July 18th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Will McCain stop criticizing Obama when he's abroad? No

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/11/art.mccainobama.ap.jpg caption="McCain is expected to continue criticism of Obama while he is overseas."]
(CNN)—Senator John McCain tends to follow the old adage “politics ends at the water's edge,” but his aides tell CNN they have every intention of continuing their attacks on Obama while the presumptive Democratic nominee is on his overseas trip.

When he was in Canada in June, McCain refused to talk about Obama - and CNN was told from top advisers that McCain got angry at campaign aides back at headquarters for sending emails hitting the Illinois senator while he was abroad.

But the McCain campaign considers Obama’s trip to Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan fair game. McCain aides says the Obama campaign and the DNC both set precedent for it, by attacking McCain while he was in Europe and the Middle East in March, and during his recent trips to Canada, Colombia and Mexico.

In an e-mail response to CNN, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers attached a list of quotes from Obama and DNC press releases during the presumptive Republican nominee’s trips, and said “we don’t feel there’s any restriction on drawing contrasts while he’s abroad.”

The trip has already drawn significant media coverage - so there’s no doubt the McCain campaign will be watching Obama very closely.

The campaign has already sharpened its argument in the past week, branding the presumptive Democratic nominee’s trip to Europe as a photo opportunity, and his visits to Afghanistan and Iraq campaign stops, not a fact finding missions, since Obama announced his policies before visiting.

“I was very interested that he articulated and announced his policies and approached Iraq before he went, not after. Remarkable,” Senator McCain told Missouri voters Thursday.

“I've been on a lot of trips around the world, usually at your expense, but I usually issue my policy statements when I get back.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (246 Responses)
  1. Marcus B


    The only part of Obama's trip that will be paid for with tax dollars is the Congressional trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. His trips to Europe and the other Middle Eastern countries of Jordan, Israel, and West Bank will be paid for by his campaign.

    July 18, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Ms. RDS

    The McCain campaign is getting so ridiculous even the news anchors are laughing at them as they report on the politics. First you want him to go overseas then criticize him for going. First you criticize his position on Afghanistan then you take his position. He's always in a catch 22 either you lose or you lose. They have to attack otherwise they wont get any new media attention while Obama is overseas.

    July 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. James From Chicago

    He will if Obama stops Flip Flopping.

    July 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. gary

    You people,everything that Obama has done breaks with what he said he would do,campaign finance,the wars,oil, the list goes on and on,he is and has always been a political opportunist,that was said of him by someone that knew him 10 years in chicago,so get past the rock star image he has going and vote the experienced person,John McCain.

    July 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Tired of W, OH

    "The campaign has already sharpened its argument in the past week, branding the presumptive Democratic nominee’s trip to Europe as a photo opportunity"

    And what do you call McCain's trips to the Middle East and Latin America? Is he really so out of touch with reality that he can't see the hypocracy here? Just par for the course, if guess.

    July 18, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Ron

    Look, the dem's criticized McCain when he was abroad but you O Bama whiners don't like it if McCain returns the favor. OB is totally unqualified to be CIC despite what the major networks and CNN will have you believe.

    July 18, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Rennae, VA

    In all of McSame's speaches all he does is talk about Obama. Every other sentence begins with Senator Obama!!

    It's really, really annoying and downright pitiful.

    Why can he speak about himself and how HE stands on issues vice announcing Senator Obama's stance on issues? Are you insignificant if not for Senator Obama's existence?

    Sad, sad, sad...you have had an extended period of time to convey your policies and you have done NOTHING!

    July 18, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Obama the vote

    Does McCain know anything else besides faceless attacks? Is he even concerned about the American people?
    Why doesn't he highlight his own credential and let the American people decide?

    This guys is such a JOKE.

    July 18, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Anonymous

    In another article, McCain said he knows how to win wars. Exactly what war has he ever won?????

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I really don't think you could put Vietnam
    in the 'win' column. And Iraq is heading in the same direction....and now things are getting worse in Afghanistan.

    So what war have we 'won' lately??

    July 18, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. American

    McBush and the repugs seem to be a little afraid..........

    Remember the old saying "Be careful of what you wish for", now old McWalking Cain is wishing he hadn't joked about Obama not going to Iraq. Thank you, this is only going to make Obama position stronger.

    July 18, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. jane in CA

    If it's a campaign world tour, Obama has all the money from the campaign donors to spend for the tour. He does not need taxpayers' money for this purpose.

