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. LYNETTE IN CA

    SPECTACULAR?? WHAT A WORD TO USE! IT'S RIGHT UP THERE WITH "SHOCK AND AWE," "BRING IT ON" AND MISSION ACCOMPLIISHED!!!" YOU KNOW WHERE THAT GOT US!

    GEEZ – Repubs, get a grip on your vocabulary/terminology!! You're making a litany of errors!

    OBAMA '08

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

    If we succeeded why we still there?

    July 18, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. what are you thinking?

    GOP Bush Chaney n McCain are the real terrorist.

    they are hoping Americans are stupid!!!!

    July 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. ken

    Sadam has resurrected? Ya, now we have to remove him from power again, I guess!

    July 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. JeffRob

    Wait.

    "Not 'We are succeeding.' We have succeeded in Iraq," he said Thursday."

    In other words, Mission Accomplished? Good. Let's go then.

    July 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    'we have succeeded in Iraq' that was yesterday. Today we are all going to die. McWar is suffering from agent orange.

    July 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Barry

    What's new here?

    July 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Ernestine

    Sounds like another terrorist scare tactic. This time coming from from Mr. McCain. So I guess this WILL BE a continuation of the old tactics.

    July 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Obama's trip is waste of taxpayers money on a politician whose political career is numbered. He is a lesson to young people that being overly ambitious can get one into trouble. I can see his family getting the spanking of their life, it would scar them for life. Besides the race card or "unfamiliar cut" (Michelles words) was not a wise choice to make but it is the underlying fact of Obama's presidential race and will not go away until the race is over.

    July 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Terri

    Of course there may be another terrorist attack . But they (the terrorist) will win if all we focus on is war and terror and not live our lives and in order to live our lives we need good schools for our children, Good paying jobs, Health care, Good economy and to make an effort to save the plant.

    what is the point of waking up everyday of our lives and worrying about a terrorist attack ? To me we are not living we are only existing in fear.

    Go Obama
    He will do everything he can to prevent a terrorist attack just like and other POTUS.

    July 18, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Robert - Atlanta

    This guy is a true idiot. he says "We have not defeated Al Quida" in Iraq....well duh, they are in Afghanistan you moron. Here we go with the natural tactical approach of the Republican and Bush/Mcain strategy of attempting to strike fear into peoples hearts so that we turn into blood thristy war mongers like them. Not me buddy, try that with someone else.

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Auntie Coosa, Blairsville, Georgia, USofA

    Sen. John S McCain is a warrior. He's able to read conditions much better than the pacifist Sen. Barack H Obama. I'd trust his judgment over Sen. Obama's every time. Sen. Obama's agenda is basically flawed and cannot be trusted. He has proved that he cannot come to a decision, even when presented with both sides of an issue. His 100 "present" votes instead of Yea or Nay in his first 143-5 days as a US Senator attest to that. Unless he's got a teleprompter or memorized a speech already written, Sen. Obama cannot speak clearly, much less concisely. He's a sound byte, that's all.

    If you have been studying the war on terror, you will notice that al Qaeda and the Taliban have been badly disrupted by Coalition Troops and Maliki's Iraqi Army. It's taken time to train the Iraqi Army into accepting the fact that they may be fighting against their tribe, but they're doing it for the better good and the good of the Nation of Iraq as a whole.

    You can't change tribal mentality overnight. We've done an admirable job. Now if Maliki can just step it up a pace or two, the USofA might be able to start withdrawing right before the election.

    Time will tell.
    McCain 2008! Always go with your most experienced person.

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Koby

    he is a fear monger... this is the only topic where he is ahead in the polls and he needs to milk it. If he does not have Iraq and America's fear of terrorism he does not have anything!

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. death blow

    TWO LOUSY NOMINEES FROM THE MAJOR PARTIES.

    THE BEST CANDIDATE OUT THERE- HILLARY CLINTON- WAS SWIFBOATED BY THE LEFT WING OF HER OWN PARTY.

    THE NATION LOSES.

    THE PRICE TO PAY FOR TREACHERY.

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Mike T

    More fear mongering from the Republicans? Hey, it worked for Bush, right?

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. obamasupporter

    Come on McCain, why are using fear tactics? Seriously this is the only way you can win? This is as bad as that billboard in Florida saying "don't vote Democratic" with the twin towers. Cough, cough, remember a Republican was in office when all of that happened!

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Ricky - Hispanic/Educated and voting for Obama

    Wow...John McCain you have really done it.

    This man is trying to spread fear in to Americans to vote. I as an American do not care about Iraq, sorry to say. I am tired of sacrificing anymore of this country because of Bush's mistakes. The trillions spent in Iraq could of been better diverted to Afghanistan, alternative energies, and social policies.

    I believe the number one concern of Americans is the economy and not the war. We all know the economy is not McCain's area.

    Obama '08

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. JJ

    Karl Rove is backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Bob Hussein Akmad Jones

    I predict that Hussein will make my check get cut in half if he is elected....The liberal philosphy why work hard and better yourself when we can take money from the people that do.

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. David

    come on John, you are truly hoping for this to happen. you may even be hoping for it to happen here, too. you neo-cons have hijcked the GOP and will do anything to hang on.

    July 18, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Greg form Mechanicsburg PA

    So, Senator McCain has announced victory for the U. S. in Iraq. What a relief. McCain would bring our troops back home then, right? Oops! No. He said that once the casualties were down and we achieved victory that we would maintain a significant force there to keep the peace. That will not help us in the "War on Terrorism," but it will cost several billion dollars each month that we can't afford. By McCain’s logic, Americans will have to lose our way of life caused by a drowning economy because we won the war in Iraq.

    July 18, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Senile Man

    Get this senile man out of this race before he makes a reprehensible damage to this country with his idiotic comments.

    July 18, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Jennifer

    This is the way the Republicans of Bush ilk choose to strike fear into the hearts of Americans and manipulate us. NO MORE!!!!!!!! DOWN WITH FEAR< DOWN WITH BUSH< DOWN WITH MCCAIN!!!!!

    July 18, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. AJ

    There you go again (quoting the famous gipper)!!! McCain has nothing else to stand on than create false fears and give signals to terrorists that they in fact should go ahead and do something spectacular so that some of the ignorant and stupid electorate will vote for him. He doesn't care if our economy , education, healthcare, environment and foreign relations go thru the gutter. Also, the RNC has proved once again that they are liers and cheaters by dropping the word "really" in Michelle Obama's heartfelt quote when she said, "For the first time in my life I am really proud of my country" – because the democratic party had put forth two candidates one of whom was an African American and the other a Woman, in their lousy ad that they are now running on TV. Shame on RNC and McCain.

    July 18, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Greg, NY

    ARB July 18th, 2008 2:10 pm ET

    Greg…..there's always gonna be terrorists in Iraq….we could stay over in Iraq for 100 years like Mccain said and i guarantee that we still would not have killed them all.

    Fine, and I agree, but 'we've succeeded!'

    Ahhh! My head is like a pretzel. There's a pretzel in my head!

    July 18, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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