July 22nd, 2008
09:09 AM ET
14 years ago

The day ahead: McCain to keep up Iraq pressure

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/22/art.mccainsurge.ap.jpg caption="McCain will continue his pressure on Obama over Iraq."]
(CNN) - John McCain is expected to continue his pressure on Barack Obama over Iraq Tuesday, a day after the Illinois senator visited the war-torn country.

At a town hall in New Hampshire, McCain will continue to target Obama for his initial opposition to the surge policy. The Arizona senator is also slated to again take aim at Obama for what he will say is his rival's continued refusal to acknowledge conditions on the ground have improved.

"He'll make the case that...his refusal to see the success on the ground despite universal agreement among Americans shows that he doesn't have the judgment to move American troops forward to victory – only withdrawal and defeat, because that's all Obama has ever supported," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said.

Related: With spotlight on Obama, McCain steps up attacks

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. R.I.F.

    I thought McCain was supposed to be focused on the Issue #1 – The Economy this week? I guess he prefers to do what he does best...attack Obama. McCain had no solutions for the economy, nothing but pandering and gimmicks for gas prices, and no definition for "winning" in Iraq and no plan to get us out. It's funny that going into this election people said that Obama was the one who needed to lay out his plans. Well, he has and all we get from McCain is attack after attack after attack. Even his op-ed was all attack and no plan. Now he's upset because the media talks about Obama more than they talk about him. That's becuase when they cover what McCain says it's nothing more than McCain talking about Obama. If this guy is not a 3rd term Bush then I don't know what is. STOP ATTACKING OBAMA AND TELL US WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO AND WHAT YOUR POLICIES ARE!!!

    July 22, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Susan

    A waste of breath and time on McCain's part. Nitpicking is pathetic in the face of Obama's very successful world tour.

    And the false VP announcement 'leak' is pretty lame too. He needs to try harder.

    July 22, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Tony Z- MD

    He now seems out of touch. When is the Maverick and Straight Talk Express coming back. All I am seeing is Politician McCain. Sad commentary.

    July 22, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. Shawn

    I hope McCain selects Lieberman as his running mate. This will gurantee him a win (not).

    July 22, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. EBC

    McLOSE needs to get a grip, NO ONE truly cares what he thinks at this point. This man is BORING beyond belief.

    July 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Another old white woman for Obama

    As usual, for Republicans, the only way to discuss is to attack. This is the GOP way.
    Whether its the opposition candidate or a country ,war is all they know.
    This negativity is not helpful to our country. We are depressed already.
    We have been since 911 when we got a wake up call that we are not immune to what the rest of the world has suffered for ages.
    The Iraq "war" was founded on lies and the real instigators of the attack are still uncontained and we continue to squander billions of our tax dollars on an unwinnable religious conflict which has been waged since biblical times. Actually we are using borrowed money because we broke our own bank. Thousands of innocent civilians are dead as well as over 4000 of our own children. The old saying: " You break it, you buy it" will cost us billions maybe trillions,more in reparations.
    More death will not bring peace. It will not promote prosperity. It will not regain the respect we once had from our global neighbors. We have become the terrorists that we say we despise. Diplomacy and negotiation are crucial to our survival and that of the planet. This fiasco has not strengthened us. It has made us weaker.
    Yeah, I am old. I am still singing "All we are saying, is give peace a chance". I still believe.
    Obama '08

    July 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Republican for Obama

    "despite universal agreement among Americans shows that he doesn't have the judgment to move American troops forward to victory"

    Universal is a mighty big word when 72% of Americans favor removing our troops from Iraq. Will these guys ever get called out by the press for their outright lies?

    Obama 08

    July 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. Dustin

    It's time for McCain to acknowledge that the Iraqi people no longer want us there, especially for a prolonged period of time. If "Words Matter" as McCain has so often said, then he needs to honor his words from 2004 when he agreed that we would leave the moment the Iraqi government said they wanted us to.

    July 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. eric

    At what point can the media finally call a candidate out for outright lying? Obama has often said conditions have improved on the ground. He just said it again yesterday. One needs only to go over to the article CNN.com had on Obama's visit to read it. McCain is obviously desperate to stay relevent to this whole process and will say absolutely anything to keep his name in the news. It's just sad.

    July 22, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Judgement over experience!

    McCain, now you are just starting to look pathetic. Stop bashing Obama and talk about your policies or is it that you don't have any? And what is to win in Iraq? There is no winning because we should have never have been there in the first place. This war, which you supported in poor judgement was based on lies. There is nothing to win over there because the problems they have now are because we invaded their country. Saddam was not a threat, Al Quida was not there so you are talking nonsense thinking if you say it enough people will believe you but not everyone is a republican nor is everyone dumb.

    July 22, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Ken Pittsburgh

    a full court press still will not change the fact americians wants us out of there they want us out of their country

    July 22, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. Canadian for OBAMA

    I thought that Mr. McCain had put new people to handle the direction of his campaign.

    Quite frankly, it doesn't show as he just keeps repeating the same old message and making accusations day in, day out. Shouldn't he have a more positive message, it seems to me that that is what the American people is longing for.

    By the way, of course Obama acknowleges that conditions on the ground have improved that is why he is pushing to get the troups out of there and Mr. Al-Maliki seems to agree (doesn't that tell you something?)

