July 22nd, 2008
02:55 PM ET
13 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"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued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. carol

    Heather Wilson who? Another one looking for their 15 minutes.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Rob Bachorik

    Someone needs to tell Heather she should finish kindergarten prior to giving her useless and hollow advice. Sounds like McCain, lot of hot air, but no meaningfun information to back it up.

    July 22, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Fred Sossaman

    You can't take anything this operative is saying seriously. She still
    thinks Bush is doing a fantastic job and we aren't in a recession.

    July 22, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Winston


    July 22, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |

    See Obamas interivew with abc last night.... seemed a little flustered when asked about being wrong. Obama is telling people what they want to hear and not what is best. When asked about if the commanders in Iraq agreed with his timetable to withdraw troops, he stated " them and I are on different perspectives" well i agree, they are.... They are in IRAQ and know what they are talking about. Obama would rather win the election than win the war. I like Obama, but he has definately slipped in my thought of him as president.

    July 22, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Yeah, Republican experience bungled the war in Afghanistan; left Osma bin Laden still alive and free almost seven years after killing almost 3,000 people on U.S. soil; instituted less than a third of the 9/11 Commision recommendations; got us into a useless war in Iraq over non-existent threats and links to terrorists; and allowed a person like Iran's Achmadinejad to rise to power and influence in the area.

    Nice job GOP!!!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Xavier

    How many American soldiers would be alive today if we hadnt waged this unnecesarry war? The price of Republican so called, EXPERIENCE has been paid for with the blood of our loved ones. How many members of their families has Bush lost? Not one.

    Enough with the Clinton should have, could have crap. Its getting old.

    July 22, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Look who's calling the kettle black! She just mad because she lost her house seat in a run for the senate which she has also lost. Her husband went to a "camp" to get ungay.

    July 22, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Gary Chandler in Canada

    McCain is frighteningly experienced. How does bordering on suicide, giving up information right away, and making propaganda films for the Cong, all documented facts, make him a war hero?
    Just look at his politcal record, not much beef and he made sure got on a Committee to seal all his POW records.

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Noelle in Seattle

    Ha ha, "no way sophisticated enough". She sounds like a hillbilly. If I were speaking for McCain, I'd be careful who I called unsophisticated and unprepared. Who is this woman anyway? she didn't even get her party's nomination to run for Senate. Really high ranking.

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Obama Rocks 08/12

    You have this all wrong Wilson if you put McParrot on there instead of Obama and then add senile you will have it correct .

    You are voting for McParrot thats a blank slate ,a vp but don't forget to add Lieberman and Graham his elbow puppet men he has to have joined at the hip to remind McParrot of his misspeaking at his TOWN HALLS .

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Cindy

    Just remember, McCain came in second place behind Bush!

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Not "sophisticated" eh? Like the speech-challenged dunce we have in charge right now? Or the sell-out "maverick" who is "sophisticated" enough to not know the difference between Sunni and Shia, or that Czechoslovakia ceased to be a nation years ago?

    I'm voting for the intelligent person in this campaign.

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Biffington, Biff

    Andy said...
    Truth hurts. It was already proven the Al Maliki quote was quoted incorrectly.
    _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ __ __ ____ _ __ _ _______ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Um... ACTUALLY, Andy... what was PROVEN, was that Maliki was quoted correctly and in context. AND THEN TWO OF HIS SURROGATES SAID IT IN "ENGLISH" so as to put ANY mis-interpretation to rest.

    So, in your case, I do imagine, the truth DOES hurt.

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. JD

    Does the McCain campaign truly want to continue to play the inexperience card when they are about to put Bobby Jindal, who just turned 37 in June, a septuagenariaun's heartbeat away from the Oval Office?

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Josh Maloney, Oakland, CA

    Barack Obama is exactly who we need for international affairs. The USA needs to realize that the world is looking for new leadership. McCain only offers a continuation of Bush policy. People should think about the positive international perception Obama already has over McCain.

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Wesley

    The Republicans are really starting to sound scared themselves. Worried that their candidate is failing miserable to generate interest amongst his base. McCain's surrogates are pathetic.

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. corin


    Why are there like almost 5 of the same type of articles on this cnn! surge surge surge..... no timetable.... surge... surge .... no timetable.... surge surge surge..... no timetable.... inexperience.....naive....no timetable...surge surge.....

    To funny mccain camp please be innovative, form a thinking process.... create a plan have a mission.... mccain is blowing hot air!! americans are done with hearing about the surge...inexperience and all the jibber jab... we want to know what will and can you do for the our country and improve our image around the world!!! McCain camp is "frighteningly fighting" for a headline!!!! hahaha How about some positivity come out of mccain camp!!

    Yes We Can Obama 08

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Obama Supporter from FL

    Nice sweater set, Heather Wilson. Are you sure you aren't *really* a librarian?

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Rick in Az

    Maybe she and the other Repubs that support McCrazy should move here to Arizona and find out for themselves what a lot of voters here already know.. Obama might be "Frighteningly Inexperienced" but McFlip Flop is just plain "Frightening".. To bad the MSM doesn't take him up on complaints and give him more coverage. Then everyone would finally see that he can't go 1 day without making some kinda Gaffe

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Barak for PreZ of USA

    To the McCain Camp!!!!

    Can you SMELLLLLLL what the BARAK is COOKING????!!!!

    Wow, I smell fear from the rethugs and the McCan't remember anything all over the place.....they don't have any humility...Their comments and faces are REAKING with jealousy!!! I am literally ROTFLMAO!!!! Can you smellllllllllwhat the Barak is cooking????!!!!

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. McBUSH

    Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb IRAN –

    Next is Czcecholsavakia!!!

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Frank

    The Republicans are squealing like a bunch of stuck pigs.

    I guess they realize that the Iraqi government destroyed every one of their Iraq talking points yesterday.

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. annpatricia

    What exactly does she say the Iraqi government said that Barack Obama didn't hear?

    If the Iraqi government said something we should be informed about, why doesn't Heather Wilson say it loud and clear?

    instead of informing, she is instilling vague doubt and fear. GOOD BYE Republicans! Thank you very much for all you've done.

    July 22, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Mike from Westchester

    Wilson who????????????? I guess she is what the Republicans call and expert – so much so, no one has heard of her. Did you see who Bush just appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff, so 20-something former boyfriend of one of the Bush girls. The joke on America just goes on and on.

    If Obama is so inexperienced the why are we implementing his idea to move troops from Iraq to Afghanistan? Why are we now, as he suggested and was called an "appeaser" for, opening negotiations with Korea AND Iran? Why does it seem like the entire world supports his candidacy? Why does the Iraqi government seem to support his withdrawal plan?

    Obama has consistently stated that we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. Translation: He intends to set a timetable to put pressure on the Iraqis, but the pace of withdrawal will depend on the situation on the ground and the advice of the Generals. This is what he has been saying for over a year now.

    Warning: There is some idiot on this site today posting fictitious Obama quotes, purportedly from the "Audacity of Hope". Just more of the unethical lying smear campaign. I'm very glad I won't be on the BS Express with these sub-humans. Are you???????????

    July 22, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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