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. Informed Voter

    Why is all the Republicans are coping all Obama's plans ... I bet you he steals his economic plan too ...

    July 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  2. LET IT GO

    LOL McCain can't be serious. I think his the candidate that will do anything to be elected, he nothing but a hot mess.

    July 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. E for Obama


    This is in response to PM Maliki saying he agreeded with Obama's 16 month withdraw. This in response to Obama's over seas trip.

    This doesn't poll well for McCain.

    What happen to "I have the judgement" and "I know how to win wars" and "Obama just doesnt have the knowledge" McCain?

    July 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. Hiram Scott

    McCain, needs to go more to the middle of the road, Americans are looking for moderation to stablize the ship of state. I like Tom Ridge or even better Colin Powell as a VP, and a bi-partisan cabinet made up of experienced people thats a Team, the American voter is seeking are you or can you be that LEADER. If you depend on the conservatives or bible thumpers pack it up your done. Also you need tobe more than a one dementional candidate I was in the NAM, peace with honor, just say we did what needed tobe done now Iraq needs to earn our trust so we can redeploy the troops. No one Pary Rule repub. Pres. Demo. congress will work in summation I think your both Transitional Pres. Candidates but thats what the American Public has to work with.

    July 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Oh Brother

    I don't know who is a bigger Flip Flopper, McCain or Obama. I have never seen a worse choice for president in my lifetime. I guess I will have to vote for Obama. At least he doesn't look like he is in the early stages of dementia, he has a neck and his arms move.

    July 29, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. Greg, Brattleboro, VT


    This your moment. This is your time. Don't miss this unique opportunity. As they use to say: "The failings of yesterday are the learnings of tomorrow." Not McCain please!

    July 29, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  7. Annoy the Media, say NO to Obama

    You go McCain... as soon as Obama releases his VP choice (not Hillary of course), you will be officially getting the support from many die-hard Hillary voters.

    July 29, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  8. Jul

    It is so easy:

    BARACK = great JUDGEMENT for the US+World and real Experience in life

    MCBUSH = FLIP FLOP and puppet of lobbyists

    July 29, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  9. Tony

    I hope Obama uses this latest earth moving flip-flop of McCain's to his advantage. He should make a television ad highlighting every time McCain said that a timetable was wrong and the damage it would do to National Security and Iraq would be catastrophic. He should also include all the sound bites from McCain saying that "Obama just doesn't get it", etc.etc.

    Show McCain for the brown noswer he is and that the man real;ly ahs no morals or values when it comes to winning by any means necessary.

    Haven't the people of this country been lied to ENOUGH over the alst 8 years by the joker in the White House and all his buddies??

    Wake Up people. If McCain were to win two devastating this would happen immediately;

    1) we will never get the troops home;

    2) he could possibly appoint as many as 3 justices to the Supreme Court; and

    3) your taxes will go way up.

    People had better wake up, put up or shut up. November is almost here.

    July 29, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. BigAce


    This is exactly what Obama said months ago, now McSame is agreeing with Obama's judgement. I guess he had no other choice when Maliki supported a timeline then GW stated he also now supports a timeline. That pretty much left McSame by himself to oppose a timeline for the withdrawal of troops.

    Can you say flipper or flopper?

    McSame doesn't have a message or a clue about the economy and what is needed to restore America's reputation around the war. He may be good at war, but we don't need another war right now.

    As a novice, empty suite, frightenly inexperienced, arrogant and smug person, Obama has been right on the majority of the issues.

    All McSame can do is emulate Obama's position and try and distort the record. I am really surprised how dirty McSame has gotten in his campaigning.

    Desparate times call for Desparate measures I suppose.

    July 29, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. John

    Obama must have some pretty good ideas about foreign policy, Bush and McCain keep stealing them.

    It's funny how people claim Obama doesn't have *any* ideas for Iraq and elsewhere, I'd say that the evidence makes it clear that it's McCain-Bush who don't have any ideas and don't know what they're doing, because they keep doing what Obama says, usually about a month or so after Obama says it, and about 3 weeks or so after blasting him for saying it.


