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. Dan , TX

    Wow, did you go to Madam Clair for that one?

    Isn't there a terror attack every few days, what the heck kind of prediction is that?!

    July 18, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Akinola - Houston

    Okay Johhny, if we have succeeded, can we please get out then?

    July 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    mcsame!! the fear!!

    July 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. PUMA H8R

    PUMA people are really closet Rove Robots! If not, they would actually have a brain!

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

    Bad move for the McCain camp that has already complained about being low on cash.
    Now he will have to spend more cash he doesn't have in an effort to fabricate actual terror attempts and build fear in the ignorant portion of the country....at least that's how Bush would do it.

    July 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. John Wilson

    John McCain, says he is better on foreign policy, but to me he seems to be behind on the curve. Obama is calling for things that need to be done months before, McCain. Now the Bush Administration is negotiating with anyone that will talk to them. (ha) Meanwhile, John McCains continues, with the psychological policies and gimmicks. The GOP is also running a smear campaign against the democratic congress. No one in the media will point out that the senate is 60% republican, and the republicans are responsible for the deregulation in the mortgage and stock markets, that caused this mess.

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

    Since when does McCain know what is going in Iraq ? He barely knows what is going on in the US. The violence will go down if the Iraqis know their unwelcome guest is finally leaving. If you had a guest that refused to leave would you do anything that would cause them to stay? McCain and the Neo Cons don't realize that the world already sees them for the idiots that they are.

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

    All McCain is saying is that terrorists are opportunists, and will most likely up the anti during the elections to get attention or ude opportunities.

    You Obama supporters are very quick to denounce McCain.

    Instead, why don't you denounce Obama for acting like the rock star that he is, as the president of the US which he is not, for his upcoming trip to Europe and the Middle East.

    His arrogance knows no bounds.
    My greatest wish is to see him lose in Nov.....for him to learn a little humility.

    No to Obama.

    July 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Kelly

    McCain yesterday said we succeeded in having iraqis take over basra, sadr city and mosul but said al queda is still trying attacks to destabilize the government. Stop taking McCain out of context and cutting his comments. Hillary said the same thing how al queda tested the new leadership in the UK when Gordon Brown first took over. Every article is taking McCain out of context. McCain is constantly having open town halls where he is speaking to the american public.

    McCain is constantly talking to the reporters on his bus and plane while Obama doesn't. Obama doesn't take questions from the audience while McCain did even at the NAACP where Obama refused to take questions. Obama won't have an open town hall event with McCain at Fort Hood. The media loves Obama so much they don't point out how much of a bubble he is in.

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. RKS

    I think McCain is correct. All you libs can just continue to hold hands and sing "Kumbaya". God forbid, if that pathetic Obama wins the election, we WILL be attacked again-on American soil since he will pretend we have no real enemies and that "talk" is the answer. I remind you that Bill Clinton did the same, which led to 9/11.

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Connie

    I think someone should tell this man to just shut -up. Between him and his campaign I think they want something to happen to us or our troops.Talk about flip-fopping ,last week we were succeeding (much like mission accomplished) now we need to stand ready for terrorist .We will never be succeeding as long as we have one American being killed on foreign soil. Obama 08

    Connie from indiana

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Johnny

    We have succeeded... and therefore we can look for new spectacular terror attacks.

    John McCain must have a different idea of "success" than the rest of the world does...

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. dormar206

    he need to stop the fear monger

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

    Next, he'll be dressing up in costumes and jumping our of closets.

    Not going to work this time. I'm sure GW, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove are still laughing about the fact that they conned Americans into re-electing them. George will still be THE WORST PRESIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY. Laugh at that.

    Obama 08

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. ENOUGH

    scare tactics here we go again

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Anne E.

    Fear, terror, and warmongering is the best this "accidental candidate" and his party have to offer.
    Anyone who STILL believes this fodder is worse off than McCain.
    Attention Keith Olbermann: can you please call this man out???

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. Nikwashere

    To be a success, by definition, there should be no room for improvement. I guess then, McCain would agree to the troops coming home, but we all know how he feels about that. McCain is participating in Orwellian propaganda, telling us black is white. And if you all rememeber the documentary Loose Change, it concerns me that McCain is calling for terrosit activities before an election, something which polotical analysts speculate would help his bid for the white house. It all reminds be of Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' boat ride... If so, why the hell are we still there?

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. My friend

    All McCain can say is one word – friend and may be other word-war.
    Get him out. Attach the same approval rating of 30% to this old man.

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. bill pike

    mcbush needs the attention but 100 years in Iraq??? keep troops there when Iraq is telling us to get out???? CAN ANYONE ANYWHERE GIVE US ONE GOOD THING TO COME OUT OF THE MCBUSH ERA??? Just give me one–like a little old lady did such and such???? mcbush says to not talk with our enemies which really help build bridges of peace, what does he now say that bush is trying to talk with iran?????? of what a tangle war we weave once bush decided to deceive.

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. DJ

    It frightens me that there are so many Americans who seem to be so uneducated and they will be participating in the election process to pick our next president. Of course there is still danger in the middle east and there are those who wish us harm and will stop at nothing to inflict pain and misery upon the US and its citizens. There is a reason that we have not been attacked since 9/11. McCain has the experience and the knowledge to protect our country and citizens. Obama lives in a dream world. His election could be the end of our safe America as we know it. I hope all of you young people who support him will not mind then fighting to protect your country perhaps within our own borders.

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Oregon

    "Heads I win – tails you lose" – that's McCain's logic. If violence increases . . . McCain will argue that need for troops is even higher. And if violence decreases . . . McCain will argue that large troop numbers = success, and therefore we must keep large troop numbers stuck in Iraq. Either way . . . he's always for a huge and expensive military commitment. There's no end to this with someone like McCain.

    America needs to face a blunt ugly truth – no matter what happens in Iraq . . . even if Muslims are absolutely slaughtering themselves into extinction . . . America should yank its troops out. As an American, I'm not interested in saving the bacon of either Iraqis or Israelis. And I don't believe either side is crucial to U.S. security either. Let them live . . . or die . . . on their own.

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Biden Backer/Seattle

    Time to go to tried-and-true GOP playbook....FEAR. Nice.
    Go away, grandpa.

    July 18, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. Big D

    Is anyone keeping track of McCain's statements on Iraq on a daily basis? It's like he gets up in the morning and picks a random stance to go with for the day. His statement just yesterday is completely unreated to his statement today. I try to keep up with the news, and I try to stay current on the candidate's positions, but I just cannot keep up with McCain's rotating and random positions on Iraq anymore.

    July 18, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. socialist

    have we succeeded or not?you are hoping they make more attacks ,so you will have an excuse to keep our troops over there to protect bush's oil fields.we are getting out ,anyway.

    July 18, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Linda from Prescott AZ

    What a sleazy, no good rotten to the core fear mongor!

    This is the man that Republicans call hero, straight talker, upstanding.
    Bologna! He's a scare tactic toad.
    and he is to old and depraved to be POTUS.

    July 18, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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