July 17th, 2008
07:12 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain admonishes Obama on Iraq, but praises Hagel

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/11/art.mccain.7.11..jpg caption="McCain said Hagel has made an 'informed decision' about Iraq."]OMAHA, Nebraska (CNN) - John McCain said he's pleased Chuck Hagel is accompanying Barack Obama to the Middle East because the Nebraska senator - although "wrong" on Iraq - has military experience and has made "an informed decision" about the war.

McCain was peppered with questions about Hagel while campaigning in Nebraska Wednesday evening.

Speaking to reporters after meeting workers a trucking company, McCain again called it "remarkable" that Obama would give a major policy speech on Iraq and Afghanistan without first traveling to those countries or consulting with Gen. David Petraeus.

The presumptive nominee said he is "pleased" that Obama will be accompanied by Hagel, "who has military experience, who has knowledge of these issues."

"Senator Hagel is wrong," McCain said. But, he added: "Senator Hagel has visited Iraq. Senator Hagel has made an informed decision. Senator Hagel, although I disagree with some of his conclusions, the fact is that Senator Obama has never examined the issue carefully, at least from the standpoint of sitting down and discussing the situation with the commanding officer on the ground."

McCain also responded to speculation that Hagel could be tapped as Obama's running mate.

"Look," he said, "I don't know anything about that, except to say Chuck Hagel is a distinguished veteran and a very dear and close friend of mine, who I cherish his friendship for many, many years."

soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Fillibuddy

    McCain sounds senile.

    July 16, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  2. Travis

    McCain is a established liar as a result has zero credibility. Honestly, only a fool would think otherwise.

    July 16, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  3. lady in michigan

    Choice 1: guy who has been to Iraq many times and can't tell the difference between Sunni and Shia
    Choice 2: guy who hasn't been to Iraq many times, knows who's who, and has a plan to get out.

    July 16, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    McCain should focus on the issues and not on VP's. Obama's career is questionable and is really scary for a johnny come lately like him. One would think this type of things happen in movies and not in real life Presidential campaigns. The records about his law and political career is as unnerving as the discussion on national security. There are many Hagels around in the US. And no expert has asked him if he was banking on choosing an African American for VP to give his candidacy substance. Is everyone sleeping or afraid?

    July 16, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  5. David Goldman






    July 16, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. NickNas

    McCain is a joke. I PRAY for the day this all ends. That should be 24 hours after he gets up the nerve to appear onstage on Live TV in front of an impartial crowd and questioners against Obama.

    He will be destroyed. and he KNOWS it.

    July 16, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. M.S. Indiana

    McCain, going to Iraq and having 100's of soldiers around you is not a way to see what is really going on over there..

    You can get a better view from your TV, if you know what that is, news papers cover Iraq pretty good to too, and the new way, the internet...

    July 16, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. Puffin

    McCain said he is "pleased" that Obama will be accompanied by Hagel, "who has military experience, who has knowledge of these issues."

    "Senator Hagel is wrong," McCain said.

    So, which one is it? Only McCain is right on the war?

    July 16, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  9. David Newport, OR

    This is perfect example of how different McCain is. McCain believes that once an order is given, he needs to let the commanding officer on the ground achieve the desired results. Anyone who doesnt agree w/ him is "wrong". Obama believes that if an "order" is wrong, it is his responsibility to protect those wrongly involved. It is as different as black and white. I will vote for Obama.

    July 16, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  10. Corey, Maryland

    That doesnt even make sense!!!!! why do you have to have military experience to know that the war is not going well!!!!! it doesnt take a rocket scientist to know we shouldnt be there but concentrate all our efforts on the Pakistan/ Afghanistan border to find Bin Laden! or have you all completely forgot about the guy that killed 3000 americans!!!!!!!

    Obama Richardson 2008

    July 16, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  11. lany

    This is the same old McBush who went in Iraq April 1, 2007 and said to the world that Iraq was safe enough that Gen. David Petraeus goes about Baghdad in an unarmored Humvee. It turned out later that during McBush infamous Baghdad shopping trip, he was surrounded by heavily armed and armored U.S. troops, and attack helicopters were hovering overhead.

    Now this same McBush is admonishing Obama about Iraq? McCain is just too old to put two and two together.

    July 16, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  12. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz






    July 16, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  13. aware

    Hagel who?

    This is getting boring beyond belief!

    In the first place, if Obama was genuinely interested in change, he would be running as an Independent and leading his gung ho followers with integrity instead of chicanery!

