July 29th, 2008
08:45 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain says he could support 16-month Iraq timetable

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/07/28/mccain.larryking/art.mccain.0728.ap.jpg caption="Sen. John McCain appears Monday in Bakersfield, California, before talking to Larry King."]LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) - Sen. John McCain could support a 16-month timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, he told CNN's Larry King Monday night.

But the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said he would only do that if military chiefs deemed the "conditions on the ground" safe enough.

Watch: McCain talks to Larry King

Speaking from Bakersfield, California, the Arizona senator said he would not stick to a "hard and firm date" suggested by Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Full story

Related: McCain says voters should not be concerned about his health

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (420 Responses)
  1. NSmith, New York, NY

    WOW. McCain has now adopted the Obama approach. Amazing. Obama, you better NAIL HIM for this flip flop.

    July 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. HDT

    I really think that Obama is already the acting president.

    Bush and McCain are now following Obama's every major proposal, e.g. talk to Iran, withdraw from Iraq, focus on Afeghanistan, worry about its border with Pakistan, or would it be Irak's border with Pakistan 🙂

    July 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Shari, NY

    It is abundantly clear and pretty obvious that Sen. McCain supporters will go for him because “Change is what he can believe in”. Even Barrack Obama’s adversaries support his ideals. Poor souls!

    July 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. ls

    Way to go McCain – that's using your brain. Too bad it wasn't your idea to begin with.

    McCain will finish destroying this country if he is elected president. And let's just say, it's not too far from just that.

    July 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana


    July 29, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. sPoNgEbOb sQuArEpAnTs

    McCain Supporters,

    Put pressure on John McCain to rename his campaign bus & plane…
    ….. FLIP-FLOP EXPRESS ………….

    By keeping “straight talk express” on his bus & plane, McCain is insulting the intelligence of every American. Even a dummy, can easily tell McCain is the king of Flip-Floppers.

    Here are a few of his flip-flops;

    1. McCain supported the drilling moratorium; now he’s against it.

    2. McCain strongly opposes a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.

    3. McCain thought Bush’s warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.

    4. McCain defended “privatizing” Social Security. Now he says he’s against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)

    5. McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn’t.

    6. McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.

    7. McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically,

    8. McCain was asked if he is a “‘read my lips’ candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?” referring to George H.W. Bush’s 1988 pledge. “No new taxes,” McCain responded. Two weeks later, McCain said, “I’m not making a ‘read my lips’ statement, in that I will not raise taxes.”

    9. McCain said he was the “greatest critic” of Rumsfeld’s failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as “a mission accomplished.” In March 2004, he said, “I’m confident we’re on the right course.” In December 2005, he said, “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”

    10. We can’t have a time-time for Iraq. It’s OK to stay in Iraq for 100 years;
    ……….. 4 months later McCain agrees to an18-month time-table for a withdrawal

    If you support McCain, could you tell him to rename his bus/plane the FLIP-FLOP EXPRESS?

    July 29, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. steve

    Now he is going to surge the troops out in 16-month. Wow.

    July 29, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. john

    its simple, really. 16 months to develop a strategy to go directly from Iraq into Iran.


    July 29, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. Ron

    Sans some disagreement over the term "surge" and who was involved in it and when, why it is that everything Senator Obama has stated about our need to have a new direction on foreign policy as been right on target, yet every conservative and many news organizations seem to overlook this?

    Both candidates have foreign policy experience/judgment but clearly Senator Obama's description of events more closely mirrors the direction we are now beginning to follow. Senator McCain is too black & white with that for us or against mentality that has never worked.

    July 29, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Nancy

    So He is endorsing Obama after all!!!
    Cant beat 'em join 'em. Sneakly.
    Wooo Hooo!

    July 29, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. MD for Obama


    Your response makes no sense! Obama said 16 months before he went overseas and he is saying it now. Even Iraq agrees. Now McCain wants to follow suit? Big difference between 100 years and 16 months! Talk about a flip-flop!

