July 18th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain surrogate makes controversial Muslim comment


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/30/art.budday.cnn.jpg caption="Bud Day, shown in the 2004 Swift Boat Vets for Truth ad."](CNN) - A leading John McCain surrogate stirred controversy Friday after defending the Iraq war in particularly stark terms, telling reporters "the Muslims have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us."

Bud Day, who was a prisoner of war with McCain in Vietnam and often advocates for the Arizona senator's presidential bid, made the comments during a conference call with Florida reporters organized by the Florida Republican Party.

The Miami Herald has posted audio of the call

"I don't intend to kneel, and I don't advocate to anybody that we kneel, and John doesn't advocate to anybody that we kneel," he also said.

Asked to respond to Day's comments, the McCain campaign issued a short statement from spokesman Michael Goldfarb.

“The threat we face is from radical Islamic extremism," he said.

Corey Saylor, the national legislative director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told CNN Friday McCain should directly repudiate the remarks.

"CAIR would like to see Senator McCain come out and make a clear statement repudiating these remarks," he said. "We don't believe they're helpful at all in either putting out the campaign's message or winning the hearts and minds in the Muslim world that America needs to be winning."

"Earlier this year Sen. McCain in a similar situation said that there's no place in his campaign for that kind of rhetoric," he added. "I'd like to see him come out and reiterate that statement because obviously people in Florida haven't heard his position."

Day, a highly decorated retired U.S. Air Force Colonel who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam, is a member of John McCain's "Truth Squad" - which his campaign says was launched to respond to unfair attacks on the Arizona senator's record of military service.

He was also a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - the group that was created to attack 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry’s military service record and derailed his presidential bid.

"The bottom line is this: 527 groups can do very effective, truthful things, and the Swift Boat attack was totally truthful," Day also said in Friday's conference call.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (623 Responses)
  1. Gri Jalco

    McSame and Company! The Club of GRUPPY OLD MEN!

    July 18, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  2. Jo Ann

    more of the same it's time for these old goats to be in rocking chair
    on the front porch in the country with no near neighbors. tHIS COUNTRY DO NOT NEED THIS KIND OF TALK.

    July 18, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  3. RJ, CA

    rayster July 18th, 2008 9:00 pm ET

    How meny Medal of honor were awarded at Wonded Knee when the military killed woman ,children and unarmed men? Remember this is USA history and yet this recipient spews this venom in the name of patriotism God help us

    Get a life, rayster. How many medals of honor were awarded in the Garden of Eden - remember this is "world" history, in a manner of speaking. You really take the cake! By the way, consult a dictionary for spelling, please! You DO know what a dictionary is, don't you?

    July 18, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |

    Leave it to LIBERAL media to screw up the service of a HERO...Bud Day was awarded the MEDAL OF HONOR for his service in Vietnam NOT THE MEDAL OF FREEDOM...

    I'm sure there will be no correction of this mistake...of course why would there be when 99% of the people on this post have never heard a shot fired in anger!!!

    July 18, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Franky

    "How meny Medal of honor were awarded at Wonded Knee when the military killed woman ,children and unarmed men? Remember this is USA history and yet this recipient spews this venom in the name of patriotism God help us"

    Ouch!! Even I felt that.....

    July 18, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  6. Hj

    Time for the old home Bud!!!!

    July 18, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  7. Scott Long

    Day needs to kneel allright. He needs to kneel and pray for forgiveness for this hateful and racist bungling. But, hey, this is only the beginning. Just wait for the race bating to begin later this summer and watch the corporate media sit by and give these old men a mouthpiece to spread fear and hatred against muslims and anyone else who wants a real change in foreign policy and a decent distribution of wealth in this former democracy called the USA.

    July 18, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  8. Greg

    I'm a 27 year veteran of the AIr Force and still serving and I do not care for McCain whatsoever. Obama has proven that he cares about the people in the military and not just the machine. I would not personally disparage Bud Day as it is inappropriate to smear a veterans service even though he chose that route. I know a great deal of folks in the military that are supporting Obama, in fact it has already been shown that he is getting a larger share of donations from your serviceman than McCain. Unfortunately while the republicans always scream about supporting veterans it is tradionally democrats that support legislation for the rank and file. Not exclusively but I could cite numerous efforts in the past year that McCain and Bush have been against.

    July 18, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  9. dansan22

    Bud, Tell it like it is. CAIR does not have American interests at heart.

    July 18, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. suzyku

    mcsame/mcwar/mcbush–this is what the country will get if somehow he got elected! just look at who he surrounds himself with!

    July 18, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  11. Jim in Orlando

    Anne E.
    You are as dumb as a stump in your absolving the Muslims of owning the franchise for terrorism against Christians and Americans by citing McVeigh and others. Not even worth a debate. Pure stupidity.

    July 18, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  12. Honorable Kansas Vet

    While I thank Day for his "past" service to the nation, his actions as a swiftboater and his current actions are a disgrace. I can say no more, while some have provided honorable service to the nation in the past, the past is the past and current actions are neither honorable or for the good of the nation.

    July 18, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. Randy


    Muslims definitely have come out against Islamic extremism. If the 9/11 attacks didn't occur, they would be living more peaceful lives. The September 11th attacks and other acts of terror have hurt them. Anti Muslim hate crimes grew 1700% in 2001 after the terror attacks. I'm positive that the vast majority of Muslims in the US hate what the terrorists did and continue to do.

    July 18, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  14. PUMA 4 HILL

    tell it like it is...
    there's nothing wrong with the truth. The Muslim extremist hate America and all Americans and we can't afford to let our guard down.

    And, Obama will kneel to the Muslims.. he'll kneel to just about anyone who hates America – because you know America is downright MEAN.

    July 18, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  15. Donkey Party

    Hey, give the poor old goats a break. They were referring to all those Muslims in Czechoslovakia!

    July 18, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  16. Walt, Belton,TX

    If we, the US, need to play cowboys and muslims for keeps, there won't be another Alamo, I can promise you that.

    July 18, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  17. Sarah

    This is not fear mongering, though not said in a politically correct way, it is the truth. Too bad more Americans don't have that kind of backbone.

    July 18, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  18. Concerned Citizen of America 2008

    A person can only be frightened if one let's themselves be frightened. It's getting old and quite frankly, very annoying. Wake up people. You have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    July 18, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  19. Grace Wills

    Sorry stuff Bud. Get a life E. W

    July 18, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  20. AK28

    There is nothing called extremist radical muslims, its all western media created these terminologies. In every belief or sect there are bad people, such Hitler a Christian, American Whites also discriminated blacks in USA. Similarly among muslims there are bad people, so don't blame to the religion on what ever bad things people do. There are good muslims in USA as well.

    July 18, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. Hate to break it to you

    What a shame for McShame surrogates. Not all muslims are out to get the us. What to you expect form 2 old goats.

    July 18, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  22. Outspoken Muslim

    There are plenty American Muslims that speak out on radical islam, unfortunately the press never seems to cover it. It's always the crazies that seem to get the attention of the media. They always go straight to the crazy groups with m-16's yelling "God is Great" and never show the sensible Muslims in the background shaking their heads in disgust. Trust me there are US Military Muslims like myself who've served in Iraq, and abroad who have been more than outreaching to the community to get the message across that like Timothy Mcveah, the ku klux klan, Abortion Clinic bombers, and George W. Bush who are supposedly was outspoken christians – there are nuts and zealots in every religious lot. Islam does not have a monopoly on that.

    July 18, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  23. larry kraus

    ever wonder what's going to be in George W's library? pop-up book and coloring books. he shouldn't expect the people to read any more than he has.

    July 18, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25