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. Emily

    I just can't believe that a man who hadn't realized that Czechoslovakia is no longer a country can make predictions that terrorists will attack us again. After all it was the republicans that used 9/11 to scare people into not voting for a sensible democrat. This is just more fear tactics they are using hoping we will all roll over and play dumb while they send more and more troops off to combat. We need to be smart with who we choose. Washington said that parties would tear this nation apart and he was right. How about you quit trying to scare us and actually give us solutions. Obama 08.

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

    Stop it, Stop it, Stop It McBush!! Like I have said before I am not your friend. If you say my friends again I think I will scream. I can not stand 4 years of hearing my friends as every other word.

    July 18, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I think you PUMA people are nothing but a bunch of Republican hacks! I don't believe anyone who voted for Clinton could possibly be as stupid as you seem to be! Please stop with the idiotic statements and shouting. PLEASE! Obama didn't steal anything! He ran a better campaign and engaged the voters. That's how you win elections. Enough said!

    July 18, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |



    July 18, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Will

    You can't blow up troops that aren't there.

    July 18, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Harold

    As long as he's propped up for national media consumption, who cares if he makes sense. Just give us the sound bite of the day, McParrot. We'll rationalize whether it's a snow job.

    From what I'm hearing it's a blizzard.

    July 18, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Bulldog

    Yes, they will be bombing in Iraq only because they do not want McCain to win. That is what he has said months ago and he just repeated. He is taking personal credit for terrorist attacks in Iraq if I'm understanding this foolish statement correctly. What a moron!

    July 18, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. cnn junkie

    kkkarl rove is back!

    July 18, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Nicole in NE

    fear, fear, fear

    attack, attack, attack in your campaign.

    What a minute – how is he NOT like Bush again?

    July 18, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Marv...

    Some say the scare tactics won't work. If you think that scare tactics won’t work, then you are giving the American people too much credit. Americans put Bush in office twice. It's possible that these same people haven't learned anything. There are terrorists living among us and they are registered to vote. They will condemn this entire country because of there lack of resolve to comprehend information directly in front of their faces. We have to keep telling people the truth about our present condition and how we got here. It doesn't matter if you are a conservative Republican or a liberal Democrat. Voting for McCain would not be the best thing for this Country. You might not believe in everything Obama stands for, but to continue with the same old mentality would be a deadly blow against America.

    July 18, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Derrick - Houston, TX

    Yesterday you said we succeeded in Iraq- what happened?

    America? We are witnessing a man coming totally unglued.

    July 18, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Yes to all above about the 'success has been achieved' and 'acts will occur',
    ALSO. another contradiction >>>in (logic)
    Will they only 'attempt' these attacks or do 'what they are capable of'?
    This man tries to sit on every fence.
    Also, is this when the payments from the splurge run out? McCain is not the first to predict hostilities will resume. It's already been widely speculated the violence will resume when the bribe money stops flowing, (flowing to where BTW)??? What if the splurge money is being used to fund an attack on America? It is possible, there was no track of where the splurge money went, Pakistan for sure.
    Notice violence in Afghanistan increased just after the terrorists were paid to slow down in Iraq? hmmm???
    (new motto, don't negotiate with terrorists when you can pay them off!?)

    July 18, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. patricia

    Grandpa McSame....that says it all.

    July 18, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Roger (Dallas)

    What world is this man living in?? Does he think we the people are so stupid to fall for the same old Republican party line again and again and again? If we have been sooo successful in Iraq, then why would we anticipate another terror attack, unless of course, that is his fervent wish! I am so sick of the Republican party right now, it almost brings me to tears. I pray nightly that the majority of Americans will recognize how misguided and corrupt the Republican party has become and cast their vote for Barack Obama in November. We did a change of course desperately and hopefully President Obama will lead us in the right direction.

    July 18, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. Roger from CA

    McCain is just out of control: talk about "flip-flopping", he changes his tune on EVERY issue EVERY day!! Yesterday, we were glorious victors triumphant over all the evil terrorists in Iraq. And, now, today we are running scared again???

    Maybe McCain forgot to talk to "one of history's greatest generals", Petraeus, before declaring victory yesterday, or something.....

    And now what 's all this about speculating whether Obama is a "socialist." Johnny Boy: You have NO idea what a "socialist" is. Nothing that Obama proposes on his most extremely progressive days is even in the same hemisphere as "socialism". Good Lord, are we really back in 1960??

    July 18, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. cdavis

    What is going on? I don't understand his stance on the war in Iraq. He said that we have succeeded but there are going to be terrorist attacks. Please Senator make up your mind. He has the nerve to say that Obama flip flops. wow

    July 18, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Alex Gilliam Jr

    John McCain will sure know better since he sees terrorist threats while watching the internet or mall walking.... is this guy a joke or a joker? We are not going to fall for the same Bush McCain fear hawking strategies. When he gets an answer to the viagra/birth control questions, i listen to him

    July 18, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. Blair

    John Bush McCain promised America and her brave troops that the Iraq War would only last six months and only cost one million dollars. How'd that work out?

    Only Obama can make and keep America free, safe, and prosperous

    July 18, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Godson

    it will be fine with me, if McSame=McBush=McViagra doesn't plan his "spectacular bombing" here in the US to favor the Republican. McCain please limit your bombing to Iraq, We're used to it.

    July 18, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Spectator

    So, will we bring troops home when we start having "spectacular" terrorist attacks here at home?

    We're just teaching the terrorists how to thin out our defenses. Attack in the US, more troops leave the US. How about defense here at home. What will people say when the next big one came from an illegal entrant crossing from the Canadian border in North Dakota on some back country road?

    Or some group here... Tim McVeigh, OK City, was the deadliest terror attack on the US before 9/11.

    July 18, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Lisa, NH

    Oohhhhhhhhhhhh, I'm afraid. I was going to vote for Barack, but now I'm so scared, I think I'll vote for McSame–NOT.

    Go home John, your scare tactics will never work.

    July 18, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Lets see......we have succeeded, but we haven't defeated our enemy......the Bush tax cuts were wrong, but we need to make them permanent......I'm against off shore drilling, but we need to start drilling off shore.......Afghanistan is not a problem, but we need to send more brigades there......we will leave Iraq if we are asked to do so by the Iraq government, but we will be there for a hundred years.....it seems to me that McCain is in the middle of some sort of mental crisis. The term "melt down" comes to mind.

    July 18, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. RSR

    Obama plans to take a lesson from the French...just throw up your hands and surrender.

    July 18, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Len in Washington

    This is really becoming embarrasing for this country. This man wants to head our government?

    Even if this wasn't his idea, he has surrounded himself with people that can come up with this stuff and he's buying it as a way to try to win. First "We've succeeded" then "The terrorists are coming, the terrorists are coming!" So, John, tell me.....are they coming by land or by sea and...where's your lantern?

    Unbelievable and sad. Sir, you've lost all credibility.

    July 18, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Patricia

    More fear mongering and yet after billions and billions of dollars the one responsible for the attack, Osama Bin Laden, hasn't been captured. Why would we want someone like McCain in the White House. It will be more fear mongering and allowing Bin Laden stay hidden in the mountains of Pakistan.

    I'm sick and tired of this do nothing administration and voting McCain in office will be more of the same.

    Don't vote with fear. Voters, please think logically and think about all the issues before you before you cast your vote Are you better off now than 8 years ago? I'm not. I still can't find a job and the news is filled with fear just to keep you off balance.


    July 18, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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