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. PUMA - Murphy

    susie July 22nd, 2008 4:28 pm ET

    t's a shame Obama sends people to McCain's events to disrespect him. McCain never does that to Obama.
    -----–
    Read the article. The woman whom spoke out is indeed a volunteer for his campaign, not some random Obama-bot.

    July 22, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. TheTruthHurts

    I have not heard one comment that suggests victory is different between the candidates. However, McCain has said nothing of the DIPLOMACY to reach political objectives in Iraq and only of the need for our warriors to keep the peace.

    BTW, they don't want our stinkin' bases there and our blulff will be called when they ask us to LEAVE.

    July 22, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. We can't leave Iraq when violence is up, We can't leave when violence is down

    Question: When in the hell can we leave then John Mccain. What about victory in Afghanistan. What about Osama Bin Laden( you know the guy on the Iraqi -pakistan border ooopps-I meant Afghanistan- Pakistani border who killed 3,000 Americans and is now on YOUTUBE videos.) You keep talking about victory in Iraq. WHAT ABOUT AFGHANISTAN! We want Bin Laden's HEAD!

    July 22, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. TheTruthHurts

    I respect that he took the question even if he's dead wrong.

    July 22, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. PAY BACK!!!

    McCain came across some angry questions at his town hall in New Hampshire Tuesday........Maybe you will stop ATTACKING Senator Obama

    July 22, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Uncle Sam

    McCain replied, "We're going to withdraw. We will withdraw. The fact is whether we withdraw in victory or whether we withdraw in defeat."

    What the heck does that mean exactly? Can some reporter have the guts to ask that simple question? If we went to Iraq for the wrong reason, how can we claim victory?

    July 22, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Marcus, Great Lakes IL

    There are over 58,000 names on a black marble wall in Washington.
    That is the reason we pulled out of Viet Nam. We were not prepared to keep losing high numbers of casualties for such limited progress in a difficult jungle war, for which we were not suited.
    We didn't want to fight all we wanted to do was come home but we did what we had to to keep ourselves and the guy next to us alive.

    Gotta love those arm chair Generals.

    July 22, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. Annette

    McCain what is defeat? What is victory? What is a win? What are you talking about?

    July 22, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. A NATION OF WHINERS for OBAMA

    MCBUSH FIGURES BOTH BUSHS GOT ELECTED WITH

    DECEIT & SLEAZE, WHY NOT HIM ?? HE GETS SO

    INDIGNANT & BELLIGERENT WHEN THE VOTERS ASK

    HIM QUESTION HE DOESN'T WANT TO ANSWER.

    YOU CAN SEE THE "HOW DARE YOU ASK ME" IN HIS EYES.

    July 22, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Brian

    DOWN. IN. FLAMES.

    July 22, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Abby

    Susie, no body has to send me if he was in my town. I would gladly ask the questions on my own.

    July 22, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Annette

    The comment made by Rep. Wilson is another example of the scare straight tactic...people please grow up.

    July 22, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. ProudToBeDemocrat

    This guy does not know what winning means, he can not define what success means, all he knows is like his freind Bush go to war regardless what the conseqence is.

    July 22, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Bernice Thomas

    When did the situation in Iraq become a WAR? I thought we went in there to liberate the people from Sadam, clear out the WMD, and shut down the terrorist operations. Now it is a war?

    Did we forget why we went in there??

    July 22, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. returntocommonsense

    At least Senator McCain is polite and lets those with opposing opinions speak (unlike George Bush).

    However, the fact that he states that the Iraqi war is not inflaming to Arabs is disturbing. It shows a huge disconnect to what is actually going on.

    July 22, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. MCCAIN 08

    like when we won in korea, or vietnam?

    July 22, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. John G

    It's funny how quickly people jump on a band wagon. Yesterday the New York Times asks McCain to define victory and now every other comment asks the same thing. I know the Kool Aid tastes good but you guys really need to think for yourselves.

    I am glad that Senator McCain had the courage to answer a tough series of questions from a normal person without a scripted answer while the "no where near elitist" Obama was riding to the Jordanian Airport in a "royal Mercedes" with the King.

    July 22, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Carol

    susie July 22nd, 2008 4:28 pm ET

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

    Are you kidding me? Water seeks it's own level and only people who would think of doing this would accuse others, or Barack of doing it.

    He has better things to do. And guess what, there are millions who believe as she does and came to that conclusion all by themselves.

    July 22, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Sharon Kitchen

    well......the deperate times for the Rep. calls for them to do and say desperate things....even in "their" own town hall meeting.........after all ,it was McCain's call for Obama to go to all the places he is now going to and being recieved so well...........thanks.......

    July 22, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Obvious

    It's always humorous when people against the war still vote for McCain for petty reasons like Obama's purported "lack of experience" Will this country ever learn?

    Obama or Canada '08

    July 22, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. James

    Obama says to Withdraw as conditions on the ground permit.

    Obama sounds just like Bush

    July 22, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Well, he wanted attention... Now he's getting what he wished for.

    July 22, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Joe

    This guy is NOT in control. And he wants to make the media make him look good.....McWhine!

    July 22, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Uchenna in MD

    Yeah Susie!!! Obama sent them from Jordan. You should be ashamed of yourself!!!

    July 22, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Redneck Mike - Arkansas

    Mccain just flip flopped....now he his saying we will withdraw.....

    July 22, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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