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. Jeff

    Great job CNN, it's about time someone starts calling out McCain on his lies/dementia. Republicans response to this: "lol, everyone makes mistakes!" Yet when Obama flubs and says he's been to 57 states they all scream "OMG IDIOT, WHO WOULD VOTE FOR THIS MAN?? I DON'T TRUST HIM!"

    July 10, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  2. Molly Weasley

    McCain hasn't even been in Congress since April. He has the worst attendance record of anyone in Congress. How is he supposed to remember what he voted for? He can't even remember what position he's supposed to be taking without Joe Lieberman telling him what to do.

    We're a nation of "whiners" all right - we're whining that McCain would be a horrible president.

    July 10, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  3. jason twombley-missouri

    oh boy, oh boy..McCain looking like the OLD fool, once again...with Hillary's negativity...just what America needs...yet ANOTHER old washington chump, wanabe looking for the presidency throne. Good God, America, put this old man to bed !!

    July 10, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  4. Rick FL

    It's good to see CNN carried this story.

    When I first followed its release yesterday, I thought McCain had no grounds to challenge Obama when McCain missed voting on the very issue he was criticizing. As the article mentioned, Obama actually sponsored similar legislation last spring.

    Obama '08
    Si se puede!

    July 10, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  5. Truely a Democrat

    Anyone that votes for McSame should think about your vote closely. I still don't see this information posted all over cable news like it would be if Obama had made this mistake...

    Obama 08

    July 10, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  6. Sandy

    Do you recall early in the campaign when asked what he thought should be done about Iran's lack of cooperation with the nuclear watchdogs, he sang to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann", "bomb, bomb, bomb – bomb, bomb Iran" and then chuckled.

    This man could be president???

    July 10, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  7. Bryan

    Glad that Senator McCain clarified his error & his commitment to stopping the "axis of evil."

    Who coined that phrase? That's right, Bush 43.

    July 10, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  8. Please, No Obama

    Reading these blogs in the Political Ticker is hilarious. Obama supporters are truly a bunch of rabid dogs. The amazing thing is that they start foaming at the mouth in perfect synchrony. A story comes out and, in unison, they start with the "McSame", "McBush" diatribes or, cheaper still, tasteless age jokes. Who are these morons? I hope they are not the educated elite of the nation. If so, let's appeal to the "simple folk" who observe some decency.

    July 10, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  9. Sharon M

    Funny how CNN always downgrades the Republicans. Think they should look into reality with taxes, truths, and well being of the public. I would have been curious to see how Gore OR CLINTON FOR THAT MATTER, would have handled 9/11............Let me guess..with the comment " we will capture and persecute those involved". LOVE THE ACTION CLINTON TOOK.....my brother was in the Yemen attack, and that was the action taken.

    July 10, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  10. Godson

    I have 4 years experience working in Nursing Home dementia ward, I'll be applying to White House if McCain wins.

    July 10, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  11. Ben

    CNN and all of the other TV stations are in bed with the Republicans.
    They are no different then Fox only they let their guests talk. Notice how they lead off with their stories, and everything for McCain has a Positive spin. On gaffs they show McCain on film clipps and Obama has a written statement. Notice how negative Andrea Mitchell (Mrs. Allen Greenspan) is towards Obama. I just wonder how can these so called journalist live with themselves when people are losing their lives in this illegal war by not truthfully reporting the news?

    July 10, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  12. RealityCzech

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

    Because we all know that AOL is tamper-proof, even if it runs counter to every other poll out there, right?

    Even if this is legit, it just verifies that a diminishing group of fools are still suckered into subscribing to AOL, an online service long considered obsolete and lacking in value by the majority of Americans.

    July 10, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  13. jimmy velman


    July 11, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  14. Juergen, NY

    We do not want a socialist president like Obama!

    McCain will carry on the good work started by Bush. His unwavering stance is admiring.

    McCain 08'

    July 11, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  15. KMAN

    Hey Hmmm ... you are quoting an AOL straw poll ... try taking a look at AOL's demographics! It's simply nonsense to suggest McRelic is out polling Obama in any meaningful poll! Get real ... AOL, what a joke!!

    July 11, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  16. Edith Arkansas

    Only a fool will vote Republican the rich stay rich and the poor will stay poor under Republicans. Only a Democrat like Obama will have the vision and good judgement to clean up the Bush mess NO ON ANOTHER BUSH 3RD TERM NO MATTER WHAT THE OLD MAN SAY HE WILL NOT DELIVER HE IS TO REPUBLICAN MIND SET DRIVEN IT WON'T WORK TRUST ME.

