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. Tim

    I'll leave it to the historians to determine if it was a good decision to start the Iraq war, but once we were there, it was critical that we WIN the war. I'm sure most americans would rather win than walk away and leave a dangerous mess.

    Our shift in strategy last year to send more troops, push hard on the Iraqi army to grow and gain strength and deploy a counterinsurgency strategy with the SUNNI against Al-Queda has allowed us to be in a postion to win the war and slowly pull our combat troops out over the next period of time.

    It was the right thing to do and McCain supported it and Obama did not.

    We will come out successfully.

    July 22, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. jason, tx

    McCain, just stop. you have nothing. Oh, and leaving Iraq is not defeat, it's common sense.

    July 22, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Hey everyone we've found out why Phil Gramm thinks everything is mental and people are just whiners.

    To date the McCain campaign has exemplified Phil's thought process and proven it to be true with one exception it isn't the citizens of the U.S. who are in a defunct mental state and whiners it's the Republican Party.

    July 22, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Janey/Michigan

    What gives Obama the right to go to Jordan and make inflammatory statements as if he is already President? He obviously has no respect for the US govt and seems, now to be pandering to Maliki and does not realize how much the US has given to Iraq for democracy. We may as well have sent Michael Moore with him to, basically, slam the United States and it's Allies–even pandering to Palestine in his press session!

    July 22, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Sarah

    Obama is smart gifted man...
    He met with the tribal Sunni elders yesterday...Those are the one who stopped the killing, not more troops
    McSame knows how to start wars (by voting to authorize Iraq war)...Obama is coming to clean the mess created by Bush/ McCain.

    July 22, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. steve dumford, Scotts valley ca.

    I see the Obambots are going to clog these blogs with their venom the same way they did when their Mr. Nothing was still running against Hillary.
    The fact is that Mr. Nothings position has changed on troop withdrawal and Iraq to where McCains position always has been and that is that troop wihtdrawals will depend on conditions on the ground
    No amount of hateful venom and insults from slobbering Obamabots will change that.

    July 22, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Thomas, Illinois

    Terry...So true, you think he's tongue tied now..Wait until the debates...Can you say,,CHOKE....Obama 08

    July 22, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Julie, WI

    And still no other policy issues, other than war, in sight and yet people will still vote for him. OMG, help the U.S. if he is the next president.

    July 22, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Linda from Prescott AZ

    It certainly appears that the more the Senator from Arizona opens his mouth, the more ludicrous the statements become. He appears to be trying to take every position possible hoping that one will catch on.

    I think this nominee is clearly going to give the Republicans nightmares for years to come, he makes one mis-statement after the other and for Goodness Sake, will someone please buy him a globe so he can check is geography references.

    Go OBAMA

    July 22, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. BAnderson

    CNN I guess the McCain campaign's strategy worked. They don't have advertise to get their message out because now you are doing it for them. First they accused the media of giving Obama preferential treatment in the media. Now the media is trying so hard to be quote unquote unbiased and the end result is one candidate is overseas unable to defend himself from partisan attacks and the media doesn't call Senator McCain out on this. Since when do you attack a politican while they are overseas? I challenge the media to call these people out on this stuff. Do your job.

    July 22, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. PUMA-Jessie

    Do not worry, Obama is a serial flip flopper and if necessay he will flip back to waiting to see what happens on the ground in Irag. Remember he was for the 16 months before he was going to talk with the military and then back again to the 16 months, he is so slick he can easily slide back to the waiting. He has fliped on FISA, trade, abortion, gun control, an undivided Jerusalem, using church-based institutions to deliver services to the poor, teachers pay and the spocial seurity tax. He will do or say anything to win a vote.

    July 22, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. McCain = War

    It's a shame that this man, at his age, is having to resort to rants to try to make himself look good.

    Desperation always makes itself obvious.....

    July 22, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Political Junkie

    I wonder if the only McCain has in his Campaign repertoire is talking about what's wrong with OBama

    July 22, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. gary

    SEEMS TO ME THATS ALL OBAMA COULD THROW IN TO THE CANIDATES FACE IS IRAQ YOU YOUNG LOST MINDED O.B. FOLLOWERS. OBAMA IS JUST A BIG --JOKE. BIG MEDIA CIRCUS FOR THE CLOWN. HE DOSN'T WALK ON WATER YOU DREAMERS.OBAMA ONLY WENT OVERSEAS BECAUSE M,CCAIN PUSHED IT. OBAMA HAD TO GET HIS MEDIA CIRCUS TO FOLLOW.WHEN I WANT A LAUGH I WAKE UP TO HEAR O.B.'S B.S. THE MEDIA SHOULD BE FAIR TO ALL CANIDATES. SEEMS YOU HAVE TO BE A DIFFERENT COLOR BEFORE YOU GET SPECIAL TREATMENT. IAM NOT RACIST ,BUT THIS WHOLE COVERAGE THROUGH THIS RACE IS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THE OTHER CANIDATES. TRUTH IS THE TRUTH ,BUT YOU YOUNG MORONS CANT ADMITT IT. AMERICA GETS WHAT THEY DESERVE.

