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"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued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

    Ms. Wilson is just angry that she lost her own senate PRIMARY, even apparently she's frightening to many in her own party

    July 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. G, Margate, FL

    No one cares aboout what this lady says and she needs to zip it

    BO for President

    July 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Margaret Manning

    Obama is no way "sophisticated" enough to handle international affairs? He is "frighteningly inexperienced"? Who could be worse than W? That didn't stop him and his ilk. And Ms. Wilson is reportedly on the short list to become VP and step into the shoes of McCain if he were to be elected (unlikely) and were to be incapacitated (likely) during the next four years? What are her qualifications? I think Sen. Obama's education and experience compare favorably to anyone on the national stage. And he doesn't confuse Iraq and Iran when discussing foreign policy, as McCain did recently. I for one do not think that political experience is either necessary or good; the more experience, the more corruption. If you're very smart, educated, dedicated, and well-mannered, you can succeed. Obama is all those things.

    July 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. luggar

    Obama is truely frightening and his core of supporters even more so. He will probably be elected and we will be on our knees praying for our lives within two years. Start stockpilling the staples NOW.

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. Gary Maybach

    When can we all start looking at the many troubles we have and stop bashing each other in this election process?

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Tommy Lee of SC

    In no way is McSame 'sophisticated' at anything.

    I am so sick of all this fear mongering since 9/11. The disgrace of how inept Bush and Mcsame have been at finding Bin Laden and allowing the terrorist to multiple in numbers and spread is what frightens me.

    I will be voting based on fear this November and that fear is more of the same. I will be voting because of FEAR of the REPUBLICAN BUSHWACKERS.

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Southern Man

    Barack Rocks and McCain scares me. It is time for fresh new ideas with an inexperienced approach. Obama in '08.

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. john

    whats sad is if u talk bad about obama not even harshly the comment will be deleted, if i say something bad about mccain lightly or severly it wont. thanks CNN for censorship and infringing on my 1st admendment. and favortism towards obama, thats why i hate the guy. thats why he is frighting.

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. SAGG

    JC July 22nd, 2008 2:11 pm ET

    Who is this woman? Noone cares about her. McCain is the clueless warmonger! Iraq wants us out McCain!


    Maybe she's gonna be McCain's VP choice, heh-heh....

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. dan

    hey, didn't experiance get us this far??????

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Names can't hurt

    We already experienced that experience of not being experienced and that didn't stick for the last year won't stick now.

    Problem with McCain is his experience. McCain doesn't fit anywhere anymore–big deal he was a POW in Vietnam, now he is a POW in politics.

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Uncle Sam

    Rasmussen polling has McCain and Obama tied at 46%.
    I thought that was the tide I heard turning.

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Mainstream

    My My! What wisdom! What insight from all the bloggers. Have any of you people ever been outside the confines of America? Try going to some third-world countries and you might understand just how good you have it. Then your comments might be a little better-natured than all this snapping and snarling.

    July 22, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. MFVJR

    Republicans is still at it and at their best – politiics of fear (and unexperience). Politics of fear, they are busted. Now they are peddling "inexperience". Is it an absolute guarantee that experience makes a better judgement? This present administration has been surrounded by people with numerous deep experiences but with no better judgement.

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. R.I.F.

    This is like the 5th ticker today about McCain or one of his backers attacking Obama on Iraq. Once again I ask the question: Isn't this the week that McCain was supposed to be focused on the Economy?

    The republicans are obviously shaking in their boots.

    Since McCain is not going to focus on the Economy then maybe he should be working on the homework that the NYT gave him yestarday....please define what "winning" in Iraq is??? The fact that he hasn't answered that questions and refuses to leave Iraq until we "win" is very very "frighteningly ".

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Mike Dallas

    Yep any time the Iraqi's indicate they want us out of the country, Republican shills scream "they did not mean it" or "it was mistranslated, now it is that Obama is "frightenling inexperienced".
    Another case where McCrypt has nothing to add in a constructive manner to the message, so attack the messenger. Always and indicator of a desperate situation for the Republican campaign.

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Will, NJ

    "Experienced" people have gotten us in the whole we are in now.

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Berkeley G.

    Funny, Wilson is accusing Obama of being overly pessimistic and McCain has been accused of being overly optimistic. Obama is accused of being "frighteningly inexperienced" yet our current President's prior experience was: running Harkin Oil into the ground, owning a baseball team, Gov of Texas and a brief military stint in the "champagne" unit. How absurd. I'd say Obama has about as much foreign policy experience as McCain has economic experience.

    "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should. I've got Greenspan's book." – John McCain

    How comforting.

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Aaron "Hussein" Bauer

    The only experience McCain has is how to cheat on your wife and leave her for a younger richer woman. Oh, and to live in a box for 5 years.

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. annpatricia

    Looked her up. She has absolutely NO, ZERO. ZED, foreign policy experience.

    However,her environmental policies are backward:

    "Wilson has voted in favor of legislation to make the EPA a cabinet department, to expedite forest thinning projects, and to de-authorize critical habitat designated by the Endangered Species Act.[14] The League of Conservation Voters recently named her to its “Dirty Dozen” list of environmentally irresponsible federal officeholders, citing her support for uranium industry practices that contaminate groundwater, for policies that would allow “unlimited mining waste dumping on public lands,” and for reduced accountablility for mining companies implicated in pollution.[15] Wilson has also been criticized by New Mexico farmers for what they see as her anti-environment stance: she voted against a $58 million dollar fund for voluntary conservation measures in the state.[16] The League of Conservation Voters gave Wilson an “abysmal” rating on its 2003 National Scorecard, rebuking her for taking more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from the Energy Lobby.[17]" wikipedia

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Lisa

    Who is this person, and why does anyone pay attention to her? She needs to go on the road with McCain and be there to correct the mistakes he is making on a daily basis. He has lots of experience, if only he could remember any of it!!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Scott from DC

    The country has HAD it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S over, the country want something new, if NEW fails, then so be it, it can't be any worst than the last 8 yrs....

    July 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Catherine

    A McCain staffer slams Obama and uses the famous Republican "bogeyman" fear tactic and this is news.... why? This is an everyday occurrence. McCain's camp is in a panic. They're throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Obama and CNN just parrots them and calls it "news".

    Very lazy, CNN. Very lazy. Even by your usual lazy standards.

    July 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. patrick

    Ms. Wilson , please go back to knitting quilts!

    July 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Hana

    McCain campaign - all negative, all the time!

    I suppose that's what a campaign does when all McCain has to offer is Bush's 3rd term.

    Senator McCain, either get a new message or hire Karl Rove to manage your campaign. He'd be more effective than Heather Wilson. Of course, such a move would confirm what most of us already suspect - you are seeking Bush's 3rd term.

    July 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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