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. Welcome McCain

    Aboard the Obama express

    July 29, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Mike

    Watch out people – McCain is trying to perfect the old Jedi mind trick....

    *waving his hand*

    "I never said timetable"

    Republicans: "he never said timetable"

    "These aren't the droids you're looking for"

    Republicans: "these aren't the droids we're looking for"

    "move along"

    July 29, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Nikki

    Ah excuse me Obamalism, but for you to claim "anyone who repeats the '100 years' comment proves what a moron you are and have no idea what you're talking about" have every right to repeat McCain's words. The question posed to McCain was about the length of America's presence in Iraq. McCain said "make it 100." We did not make this up, therefore, anyone has right to repeat McCain's words. McCain did not anticipate the political backlash, so he and his supporters audaciously attack those that are only repeating what McCain said. We're not morons, we're just repeating McCain's moronic words.

    July 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Michael

    Why is that everytime I see McCain on the campaign trail or at town hall meetings he is always the youngest guy in the crowd?

    July 29, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    Dr. It's-My-Idea-From-The-Begining.

    July 29, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Ted - Ohio

    I agree. McCain needs to not only adopt Obama's ideas, he needs to adopt Obama himself. McCain is old enough to be his dad!

    July 29, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Amy

    Questions: McCain says he knows how to win wars, but
    1. Didn’t we loose Vietnam?
    2. Wasn’t he in a POW camp for most of that war and not commanding troops or setting military strategy?
    3. What war has he personally commanded or set directions for??? Not the Gulf War, Desert Storm, Somalia, or even the current Iraq War

    I honor and respect McCain's military service, but I still do not understand how him being a POW makes him a Commander in Chief. In fact, aside from that he and Barack are probably equal on Foreign affairs. McCain visited places, but still never was able to implement international approaches and support. Obama, understand the historical and current affairs of those nations, has visited them and is setting vision for international involvement on issues that will impact the world if not corrected.

    Now, it amazes me how the Republicans are stealing every idea that Obama has come up with and using it. Bush is trying to implement as soon as possible to save his doomed legacy... we all know he is the worst US President and has destroyed our economy and international image.

    McCain... need I say more... just look at the article.

    Obama is clearly the best choice for President of the USA. Leadership must set vision and inspire people to want to achieve that goal. Obama does this with grace, intelligence and a smoothness that some people just don't understand.

    McCain can only inspire a rock. Also, because of Bush's cowboy attitude Republicans believe if you are not instilling fear, a go it alone approach or division then you can not be a leader.

    Sorry, Obama gets my vote regardless of his VP choice. I pray that it is someone like Sam Nunn of Georgia so that we can shut up the Republicans mouth.

    Obama '08

    July 29, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Nancy

    Rise America Rise July 29th, 2008 9:39 am ET

    This is just slimey republican tactics. McCain is saying this just to make ending the war a non issue for the election. If both candidates have the same position, it wont be a differentiator for the voters. Now if McCain were elected, god forbid, he would immediately switch back to his 100 years in Iraq position, and use ground conditions as the reason.


    July 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Dave

    Has this man had an original idea? It seems he and the Bush administration are taking everything Obama says to heart. Any idea that Obama has pushed, either McCain or the Bush administration originally opposes, but then slowly comes to accept and support it. Talk about being presidential, he's a rookie senator and he's convincing the Bush administration and McCain to follow through with his plans.

    July 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Susan

    What you did not mention is that he said he did not say it. Flip Flop or liar, take you choice – he still is no good.

    July 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. soldier4theTRUTH

    Seems to me that as a Soldier in the US Army, my vote will most certainly go to OBAMA and I am a dis-served Republican. After been promise in 2000 that "it's time to bring the troops home", nothing happened we went to war on lies, not truth. Then here we are again and McCain would rather go to war, like Bush McCain is the son of military elite in this country. Like Bush who refused to serve in Vietnam, McCain got shot down and decide to stay a POW in order that he would become a respected "Hero" instead of insulting his father. Like Bush McCain is still trying to live up to the ideals of their family eliteism, however unlike Bush, John McCain does not understand the issues, he is for more war, he has PTSD, he is too old, he is sick with cancer, and what will he do for America that makes him any different than G.W. McCain has changed all his 2000 positions today in order to get on board with the RNC and the "knowledge" base of his party, the lies they tell, only this time, NO ONE IS BUYING into it. We are awakened and the truth will set us on a right course.

    YES WE CAN and November 4th we will change the trajectory of this country and the World. Where is Abe Lincoln when you need him?!

    OBAMA 2008

    July 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. Obama

    We welcome you coming to reality you flip flopper

    July 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. TyWebb

    100 years and 16 months!

