July 27th, 2008
12:50 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain, Obama accuse each other of shifting on Iraq

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/27/art.mccain.gi.jpg
caption="Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have been exchanging tough words about Iraq."]
(CNN) - With just 100 days until the election, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama are accusing each other of shifting their positions when it comes to Iraq.

Obama accused McCain of altering his stance after the senator from Arizona said 16 months would be a "pretty good timetable" for troop withdrawal, and McCain said Obama was becoming more inline with his position - a "conditions-based" plan for withdrawal.

In an interview with Newsweek, Obama was asked about what sort of U.S. troop presence he would keep in Iraq, now that he has talked with diplomatic and military leaders there.

Obama returned to the United States on Saturday after spending more than a week in the Middle East and Europe.

"I do think that's entirely conditions-based. It's hard to anticipate where we may be six months from now, or a year from now, or a year and a half from now," he said in the interview, which was published on Saturday.

Obama has been a strong advocate of a 16-month timetable for withdrawal, while McCain has maintained that conditions on the ground must dictate plans for withdrawal.

In a statement issued Saturday, McCain's campaign said they welcomed Obama's shift to an "entirely conditions-based" withdrawal from Iraq.

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Daniel, VA

    Obama is the one shifting his position. He does not know what tio do because surge has given us opportunity to reduce our forces in Iraq.
    We cannot trust barack.

    July 27, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Jeff D, South Bend IN

    McSenile just can't remember what his latest position is on the Iraq war, therefore it always seems to him like someone is changing.

    His campaign reinforces this ridiculous notion, because Malaki and the Iraqi government support Obama's withdrawal plan in the next 16-24 months, now you've got McSenile shifting his position and trying to cover it up by screaming at the top of his lungs that Obama is changing.

    Grandpa is losing it.

    July 27, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. MH FROM KY

    MCCAIN IS TRYING TO MOVE TO THE CENTER ALL BECAUSE BUSH SUPPORT OBAMA ON HIS JUDGMENT ON IRAQ AND LEFT POOR MCSAME ALL ALONE OUT THERE TO FEND FOR HIMSELF..

    REPUBLICAN ARE ALL DISAPPOINTED WITH WHO THEY HAVE AS THEIR NOMINEE.
    EVEN THE PRESIDENT !!!!!

    July 27, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Proud American

    At this point in the game only an idiot would vote for McCain. Nuff said.

    July 27, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. McArsenic

    John McCain is a man of poor character. a tool used by the 59 lobbyist running his campaign. he has no substance, though to be fair he or his trainers i should say have one or two good ideas, however those ideas are shadowed by is temper, gaffes, flip flops, poor judgment and lack of factual knowledge. the GOP Spin- Gal-EEEE machine is working hard to make sure that their Manchurian Candidate steels the Whit House like McCain's BFF Bush...
    how people can support a man with such questionable morals and sever displays of contempt is so beyond me. if McCain were less obsessed with Obama ( i could imagine Mccain having sweet dreams of Obama, calling his name instead of Cindy's in the night) and focused on what is important to America may be he would be effective. however, if i had a doller for every time Mccain mentioned Obamas name, i would be as rich as he.

    July 27, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Steven

    McCain New Ad Is Wrong and Very Distorted,

    Senator Obama and I visited the combat support hospital in Baghdad to thank those nurses, those doctors, to see patients that were there, to bring a bit of greetings from home and profound thanks," he said. "That should be in the ad that Senator McCain is running.

    In Baghdad, Senator Obama made a point, at the end of a very exhausting day, to go in and see these magnificent young Americans and those doctors and nurses that give such tremendous care – without a lot of fanfare, just to say 'Thanks.'

    They went to Jalalabad to see the soldiers of the 173rd. They stopped in Basra to see our soldiers down there. They went into Anbar province to see soldiers there.

