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. Rose

    More McCain fear tactics. But then I thought the Surge was working? Flip-flopping, war-mongering, Obama-slamming OLD FART.

    July 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Steveo, MI

    Interesting choice of words, John. Sadly, you would think it was "spectacular" if terrorists attacked, wouldn't you? It'd motivate the fear mongers to rally the paranoid

    July 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. S. Shay

    Call me confuzzled! Are there going to be 'spectacular' attacks in Iraq or have we 'succeeded'?

    McCain is the most poignant example of a political panderer ever to grace the political stage. He has absolutely, positively NO IDEA what he stands for! He is stuck between a rock and hard place because he has these town hall meetings and is left to his own intellect and ends up refuting arguments he made just minutes earlier, then when his handlers try to prep him up with a teleprompter he ends up talking about 'beer' among other senile misstatements. The bottom line is his only policy is the 'attack Obama' policy because he doesn't stand for anything on his own. Finally, he's mad as hell that Obama is going to Iraq. First he wants to preempt Obama's visit by saying we've already succeeded, thereby trying to make anything Obama says that is contrary to that appear to be wrong, now he's saying all hell will break loose b/c he wants to cover ALL of the bases so that if Obama says something positive or negative McCain will have already said it first. It's called pandering folks and that is why Obama is beating McCain in the electoral college by nearly double. America has had enough!!

    July 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Moe

    More fear-mongering,

    July 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. Jungle Jim

    Obama doesn't care if we succeed in Iraq.

    In fact, just the opposite. The democrats are banking on a failure in Iraq so they can cry "It's gonna be another Iraq nightmare" anytime we are involved in a military engagement just like they have with Vietnam for the last 30 years

    July 18, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. prairieguy

    Geee yesterday you siad "We have succeeded and Al Quida is on the run."

    What is it...have we succeeded or not...DUH!

    Bring our troops home!

    July 18, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Chuck

    I have one question, if the "SURGE" suceeded, then please explain how there will be spectacular attempts/attacks in Iraq. It is one or the other, you can not have both. Either we have suceeded and Al Qaeda's strong hold and ability in Iraq has been severely dimminished to the point of being ineffective, or they are still strong enough to mount spectacular terrorist attacks. Which is it?
    I, repudiate McCains comments above as being misleading, completely confusing. Now I am sorry I can not stop laughing.

    July 18, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. Mike

    If there is a difference between "we have succeeded" and "we are succeeding," wouldn't the war be over? I'm confused, luckily with McCain around I know I am not the only one.

    July 18, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Okay, he thorws Black under the bus for the very same type of comments that he has made in the past and now repeats once again?!?!?! McCain supporters – please tell me why you are supporting this fraud?!?!

    July 18, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Paul, Tampa, FL

    That's right John McBush, rattle that saber a little. You know you can't win this election without inspiring false fear in the American people. Have you tried to push the idea that if we elect Obama he'll allow gay marriages in elementary schools? You should try it, a lot of typically Republican voters really gravitate toward that kind of smear as well.

    July 18, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Moe

    More Fear-mongering and are they gone start white the color coated terror alerts here in the the stats?

    July 18, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    If we're "succeeding", then when are we going to leave? When Big Oil has wrapped up all the oil contracts? When your pals at AIPAC say it's okay? You and Charlie Black go crawl back under your fear mongering rock with your PUMA posse...Game Over!

    July 18, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Ez

    Mcsame how about another surge your wit is amazing

    July 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Never again this intra-party hate

    Obama is a self-serving demagogue who created a celebrity bandwagon to promote himself, skillfully played the race card to divide the party and secure the AA vote that he was lacking till then, manipulated the biased media into orchestrating his glitzy pop show, appealed to those impressed by image with an engineered rock icon persona and threatened his way into a superdelegate deluge of a "win?"

    WHO WOULD VOTE FOR SUCH A MAN?

    No one who believes in fair paly, fair campaigns, the right to vote, the democratic process.

    That is why we now have a party divided.

    July 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Johnny, I'm confused: I thought as of yesterday we succeeded. Is this more double talk I hear coming from your lips?

    We won! Oh wait, still alot of enemies there who don't know we won! If we succeeded, then how, oh how could we possible predict 'Spectacular attacks"?

    STFU you two faced scumbag!

    July 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. slm, Itn

    WOW!!!! Now terrorist attacks have become "spectacular" as says this old Warmonger , McWar pleasa try explaining that to the Families of the victims of Terrorism....

    July 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Jim Stewart

    I wonder if all Americans are afraid of socialism – after all, who would want free health care or better living conditions, or a more secure retirement?

    Now believe me, I'm already rich – so I don't care what happens.

    But you poor folks struggling with house payments, bills, etc – why would you be afraid of a socialist president? that could only be a good thing for people who earn less than $200,000/year – or have to work for a living, i.e., poor people.

    July 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. Crush Rush

    How much money did we have to pay them to behave till after the election Johnny???

    July 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Phil, FL

    Can he predict now? Or is it something he knows the rethugs have planned?

    July 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. NickNas

    FEAR FEAR FEAR , MUSHROOM CLOUDS IN THE U.S. FEAR FEAR 911.911-911-911-911- KILL US ALL KILL US ALL . Democrats = NEW ATTACKS. FEAR FEAR ...WAR WAR WAR WAR Executive PRIVELEDGE...di I mention TERRORISTS TERRORISTS 911-911

    Ok that should cover their tactics for the rest of the day...well till noon at least.

    When you have ZERO substance this is what you fall back on. Why not? It worked for them in 2004!!

    July 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. A party divided

    Obama is just a self-serving demagogue who created a celebrity bandwagon to promote himself, skillfully played the race card to divide the party and secure the AA vote that he was lacking till then, manipulated the biased media into orchestrating his pop show, appealed to those impressed by image with an engineered rock icon persona and threatened his way into a superdelegate deluge of a "win?"

    WHO WOULD VOTE FOR SUCH A MAN?

    No one who believes in fair paly, fair campaigns, the right to vote, the democratic process.

    That is why we now have a party divided.

    July 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Independent Colorado

    Stop trying to scare people, McShame! Is this really your plan the entire time Obama is away?

    July 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Will, NJ

    ..But...but...the surge is working! Iraq is stable! No more terrorism! What happened Jonny? Please save us from those awful awful Iraqis!

    July 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Marcus, Great Lakes IL

    Didn't we have enough "fear mongering" during the last election to last a lifetime?

    McCain talks about "spectacular" terror attempts in Iraq.

    Yesterday he said that we have succeeded in Iraq.

    What is it???? You either have or haven't.

    Weathervane McCain – Changes which ever way the wind blows.

    July 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. SD

    So totally not fear mongering.

    July 18, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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