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. DR

    Did any of you read the second paragraph? It says "But the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said he would only do that if military chiefs deemed the 'conditions on the ground' safe enough." Doesn't sound like a flip-flop to me.

    That's a big IF. You Obamatrons crack me up! The Barack of Obama will pull troops out no matter what. Sounds like a cut and run to me!

    NO WAY
    The only change you will get from him is what is left in your pockets after his tax policies take effect!

    July 29, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Cracka lova

    Debby if you are rich ? Then i understand......but your excuses for supporting this man get more ignorant everytime I see you post.......so much for experience if you are an experienced follower it doesn't match up to an inexperienced leader.....Obama is a leader......and the media is the most biased when it comes to Mc cain changing his position .....they never call him on it

    July 29, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. Ted - Ohio

    OK. Obama has won this one. Obama has won the Iran one too. Obama has won the Afganistan one as well. Obama has won the Ueropeans too. Let's move on to the economy. There's still serious differences there, maybe McCain will come around and face reality.

    July 29, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Pat

    This man has totally lost it! "deemed the conditions on the ground are safe enough." It wasn't a week ago he claimed that Obama's strategy on moving the troops home would put the Iraq and Afghanistan in dire straits! He needs a Brain Scan to confirm there isn't a problem before the election.

    July 29, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Whatever doubts I had about this guy's mental ability/sharpness to efficiently and effectively lead this country were confirmed and set in stone last night when I saw the interview that Larry King did with McShouldHaveStayedHomeLastNight...how feeble is this guy? How many times did he repeat his schpeal about Saddam and his WMD and the information related thereto...must be the dermatologist gave him a little relaxant of some kind before she did her biopsy and McCain's brain hadn't come out of it yet!
    OBAMA '08 & '12 YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. Sonny

    But I thought we had 100 years and that peace is born of wisdom and... something else that contradicts all that, too!

    You say you COULD support 16 months? I thought your opponent had no experience but now you're considering something he said? Peace, wisdom, all that...

    July 29, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Tony

    The Obama zealots response to this really show how solid a campaign John McCain is running right now. McCain COULD support a 16-month timetable ONLY if military chiefs deemed the conditions correct and he OPPOSES Obama's first timetable.

    One little nugget, manufactured by a suggestively worded CNN headline, and the Obamaphiles jump on it like a pack of starving dogs. It's hilarious! Do you guys see how pathetic you are? You're reduced to ignoring the entire story, and misunderstand the meaning of "could" to bolster your rockstar candidate. Thank God it's a lot easier to post on a blog than it is to actually get away from your computer to leave the house and vote on a specific day, then I'd be worried that some of you would actually vote.

    July 29, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Do you liberals only see what you want to.

    Ok , for the last time . McCain said that he would not disagree with a withdraw in less than 16 months if the situation on the ground made it possible, but if the situation on the ground dictates that it is to dangerous he dose not think it is best to do it any way. He also said I don't care if we are in Iraq for another 100 years I will not bring troops home until it is safe to do so and that will be determined by the situation on the ground

    July 29, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. lisa M

    Hmmmmm. Think I heard this somewhere else from someone else. . . .

    July 29, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. A. Boston, MA

    FLIP FLOP is all I have to say..

    July 29, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. TC, Fl

    You Obama-blivions are as good at twisting words as your sorry leader.

    McCain is not agrreing with Obama's 16-month timetable. He maintains, as he always has, that no firm timetable should be set. Even Obama says that 16 months is just a reasonable timeframe. Even Obama says that not ALL combat troops will be withdrawn, the same as McCain has said we might keep a PRESENCE there for 100 years – same thing.

    At least Obama has changed his mind about considering 'conditions on the ground'. At least there is some hope that we will not precipitously withdraw.

    If you look closely, you will see Obama is now in line with the strategy as Bush is following, both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    But you Obama-blivions won't see that will you.

    July 29, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Bob Stephens

    McSame is going to " Cut and Run", "surrender to the Terrorists", give up before the job is done, ..... etc... That is what he has been accusing Obama of , for months and months, and of course, he flips and flops as usual....and now agrees with Obama.........