    Instead he is running tied by the umbilical cord to the hard core left-wing Democrats who can't change their socks without a huge push from the Republicans! 🙂

    July 16, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  14. New Yorker

    Obama gave a major policy speech on Iraq and Afghanistan without consulting the General and not traveling to those countries first because he thinks he know's what is best regardless of what the truth is. Our presence in Iraq has been the best thing for this country and that country, but for democrats to admit it would mean defeat for them. So they just go on perpetrating the lie that this is an illegal war, we never should have gone in and we are losing.. Far, far from the truth. No one likes war, ESPECIALLY those who have been in a POW camp, but in times like this, it is necessary to defend ourselves. People need to remember WE did not start this war; the terrorists did. We struck where we needed to -WMD's or not.

    July 16, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |



    July 16, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  16. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    John McCain is DEAD WRONG on Iraq! He displays little grasp of the history or realpolitik aspects of the country or the Middle East as a whole! His and his buddy LIEberman's insane rhetoric about our withdrawing from Iraq being tantamount to surrender is irresponsible and dishonest fearmongering from a pair of frightened old men who just don't GET IT. While McCain and Bush (whose 3rd term McCain wishes to give us) were wrongly denying that Afghanistan was the REAL hotbed of alQaeda and terrorism, Barack Obama had it right all along. A McCain (Bush 3rd term) presidency would be a severely misguided one we cannot afford! The man simply isn't up to the job, the same way Bush never was.

    July 16, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  17. 5 Point Plan From Obama

    I'm sure McCain didn't listen to Obama's Foriegn Policy Action Plan before he criticized it.

    If he had, he would know that in formulating that plan Obama took into account input from Petraus, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the US General in charge of training Iraqi security forces and 3 other senior military officers.

    It is a LIE for McCain to say that Obama formulated the plan without the input from troops in theatre.

    The "dog & pony" show that McCain took and is advocating typically presents a sanitized version of what is going on. The last thing any 06 wants to have to explain is why some Congressional dignitary got injured or killed during a visit. What McCain is suggesting is a much less use unless the objective is a photo opp.

    July 16, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  18. Michael G- Ventura ca

    I don't know who proclaimed McSame on Iraq, but he really should knock off the admonitions----He's NEVER been President, and has never been in combat THERE. I appreciate his POW status, but Gen. Clark said it right--

    July 16, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  19. Dan, MA

    I find it remarkable that McCain would talk about recent events in Czechoslovakia. The man is quickly becoming a dotard. On top of all of the policies of his with which I disagree (just about all of them), McCain's decline in mental stability is sealing my opinion of him.

    July 16, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Obama/Michelle back in Chicago 08!!!

    July 16, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  21. Obama 08: 60 year old white female

    McCain studied the intelligence and had Senate access to the knowledge going into the war and he was a wholehearted cheerleader of it. Does that mean he can't make a statement about Iran without going there.

    This man is too full of himself...very, very arragant.

    July 16, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  22. NoMccain

    I like how Bush is doing everything Obama is arguing needs to be done. Obama argues we need to increase troops in Afghanistan, and Bush does it. Obama argues we should talk with our adversaries, so does it with North Korea.
    Keep talking Obama, it might screw you out of a future if bush keep implementing your plans.

    July 16, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  23. NW

    Arizona McCsham pretented that he is a friend of Hagel just to make it smooth for Sen. Hagel to think about what he said. But, the fact is that Sen. Hagel is right on what he's doing with Obama, meaning that he is not like McCsham and his Republican good in manipulating people's mind by flip flopping and not being honest to the American people. Since when, that the Republicans are telling the truth? Lying about the Iraq war, Lying about Terrorist treats, Fear and Smear, and so on. Wake up America. Don't people realized where we are right now? Economy, Two wars, US Dollar is down world wide and because of the Republican's corruption. We nee a change real change that we can believe in, which is the Obama Ticket.

    July 16, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  24. Trollmaster

    Obama was right to oppose this war in the first place. McCain was wrong to be one of the biggest supporters of the war. A fact he constantly tries to avoid.

    Is McCain serious when he says Obama is wrong on Iraq? Who's he trying to fool. It's not working.

    July 16, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  25. Rave

    McPain's eyes are dark right now.. All he can see is how to extend this unnecessary war in Iraq and feed his lobbyists with more unnecessary contracts using our Tax money.
    This man is corrupt, fake, lying, flip-flopping, mentally instable.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    July 16, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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