    July 11, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  17. Michael

    Thank you CNN for finally reporting some news, doing some fact checking!!! I love this story and my other favorite is McCain's economic adviser. Where are the reports reminding people that McCain claims that who you surround yourself with says a lot about who you are. So even if Phil Gram doesn't speak for McCain, perhaps not but perhaps it says something about who you are taking advise from...Lets list it out here...We've Charlie Black a huge lobbyist for the some of the worst scum of the earth, who states that a terrorist attack would benefit McCain, Lieberman running around like chicken little running the old scare 'em into a vote tactic, and now Gram who thinks Americans are whiners. Thank God it doesn't look as if it's going to work this time around. Shoot the latest Zogby poll shows that perhaps even McCain's home state of Arizona may be in play...

    Obama '08

    July 11, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  18. bill in oklahoam

    Mccain doens't remember voting agaisnt birth control reimbursemnt, he can't remember which football team he gave his interogators in vietnam, he cant't remember the difference between shias ,and sunnis, he can't remember not voting on the iranian guard and he can not remember not supporting webbs GI bill. Do you see a pattern?

    July 11, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  19. Sandra

    McCain Opposes the 21st Century GI Bill Because It Is Too Generous. McCain did not vote on the GI Bill that will provide better educational opportunities to veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, paying full tuition at in-state schools and living expenses for those who have served at least three years since the 9/11 attacks. McCain said he opposes the bill because he thinks the generous benefits would “encourage more people to leave the military.” (S.Amdt. 4803 to H.R. 2642, Vote 137, 5/22/08; Chattanooga Times Free Press, 6/2/08; Boston Globe, 5/23/08; ABCNews.com, 5/26/08)

    July 11, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  20. Chris Hussein, TX

    As a veteran, McSame gets no special place with me. He's milking his service and his former POW status, all the while voting against veterans’ interests. He's an absent minded lightning rod. A T-Rex Dinosaur with a bad memory.

    Definitely not Presidential material. Only a loon would vote for this gentleman.

    July 11, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  21. 2pacolypse Now

    Wow. The man is absolutely senile. He just didn't make an error in saying he was there to vote but I think he truly doesn't remember which is horrifying in itself. How can anyone with good conscience vote for a man who can't remember a bill to vote on only shortly a year ago? The media has finally awoken out of it's stupor and is now showing just how senile, out of touch, and as Obama put it months ago, losing his bearings off the straight talk express.

    Couple that with the Viagara question he was way too slow and inept to dodge on camera and him not remembering again, what he voted on as far as health insurance coverage for women wanting birth control as to men being able to get coverage for Viagara. He voted against women being covered for birth control in 2003. Cmon idiot, you are trying to court HRC disenfranchised women voters and you can't do any better than that? How can a woman in their right mind vote for a creep who publicly says he wants to end Roe vs Wade and doesn't think insurance companies should cover birth control but that it's okay to cover Viagara. I guess it's okay to let men to continue their ability to drop seeds all over the place but it's not okay for women to have their birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies be covered. McFlip Flop does it again.

    And I'm not gonna even mention the Phill Gramm retarded comment as if people's hard times are being made up in make pretend like Bobby's World. Birds of a feather flock together and McCain feels the same way as his trusted advisors do. That's why they are trusted advisors. And he would still consider this creep for Treasure Secretary even after the comments. A womans vote for him is a vote for setting woman's rights back 20 years.

    July 11, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  22. John from Vegas

    John McCain's advisors would be wise to tell him to keep his mouth shut from now on. Don't answer questions, don't appear anywhere in public, and above all, don't debate Obama in front of an audience.

    After November, he will have plenty of time to do talk shows while Obama prepares to run the country in 2009.

    July 11, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  23. McSameMcCain on myspace

    Of course McCain wasn't there to vote on the GI Bill. He was against it and to avoid going on record and voting against it, he skipped out. So much for all the tough talk. McCain is a coward. His stance against the troops also proves that he is a Judas!

    July 11, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  24. ANGIE

    john mccain is too old to run this country i think he may be slipping into dementia he forgets when he votes he forgets he didnt even vote this is serious please ask yourself what kind of president he will be its old age this is what happens no ones fault no ones control john mccain DOES NOT BELONG IN THE WHITE HOUSE THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  25. Raymond Duke

    Got to agree on this statement but hey at least McCain has some back bone.The statement that Obama made about english shouldn't be the official language of america and that we should be concerned more about our kids learning spanish tells you what he thinks of america. It also points out how stupid he is. I am a well educated person and if I wanted my child to learn a second language it would be chinese. They and russia or going to be the emerging super powers both economically and militaryly. What a dufus this man is "pander for the vote". I think the hispanics see what kind of america he wants. That is the reason they left Mexico.

    July 11, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
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