    July 29, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Nice to see that Candidate McCain is finally following Candidate Obama's lead.

    Guess McCain realized that sixteen months is a heck of a lot better than 100 years.

    Now we'll see if he flip-flops back later in the week.

    July 29, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. DEBBY, NJ

    Here we go AGAIN, OBAMA was right from DAY 1 and now MCSHAME is folowing yet another OBAMA lead...what a hypocrit this man is.
    *Again, did anyone see MCSHAME lose his teeth last Thursday?*******

    July 29, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. Solomon

    I pray America will redeam itself from being stupis by NOT electing McCain. Obabma is what Amercia should be all about..........proud, focused and with vision. For now McCain's dream is ti find his way to the white house @ any cost. America,wake up! This is your time....this is your moment......this is your chance.

    I wish I could vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. Michael, in Ohio

    ok a new name for McCain, Mc I am not sure what to do, ummm Mc what sounds good, ummm Mc Lets do what the opponent wants, oh my gosh I can't imagine a president that can't make up his mind on what he wants to do, at least Bush followed through with his first thought (even tough the were not the right thoughts). I think its an insult to G.W. to compare him to McCain.

    This country will be in deeper chaos that it is in now. Can you all imagine he set a policy and in the right of the middle of it he changes it. i thought women changed thier mind a lot but thats thier perogative...McCain give us a break and when you pick you running mate make sure you are sure.

    John McCain has once again surely proven he is experinced in one thng and that is flip flopping and he does it more than a fish out of water.


    July 29, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Will the real Obama please stand up

    The only person that no one really knows here is Obama. He filp flops all over the place and is a real Chameleon, has been since the start of this campaign. Buyer "beware"!!

    July 29, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Ian

    This plan sounds familiar.

    July 29, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Ms. D

    Obama never said he would not listen to the commanders on ground. Get you facts straight. He said he wants a timetable and will consider the conditions on the grounds as well!!

    July 29, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Noans, South Pasadena

    McCain can't even remember who the players are in Iraq; Sunni's, Shia and Kurds. He's voted against every bill to help our brave injured, troops, and supported Phil Gram's single handed ability to keep the Enron loophole open for mortgage companies that got us into this mortgage crisis and the list goes on. McSame. does not appear to have an original thought for years, so now he's stealing Obama's plan for withdrawal in Iraq. McSame's voting record alone shows that he is a Bush follower, not a leader. McSame whines and complains about everything that doesn't go his way and has a legendary temper. Just the guy we want as President..... ugh.

    MCSame also promised he wouldn't run a negative campaign. Could have fooled us but you haven't.

    Time to retire to one of your 8, or is it 9 homes, Senator McSame.

    July 29, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. dan collins

    Mr. Waffler strikes again. Does this man have any opinions of his own?

    July 29, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Greg, NY

    Scott, Phoenix July 29th, 2008 9:56 am ET

    Other than his mouth,, can you Obama fans name one thing he has ever run?

    Besides his plane into the ground, can you McCain fans name one thing he has ever run?

    July 29, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. SMOQ


    July 29, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. justin

    Poor Mccain. The worst is the ad he is currently running in Nevada, blaming Obama for the rise in gas prices because he won't support offshore drilling... as if Obama alone has the power to keep new offshore drilling from happening. How stupid does the Mccain camp think we are?? I am an independant voter that normally leans republican, but not this year...... Mccain is out of touch and out of time.

    July 29, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Warmonger for McCain


    This is a blatant reversal of everything McCain stands for. What happened to the "100 years in Iraq"? What happened to supporting our troops? WHAT HAPPENED TO VICTORY?

    It is now clear to me that this man, in the fog of old age will say and do anything to get elected.

    That's my man! That's the Republican way! GO MCCAIN GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. yeah

    let's see, vote for the lesser of two evils: Obama, McCain,
    or the better of 3: Barr.


    July 29, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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