    July 22, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. JJ

    Has McCain and his camp picked up and read a newspaper lately? Economy is the number one issue on American's minds these days. Not the Iraq war. Please stick with the subjects and the issues and stop trying to attack. The more he atttacks, the less capable he seems to be able to turn this country around.

    July 22, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. logically incompatible

    First, McCain says "The 'Surge' has succeeded."

    Second McCain says, "If we withdraw, there will be chaos."

    These are logically incompatible positions because:

    If the 'Surge' has really succeeded, we should be able to withdraw without leaving chaos.

    If we withdraw and chaos results, then the Surge has failed by every measure.

    How many more of our gallant men and women will Bush/McCain kill and maim just to save face – just to avoid admitting they were wrong? They purchase their self-satisfaction with the lives and limbs of our soldiers. It has to end now.

    July 22, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Curt, SD

    Trust me there's not pressure. Barack is right for the country and McSame is wrong. John can keep up the pressure to hoodwink us, but it won't work.

    July 22, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. PEACE!!!!

    McCain have you forgotten that you said Obama needed to go to Iraq because he hasn’t been there and isn’t up to date with foreign affairs and now that he is there you act like he is interferring .
    If the surge was so successful, shouldn't we leave? McCain the more you ATTACK the more we realize you don't want to talk about the ECONOMY ........Let's ALL let McCain HEAR it the surge has improved conditions and they want us to LEAVE........LET it GO OLD HOG JAW!!!

    July 22, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. Marilyn from Ohio

    Give it up, John! You are starting to sound like an old grandpa who should be in a rocking chair!

    July 22, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    "If Sen. Obama had had his way, the troops would have been out by this past March, and Sen. Obama voted to cut off funding for our troops in Iraq," McCain said to reporters

    Yes, yes, you are so right McWar and if Obama would of had his way 4200 Americans would still be alive. We would have saved 4 trillion dollars and had lower oil prices. keep talking Mcwar you are helping Obama win this thing.

    I am still waiting for someone to tell me what we have gained by this war in Iraq? What have we gained?

    July 22, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Doug

    It has been pointed out by more than one person lately and by more than one event historically: Whenever you send a greater fighting force, you will see success to some extent, either great or not so great, but still some "improvement".
    Look at WWII: We went there in a serious way on June 6, 1944 and by April 1945, we had saved all of Europe! Pretty good improvement.
    Look at now: We went in with a surge last summer into one pitiful little third world country that has virtually no fighting force of its own and we've seen slightly better than marginal improvement in conditions there. Not too impressive.
    It took less time to save all of Europe in 1944-45 than it takes to save a small backward country in 2007-08.
    What is the problem?

    July 22, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. Cricket

    If, as McCain insists, we've won or are winning the war, why can't he move onto something else? Maybe because that's all he knows?? His choice of VP probably won't distract very much from Obamas' trip. I'm not sure anything he does could distract from it. Sen. Obama is taking a great chance in visiting some very dangerous areas. Hopefully the people and leaders of these countries will recognize him as being the absolute opposite of GWB, thus restoring some of the respect we've lost in the last 8 years.
    As a white, female, Independent voter, I cannot understand how any woman could ever vote for McCain. His voting record, combined with the utterly disgusting way he tossed aside his first wife, leaves no room for respect from me. It shows a total lack of character and integrity.
    Sen. Obama, not only a very intelligent candidate, but also a devout Chrsitian (NOT MUSLIM), and devoted husband and father is what our country needs to put us back on the right track.
    I pray for his success and a safe return home.

    OBAMA '08
    Most of my comments don't get posted-but I continue to try!!

    July 22, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. David, IN

    Now we owe billions of dollars to the Chinese for goodness sake. John McCain voted for a stupid war and now he wants congratulations for sending more troops to finish a job that they should never have authorized.

    I'm not going to thank him for returning a wallet that he stole.

    He's a moron, and anyone who votes for him is as well.

    July 22, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Biffington, Biff

    Does anyone recognize the attack-attack-attack style, while NEVER veering from the coordinated message?

    I recognize this....

    I can see the guy who ran Bush's campaign now getting it together for the McCain campaign...

    his 'message' of (McCain fantastic, Obama horrific) is getting louder and louder... (while of course, growing more and more tired)

    July 22, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. therealist

    Withdrawal and a Bush defeat. The progressives way of rooting on terrorism. I mean..., is Obama going to chase Osama, or anyone else, into Pakastan?? What a joke!

    July 22, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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