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

McCain misfires on Obama attack

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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. NickNas

    10 THINGS McCain did in ONE WEEK that would have gotten ANYONE else laughed out of the Presidential race. ( and rightly so)

    1. McCain unambiguously called Social Security "an absolute disgrace."
    2. McCain's top economic policy adviser calls Americans a bunch of "whiners" for being worried about the slumping economy.
    3. Iraqi leaders call for a timetable for U.S. withdrawal, McCain gets caught in a bizarre denial and flip flop.
    4. McCain's economic plan to cut the deficit has no details and is simply not believable. There are so many things here. McCain pledges he would eliminate the deficit by the end of his first term (the campaign latter flip flop flipped about whether it was four years or eight years), but does not provide any details about how he would do it.
    5. McCain's deficit plan includes bringing the troops home represents a major Iraq flip-flop.
    6. McCain campaign misled about economists support.
    7. McCain makes a joke about killing Iranians.
    8. McCain denies, flatly, that he ever said that he is not an expert in economics.
    9). McCain distorts his record on veterans benefits in response to a question from Vietnam Veteran, who then proceeds to call McCain out on it.
    10.) McCain demonstrates he knows nothing about Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    BUT....People still think he is the BEST the GOP has to OFFER. WOW!!!

    July 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. Gil

    "If you think Mccain is bad, who is Obama? Liberal, Conservative or the greatest panderer who fooled America. Choose the best answer while Obama is still figuring how to define himself. Vote Independent Nader so the fun can begin"...the Big problem with this is, after all these years the American people STILL don't know who McCain is! He goes against his party, then for it (on the same issue). He's against religion in politics, then he's for it! Against drilling, then for it (except ANWAR, where he's against drilling...for now). He says he's pro-military, then votes against veteran's benefits (which he himself utilized). He's against Bush's tax cuts one minute, then he's for them! He's against privitizing social security, then he's for it, then he's against it again? He said he knows very little about economics, then doesn't recall ever saying this. He was for taxing oil companies on their record profits, then backtracks. He co-wrote an amnesty bill for illegals, then goes against it! After all these years John McCain STILL DOESN"T KNOW WHO WHAT HE STANDS FOR!

    July 10, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. kat

    what international treaties? treaties that iran didn't sign? every other country, including india, china and pakistan, not to mention the us, britain, france and israel, test their military weapons. why does iran not have the right to protect itself as a sovereign nation? this is not an issue we have any right to escalate tension over, nevermind talk of war.

    July 10, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. Not sleeping at the switch

    Is it just me or does McCain ALWAYS say the wrong thing or NOT Answer the question then a MEMBER of the McCain Camp Speaks up for him or "Clarifies what he "really meant"????

    That adds up to a man who knows nothing and thinks nothing for himself doesn't it?

    July 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Paul, Ohio

    McCain has missed more votes during the past year-and-a-half than any Senator except Tim Johnson, and he had a brain hemorrhage.

    July 10, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. andrew

    Amum Abum Adum bumbling mumbling fumbling
    Just too old to make any sense anymore
    Does not understand the Economy, overstates his Vietnam War record in the senate, mumbles and gets confused over the sunnis and the shies, wants to bomb iran, confuses Obama's position on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard
    has a temper......which says a lot about a person
    its a disgrace that we have someone like this trying to be Commander in Chief
    Will someone just get this guy some warm milk and get him a rocking chair.
    good grief

    July 10, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. CAA

    That's right, he didn't vote on the GI Bill but Bush gave him credit, and he didn't vote on: H.R. 3221 – Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008; HR 6331; Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 which Teddy Kennedy came out to vote for; nor the H.R. 6304; Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) which he is giving Obama hell about; nor the bill to increase the supply and lower the cost of petroleum by temporarily suspending the acquisition of petroleum for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Yet he is touting a gasoline holiday tax and bragging about his energy relief plan!! What a joke!

    July 10, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. LYNETTE IN CA

    I so look forward to an Obama / McBush debate! McSame is already screwing up his own history, let alone Obama's. If he can't get his own history correct, what will he be like as Pres. It's not going to happen.

    Obama '08

    July 10, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. Charlotte

    Hillary was there and voted. Hillary has only missed 25% of the votes to Obamas' 42% and McCains' 60%. Why can't they make it to vote? Obama doesn't vote even if he is there? I will write in the best choice for America, HIllary Clinton.

    July 10, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. Mike

    Liar or just Senile? Thats twice today. Forgot he voted not to cover birth control but yes to cover his viagra. Now forgot he missed the vote on Iran. Is this a candidate or a clown?

    July 10, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Peter (CA)

    KE...uh, yes we can. Obama's "flip-flops" are nothing compared to McCain's 180 degree turns on torturte, off-shore drilling, gay unions, etc.

    Obama is not perfect, he has never said he was. But he, at least, can understand where most of us have been and where we are trying to go. McCain seems to not know and his advisors are worse.

    Distort the record....McCain and his cronies are the champions.