    July 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Obamabot # 299,323,462

    What else is McCain going to do? He can't campaign on solving the problems because his buddy GWBush is responsible for escalating most of them. He has to disagree to stay pertinent.
    Hey isn't it funny that when Obama says something the Republicans all go ballistic on him. Then a few days later they start copying the same opinions as Obama's.
    I am voting for the smarter leader who has the vigor and the vision to lead and doesn't have to copy someone elses answers.

    July 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. PG

    So when is McSame going to begin telling us what he will do for America? All I hear are attacks. He should put up or shut up. Maybe he needs to go back to not working on weekends.


    July 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Pat Riot

    He's too easy to criticize. His candidacy is the biggest joke in American history. He's so underqualified it is absured and his globalist policy and social programs scare me.

    July 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Bulldog

    First McCain said Obama was irresponsible for saying he would attack Al Queida in Pakistan if their was solid intelligence. Since calling Obama 'irresponsilbe' our miliarty has attacked Al Queida 4 times in Pakistan.

    McCain calls Obama naive and reckless for wanting to set a timetable to get out of Iraq. Next thing you know the sovereign Iraq government demands we set a timetable.

    McCain calls Obama reckless and an appeaser for saying he will sit down with leaders of countries unfriendly to the U.S. 3 months later the U.S. successfully appeases and negoitiates with N. Korea ('axis of evil') and they begin to dismantle their nuclear plants.

    McCain and Bush call Obama an appeaser and irresponsible for saying he wants direct diplomacy with unfriendly countries rather than threats of war. Just yesterday the State Department announces they are sending a top level official to Iran to sit down and have direct talks.

    Obama has been saying Afganistan needs more troops and equipment for a year now while McCain barely mentioned it. Obama makes a big speech about it and McCain follows Obama's coattails and states what Obama has been saying all along.

    Who has the judgement?

    July 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. Ken

    Mark, Vivian La

    The reason these network anchors are going, is because they believe that they are traveling with the next President of the United States. I am an Obama supporter and I don't like the excessive coverage. It takes the focus off of McCain, when they should be following him as closely
    as they follow Obama.

    July 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Wait till Obama gets crowds that rival rock concerts. Then we're going to hear – do you want the Europeans to pick your president? attack. They probably have what if attack scenarios for every possible event. Plus now that they branded him as being out of touch on foreign policy because he HASN'T traveled, the new mantra will be "Why is he traveling overseas when there are so many pressing problems here at home? He's so out of touch – on a holiday in Europe when Americans are suffering."

    It just goes on and on and on...

    July 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Concerned Citizen

    I hope everyone is making sure that Obama is given the greatest physical protection against terrorists (both foreign and domestics), potential evil intents of all his political opponents (past and present), stupid possibly dangerous intents of attention seekers, or criminal plans of those (here and abroad) who are paid to harm Obama to prevent him from changing the status quo of the US & world politics.

    July 18, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |

    I don't understand this guy. Instead of talking policies and what he will do to change the economy etc... he spends all his time critisizing Obama. So, Obama decides to go on this trip alone and it's just a photo op? I wonder why some people think the way they do sometimes?

    July 18, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. DflateMacsStr8TalkXpress: Econ MIA, AWOL on facts, POW from reality

    Of course not beacuse McCain has nothing else to offer other than MORE OF THE SAME.

    July 18, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Pat

    Those who think McCain is the best choice for President better concentrate long and hard on his choice for VP. Given McCain's age and his more than noticeable senility a vote for his VP will be as crucial to Americans as a Vote for McCain. Add to that his similarities to Bush in ideolgies, intelligence, strategies and love of war and it's down right scary!

    July 18, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Jason

    misleading title.

    July 18, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Ray

    McCain was down playing the whole Afghanistan thing and now there there is talk about sending more people over there. Obama has been singing that song for a while but I haven't seen anyone give him credit for it.

    July 18, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Monica, Texas

    It appears that the McCain and his camp are jealous of Obama....The GOP should be careful how they choose to spin this "envy" is not a trait you want to display as we all know "green" is not McCain's color....

    July 18, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. Nicole in NE

    Why is everyone complaining about Obama's trip – didn't McCain do his own not that long ago? Of course he was out supporting NAFTA.....yay!

    Get real people

    Obama 08'

    July 18, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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