    July 29, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. Tony

    So, McCain is ready to switch? Says he could possibly support a 16-month troop withdrawal (depending of course on what the condition on the ground is).

    What McCain means to say is that it depends on what the definition of is, is.

    Give me a break.

    July 29, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  13. Ms. D

    Mccain say anything he thinks the American people will buy!! Now he is for a timetable because Malik made an azz out of him!! But he wants to put conditions on it. Obama never said he would not consider conditions on the ground as well. But of course the neocons want it to seem like Obama won't consider conditions!!

    We can't give a blank check to the Iraq's because they will never be ready.

    July 29, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. Fred

    I wish he wouldnt talk about floping on the Dem side and then do it himself.

    July 29, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  15. Steve (Independent)

    Gotta give him credit for being flexible... erm, doesn't that mean he is beginning to sound a little muddled, addled, and indecisive?

    July 29, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. ET from OMAHA

    Why is the MSM giving free ride to McSame on his Millions of gaffs every day and personal attacks?
    They are following OBAMA eveywhere, sometimes spying on every single move just looking for something to spin about. OMG
    OBAMA is too smart and you better live him alone. The guy beat Clinton with admiration and they still didn't get it yet.
    Somebody need to pull out McSame lies, slappy voting record on the issues he thinks he is the champion I mean Irak and the veterans.
    McSame is lucky OBAMA is not the same politician who believes in negative ads or personal attacks otherwise he will worth nothing by now.
    We can write a book about Mcsame gaffs and lack of knowledge in 95% of the issues.

    July 29, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. NY State of mind

    I feel your pain Rep., this is the best you have and it's barely better than who you have now. You had the last 8 years and look at the country. Why not give us 8 and if it doesn't work will hand it back.

    Obama 08

    July 29, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  18. Rise America Rise

    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 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. Tony

    McCain flipping on Iraq? (DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT)

    McCain flipping on affirmative action?

    McCain flipping on his tv ad blaming Obama for the price of oil and now saying that Bush should be given credit for the drop in oil.

    This man is delusional. He goes in and out of reality at an alraming pace.

    Put McCain in the White House and we will have another (Rehnquist) who will propose legislation, sign into law things he has no understanding of. etc.

    Haven't we had enough of that for the last 8 years???????????????

    July 29, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Elizabeth

    McCain is a lost cause!

    July 29, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. Johnboy

    No, no, no.....he is not in favor of Obama's idea. He has said this all along, and it is totally different from what Obama wants. Lets look at the situation first and talk to those who know what's happening before we set a time-line. If (AFTER WE LOOK AT THE FACTS) we decide to set a time-line, then great. Maybe it's 16 months, maybe it's 24 months, maybe it's 4 months. But, just going out there and setting a time before knowing the facts is irresponsible, Obama. Sounds like you are just spouting off what people want to hear so you can help yourself get elected.

    July 29, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. Abby

    That's funny.

    July 29, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. Michael

    McCain isn't flip flopping as many of you seam to think. He has always said that events on the ground would dictate when troops came home not some date on a calender unlike Obama who said he would not listen to his commanders on the ground which will put troops at more risk with his we're leaving regradless of anything else attitude. Obama has even said he would not pull all troops out of Iraq so we will most likely have troops there for 100 years even if Barak Hussein Obama wins.

    July 29, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  24. Unity

    This is about 180-degrees different from his MAIN platform a couple of weeks ago. Weak, weak, weak candidate.....


    July 29, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. BR

    Wow, typical liberal morons posting on here. Ignoring the fact that McCain states conditions on the ground would dictate withdrawal. Pretty sure that was GWB and McCain's position the whole time. By the way, your Messiah has stated he would leave troops in Iraq and go back in if there was a genocide. So, what BHO is stating is that he would put troops back in harms way to re-establish what is already there. That is ingenius. Go ahead, vote for hope, that is all you will have besides despair if the Messiah is elected.

    July 29, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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