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. White Independant

    It's to bad all he has are attacks. No clear plan for the economy no clear plan for Iraq and no clear plan for Afghanastan. It's not his fault this is the tried and true way to get elected in the U.S. Just throw up as much inuendo and false information as you can and see what sticks. NOT THIS TIME!!! NOT THIS ELECTION!!! Just ask HRC.

    July 18, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Kenn

    Yomama thinks he should be president because he's wants to bring "change" . The only change he will bring is higher taxes, increased wussyfication of America, open boarders, horrible health care policies, increased racial disharmony and hate. He should be critized. If McCain isn't the answer then Yomama certainly isn't . Grow up people, Yomama is a lair and a fraud and by the time you figure it out, it may be to late.

    July 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Candy

    If the war in Iraq is 'basically over', why does McCain say that we will have troops there for the next 10 years or more? If the war is over, bring the troops home now.

    You are either at war, or you're not.....kinda like being pregnant...you either are or you aren't.

    We should never have been there to begin with….it was just Jr. wanting to finish Daddy’s war. And 4000+ have paid for it with their lives.

    July 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Julie

    Oh, good the parrots have a new word for the day "socialism". It doesn't appear that many truly know what it means, but it's todays buzz word.

    Will McCain stop criticizing? How can he that's the meat and potatoes of his campaign – that's all he's got!! He can't talk the issues.

    Shame on McCain – I lose respect for him on a daily basis. He would truly make a poor president – worse than GWB, and I honestly didn't think that was possible. Why is this country so intent on propping up a special ed student like mccain instead of voting for someone with intelligence? Doesn't say much about the American voting public, does it. Did you realize that McCain has never held a "regular" job – only government work. That's another handicap.

    July 18, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Jim

    Bush is grasping for anything to pull up his numbers including forgetting his "holy grail" of negotiating with Iran without any preconditions. McBush better jump on this bandwagon quickly as well. Negotiating without preconditions is now "in".

    At the end of a miserable 7 plus years Bush and the Republicans have been absolute failures whether it is the economy, resource management, deficit, foreign trade balance. When you focus too much on large business and pandering to lobyists you can expect that the rest of the country will have big problems. Bush is running around trying to paint a happy face on everything. Sorry, that will not work.

    Less face it, Bush sacrificed almost everything by his intense focus on Iraq. After the mistake of getting us into the war his lack of leadership could not get us out. He told the American people they could have it all including lower taxes, more programs, a war, etc. He did not regulate the homebuilding and mortgage industries and that market collapsed.

    Now the nation has some deep problems. Old Republican ideas such as drilling for offshore oil will not get us out. As oil man Pickens says, "We can't drill our way out of this one." Free and unregulated trade without any regulation will not get us out. Pandering to the financial institutions will not get us out. Beating the paranoia drums is not working any more. Not being honest about the real causes of the deficit will not get us out of the problem. Cutting taxes have only given us bigger and bigger deficits.

    McCain, regardless of his efforts will follow in the same footsteps. They are set in concrete. The big money Republican machine will not let him go any other way. You can also see it in his campaign. Remember Bush bringing in the good old boys. McCain is doing the same thing. Republican empathy is "Quit whining" as espoused by Phil Gramm. This is a "Let them eat cake." approach. Republicans are totally out of touch with reality. It is easier to blame than empathize.

    July 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Elizabeth

    Get lost old man, McCain! You are just an old fool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. judy, Wisconsin

    McCain and others always tout his "Experience". Think about what so called experience has brought us–Cheney, Rumfield, Rove, old oil men and their secret meetings, Phil Graham, greed, war, etc etc. I'll take a younger, energetic, highly intelligent, and charismatic leader like Obama anytime. McCain has little to offer and will surround himself with old friends. My own Father died of Alzheimers at age 80 and McCain shows serious signs of dementia–Dems and all others unite!

    July 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. sherry for Obama

    MCCAIN PUT A SOCK IN IT.........


    July 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. mb--texas

    Whatelse does he know to do.McCain and his people have sharp tongues and sarcastic sounds to most of their comments,which mostly are incorrect.

    July 18, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. dave g, Minneapolis

    Stop complaining about these two. Neither has said anything of substance, just personal attacks.

    Thanks, media for keeping us all talking about nothing.

    How about some real issues? and a real candidate?


    And CNN, please report more on Bob Barr. He is running at 6% nationally and 9-10% in many states!! He's got more support than Ross Perot ever did at this point and we hardly hear about him!!