    July 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    After all of McCain's ranting and raving about Obama's lack of experience, lack of judgment, and total misunderstanding of foreign affairs, it's really quite funny watching him flipping and flopping and ending up coming to the position that Obama has held all along. You gotta love politics!

    July 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Tyler in Raleigh

    100 Years = 16 months in McCain Years. Every month is like a decade in his mind. So will Americans just stop whining?

    July 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Herman in LA

    He don't have no darn choice Obama was right on from the beginning and they want us out of Iraq because we are not going to get any of there oil so there you go Bush and Cheney.

    NO OIL

    July 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Obama

    What ever you do people do not take McPhony's low polling for granted you must show up to vote in order for him to be a footnote in history

    July 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Cathy in MD

    McCain is climbing aboard the increasingly popular OBAMA TRAIN and attempting to throw OBAMA underneath it by distorting OBAMA’s position on an Iraq withdrawl. Obama has been saying all along that he would carefully consider the conditions on the ground before making a decision about troop withdrawl ... AND … I have never heard Obama give a “hard and firm date” for withdrawl from Iraq as McCain claims he has. What does he mean? Like “Tuesday, October twenty-something? Yikes! The McCain campaign is clearly desperate ... and, dare I say, losing their bearings.

    July 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Mary

    Patrick? McCain was WRONG!!!

    The problem is that in IRAQ there were NO TERRORISTS!!!!

    …….there were NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS!!!!…


    if you want to fight the terrorists then why didn’t we go full throttle and continue doing that in Afghanistan?

    July 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. McNo

    I know exactly where this is going he is going to say after 100 years of occupation then we will take out our troops in 16 months.

    July 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Annette

    For those who admire McCain support of the troops and think he is not risky, go do your homework, this is the same guy who voted against support for the troops, the recent vote for additional benefits for our troops, he didn't bother to vote at all. Look behind the smiles, and giggles and check his voting record for our troops, his vote is not behind his smiles and giggles.

    July 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Belle2

    Clearly the Obama fans do not understand. This is not a flip flop; it has always been McCain's policy that he would withdraw when conditions on the ground allowed. Obama and his fans have always distorted the 100-year comment. There is no excuse for all the distortion. If you are for Obama, fine, just try to understand what it is you are for instead of just distorting everything McCain says and calling him names. You all sound like two-year-olds.

    And about the Supreme Court, some of the best justices were appointed by Republicans (for example O'Connor).

    Obama fans need to take a break and try to think logically instead of emotionally. Maybe, they would still vote for Obama but they would certainly be able to explain their choice without all the animosity, hatred, and name calling.

    July 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. '72 Vet

    "Only difference is that Obama list is correct. He has stated he plans to drop tax cuts (Raise taxes), He plans to take choice out of health care, he refuses to stop buys oil from over seas(We will not drill for our own oil..he said it sorry you cannot fight that fact), he wants to meet with terrorists, with no conditions…he said it not me. So moan all you wait, your holy Obama has stated he plans to do EVERYTHING on that list….respond to that if you can…no wait you left wing nuts never do."

    I think you need to educate yourself with the plan he (Obama) has that is on his web site, not the bits and pieces taken out of context to suit your own agenda.

    But then again, you ARE a player aren't you.

    The ole spin cycle is spiraling out of control.

    July 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Gee

    Texas Voter, and Jesse- Please define victory in Iraq

    July 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. REG in AZ

    Many of my friends are diehard Republicans/Democrats and, like with so many who write comments, I see several making a decision, taking a position … and then doing their thinking. I think that is something we all are too prone to do, that is giving in to our established biases, prejudices and emotional attachments and having a predetermined position which we then justify … rationalize. You can identify it when you see things offered like ‘Barack is a Muslim’, “Barack is inexperienced’, ‘McCain is too old’, ‘McCain has mental lapses’ and so much more nonsense and worse, some even insultingly stupid. Even the thinking that ‘he is a Republican/Democrat and therefore will be better’, when truly objective, can’t be considered trustworthy. My point is that unless the majority can break away from this stuff then the onslaught of appeals to our biases, prejudices, emotional attachments and single issues, like in 2000 & 2004, may result in our electing other than the best candidate. When we take a hard and honest look at the status of everything today we each should see that we desperately need the best individual to handle all of the problems and rationalizing just won’t give us that. We need to be truly objective and disciplined, which means conscientiously putting our own biases, prejudices, emotional attachments and stupidity aside. We each need to make our own objective discernment and not be led by irrational/emotional appeals. Just putting more effort into making a truly rational decision instead of all of the effort put into arguing about the rationalizations would guarantee better results. Hopefully this time around we can do that.

    July 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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