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. Will from NYC

    hey CNN... flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop flip flop


    July 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Marilyn from Ohio

    McCain keeps bragging he knows how to win wars. Wish he would tell President Bush and the Generals running the shows because after six years things aren't looking too good in Afghanistan. I'm sick of my tax dollars paying to rebuild Iraq for people who are willing to strap bombs on their bodies to blow it up again. Let's bring our troops and our money back to the good old USA!!

    July 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Tim

    The surge played a part, but it is not the great event that McCain claims. The Iraqi people themselves decided enough was enough. But most importantly, our government paid tribal leaders to stop fighting. Why is there no talk about that and who authorized those payments? The only think that is true is that our military performed as expected in the mission they were given. But there is no way 4,000 plus lives sacrificed for what no one can explain can be claimed as a victory. Someone please ask McCain to explain his use of the word victory, as he obviously has no understanding of the word. American lives were sacrificed just to save face and that is deplorable and criminal.

    July 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Marie Canada

    By this time next week McCain will be taking credit for setting the 16 month time table and blaming Obama for not trying to get the troops out of harms way.

    Look at the post from Debbie, an obvious Republican plant, she says Obama's time line was 60 days..........The Republican party depends entirely on confusing the voters banking on the majority being uninformed and intellectual midgets.

    July 29, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. David Goldman for OBAMA




    July 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  6. WarHeroFmrPOW HijaxStr8talkXpress DrivzIn2GutR TurnzCoward XploitsTroopsAsPawns&Props

    Either you said timetable or you didn't, old man. Oh wait! Now you're agreeing to it even after you initially said it, denied it, and agreed with it a second time. Please have a fraction of integrity to make up what little bit of your mind is left.

    Saddest thing is, the media lets this slide right on by with nary a comment about his perpetual flip-flopping. They'll say their darling little maverick has now taken a bold stance in opposition to a previously held belief. Imagine if this major shift had been taken by Mr. Obama. We'd hear about it for weeks, and the McCain camp (with the help of the "liberal" media like CNN) would have already made an ad about it.

    July 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. Brian Phoenix AZ

    John from Texas:
    That was satire was it not?

    July 29, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. Mark E

    What if we can be out sooner minus some residual force? Why the obsession by the media and left (one and the same) with timelines?

    July 29, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. S. Boatman


    July 29, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. MikeH

    The funny part is McCain denied using the word "timetable" and then the press conference recording was played where he said "timetable" three times.

    The unfunny part was where one of McCain's latest anti-Obama commercials charges Obama would rather go to the gym than visit the troops, and the video was of him shooting hoops in front of about a hundred US soldiers.

    July 29, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. Danielson

    We have no idea what an Obama presidency might look like.

    We have an EXCELLENT idea of what a McCain presidency looks like. (ahem...the last seven years).

    Any questions?

    July 29, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Desari

    Debby July 29th, 2008 9:20 am ET

    Well of course anyone would support it thats almost a year and a half from now. I thought Obuma was taking the troops out in 60 days after he took office not 16 months. Obama has more flop/flops then I can wear in a year.

    Please get your facts straight and stop spewing neo con talking points. Obama has always maintained a 16 month withdrawal plan. Senator clinton was the one who said she would withdraw troops within 60 days. Go on to the next line of attack since this one is an outright lie.
    I cannot believe anyone would support Mcflipflopalot after 8 years of GW.

    July 29, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. John

    The democrats really don't get it.

    They continue to play this game like the troops were going to be fighting a war in Iraq forever. They war was/is going to end someday, and the troops will come home.

    For McCain to say it is possible if conditions improve makes a heck of a lot more sense than Obama saying he would withdraw troops regardless of the conditions, which, like everything else he says, has now flip-flopped on.

    July 29, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA






    July 29, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. Chipster

    OMG, after all the sniping at Sen. Obama, McCain is now the "me too" candidate?

    I simply don't understand why this race is even close. After the mess the Bush Administration has made of the economy, environment, education, FEMA, and practically every other governmental department, how can anyone still support the Republicans. Besides all of that, they've made a mockery of the Constitution and abused their power shamelessly. The outing of a covert CIA agent for political retribution should land them in prison for sedition!

    July 29, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. S. Boatman

    This Man Lacks Everything That Is Necessary To Be President!

    July 29, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. Richard

    I am a republican that will be voting for obama in the fall. John McCain has flip flopped way too many times. What does he stand for anymore??

    July 29, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    The mother of all Flip Flopers

    July 29, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  19. He can see...he can see

    Finally, a political figure that is LISTENING to We The People. That is what the Constitution is about. It's about what Americans want with our country.

    Support our troops and bring them home!!!

    Fix the mess...Vote DEM!!

    July 29, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. It Be Me

    it really, truly scares me that some people actually believes this man....and will actually vote for him...

    I'm going to vote for Obama.....and most of the people I talk with will be voting for him....but I know it won't do any good, cause Idaho is a 'red' state.......

    why can't we go to "one person, one vote" so that Pres will actually be voted in BY THE PEOPLE...

    July 29, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. Deborah, Cincinnati

    Isn't it interesting. I didn't hear Sen. McCain say that Sen Obama was correct on the timetable. Nor is the media giving the same amount of attention to this switch as given Sen. McCain on the surge.

    What's up the media...yeah, they may cover Sen. Obama more, but it is all negative and looking for negativity.

    July 29, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. Neal

    You mean Obama's idea, that just a month ago John McCain thought was irresponsible?
    This guy is suuuccch a flipfloping, lying, sack of old man ego.'


    July 29, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. not important

    McFlipflop flip flopping again just like he flip floped on tax cuts and off shore drilling.

    July 29, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. ET from OMAHA

    I'm telling you McSame will be replaced before or at the convention by the Republicans.
    They will give health related reasons to the media. I'm smelling that in the air.

    July 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. Lourdes

    100 years, 16 months...it's all the same to him.

    July 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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