    July 18, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Lesley

    McCain is afraid that Obama will make a good impression on the rest of the world. He slams him for having no foreign policy credentials, and then when Obama travels overseas, McCain accuses him of playing a dog and pony show for political gain. McCain has traveled to different coutries several times in the last few months himself, so what's the difference? Let's all talk after Obama comes back from his trip. McCain will be talking trash trying to bring him down the whole time Obama is promoting good will to the rest of the world. And I promise you he will know his geography, who the presidents are, and the difference between secular factions in Iraq.

    July 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. Sherri

    Alice, for the record, Obama debated Clinton 20 times. You are misinformed.

    July 18, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Julie

    I thought when John McCain became the Rupublican canidate he said that this was going to be a new kind of election, where he will stick to the facts and what he believes in and not criticize and demean his opponent. What happened to that plan???

    July 18, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. JIM...TX

    Texas Trail Dog...you and PUMA's STILL wrapped up in Hillary?? She LOST....move on an get over it. Fall in behind McCain and should he win:) in November and the Country sinks further into the abyss we'll be looking for some more of your hate filled posts.......

    July 18, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. RJ, CA

    Do you Obama people actually LISTEN to what Obama says and what it actually MEANS?

    Here's an example:

    FactCheck: Obama released a national ad saying he would "fast-track alternatives" to imported oil. On closer examination, his proposal is to spend $150 billion over the coming decade on energy research. Ten years doesn't sound all that "fast" to us, and there's no guarantee that the research will result in less oil being imported.

    Want another one? Read the New Yorker article on Obama - which is free and online.

    July 18, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. CL OT

    Doesn't McCain know that you can't question Obama. He is above criticisim! How dare he.

    NObama, "Change" you can PAY for!!!

    July 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. PP

    Sure Mc ciane has to come back after his visit and then decide what to say about it? First he has no idea why he went there, for what and what he wanted except it made some good political sense. Then afer a weekend all is lost, so his advisors have to go thru all the tapes and to write what he is supposed to say ....a tele-promptor to interfere if he forgets what he is talking about when he is talking.... sure wise men learn from others experience and available knowledge..only a fool will try to invent the whell again after seeing a bicycle :))))))))))))

    July 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. emtp JB

    Now I REALLY know what a stupid old fool McCain is...accusing Obama of being a Socialist. Maybe he can get some type of treatment for raving idiocy while he's abroad or he can just continue to babble like a crazy old fool!

    July 18, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Dave

    Not one African country. Hey McCain you want to steal black american votes..come out with you're going to make Haiti/Ghana/Nigeria a priority in your administration. Visit those countries. Also, visit the Sudan and take on the Darfur crisis. Your favorable ratings will increase significantly. That's opportunity.

    July 18, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. susants

    What policy statements does McCain have to express before or after any trip? He just mimicks Bush on foreign policy.

    July 18, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. lenora levine

    If there are any adults left in the GOP, will you please stand up!
    It is tiresome day after day to see McCain and his staff make these
    type of immature statements. How about trying to resolve some of the issues facing the nation and cease with the name calling and pettiness?

    July 18, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Dee Dee

    We expect Mc Cain to keep plugging for himself regardless of where Senator Obama is in the world.
    Had Mc Cain traveled with Obama he would had been more cordial.
    Mc Cain would like to a large arena crowd just once and being with his opponent is one way before the convention.

    July 18, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Gene

    The McCain bashers are out today. These are Obama volunteers and paid staff that do nothing but flood every story with name calling, nasty and mean remarks. There job is to drive up McCains negatives. They did this to Hillary Clinton as well. They do not reprensent the core Democratic voter but the ultra liberal left wing of the party. What they should be doing is to try to talk to the issues, but I know that is hard to do, because they don't really know on what side of the issues he is at all times. Obama is a serial flip flopper. He has flipped on public financing,FISA, gun control,undevided Jerusalem,abortion, using church-based institutions to deliver services to the poor, troop re-deployment trade, merit pay for teachers and social security taxes on income . I doubt that the basher's even know where he stands on these issues today. That's why, like a bunch of spoiled kids, they just engage in name calling.

    July 18, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Michelle

    Obama's world tour is just a photo op and publicity stunt.
    The Rainbow Tour is a farce.

    July 18, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. vincent


    i'm sorry, i guess that just means he's a hell of alot smarter than you!


    July 18, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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