July 18th, 2008
01:48 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain predicts 'spectacular' terror attempts in Iraq

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/18/art.mccainterror.ap.jpg caption="McCain said he expects terror attempts to increase in Iraq."](CNN) - John McCain said Friday he expects the presidential election this fall will increase the occurrence of "spectacular" terror attempts in Iraq.

Speaking at a General Motors facility in Warren, Michigan, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate touted the decrease of violence in Iraq, but said Al Qaeda is not yet defeated there.

"I predict that they will make an attempt as we get in to the election season to make more of these spectacular kinds of attacks which they're still capable of doing," he said. "The suicide bombers, et cetera, would not surprise me and we've already found out that they're going to try and step up their attacks and try and do things in a more spectacular fashion so that they can erode the support of the Maliki government."

Watch: McCain predicts terrorist attempt during election season

The comments come a day after the Arizona senator appeared to make a rhetorical shift in how he described conditions the war-torn country, telling reporters aboard his campaign bus that "we have succeeded in Iraq."

"I repeat my statement that we have succeeded in Iraq. Not 'We are succeeding.' We have succeeded in Iraq," he said Thursday.

Last month, senior McCain advisor Charlie Black stirred controversy in an interview with Fortune Magazine, when he touted the Republican presidential candidate's national security credentials and said another terrorist attack on the United States would likely boost his White House chances.

McCain repudiated those comments, and Black later apologized.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (337 Responses)
  1. Greg, NY

    I'm really trying hard to understand this.

    If 'we have succeeded in Iraq' then why would there be a 'spectacular' terrorist attack there?

    That just makes no sense at all. We're in Iraq to get rid of the terrorists, so if we've succeeded that would mean there are no more terrorists there and Iraq is a stable nation.

    Someone explain?

    July 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. PGB

    Don't vote based on fear.

    July 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Abby

    Stop it! Stop the fear mongering and the putting of ideas in people head. Please stop sinking so low!

    July 18, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. vjh

    Only if McWar is elected !

    July 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. nancy

    Predictions now?
    get data, analysis, then conclude = judgement
    wether poor or good depends on ur intelligence...
    so far i lk the harvard trained one...

    July 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. ChicagoJosh

    How have we "succeeded" if they're going to make "spectacular" and that "Al Qaeda is not yet defeated there."

    Lets brag about how you're idea has made us the winner, yet at the same time use fear to get people scared.

    How should i feel today Mr. Senator. Please tell me. I can't think on my own.

    July 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Tommy Lee of SC

    I predict that the GOP machine will terrorize all of us with fear mongering and scare tactics to try and get another election by the American public.

    It won't work this time McSame–America was fooled twice already and it has hurt our country greatly!

    I fear YOU and your support of Bush's policies 90% of the time way more than I fear radical Islamists. It's the radical Mcsame we should live in fear of...be afraid, be VERRRRRY AFRAID!!!

    July 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Abby

    AND its s stupid and see through preemptive battement to say “things are not going well in Iraq because of the election otherwise they are just as we anthem to be” STOP WITH THE LIES!!!

    July 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Eric ( Minnesota)

    Great Al Queda in Iraq is almost gone. Well, guess what, they were not even there until we invaded Iraq. So, maybe they'll leave when we leave. McCain is such a joke!!

    July 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Kevin PA

    Yesterday McCain said we have succeed in Iraq. Today the attacks are going to increase. Which is it Johnny?

    July 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Linda the Supa-PUMA

    Enough if enough with the fear mongering. I was planning on voting for HRC first and foremost and now McCain but this is just insanity! I'm done with this man now. I'd rather vote for NoBama than this guy. He walks, talks, and sounds just like Bush! I can't possibly vote for McCain and keep a clear conscious.

    PUMA – PAC

    NObama 2008 – HRC 2012

    July 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Billy

    Obama is my choic.... what? Possible terror attacks?

    OMG, What's our terror warning status??

    I am sooo scared, guess we all have to vote republican now.

    July 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Dementia

    This guy helped start this crazy war and he should be punished for that.
    Also he is very old and would not remember tomorrow what he said today. He need to go home and rest

    Any body but McCain

    July 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Lisa

    NO WAR!!! BRING OUR TROOP HOME NOW!!!

    July 18, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. Justin (ny)

    The war is over, we've succeeded! except, we haven't succeeded! because al qaida is still rampant, so we've succeeded but theres still work to be done! but we're not currently succeeding, we've already succeeded! but we've got to keep fighting! because we've succeeded!

    any simpleton can see that.

    July 18, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. benvictor

    Frightening that less than 4 months until the elction and Obama is traveling to this region to try to get some foreign policy/national security experience and to demonstrate some semblance of being a commander. Equally bad, we are told Obama has 300 foreign policy advisers. Since no two of these advisers can agree on anything, this presents huge problems for America. It is my hope Obama does not cause MidEast chaos. Isn't there anyone in America who has foreign policy/national security experience and demonstrated the ability to be commander in chief. The answer, of course, is John McCain. And, we just learned Al Gore is not interested in being VP. Kudos to Big Al for not taking this and diverting his attention away from his current important work.

    July 18, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. KMAN

    Well McRelic ... just what is IT that we have succeeded at in Iraq ... and how much is it going to cost you to stage these "spectacular" terror attacks for your political benefit? You are an absolute disgrace with your constant war-mongering!

    July 18, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Jackie from Minneapolis

    Bush used the same scare tactic – McCain is a loser. Can't he come up with any new ideas? I am sick of him already.

    July 18, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. JCD

    So America has "succeeded", yet there are going to be "spectacular" terror attacks whenever the terrorists feel like it? Umm...

    July 18, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Voice of Reason

    Is he senile or just plain old? This sounds like the same ole yellow, orange red alert the Bushies started using to scare people into submission.

    I really hope the American public sees through this and get the repubs out of the White House. Our country can't handle another 4 years of this.

    July 18, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. Kevin NoVA

    Stop the fear mongering. It's tired.

    July 18, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. Ian MacIsaac

    He's hoping for it. God knows it's his only prayer to win.

    July 18, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. J

    McCain doesn't know anything about Iraq. He doesn't know the difference between sunnis and shias. Somehow he has over half the US population fooled into thinking he's some great foreign policy mind.

    July 18, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. BillMar

    "I repeat my statement that we have succeeded in Iraq. Not 'We are succeeding.' We have succeeded in Iraq," he said Thursday.

    Great news! So when do we bring the troops home?

    July 18, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Joaquin

    McCain's tactics are dangerous. What is he signaling? Elect me or expect more terrorist attacks? And frankly, I don't understand what he is saying. "We have succeeded" versus "we are succeeding." At least he knows Iraq is no longer called Mesopotamia, nor Iran Persia.

    July 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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