    July 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. John in Iowa

    These are Obama’s friends:

    William Ayers (Anti-American Radical)

    Larry Sinclair (Homosexual Drug Addict)

    Jeremiah Wright (White-Hating “Reverend”)

    Tony Reszco (Chicago Slum Land-Lord)

    Louis Farrakhan (Muslim Fanatic)

    What else needs to be said?

    Anybody but Obama ’08!

    July 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Marie Canada

    I can't see where either candidate changed their positions on Iraq.

    As far as I can see if you ignore all the media's attempt at over analysis Obama will bring the troops home within 16 months and McCain will keep them in Iraq until he gets some kind of undefined victory even if it takes a 100 years.

    July 27, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Vig

    Obama is a piece of work. All any of us heard over and over and over and over during the primaries was him touting himself as not voting for the war – that was his claim to fame. Now both sides of mouth are moving again. How can you compare what Obama says for political expediency to John McCain's steadfast statements? Obama is not a leader – Obama is a wannabe.

    July 27, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. David, Mississipi

    so, WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS that you're waiting for, mcshameless?

    July 27, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Elizabeth

    McCain is a HUGE FLIP-FLOPPER and he is just like George Bush and the media is helping yet another GOP dirt bag.

    July 27, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. linda from South Dakota

    we all know that mccain fli-flops but someone tell mccain that flip-flops are shoed and to take his and do a long vacation,,, (forever)

    July 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. terry,va

    Barrack Hussein Obama has changed his positions more times than the wind changes directions in a day. He has pathetic judgment in all areas including national security and economic issues. He can't admit when he is wrong and if you look at his "Foreign Tour" he wants to be the world leader. Is he the "666" leader mentioned in the bible?

    July 27, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Gail

    After visiting Iraq and seeing the vast improvements in the country, I don't understand why Obama won't admit he made an error in not supporting the troop surge in Iraq earlier. The lack of ability to admit a mistake, learn from it, and not repeat it sounds like the "never say you're wrong" policy of the current administration.

    July 27, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Republican Joe

    I am a combat Marine disabled veteran who is a registered republican who will not vote for McCain. The RNC needs to put up a better candidate.

    July 27, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Susan

    I do believe it is you, Senator McLame, who steal every idea or takes credit for other peoples ideas – timetables, GI bill, gas prices and on and on. When you have an original thought from your head rather than have you swiftboaters pull your strings, let us know! OBAMA 08!

    July 27, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. aware

    This is Hilarious McCain. You nailed it. Conditions on the ground dictate any withdrawal regardless of any time-line proposal. 🙂

    July 27, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Saved

    If America votes this old man into office instead of a young one, then we deserve what ever we get. McCann's politics will not be the same as a Bush 3rd term but worse.

    July 27, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. SCOTT

    IF I WAS MCCAIN I WOULDN'T CALL THE SURGE A SUCCESS AFTER 6 YEARS, MORE THEN 4,000 US SOLDIERS DEATHS, THOUSAND OF INNOCENT IRAQ DEATHS AND BILLIIONS OF US DOLLARS LATER. IFTHIS IS SUCCESS I WOULD HATE TO SEE A FAILURE.

    July 27, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Mark Ramsey MD Milwaukee WI

    would someone please say what they mean and mean what they say!

    July 27, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Carol, Lansing MI

    McCain – 69 flip flops and counting............

    July 27, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. banderson

    Enough already with this war, even the Pentagon doesn't discuss it much anymore. The American people want to talk about the economy and how they are going to get their jobs back that have been outsourced overseas.

    July 27, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. aaaa

    get a life dude. MCflip thats your name. this guy is trying so hard to make obama look flip flop but guess what you cant you crook we know that your are a warmonger. people need real president not a flip flop lier like you.

    July 27, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Judgment over experience

    John McCain was born to flip flop, he has done it 32 times since the middle of may and he reserves the right to flip flop more as the campaign goes on. BTW Barack's 16 mos timetable has not changed once since he began this campaign. Another lie out of mccain's mouth but hey we're used to that from him now.

    July 27, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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