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"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued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. Maxine

    I am in agreement if the surge is a sucesss and the surge is working what is victory Mccain define your views and if the surge has work Test it and pull the troop out within 16 months. John Mccain can'nt define sucesss because he is seeing the war from his time when he experience the war which was at a different time. Times has change Mccain we need a current updated view. We need a new Policy which is Obama views.

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Hiram Scott

    my generation knew JFK, he was experienced before the war began in London during the blitz, he also stood up to the Joint Chiefs of Staff when they said go for it now during the Cuban missle crisis, Barack is a nice liberal guy But he is no JFK no matter if Carolyn is in the crew at least Hillary could get the attention of IM A Dinner Jacket, what is
    Barack going to do???

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. ANGIE

    Well its getting close i guess its time folks time for THE FEAR CARD but it aint over yet no telling what the republicans are up too!!!!

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. shamous mc

    Um..doesn't Bush have 8 years "experience"?
    If term limits did not exist, would you want another term of Bush?

    What we need is sound judgement and good leadership.

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Mike in Cincinnati

    You are seeing the McCain campaign going into its desperation moves already. See this criticism of Obama for what it is.... a frantic attempt by the Republicans to spin the headlines in their favor when Obama is otherwise commanding the headlines on matters of real substance. I have not heard anything coming out of Obama's trip that leads me to any other conclusion than that he has been absolutely correct in his views all along.

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Mikey Boy

    The Republicans really do not know how to approach Obama, as is evidenced by their comments on inexperience.

    And McCain's main issue is the surge = he says it worked, but worked to do what. What was the objective?

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. former republican

    All Mccain can do is call names and criticize?

    How pathetic.

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Stan

    Too bad the Republican party has only fear to offer. Critical retoric is one thing but failure to offer anything new is another. Don't see leadership from Sen. McCain and his group I just see more of the same President Bush noise.

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Barack Obama

    To the American People

    I want to thank everyone who voted for me. Unfortunately I am inexperience and i'm not ready to lead this country. I feel that this job is too tough for me to handle and I'm just not fit to become your Commander in Chief. Don't be upset with me please forgive me for playing games with you. I would like to endorse Hillary as the nominee her and Bill would be able to run this country better than me and Michelle ever could in this lifetime.

    Thank you

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. annpatricia

    She is described in the caption as "a surrogate of john McCain." What the heck does that mean? Anybody know? Who is she?

    July 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Christy

    Some of our best presidents were inexperienced....JFK, and FDR for example....you know, the ones who got people excited and got things done. Our worst... Nixon, Truman ect had all manner of experience. I guess it's best to get them while they are still fresh!

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Dana

    Oh Goodness... as usual this is all a distraction from the McCain camp and his cronies- Scare Tactics just like good old George pulled in 2004-because they dont have one thing to say on the economy, foreign policy, education, jobs (WAR is not Foreign Policy), their is something to be said for DIPLOMACY...there is something to be said when powerful foreign countries are rooting for Obama because they want Diplomacy back (I mean Europe & Asia). Remember John McCains top Economic Supervisor buddy saying that we have a mental recession going on- not a real one- its all in our heads people...yea I loved that one... Yet everyone falls in line to the banter back and forth- all John McCain knows is to keep pushing war- not how to fund it, how to make up for our billions- trillions in deficits- not how to fix it- just keep fighting until....until its all peaceful and merry over there- I think he has post traumatic stress syndrome. Being that the Vietnam war was considered a loss- I think he needs to make up for it somehow by having a "Victory" in Iraq! I think we need to respect the country and if they want to take over- then let them!! We have lost enough men over there as it is!! And how can we build up forces in Afghanistan when we have none to put there b/c they are all in Iraq- its just so rediculous all of it!
    John McCain has no idea whats coming- he thinks he can keep dragging his heels on this war issue- but when they get face to face, when he gets the debate that he thinks he wants and when Obama makes him look more stupid than he does on his own, Americans will see- there is no HOPE for America with McCain as President!
    Just because someone is older doesnt make them anymore qualified for a position. John McCain is a flip flopper- not a Maverick- he doesnt move with the WIND, but with the MONEY- with the LOBBYISTS- with the Right Wing GWB Cronies... He will be the 3rd term of George Bush- and God help us all if thats the case!! We will all be living in boxes watching them drive by in their mercedes... saying isnt life wonderful!!
    Obama 2008!

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Smart Republican

    It's funny reading these comments by ignorant, mentally-challenged Socalist Democrats.

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. Chris P

    Well I guess DubYa had a whole host of experience hunh???

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. QG

    Good Try... NEXT!

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. OMG God Becky

    Seems the Republicans are plenty frightened now. The issue is the Republicans elected a George Bush Yes Man and the country is sick of the inept presidency.

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. sarah

    i love the way you obama zealots think. If anyone criticizes your candidate it has to be caused by stupidity, racism, or ignorance. if they continue to point out your candidates complete lack of judgement,they are to be called names. if they go on after that well then you just make fun of how they look, walk, what they wear, etc. you people are about as mature as an average third grader and a whole lot less respectful of others. you can't spell either.

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |



    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. mike

    My garbage collector has as much experience as Nobama as a leader. You think Bush is stubborn, Nobama makes up his mind BEFORE he discusses issues with military leaders, and he with absolutely no military experience! Too bad the dems have to put forth the one with least experience at leading to be the party candidate.

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. PJ Independent, New York

    This lady is right on!! Obama is a moron who will do ANYTHING to get in the White House. This is my biggest concern with Obama, foreign policy. Hillary Clinton proved him to be uninformed during the debates on MANY issues but more so on foreign policy. Obama just doesn't get it. Obviously the liberal left of the Democratic party decided to 'select' the 'black guy' because it was the 'popular' or politically correct thing to do. Not to mention the liberals like Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, etc. want him as their puppet.

    Was for Clinton, now for McCain. Can't wait to hear the comments from the Obama-bots, calling me a racist just because I don't support their empty suit candidate.

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. Tony Z- MD

    Maybe this lady understand the English language than most. Many of Obama positions are now being embraced by the current administration. Hence after eight years of playing bully.

    What is her background? If she was that good she would be a Senator and not a Congresswoman. Everyday the McCain campaign continues one bad joke after another.

    The Scary thought is the Maverick is lost in the wilderness.

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. White/female/age 55/Texan

    And Heather Wilson is who???

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Independent-Minded American

    Lee from FL
    – I concur. And don't forget the military draft that will naturally occur due to our endless senseless wars in the middle east once McCain bombs Iran.
    – Oh, and the $10B a month spent in Iraq will naturally increase to $50B a month.
    – I see China emerging as the world's superpower once we are bankrupt and worn down from the wars – think Soviet Union...

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Obama/Hillary 08

    yes, we will win in Iraq and bring our combat troops home. The Iraqi need to step up the plate to provide security in Iraq while we back them with our non combat troops. We cannot afford to send US money to Iraq for 100 years like John McCain wants to do.

    July 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Will

    Yet another example that all these Republicans know how to do when they are afraid is manipulate and make up false information, lie to the public and go to war....

    July 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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