July 22nd, 2008
02:55 PM ET
12 years ago

Rep. Wilson calls Obama 'frighteningly inexperienced'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/22/art.wilson.ap.jpg caption="Rep. Heather Wilson, a surrogate for John McCain, called Obama 'frighteningly inexperienced.'"]

(CNN) - A leading surrogate for John McCain called Barack Obama "frighteningly inexperienced" Tuesday, the latest effort from the Arizona senator's presidential campaign to step up its criticism of the Democratic presidential candidate while he travels abroad.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Rep. Heather Wilson, R-New Mexico, sharply criticized Obama and his presidential campaign for suggesting the Iraqi government had endorsed his timetable for withdrawal from the war-torn country.

"He's not listening to the whole of what the Iraqi government was saying - he's hearing what he wanted to hear and what he thought would help him politically, which get backs to Senator Obama as a candidate for the presidency," Wilson said. "He has his finger in the wind, trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing, and he is not leading.

"He is no way sophisticated enough, I don't think - I mean he is frighteningly inexperienced when it comes to international affairs and national security policy," she added. "And he heard what he wanted to hear from the Iraqi government, without any context around it, and took that simple message and decided it helped him politically. That's the antitheses of what we should expect from a president of the United States."

Listen: Wilson slams Obama on conference call (15:15)

Wilson's comments come after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was quoted in German newspaper appearing to suggest he supported Obama's 16-month timetable for withdrawal from the country. Top Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice said the campaign welcomed the comments, though Maliki's office letter dialed back from them.

Speaking on the same conference call as Wilson, McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann said the Iraqi government has made clear any timetable should be tied to conditions on the ground.

"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued improvement of the security situation and the continuing improvement in the capability of Iraqi security forces to provide for their own security,"

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. California Voter

    Obama's inexperience and a big question about his core values causes me not to support him for President. Three years in the Senate and his years as a "community organizer" and state senate do not make me comfortable with his experience. His twenty year membership in a black liberation church with its "non-negotiable commitment to Africa" and the words of Rev. Wright make me very wary of Obama - to say nothing of my concerns about his wife.

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Tom

    And I call John McCain "frighteningly" dumb! Maybe Mr. Mccain should spend some time on the Iraqi and Pakistani border.

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. malclave

    Obama has outright stated that the Constitution would not apply to him (up to 10 years as president?). I know you libs like to say the same thing about Bush, but if any of you are reasonable, you have to admit that anything the SCOTUS has determined to be unconstitutional has been discontinued.

    It's nice seeing, though, that this blog is just as infatuated with Obama as the rest of the paparazzi in the media ("surrogate"?)... I was starting to think that CNN might have competent journalists.

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. drone

    So what qualifies anyone to run for president? Is it the way they ran they're campaign? Maybe it's the number of times they voted and the outcome was a positive for the people! Maybe its the decision making abilities they've shown through they're political career?

    Short as his experience years wise, Obama is leading in all catogories.. And when you think about it, anyone compared to McCain would be inexperienced if you just look at the number of years... he's like ancient..

    And who cares what this lady is saying, she needs to focus on why her canidate continually references nonexistent countries and the differences between the fighting parties in Iraq... Better yet WILSON...HAS MCCAIN ANSWERED THAT VIAGRA QUESTION YET ?

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Kevin The K in SEA

    Every Republican who has had ANYTHING to say about Iraq has been WRONG (with the exception of The Surge strategy – but they were totally WRONG about WHY it would work!). I don't believe ANYTHING coming from their lips about The Middle East! Greeted as liberators – WRONG! Cheap war – WRONG! Quick – WRONG! WMDs – WRONG! 9/11 link – WRONG! Dead-enders – WRONG! The Insurgency is on it's last legs – WRONG! Reconstruction will be financed by gas profits – WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    I have had it. Obama '08

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. DR T M Kemnitz

    Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the gang were frighteningly experienced, and their judgment was awful. Obama has lived in a part of the world these guys have only flown over, and his judgment has proven to be spot on about places he has only visited briefly.

    McCain is the one who is truly frightening with his economic ignorance.

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Cy Brown

    Barack Obama is frightening! What's more frightening, however, is all of these Kool-Aid drinking, Obama cult robots! Kind of reminds me of Germany during the build-up to WWII...

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. Caryn, WDC

    Go back to Czechoslovakia.

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Pretty Ricky

    While its true that Obama does not have as much experience as McCain-at least he has judgement, knowldege, and common sense! Those are all things that McCain lacks!

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Aaron Davis

    That really upsets me that this Rep. from Arizona doesn't even know what the Iraqi Prime Minister had even said. The people and their newly formed government wan't U.S. troops out. Please let me know how Obama "heard what he wanted to hear...took a simple message and decided it helped him politically." Is there more meaning to "we can handle our own country"? I guess Obama decided early on, from his "inexperienced career", to politically put himself against a war! Obama voted against it, his record clearly states it, but I guess he is "politically' picking and choosing now! Come one, try again McCain!

    July 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Sally

    That's why we don't want another idiot in the office. Obama is just a version of George W Bush with no judgment and experience!

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Jeffrey G. Brown

    Give me a break! Obama will select the best advisors in the country when he is in office. Is this all the GOP has to throw at him?

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Lauren

    Frightening and unsophisticated. Dancing very near the line of streotyping Obama's race.

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Justin from West Haven, CT

    Inexperienced at not screwing the nation over is good to have.

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Mary

    What a loser she is. McCain is some old fogey that fought in one foreign war. Obama is a multiracial, multinational man that has lived abroad and has always had a diverse set of friends and a diverse world view. It is McCain that is inexperienced when it comes to the rest of the world. Sorry, but fighting in Vietnam, while admirable, does not mean you have foreign policy experience. Neither does being GW's lackey.

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Ced

    I like the way Republicans continue to play the experience card. Look at the mess that the current President's Experience has gotten us into.

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Jake

    OK, as opposed to Bush's extensive international experience and deep policy undertstanding when he ran in 2000 (or in 2004 for that matter)

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. BJ

    Think the Republicans are the ones that are scared, and it sure isn't because of Obama's lack of experience. They are scared their wallets may not be as fat as usual. It's time someone had to pay besides the little people.

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. GSOres

    Isn't this the same person who sought to have meritless indictments issued against political opponents and subsequently have them fired US attorneys because for refusing to do so? Now, that's really scary.

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    McCain keeps telling me that he knows how to win wars. Exactly which war did he win again?

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Jim in Texas

    As they say she hit the "nail on the head". It really is scary to think having someone like Obama as President.......God Help Us!

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. irene


    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. aaron from minneapolis

    Obama was right about Iraq from the start. Where are the WMDs Mrs. Wilson? Obama was right about Afghanistan. Obama was right about talking to Iran and are other enemies. Obama is right on the environment. Obama wants to give immediate relief to famies at the pump by giving them another stimulus check, not drilling for more oil which in return hurts the environment more. who was right? It's pretty safe to say Obama has plenty of experience and plenty of judgement. Go back to your hole Wilson.

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Dave C - NJ

    So McCain declares victory.

    Fine, let's leave. Why are the repukes on here saying that Obama is declaring a loss? What??

    McCain doesn't have much more presidential experience BTW..I'd vote for a Dem Dogcatcher VS a Repub Senator anyday....

    July 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Donna

    Who is this woman and why should we care about what she says?

    Poor GOP..they are so scared they have the fearmongers coming out of the sticks now!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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