July 22nd, 2008
03:07 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain gets a dose of straight talk on Iraq War

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/22/mccain.sideprofile.jpg caption="McCain came across some angry questions at his town hall in New Hampshire Tuesday.'"]
(CNN) - During his town hall meeting in Rochester, New Hampshire Tuesday, John McCain repeatedly had to silence the crowd to allow pointed and sometimes angry questions from a woman opposed to the Iraq war. At one point, McCain asked the crowd, "Please, could we all be respectful of everybody's point of view?" McCain took three questions from the woman, saying he respected the fact that she came to state her views.

The woman told McCain it's time to end the "occupation" now.

McCain replied, "We're going to withdraw. We will withdraw. The fact is whether we withdraw in victory or whether we withdraw in defeat." McCain said we are winning in Iraq thanks to the troop surge.

For more on McCain's town hall event, tune into Campbell Brown: Election Center tonight at 8 pm ET.

McCain had to quiet the crowd again when the woman asked whether the U.S. was in Iraq to steal the country's oil. McCain then told her, "In all due respect, I think that is something that is not what Americans are fighting for."

When she was given the chance to speak again, the woman asked if McCain thought the U.S. presence in Iraq is inflaming the Muslim word. "I do not," McCain replied, adding "if we had been defeated in Iraq, the radical elements in the Muslim world would have been dramatically encouraged."

McCain repeatedly thanked the woman for her questions, saying, "You obviously represent the views of many Americans and I respect those views." Of the entire exchange, which lasted some eight minutes, McCain quipped, "It's far better, frankly, than some of the shouting that sometimes that exists between Americans."

soundoff (239 Responses)
  1. David in Illinois

    Since comments were closed on the previous thread...I'll pick it up here.
    McCain is "frighteningly inexperienced" when it comes to the U.S. economy, the problems facing the average American... he's even even inexperienced when it comes to decades-old technology... something called the Internet.
    Please...who cares what some attack dog like Wilson says. They're only getting more fierce in their attacks as it becomes painfully more obvious to them (and it's painful ONLY for them) that they will lose, and lose BIG in November.
    McCain would be HORRIFIC for the future of our country. Oh, John McCain, about your hundred years of war... you can't have my son.

    July 22, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Judgement over Experience

    Will somebody tell McWar there is no winning the IRaq war. You just can't win a war where you invaded a country because of lies, have bankrupted your own country, lost the lives of 4500 soldiers and garnished the hatred of the world. This is a no win situation. He is clueless.

    July 22, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. PUMA - Murphy

    I can't say this enough. It's what the people of America want. We have given the Iraqi people everything that they need to run the country and we can now step out of Iraq. We can't stay there forever, it's hurting us with the loss of American lives and the money being spent.

    This is where I, as a PUMA member agree 100% with Barrack Obama. We need to begin withdrawing troops, period. You'll rarely hear me say that so enjoy it while it lasts coming from a "high ranking" PUMA member.

    July 22, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. Shasta

    "When she was given the chance to speak again, the woman asked if McCain thought the U.S. presence in Iraq is inflaming the Muslim word. "I do not," McCain replied, adding "if we had been defeated in Iraq, the radical elements in the Muslim world would have been dramatically encouraged.""

    Yeah, I'm sure they love the Bud Day's of the world, and they're perfectly content with us regarding them as inept children.

    July 22, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Kyle

    This war hasn't inflamed the Muslim world??

    Is John McCain deaf and blind? This war has made the country less safer, according to our National Intelligence Estimate and has been a recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.

    Get this joker off the stage.

    July 22, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Bryan, Michigan

    Well we know that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 so what else but oil?

    According to Bush and McCain we have already won years ago. "Mission Accomplished". So how would a withdrawal be considered defeat?

    July 22, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Doug in Seattle

    So McCain does not think our presense in Iraq is inflaming the Muslim world. How clueless do you have to be to win the GOP nomination for the presidency??? God help us if he actually wins in November.

    July 22, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. by the way

    My friend, can you please define what you mean by victory? Thank you!

    By the way, the government we put n there asked us to leave.

    July 22, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    And when is the last time you saw Obama take questions from real people, let alone someone who wasn't a supporter? Obama, stop hiding and debate McCain!!!