    July 29, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Mark Ramsey MD Milwaukee WI

    Hmmm..notice how Obama has an idea, and all the sudden other people have that idea? An Obama?Clinton ticket would be invincible.

    July 29, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Finally a little sense is leaking in!

    But only a little–how about six months!

    July 29, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Felly

    McSame is the biggest flip flopper because he has nothing to offer.

    July 29, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. RB


    YOU have SURRENDERED to OBAMA's ideas!

    Too little, too late.

    July 29, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. Vote NO for John McSpin

    Flip flopper

    July 29, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. ssm

    If maccain wins this election(which looks very unlikely), he will surely appoint Obama as his deputy..

    July 29, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. JC

    What is so big about this. McCain has always said he is against unconditional timelines. If the military commanders in the field believe 16 months is possible to get most combat units out of Iraq and the conditions in Iraq support it, why not? As much as some of this blog want to make it seem like it is a huge reversal of McCain's policy, it isn't. His policy appears to be the same as before – remove combat troops from Iraq if the conditions support it and the military commanders in the field believe it is the best move.

    July 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Steve

    Marilyn from Ohio! I totally agree with you.

    July 29, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. Erin in Edmonds WA

    :PUMA stupids. Go ahead and laugh, you'll be crying in November.

    Hillary wants it both ways–she signed the agreement that FL and MI would not count, then kicked and screamed about it when she was behind in the polls and desperately needed those delegates.

    The Clinton's will never get over that their "empire" was toppled by an unknown, who had the audacity to plan well, speak from his heart, and speak from his mind. Both republicans and the Clintons are very jealous of Obama and the fact that he has been embraced.

    Obama had an economic summit yesterday with some of the most gifted, intelligent economic minds in the county to hash out his policies for economic recovery while Hillary said nothing, and John McCain worked on a sunburn out in CA. Go spit in the wind somewhere else, but know this, If by some chance Obama does not win, then hillbilly will be blamed and the Clinton legacy will go down in flames. Hope you're digging your own grave next to the one you are digging for the Clintons.

    July 29, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Esther

    WIse Americans, WAKE UP! Do not vote for a 3rd term of the rashness, lack of insight and judgement of McSame! This really goes to show that McSame lacks judgement and foresight. If Obama could strategize and see this coming and stood firmly by a firm strategy in Iraq all this time and Old Slow McSame is finally coming around to it...Americans think twice if you are thinking of voting for McSame. We don't need this lack of vision anymore. Go for Obama.

    And, CNN, why dont you word this story and the title differently and highlight McSame's lack of foresight. Obama campaign you need to also reword it for the american people if the MSM have been bought by McSame.

    July 29, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. David Newport, OR

    Glad to see that you decided Obama's ideas aren't so stupid after all!!!! Wow...what an idiot. Criticize Obama for a 16-month timetable for months and months and then say he would support a 16-month timetable and claim it as his own. There is not a more perfect example of the integrity of this man. How republicans can vote for this man is beyond me. Obviously, we are genetically different.

    July 29, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Mike in MN

    These blogs dominated by comments from obvious Democrats crack me up. Did you even read the article above? Here is what is in the article regarding McCain's position for those who apparently missed it. "But the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said he would only do that if military chiefs deemed the "conditions on the ground" safe enough." He has always said the conditions on the ground would ditcate any withdraw of troops.
    Reading these blogs make me chuckle. It reminds me of a bunch of elementary age school kids with all the name calling and such. And it's like the old Art Linkletter show where kids say the darndest things. It's cute when you hear adolesents try to talk about adult subjects they don't yet fully understand, not so much when it is voting age adults sounding like a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds.

    July 29, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. Blaze

    Yall call McCain a flip flopper, Obama has done the same thing on different issues. McCain only stated that we might have a permanent presence over there for a hundred years like we do in Japan. And that would be only if necessary. So quit taking and twisting the truth. McCain of course will support the 16 month withdrawl call cause believe it or not he does want the troops out of there and this is a chance. However, it is also smart on his part to make sure that he consults with his military advisors and keeps them in the loop unlike Obama who does not seem to give a rats ____ about his advisors.

    July 29, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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