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. Mir

    Well, it's ironic then since Obama voted against calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization when a bill finally did make it to the floor of the senate for a vote. Was BHO pissed that it wasn't his sponsored bill or did he just do a 180 on us, again?

    July 10, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  2. Proverbial Grunion

    Obviously both sides need to check their facts before they speak. A gaff like this hurts one's credibility. McCain needs to look for some new handlers. After some of the mistakes he has made, he is digging himself a pretty good hole to climb out of.

    July 10, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  3. Amy

    Everything just think for a second about your grandparents who are around 72 or elderly....go ahead, think about it.....think a lil longer now......o.k.....now tell me, how well do you think they would do at starting a new career as president of a country around there 72nd birthday....Isn't the retirement age 65....I would like to think they set it at that age for a reason....wouldn't you....lol

    July 10, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  4. Amy

    Everyone just think for a second about your grandparents who are around 72 or elderly….go ahead, think about it…..think a lil longer now……o.k…..now tell me, how well do you think they would do at starting a new career as president of a country around there 72nd birthday….Isn't the retirement age 65….I would like to think they set it at that age for a reason….wouldn't you….lol

    July 10, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  5. rick

    the simple fact is that republicans don't deserve a third term. they have failed at taking care of their own nation. it's disgusting how they have abandoned New Orleans, DISGUSTING and UNAMERICAN. Cheney and Rumsfield did succeed at what their true agenda was to invade Iraq and cut taxes for the rich. vote for John McCain at your own peril, just disgusting.

    July 10, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  6. pb

    CNN, when are you going to start reporting news that is fair and balance? If Obama made some of the comments that McCain made you would be all over him! There is little difference with CNN and Fox News. Frankly, I am tired of every time Obama turns his head, you scrutinize that and try to make news of that. Poor journalism, CNN. Stick to the issues and report the news...all of the news. Are you on McCain's payroll?

    July 10, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  7. Get real people

    Hey @HusseinIsAmerican2:

    If we are going to start pinning comments from surogates on McCain, Obama better watch out because what Rev. Wright and Rev. Jackson have said far outway what Phil Gramm said.

    July 10, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  8. WoMaN4McCain

    Wow...I never imagined McCain would make up a lie like that. Reminds me of HC and her Bosnia story.

    And McCain 08....LOVED your comment.

    July 10, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  9. David

    Come on CNN, can we please see this on television. Where's Campbell Brown? Oh I forgot, she hates Barack Obama. If Obama had made this same error, Campbell Brown would talk about it for a week. Let's be fair. CNN has been talking about Jesse for three days now, but very few segments on one of the worst comments in this election. "their whining". The comment made by a key McCain adviser. hmm I wonder why.

    July 10, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. Robert P.

    This just proves they will say anything to be contrary. They are not even paying attention to the facts. Same ol' GOP. Wonder if the electorate will be stupid enough to buy their crap this time.

    July 10, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  11. Danny

    CNN, you have been very unfair to McCain. You are ditorting his comments all the time and it gives fuel here to these liberals to comment here. You have no intention to be fair in news reporting and that is why your readership/audience is going down. You have lost me today. Barack has no knowledge about Iran. He has no experience whatsoever. It is a learning process for him and he has to grow up. Don't you understand it? Please report it fairly.

    July 10, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  12. timber

    why always negative stuff about McCain? I am no fan of his, but also not a fan of Obama's. At least be fair. Obama is being portrayed as the Messiah and McCain as the village idiot all the time. Come on guys..................

    July 10, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  13. JforObama

    It's funny how when McCain makes a mistake his supporters continue to defind him such as the comment "Give the guy a break. He indended to vote for Lieberman's amendment. Maybe he thought he did?"

    Meanwhile, these are the same people who are screaming about how Obama has made mistakes or does not have the "decision" qualifications to run this country.

    I don't recall Obama forgeting that he did or did not vote for something.....hmmmmmm. Do you ever forget who you have voted for or what you have supported? It doesn't add up people.

    Wake up people – wake up....the message is right here in writing.


    July 10, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  14. Jonathan

    Ian M:

    "And McCain wasn't even there to vote for the FISA bill he's giving Obama crap on, and I don't think he was there for the GI bill, either. Screw McCain."


    Obama Oeight

    July 10, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  15. AJ

    We don't need a President who will start World War III. We have to use a tough stance against Iran but we need to negotiate and give them something (like non-interference in their internal affairs) in return for giving the UN the authority to inspect their nuclear plants and facilities any time the world wants to do it. Saber rattling won't do it. We cannot start a third front and see the oild prices zoom to $8 per gallon and cripple our economy and life. I think we need to retire Sen. McCain for good. Saying that Europeans negotiated with Iran and its not done a thing is not a good argument – they are cunning; they are not tough -they want to do business with Iran.