    July 22, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Independent New Yorker

    Good for McCain. It is no easy task to take questions and comments like these.

    July 22, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Andre'

    What......did McCain even hear the question or is he too hell bent on staying in Iraq? For this candidate to state that our presence in the Middle East does not upset the Muslim world shows is lack of judgement when it comes to those issues. The only thing with substance that he has said pertaining to Foreign Policy is that "he wins wars." Honestly I can not think of a war he has won. More importantly do we want a government, a president, that only wants to go from one war to the next? We deserve better McSame!!!

    July 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Obama Supporter from FL

    I appreciate the fact that McCain at least took her questions and listened to her viewpoint.

    On the other hand, I can't understand why CNN is so incompetent that there are multiple errors in this post, i.e., "Muslim word" instead of "world," "McCain gets a dose straight talk." SIGH.

    July 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    So sad.............................

    Over 4000 troops killed for a Repbulican lie, and all he can say is "we are winning"

    July 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Copperfield

    Here's that obsession with "victory" again...

    July 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. SJC

    John McCain is constantly critisizing Barack Obama about being wrong about the "surge". He says Obama doesn't seem to be able learn. This from a man who still thinks the war in Iraq was a good idea despite never finding WMD there. McCain's a man who given what he knows now would still have invaded Iraq. Who doesn't seem to have the ability to learn and whose judgement should be called in question? Cheers to the woman who was bold enough to confront McCain in front of a hostile audience.

    July 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. skunkrat The Marine

    McCain's response to all questions is the SURGE. That is all that he talks about. I have come to the conclusion that he is not a great lover of war but is willing to embrace anything that he thinks will get him elected. he spends so much time on the war because it's the only subject he feels comfortable with. He & his staff also think that, since Bush used the war to get re- elected that they could do the the same.

    July 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. NoMcSame

    McSames cry of victory in the surge is equal to Bush and his mission accomplished statement. No war no need for a surge. No war and Iran would still be in check. No date set for exit means that thwy will keep us there for 100yrs. The peple of Iraq must learn to fight for themselves. They were good at it before so they can clean up their own house better than we can.
    Obama08

    July 22, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Abby

    Mark, B'ham., Al., -There is only leaving or permanent occupation, not win or lose. When there is no defined enemy left, like Saddam Hessian for example, who are we going to capture or who will surrender so that we can say we won? The Bush administration has said all along that when the Iraq government asks us to leave, we will leave. Its time to keep that promise.

    July 22, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. fairandstraight

    Win, lose or draw, the US did not have a reason to go to war in Iraq. If the intelligence reports were misrepresented by the current administration, it does not matter how well the surge is working.

    Obama 08!!

    July 22, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. susie

    It's a shame Obama sends people to McCain's events to disrespect him. McCain never does that to Obama.

    July 22, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. RB

    Mike, be careful what you ask for! You just might get it. Haven't you guys learned yet from challenging Obama to go to Iraq??

    July 22, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. karen-phoenix

    McCain: Vietnam is over. Alot of my friends died in that war and a lot of my grandchildrens friends have died in Iraq. NO MORE!!!! There was never ever anything to win in VN and their isn't anything to win in Iraq! It's the Iraq's country–NOT ours and NOT Halibertons!!!! Let it go. I DO NOT WANT TO BE REMEMBERED OF MY DEAD FRIENDS ANYMORE! I turn you off every chance I get!!! Go Obama with HOPE for Peace and Prosperity again in America!!

    July 22, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Kyle

    Its easy to take the questions, what's not easy is to think up all these lies.

    July 22, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Accountant Guy

    This guy is pathetic and I can't believe that anyone would support McBush. I am glad that people like this lady are standing up and showing how clueless he really is!!

    Obama '08

    July 22, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    WHAT'S WRONG WITH AMERICANS ????

    A 100 YEAR WAR AT A BILLION DOLLARS A DAY IS BOTH WISE

    AND MORAL. IF THAT MAKES SENSE TO YOU, I HAVE A MEDIUM

    SIZED PLANET TO SELL YOU, FOR VERY LITTLE MONEY.

    July 22, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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