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. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    "Drawing a distinction" between the two candidates and their policies is not an attack, regardless of whether the individuals are currently home or abroad. Labeling or implying someone is a socialist is a totally different matter. We are beginning to see the effects of McCain's new Karl Rove-influenced campaign manager at work. Luckily, the American public has grown weary of these antics and McCain will be soundly defeated as he shows that he is just another pathetic agent of fear.

    July 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Ken

    James From Chicago

    That flip-flopping you hear is actually the McCain bus with flat tires.

    Here's a few McCain flip-flops:

    – Bush tax cuts
    – offshore drilling
    – gay adoption
    – more troops in Afghanistan
    – Social Security privatization

    I've got more if you want actually be informed for a change.

    July 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. James From Chicago

    I didn't know Obama had a voting record, he always voted Present.

    July 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Connie

    As far as the tax payers paying for this trip I say you go Barack. I remember paying for McBush's trip and he had a fund raiser while abroad.Now if McBush wants to criticize Obama let him go who is going to listen, I will be waiting to see the pictures from abroad to see how these people receive the next President of the USA . Obama 08

    Connie from Indiana

    July 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. Dwight

    EXPERIENCE. LIKE IT HAS PUT US IN A BETTER POSITION.
    VOTE FOR THE WAR , MORE VETERANS COMING HOME WITH LESS TO LOOK FORWARD TO
    VOTE FOR LESS TAXES ON BIG CORPORATION.RICHER GET RICH LESS FORTUNATE GET LESS
    VOTE TO ALLOW JOBS TO GO OTHER COUNTRIES =TELECOM COMPANIES = VIKKI ISEMAN
    VOTE TO DEREGULATE BANKING , MORE CORPORATE GREED MORE HOMELESS
    VOTE FOR TAX FEDERAL TAX HOLIDAY. MORE OIL COMPANY PROFITS
    WHAT HAS THIS GREAT EXPERIENCE GIVEN YOU.
    VOTE TO CHANGE 8 YEARS OF THE SAME , OBAMA 08

    July 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. No Bam Bam

    If you fools elect Obama we're doomed!!!

    July 18, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Saad from NJ

    Till they know that there people out there who will get influenced by the specific attacks and vote their way, the answer is NO.

    July 18, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Tired of W, OH

    JD said: "btw, people, your incredibly "clever" derivations of Mr. McCain's name are making you sound, well, kind of shrill and stupid."

    And what do you call all the repubs posting "NObama", "Obummer", "NoDrama", etc. etc.? That door swings both ways. Take a McChill pill.

    July 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Chris P

    I am so McTired of McSame!!! I thought he would be positive and keep to the issues ... what a puppet he turned out to be!

    July 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. THE WORLD IS WATCHING AMERICAN POLITICS

    McCain will not stop attacking obama becuase that is all he has got.

    July 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. E for Obama

    O.K. people here is the deal with Iraq.

    Obama was against the surge but now says it has worked.
    Obama was against funding the troops but now votes for it.
    Obama was against a hard deadline for withdrawl, (during the primaries was for a hard deadline for withdraw), but now says conditions on the ground will determine the STARTEGY for a hard deadline for withdrawl.

    TRANSLATION – HE IS A "PRAGMATIST" dealing with things realistically and sensibly based on practical considerations.

    I would rather have a president who is willing to change his mind based on the facts, instead of being stubborn.

    John McCain, WE CANNOT $AFFORD$ TO STAY IN IRAQ. PERIOD!!!!

    Why can't this stubborn OLD man understand this.

    July 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. bob

    Nothing is good for him and them republicans. OOh, I forgot he stepped all over Al Gore speech yesterday.
    McNo is not going anywhere.

    They have nothing they are running on and have to attack or devide and conqour!

    July 18, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Mark, Vivan LA

    You are right in that the big 3 news anchors did not go with McCain on his recent trips. McCain's team and FOX have been raising a big stink over that lately. Howeve, they have also had to admit recently that they did not invite them to come as Barack has done. So, once again McCain is talking out of both sides of his mouth and giving only part of the story. Teflon John is coasting by, with his innuendos and flip-flops while the media refuses to call him out on it!

    July 18, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Janet Singley

    McCain=Bush's Third Term. Period

    July 18, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. proud army and navy mom

    mcsenile has no real policies, so all he can do is criticize. but tomorrow he will say he never said that. Lies and denies, the mccain way

    July 18, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. megan

    "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".
    _______________________________________________

    Ya but it would not make them look any better. They will only look like attack Dogs. Nothing Obama does is good for republicans......

    Remember the President of United state using an appeaser comment in a foreign soil?
    That who they are and not willing to work with us!

    July 18, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Texas Trail Dog

    NO HE DOES NOT NEED TO LET UP ON OBAMA. JUST LIKE ALL OF HILLARY'S SUPPORTERS DO NOT NEED TO LET UP. OBAMA'S SUPPORTERS HAD ENOUGH TO SAY AND NAME CALLING OF HILLARY. TURN ABOUT IS FAIR PLAY. BESIDES EVERYONE IS GETTING TO KNOW OBAMA IS AN EMPTY SUIT. ALL MOUTH AND NO BODY.

    July 18, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Ken

    The right wing is going to criticize Obama if he doesn't go to Iraq, they'll criticize him if he does. They'll criticize him for his Afghanistan policy and implement a couple weeks later. They'll criticize the way he gets out of bed every morning.

    What they won't do is tell everyone how McCain's policies are diffierent from Bush's and what his vision is for this country.

    July 18, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Sherri

    What kind of campaign is McCain running? Is anyone in charge! He suggested to Obama to visit Iraq and even had a countdown going for days not visited. NOW he's pissed that Obama is going?. By the way in stead of the news channels falling over themselves trying to appear they are covering both candidates equally, they should ask McCain what is he referring to when he keeps saying in his town hall meeting that; "I That know wars" and this morning in Michigan he kept saying; " I have been in many wars". WHAT & WHY does he keep talking about this with such gleam!. McCain is more suited to being a dicator of the country that has a military present to control its citizens!

    July 18, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Belle

    When will any of you actually talk about issues? CNN must be getting a kick out of writing articles in a way that hate becomes the fashion of the day!

    July 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. DJ Los Angeles

    McCain is desperate and grasping at straws. Obama has made these statements about the need to shift resources and focus to Afganistan...while bringing the Iraq War to an end as quickly as possible.
    Whether it's a 16-month or 18 timetable is irrelevant.

    Bottomline is that Obama has it right. McCain is wrong. We can't fight a 2 front war, especially when we don't even has enough resources and running out of troops.

    July 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Gary Chandler in Canada

    When did McCain travel to Russia and China before he issued the statement about kicking Russia out of the G8, and barring China?
    Point is, it doesn't matter when he issues policy statements, they are usually wrong, and even crazy.
    Even Bush has reached detente with North Korea, set up talks with Iran, and started a shift from Iraq to Afghanistan; all things Obama had agreed with and McCain could never achieve.
    Somebody has to find out if the money from the splurge is making it to terrorists in Pakistan. Who knows how the enemy is spending that money?

    July 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Watermann

    Who will be interested to listen or read McCaine at the moment the news rush in from Obama`s trip?

    July 18, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. check and checkmate

    hey obama, smokem if u got um maybe u can say u now have combat experience like some of us ol dudes hillary 4 vp or u luzzzz

    July 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. James Hussein, SC

    American July 18th, 2008 10:38 am ET

    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.

    McClueless won the war on stupidity!

    July 18, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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