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. David Goldman for OBAMA






    July 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Didine - Maryland

    McFlipflop, you went from 100 years to 16th month timetable. What is new with your flip flop? You are joining Senator Obama plan today and you are supposed to be the one with 100 years of experience, but your judgement is always false. Just get retired because American and the whole world have already chose their next president which is BARACK OBAMA.

    July 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Chris, Denver CO

    Wait, what? This makes two complete flip-flop round trips. First, a timetable was a surrender, then a 16 month timetable sounded like a pretty good time table, then we couldn't have any timetables and I never used the word timetable (he had), now we're back to he could support a timetable? What amazing spin! I'm getting dizzy!

    July 29, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Jon

    Both of them have the same view on Iraq, to get the majority of troops out and keep some behind to keep stability. McCain calls it 100 years and Obama calls it peace keeping, but it's the same thing. No matter who's in the White House, we aren't totally leaving Iraq for many decades.

    July 29, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. AA

    Please let the debates start. I want to watch the Repub. try and stammer his way through all of this against someone who's IQ and saavy doubles his.


    July 29, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. Yankee Air Pirate

    Wait,this is too funny.Supporters of Backtrack Obama accusing McCain of flip flopping.Maybe after that fraud gets smoked in November he can actually try to accomplish something in the Senate.Ya know,like he was elected for.

    July 29, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. Patrick

    If McCain has been president from the beginning we would probably already be out of Iraq. He made the right decision to support the War, he was right that we needed more troops, and he is right NOW that we should not leave Iraq until our commanders on the ground tell us it is safe to do. Obama is going to stick to his plan no matter what the conditions on the ground are, does that make sense? Obama would be a stubborn leader, is that what we need?

    July 29, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. independent

    retard. has anyone ever once heard obama give a "hard and firm date"?

    just wait, next mccain is going to change his middle name to hussein. i hear all the kids are doing it.

    July 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Allen Hussein. Visalia CA

    Flip, flop, flip, flop, flip flop

    July 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Patrick

    Also it doesn't make sense that we can't fight two wars at once. Good thing Obama was President during WW2 or he would have picked between Japan or Germany....b/c you can't fight them at the same right, right Mr. Obama?

    July 29, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. WiccanTexan

    Maybe he's hoping Obama will give him a cabinet position after the election.

    July 29, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. CL OT

    You guys are so blinded by your party! If you followed this at all you would know that Obama supports a 16 month time table from the second he takes office reguardless of what the people on the ground say. McCain wants to finnish the job. So he will only pull out when the situation on the ground ensures stability for Iraq. And that will come from commanders and Iraq officials. He does not support a cut and run policy like Obama.

    July 29, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. Ted1333

    As a pretty liberal person, and die-hard Obama supporter, I have to say I am a bit ashamed to read most of these comments.

    Senator McCain did NOT say he would be withdrawing troops in 16 months, instead he said what he has been saying all along, namely that if the situation should change and a troop withdrawal should become the thing to do then, and only then, would he be willing to withdraw troops.

    The 16 month number is really a non-issue as it is NOT the crux of his plan. Should the situation change and become favorable for troop withdrawal in 12 months then, according to his plan, troops will be withdrawn then, and by the same lines if the situation changed in 48 months etc.

    July 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Texas Voter

    CNN, why are you trying to spin this story.

    McCain will do what Petraus recommends. McCain wants to leave upon success.

    Obama doesn't care what Petraus says. Obama doesn't care if we win in Iraq, the Democrats have been pushing for defeat for the past 4 years. Dems think losing in Iraq is good for Liberals.

    Obama will lose this election, people are starting to see right through this fake. Just look at the polls, Jimmy Carter had a 30% lead at this time, when he was running for office. Obama has a 2-8% lead.

    July 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Jesse

    Let's set the record straight because I've seen several arguments made on this blog.

    Argument 1: McCain went from 100 years war to withdraw our troops in 16 months.

    (Not true at all. It seems the ignorance yet continues on the 100-years war statement. McCain said nothing about a 100-years war. That was a twisting of his words by the democrats and nothing more. McCain actually said he anticipated the war itself would be over long, long before. He said he wouldn't be opposed to having a troop PRESENCE in Iraq. That would likely be only a very small number of troops residing in the country mostly to keep things stable not go fight a war. There is so much of a difference between a 100 year war and a 100 year troop presence that its insane that democrats continue to play this card. It's sad.)

    Argument 2: McCain has flip-flopped.

    (No, he hasn't he's talking about the withdraw process, not the conditions for withdraw, which there are conditions when it comes to McCain, unlike Obama. He's always claimed he wants the troops out but not prematurely. So Obama and McCain agree that once the withdrawl happens that 16 months is a good time frame. Big whoop, there's no flip-flop here at all.)

    You democrats are idiotic. Do you even read the story or just the headline and then straight to the comment box? I'm taking a shot in the dark and saying 50% of the posters don't even read the McCain stories, just the headline. I'll take a line I get all the time from you Obamanaughts: "Do the world a favor and don't vote this fall."

    July 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. Pam

    And tomorrow McCain will deny he ever said that. And he'll say it was Obama who changed his position.

    July 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. NC Man

    I see the far left is out with their spin this morning...bitter bitter bitter.....

    he would only do that if military chiefs deemed the "conditions on the ground" safe enough.

    McCain has said this since DAY 1 ..... however Obama pays no attention to the military chiefs.

    July 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. Henry n New York

    It took him 7 months to change his mind. I wonder how long it would take him to respond to a 3:00 a.m. phone call. This isn't a flip flop its a SUMMERSAULT..........................

    July 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. nathan

    He recently said he never mentioned "timetable", when in fact he did say "timetable" to Wolf Blizter. I think McCain is seriously getting confused!!

    July 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Jon

    Way to not click on the "Full Story" button, Obamabots. What he said was,

    "Now whether that fits into 16 months or not, or one month, or whatever, the point is it's got to be conditions-based."

    Of course though, it's easier to just read CNN's headline and start commenting.

    July 29, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Sherry, Atlanta

    Mark my 'words'...McCain just waiting to get his finger on the BUTTON,
    Bomb-Bomb-Bomb IRAN.

    July 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Brian

    WHAAAA-?! I can't say I disagree with McCain's new position, but talk about flip-flopping!

    July 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. Jamaal kansas

    Actually 60 days was hillary plan and anyone on this blog that has been listening Know how big MCCain Just flipped FLop it is Hilarious because he was just attacking Obama well mccain i guess you will lose a war to win an Election FLIP FLOPPPPER

    July 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Did any of you blithering Obamite idiots read the statement or listen to the interview? McCain said that it was based on conditions on the ground. He also said that could be in 16 months, or one month, or some other amount of time. He also said he would listen to the commanders on the ground, which Obama has said he will ignore. Obama has maintained a 16 month timetable period. No matter what. By the way, Obama also NOW says there will need to be a residual force, which he hasn't defined in size, that will stay an indetermined length of time. Most estimate that force will need to be up to 50,000 troops. So stop being hysterical babies and pay attention to the details; fools!

    July 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. Pepou

    Speak of a copy cat ! That old fool has no idea of his own !

    July 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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