    July 10, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  16. KRM

    How can anyone think that Obama would make a good president he is to scared to even stand up for what he believes first he said he was against the war and would withdraw our troops immediatly then he said that he might REVISE those plans when he got into his office.Secondly the man that married him and his wife and baptized his kids thinks that the government is to blame for the spread of aids what makes you think that he doesn't agree to a certain extent?McCain isn't the only one putting his foot in his mouth Obama and his wife have been doing it since day 1 maybe they should practice before they take the stand!!! I can't wait to hear all of your gripes if he does take office I guess no one told you guys not to put all of your trust into a person especially one that is just making it up as he goes along and to the person that said Hilary should be at home making a sandwich remember that you have female soilders in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting for you and yes i'm a female and i'm also in the military

    July 10, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  17. Miguel

    It's about time McFlip Flop's errors get more scrutiny. He's no longer the Maverick, he's now a puppet of the Republican Party. He's flipflopped on having direct talks with rogue nations. His net worth is 40 million dollars, yet, he gets "our pain." He made a racist generalization of Iranians being killed by our cigarettes exports, and when nobody laughed, he said it was just a joke. He got stumped by a Viagra question...how many more mistakes does he need to make before he gets called out more aggressively by the media?

    July 10, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  18. Philip

    The English grammar and syntax you find in these comments are appalling.

    The educational system is letting us down - how can grown men and women spell and write English so horribly, one wonders.

    Maybe soon we'll be outsourcing writing and spelling to India and China!!!

    July 10, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  19. Judy from PA

    What does Obama stand for? What has he voted on? He doesn't vote, then he picks out one individual vote of the other candidate and harps on it. Did it with Hillary all through the primaries. "Hillary voted for the war.". What did you vote for Barack? Oh yeah, you didn't. You weren't even in the US Senate yet. Get some experience and come back in about 12 years.

    There are too many double standards with this guy. He lets his wife make campaign speeches and then cries "lay off my wife". Now he lets his kids be interviewed, who were charming and probably won him some votes, then say's 'no more'. He used them, then acts like a protective father. I don't trust him to run the country.

    July 10, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  20. RL

    Day by day John McCain is revealing himself to be a sad spectacle. Maybe it is his age showing or it is the company that he keeps of late. His much touted "straight talk express" feels and looks more like an "out of touch express".

    July 10, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  21. cat

    Hmmm.... July 10th, 2008 6:11 pm ET

    "The AOl Straw Poll – REAL people voting REALTIME: July 7 – 14, 119,530 total votes cast: McCain 66%, Obama 34%."

    Yeah, real people voting real time, AS MANY TIMES AS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS DESIRE. Did you know that when you posted this ridiculous poll?

    July 10, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  22. Frank, San Diego

    Has he lost it? Did he simply never have it?

    Or, just maybe, he's as big a liar as the rest of the Republican lowlifes that we have had to put up with for he past seven years.

    I know that it is going to be hard for Republican die-hards. But they have to face facts. If they care as much about their country as they claim to, they have to vote Democratic this year.

    Otherwise, they can never be taken seriously again.

    July 10, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  23. jm from sc

    VCM, Obama is a man of great character. His position did not change, rather, many members of the media tried to paint him as too liberal during the primary to stop so many republicans from crossing over to support him. Obama believes in people having their constitutional rights. He didn't fool anyone; many were fooled by the media and others who wanted to be in his position.

    Obama will make an awesome president.

    July 10, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  24. Willow, from Iowa

    And McCain also always says that Obama refused to vote to make the Iranian Guard a terrorist organization. However, Obama had earlier made a bill stating that the Iranian Guard WERE a terrorist organization. And also Obama said that the one he refused to vote on was sabre rattling and the wording was very war like. McCain seems to forget That part.

    In every speech I hear of McCain, every other sentence is "Obama doesn't do this/does this." I want to hear HIS issues, I can listen to Obama myself and figure out who I like in this election. Everything McCain says is an insult to "his opponent".

    July 10, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  25. jeff

    Unbelievable what do you guys not get? It’s the two party system that’s the problem. Obama, McCain whatever they are not for us. Wake up politics is for the rich. How many can you say that? Time to make a change. No to dems or reps. Government waste is huge. I live in a state that opens its arms to anyone on welfare. I’ve had enough of both parties. Time for a change yes time for government to wakeup and work for of us. No to junk on bills and work for us that’s something we don’t see.

    July 10, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
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