    July 10, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Jan

    Dr Phil, John McCain–the young and old love them. They are both wise beyond their years. Please listen, young-uns. Even Obama compared McCain to Dr Phil. I work as a nurse and listen to the young folks–they appreciate the wisdom of Dr Phil and agree that, as much as they are cool and know it all about some things, they are naive about the way to run the country! Please do not let your heart rule your head–vote for the man who knows how walk the walk–not the guy who talks the talk! McCain-2008 Dr Phil versus Dr No!

    July 10, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. Jarrod

    McCain 08: Why should a woman make you a sandwich? Go make your own sandwich... Its not the 1950's anymore, and women are not slaves owned by men. I used to not understand my feminist girlfirend, but I see its because of people like you that she needs to take a stand. I am not a fan of Hillary either, but it has NOTHING to do with her gender. I dont vote on race or religion, or flag pins either. I vote on issues that will affect me, and this county long after im gone. I only hope my fellow Americans do the same or we are in deep trouble.

    July 10, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Andre' of Maryland

    He got these facts wrong as he did about who we are fighting in Iraq. Does this guy even know what he is campaigning for? My friends?

    July 10, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Gary Chandler in Canada

    If Gramm was saying American leaders are whiners, not the American people, then Obama can say he was calling the leaders bitter, not the people.
    It would be just as believable.
    Did you know the Sioux Nations had severe penalties for lying?
    Gramm, wash your mouth out with soap. liar < not that there is anything wrong with it

    July 10, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Taa Taa

    I love the picture of Obama looking like he's saying, "Dude, you didn't vote on it either, what the hell are you talking about".. Mccain is saying different things in front of different audiences.. They just caught him in a lie about his POW record... Getting a bit shameful....

    July 10, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. TN 62 Republican woman

    Ula–time to get beyond this Clinton stuff–she isn't the candidate as chosen by the people. You Clinton people need to think your position through honestly–not just a woman for president but who best of the nominated candidates has the integrity and the will to make the changes that are so badly needed. Just think, if Obama gets his message to the people as Ronald Regan did, we can again be a nation of pride and prosperity.

    July 10, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. No McCain!

    Looks like a certain someone had a senior moment (again.)

    Obama '08

    CNN- why don't you bring up McCain's recent comments about killing innocent Iranians?

    July 10, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. Truth

    I feel McCain should just retire, like most Americans at his age. However, I do believe his expertise could benefit our country and I admire him.
    Also, I feel Obama may be a somewhat young, but very energetic. That’s what this country needs right now; ENERY. There is a lot of work to be done and one person can’t do it alone; it takes a country. Therefore, we need a leader who will fire us up, someone who will give up the extra boost to keep this country the strongest force in the world.
    Instead of bringing each other down, we should try to lift each other up.

    PUMA for the best person to keep our strong

    July 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. Greg

    Well maybe that explains why McCain hasn't voted for a while, he doesn't realize that cracking jokes about voting with reporters on the back of his bus doesn't count.

    July 10, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Staying home in November

    Both of these candidates are off the mark. Neither one will be good for our country. Instead of attacking each other as American's and who we choose to vote for, we need to figure out as citizens how to get out of the horrible mess we are in. Party politics is poisoning our country.

    July 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  22. Vig

    McCain Misfires? How about this: the following is a paraprashed excerpt from a letter to the editor of the S.F. Chronicle: Headline: Barack Obama's bumper-sticker politics: Mr. Change has so far changed his stance on campaign financing; his stance on gun control, his stance on whether or not Iran poses a threat; his stance on NAFTA; his stance on the FISA law; his stance on Jerusalem; his stance on ending the Cuban embargo; his stance on the decriminalization of marijuna; his stance on a time table for withdrawing the troops from Iraq and even changed his pastor. What we have hear is the Shifting Sands Candidate. Yep, Mr. Change, changes with the winds. Put Hillary Clinton's name in nomination in November and return her stolen nomination to our next President.

    July 10, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  23. Wrob

    McCain is a nice fellow. That being said, he is too old to be President. No one would even hire him for a challenging top spot in a large company, why on earth should he be the commander of the free world if we had a reasonable choice of someone else? Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Eileen from Maine

    Posted by VCM
    If you think Mccain is bad, who is Obama? Liberal, Conservative or the greatest panderer who fooled America. Choose the best answer while Obama is still figuring how to define himself.
    *********************************************************************************** Correction: Obama is not trying to figure out how to define himself. That is what the media is in a frenzy about,, because they aren't able to put Obama in a box.

    Obama said at the beginning of this campaign and even well before the campaign began that he was not locked into any ideology. He is more a believer of determining what the problems are , what is causing them and how best to solve the problems.
    You know, actually leading and governing to make our country stronger. (if there is anybody that can remember what that is like)

    July 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. Uncle Fester

    KE
    Try Googling "McCain's 61 Flip Flops"
    They are all well documented

    Choose to be informed, or be content with being ignorant

    July 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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