know what us christians want. Well I am a real christian and will never vote for a man who cheated on his wife because she was deformed.

    McCain is a disgrace!

    Ron Paul where are you? Huckabee??? at this point even the Mormon Romney is better!

    July 10, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  13. Fact Check

    TO Lisa --First the troops were coming home within 16 months now it may take 100 years, take notes folks.........Lisa you need to do fact check before open your trap .............Mr Obama said 16 months...........Hillary said 60 days and Mr Cain said they could be there for 100 yrs......

    July 10, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  14. WISDOM

    When Obama said: "people from a small town become bitter...." the media and the other side were all over him for a long time.

    Now I wonder how long this will be covered: An economic adviser of Mccain, a former senator Gramm said: "Americans are whiners and they are going through a mental recession?"===> Is this mean that any American who feel recession is a nut?

    McCain himself said the gas tax relief itself may not be much to really benefit one's pocket book, but may help people mentally. So our president to be is thinking about some of his people are nuts. I don't blame him, but his old age may got to do with this bull...

    Now McCain is attacking Obama while lying publicly....then later....just saying...oh...it's a simple mistake...not even said sorry for it..

    July 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. Bill Johnson

    Oh well, why get bogged down with silly things like facts. Facts arent important to run this country, Bush has shown that.

    July 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  16. Gail

    So neither of them voted for it. I guess neither of them felt it was such a big thing so move on to the next thing. Oh, you'll all be McCain's age one day so just wait until people think you're stupid too.

    July 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  17. Obama08

    Can any Republican tell me why McCain won your nomination instead of Rommey? This speak to real backroom deals. McCain was almost out of the primaries and then suddenly he's the winner. The only one who wouldn't lay down was the one HONEST person Huckabee who the Republicans don't like. I don't get you guys and yet I voted for Ronald Regan because he was a good man. Rommey was a good man. You could have had McCain as the VP (although Obama and/or Clinton would have still beat you. McCain had better wake up and get Rommey as VP, but we would get Ms Clinton and still beat you guys. LOL

    July 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  18. Come on America.......?

    People of this CNN Commentary Blog let's not, as a nation, fail what we believe in. I am Justin Martin, the future of this Nation of Greatness, I am strong McCain Supporter and I have, a Full-blooded Citizen of America, don't believe as well as many others can believe this one of great inexperience can take this nation by the horns and drive this bull to the ground. i believe in hope but I don't believe in a man who has under several occasions has dis-respected The American Flag. I wish that this nation, as a hole, could join forces and take this Great Nation even Greater. But I don't believe that this nation is ready for Barack Hussien Obama is ready to be our leader. I promise.

    The future, Justin Martin

    July 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  19. Brian

    Graham is right, the media portrays the economy as mush worse than it actually is. It is all to make an Obama Presidency inevitable. There is very little truth to it. Gas in CA was 3.70 last year at this time now it is 4.40, that is .70 a gallon more so if you car takes 20 gallons that is 14.00 a fill up, not that big a deal especially when you consider gas is still the cheapest liquid you can buy. A gallon of bottled water or Starbucks coffee would cost you much more.

    July 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  20. Russ

    I still can't believe the Republicans nominated this man. He is the proverbial nail in their coffin after 8 years of "W."

    Obama '08 and '12

    July 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  21. sue

    Republicans must be regretting their choice.

    McCain is a walking gaffe machine!

    July 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  22. Amit NYC

    McCain's campaign misspoke.

    July 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  23. Frank

    I can accept John McCains err. I cannot accept the Democrats stance on one single issue! Democrats have made the wrong decisions concerning my country and are on the verge of changing the American way of life as we know it. We must take a stand against these wrong ideals. Send the Democrats a message.....this is OUR country.....and we will fight you to keep it!

    July 10, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  24. Shannon

    At this point I have concluded that mc cain has lost his bearings, he has some serious memory loss issues.

    Also, he really needs to understand that everything he says, and does, can be verified, checked out and rechecked again, and every public word he says can be played back for him when he denies ever saying things. Do we really want a president who can't remember such simple things as having voted on an issue?

    July 10, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  25. Mai

    If Senator Obama had been in the Senate that day, he would have voted "PRESENT".

    Please stop knocking Senator McCain, CNN. Thanks.

    July 10, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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