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

Rep. Wilson calls Obama 'frighteningly inexperienced'

Rep. Heather Wilson, a surrogate for John McCain, called Obama 'frighteningly inexperienced.'

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"There have been a number of statements from the prime minister and others about the hope that combat forces can be withdrawn by the end of 2010, but I will also point out the government has made clear in a variety of ways that that is based on an expectation of the continued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

    How does this person know what Obama thinks?
    He hasn't been doing that much talking lately.

    July 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. CNN = Jerry Springer of news

    I checked out Rep. Wilson's website to see what her bona fides were to give her the authority to claim Obama is, "frighteningly inexperienced when it comes to international affairs and national security policy," and did not see much there. Are Republicans just going to come out of the woodwork to proclaim inexperience like Hillary and repeat, "the surge worked, the surge worked," like Giuliani kept talking about 9/11 thinking it would guarantee the presidency? In case McCain is not aware, the repetitive proclomations and claims of inexperience did not work too well for Giuliani/Hillary.

    It is truly pathetic how little material McCain has that this same story is repeated five times on the CNN ticker. I guess the media is afraid of McCain throwing a fit about how they are being unfair so they balance every story about Obama with the same story for McCain that is uttered by varying supporters. Do the Republicans really think the voters are that dumb? I am hoping most people finally learned their lesson after 8 years of Bush.

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

    Yeah, frightening how much better than the GOP leadership we've had and have to chose from!!

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

    I do have to agree with Olive Oil... NObama!

    July 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Matt

    My mind is blown by the advanced nature of logical arguments made in comments on this forum. I like Obama but will not vote for him this time because of his lack of experience, no matter what rainbows of change he promises to adorn our landscapes with.

    July 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Dems08

    It's remarkable that Heather Wilson and her cronies were not concerned with the frightening realities of the Bush administration. The Republicans are scared of losing control of the White House. God knows, it's way overdue. This country has suffered through 8 years of hell in every way possible. The only thing they have to offer in 2008 is more scare tactics.

    July 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. ED FL

    Wouldn't you know it The big bad republicans are up in arms so back to their usual mode [SEND A FEMALE OUT TO DO THEIR EYE SCRATCHING] NO wonder right wing woman are so fruastrated and uncared for.. Maybe if these cowards would stand up and fight for themselves theyn would get a little respect [Very little]

    July 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Independent Veteran


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

    Truth hurts. It was already proven the Al Maliki quote was quoted incorrectly. Funny thing is watch how this woman is pilloried by Obama's presstitutes. The headlines already quoted this woman inccorectly.

    July 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Michael Smith/ Santa Fe, NM

    It is notable that Heather Wilson (R-NM) lost her bid in the Republican primary for retiring Senator Pete Domenici's seat, and has nearly lost
    every election for her house seat since she was elected. Furthermore since the Iraq fiasco started she has distanced herself from President Bush's policy on Iraq, and continually speaks with forked tongue.Is
    her opinion meaningful? Hardly.

    July 22, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Rajneesh Chhabra

    For Republicans , Obama is :

    frighteningly different
    frighteningly Dynamic
    frighteningly Smart
    frighteningly Outstanding

    And ..in a
    frighteningly Winning Position.

    What do Republicans do now....Ah...what they are best at.

    frighten people.....

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

    And none of Obama's "inexperienced" ideas are working? Pulling out of Iraq, stepping up military presence in Afghanistan and the initiation of worldwide diplomacy after 7-1/2 years–yes, that definitely shows a candidate with no international affairs experience.

    McCain needs to stop his lies and childish behavior. I think most Americans are sick to death of it.

    Obama 08

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Virginia

    I am so disappointed in CNN this year!! Every guy that wants to say something against Obama gets a headline this year!!
    I had thought CNN gave us the balanced truth, but it goes on and on. This morning it was that blacks shouldn't vote for Obama, according to "some folks", whoever they all are.
    If I ever had any doubt, it's Obama for me. I feel we need to counter all the sick press (from some folks!) and gert on with it.

    Go Obama

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Theory

    This lady is deaf, dumb and blind ! now they want to tell us what the iraqi government obviously said in McCain twisted point of view. so who to believe the iraqi people and what they actually said or you. if john McCain has to resort to this type of political spin and essentially calling everyone to be stupid in the understanding of the obvious, he is more like Bush in governing then what we had already learned.

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Larry

    Too bad you weren't say the same thing about George Bush eight years ago. Even after four years of sitting in the office, he still can't get it right.

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. prairieguy

    McCain has become McWhinner!!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Dave C - NJ

    If it were "up to Obama" we never would have had the surge, says McCain.

    If it were up to Obama, we never would have been there to begin with.

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Phil, FL

    Basic Search:

    ………In 2003, Wilson voted against allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. …………


    This and the fact she did NOT return money to a PAC with a bad bad bad reputation.

    Look her up. SENIORS – Like the cost of your drugs? If so, listen to her.

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Missy M

    I have to agree with Rep. Wilson on this one – Obama is "frighteningly inexperienced." Becoming president, especially during war time, is no learn-on-the job position – he needs more time in the Senate or a stint as a governor to gain the political skills required for the office.

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I might be concerned if this was a person of any type of relevance. As it is GOP and relevance do not fit in the same sentence!

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. SJM

    She looks like she was beaten with the ugly stick, but she is right on the money.

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

    Here we go again "Lets scare the American People"
    At least Obama has a plan to get us out of Iraq. What does McOld have???? The only thing McOld talks about is the surge..earth to McOld the surge is OVER!!!!
    As for the soldiers coming home with honor. They have been coming home for years and going back and they do have honor.
    Come up with something better.. this is getting old.

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

    The Republicans keep talking about the lack of experience that Obama has, but don't want to acknowledge the fact that he makes up for it with GOOD JUDGEMENT.

    "Experience" can be a great thing, but if you still don't make good choices (or policies, etc.) it doesn't really count for much. In fact, it should be telling that DESPITE all his experience, John McCain's policies, actions, and statements are as off-the-mark as they are. All his experience has him confused between Sunni and Shia, and looking for the Iraq/ Pakistan border (I think its near Checkosolovakia). Sure, Obama has a lot to learn, but face it, he's starting off in a much better position than your average politician...

    Go Obama!

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Rose Lewis

    Instead of McCain using this time to campaign, he is using it to criticize Sen. Obama.
    First, he was on his head for Sen. Obama to go to Iraq, he even offered to go chapperone, then when he learned that he was going on without him, he cirticized him for going. Counting down the days since Sen. Obama had been there, now he is counting down the days for him to get back. Hurry back Sen. Obama, the McCain group is missing You!

    Obama "08

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Mike D

    Scared of somebody who has sound judgement on foreign policy? Scared of somebody with a sensible energy policy?
    Scared of somebody who has a decent grasp of even BASIC geography?

    July 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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