    McCain sounds like a broken record.

    July 22, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. Virginia

    McCain is fighting a losing battle to keep himself in the news. With glowing reports about Obama's trip, he is going to have to start mooning the public to get some attention.

    July 22, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. dAVE

    Well, apparently McMaverick is all alone in his absurd insistence on keeping US troops in Iraq forever.

    This (of course) is a FLIP-FLOP since he said in 2004 that we would leave if the Iraqi government asked us to, which they have. Poor guy – I almost feel sorry for him.

    July 22, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. mark

    It seems strange to me that McCain is making this election all about Barack Obama...he's either trashing Obama every chance he gets or he (and the Republican) party complain like cry babies that the whole world is being unfair and favoring Obama.

    This is the first US election that I have observed so closely, but I gotta say I'm shocked at how weak th Republicans are coming across this time out. If you want to have the media attention, start playing the game better and win or lose on your own merits. It seems like they are always trying to win by disqualifying Obama, and by doing that they are helping the media focus on Obama's every move just waiting for a mistake. but it's backfiring because in the process we are all seeing what a great candidate Obama actually is.

    July 22, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. Alex Duncan

    When is the truth going to be revealed about how American taxpayer money is being paid to many of the Iraqi insurgents to prevent them from attacking our troops during this surge!! Senator McSame should be asked that if the money that is being paid to these insurgents were to be cut from the war budget, would Iraq still be the same safe place and would it still look like we are still winning the war? At this time, we as Americans are in an economic disaster and the present administration, along with McSame wants to keep pouring our tax money into Iraq, a country that now wants us out of there. It's time to start investing our tax money in America, where the taxes come from, and leave Iraq to finish our business in Afghanistan, where the real terrorist that attacked us are hiding!!!

    July 22, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. Independent-Minded American

    The old dog has his tails between his legs... Not even republicans are listening to his stupid rants!
    Get a life McShame... We cannot afford to spend $10B a month occupying a country that wants us out!

    July 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    that's all John McShame and his slime-ball republican cohorts know how to do anyways; just spout attack gibberish, claim that the surge is working, without offering any new ideas on the war on terror or how we can bring the troops home or fight the real battle in afghanistan.


    July 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. Chris

    The fact of the matter is John McCain voted for this war and no matter how he tries to make the case the surge worked, the troops wouldn't be there if he had just said no!!!
    So, John you can shout until the cow or shall I say pigs come home you voted for this war and that is that.

    Also the surge in troop level is not what really what is causing the decline in attacks in Iraq! The government has been paying off Al-Sadar and the rest of them that have been causing problems in Iraq. So folks don't be fooled because when the new adminstration takes over no matter who wins it, those thugs will start killing again. It's time to get out and let them handle the mess Bush started!!

    July 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. Greg

    Why does he keep harping on the Surge. If we hadn't started a pre-emptive war a surge would have been unecessary in the first place. One hit wonder in my opinion.

    July 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  21. DJ in TX

    If it is a success as Senator McCain claims, why then can't our troops begin coming home? Why does success mean staying in the country, especially when the county is asking us to leave?

    I am a veteran who served in the Army in the Gulf War. At this point, if McCain is stating that we have "succeeded" (in his own words), then that should mean Iraq is stable enough for our brave men and women to begin pulling out.

    BTW – I never bought the idea that pulling out meant defeat. My problem is the mission was never "truly" defined.

    July 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Iraqi Independence

    I think it's pointless that McCain and the like keep harping on the "surge is working"

    The surge is only part of the picture; the bigger picture and the objective is the Iraqi leadership being able to stand on their "own".

    Unless.... McCain and the like have another objective in Iraq...

    July 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Bubba

    This is no news. McCain has been bad mouthing Obama for days and has offered very little, if any plans of his own, as to what he will do to bring our boys home. CNN you need to do better than this.

    July 22, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  24. Elliot Harrold

    The McCain camp is obviously rattled by the turn of events around the world that is favoring Obama's candidacy. The reality that even some miltary commanders acknowledged is that one of the main reasons the surge worked is payola. Fighters were paid to stop fighting. That should have been happening all along and I can't figure out how they didn't know that would be required much sooner. McCain can't beat Obama. After the convention a general impression of him will pull the remaining undecided voters overwhelmingly to his side. He may not win a popular vote landslide but the electoral college will be a rout in Obama's favor. I am in Texas and only see Obama yard signs and bumper stickers. There is minimal enthusiasm for McCain as president. People are voting for Obama or against Obama. McCain is an afterthought.

    July 22, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  25. James

    Sure the surge helped out with security in Iraq, but at what cost? You never hear McCain or Bush ever talk about the cost to the Nation for a slight reduction in violence. In that same time period we have:

    1) No credible threat against Iran.
    2) No credible threat against North Korea
    3) Thin resources in Afganistan
    4) A smaller stabilizing force in Europe and Asia.
    5) Wear and tear on our armed forces
    6) Damage to the military's recrutement because of extended tours.
    7) The financial burden in a time where our economy is not growing.

    Nobody argues the point that the US Armed forces will do an outstanding job at what is asked of them, but the priorities for that military are set in Washington. At least Senator Obama can focus on a bigger picture than Bagdad.

    July 22, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
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