August 7th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain: High price of oil one justification for Iraq war vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. McCain took questions at a town hall event in Ohio Thursday."]
LIMA, Ohio (CNN) - John McCain offered a new justification for the Iraq war Thursday, arguing that if Saddam Hussein were still in power, he’d be a petro-dictator intent on using today's sky-high oil revenues to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

A voter at an Ohio town hall meeting Thursday asked McCain how he would vote on the 2002 war resolution if he had to do it again, given the advantage of hindsight.

“What do you think that Saddam Hussein would be doing with oil at $120, $125, $130 a barrel?,” McCain asked. “What do you think he’d be doing? I’ll tell you what he’d be doing. He’d be doing what he said he was committed to doing. And that’s acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction, which he did twice before.”

The Arizona senator elaborated on his other reasons for supporting the war resolution, including Iraq’s noncompliance with the U.N. mandated cease fire, as well as Saddam’s “brutal” human rights record.

Ultimately, McCain concluded, “If he were still in power, I believe that the world would be far worse off, especially with all the money he’d be making off of oil.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (596 Responses)
  1. Peter E

    Amazing... have you noticed that speech after speech McCain is actually addressing issues, while Obama is just addressing McCain's address of the issues? Is there an echo in here?

    August 7, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. McCain is 71


    You can hear the Republican drumbeat getting going.

    How many times have we heard this crap before?

    I ask every proud American (including John McCain):

    What happened to "We have nothing to fear but fear itself"

    That is the statement that made America great.

    The fear-mongering that we have heard for the last decade is what has made America weak.

    This crap about what Saddam Hussen would have done is...


    I am so tired of Americans being afraid. We are better that this!

    August 7, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Bodine/MU

    SAME OLD BUSH CRAP!!!!!! When are the Rep. going to quit using scare tatics to scare the American people into voting for them and to try to justify a WAR we shouldn't be in? MCbush can't know if he was sitting there with Hussien that he would use the price of oil to buy WMD.......... Just another Rep. tatic and they are getting really old!!!!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. eman


    Oil price is that high, at least partly, BECAUSE the war in Iraq (and Iran getting stratigically stronger as a result).

    August 7, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. CNN loves McCain

    Does McMoldy know Hussein is dead?

    August 7, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Boise Idaho

    Wow, now republicans can read the minds of dead people. This just in, reason number 115 of why we went to war in Iraq. Or,,,,,,,,, he might have kept production up which would have increased the world supply and the prices wouldn't have gotten this high. This guy really is an idiot people. A fear mongering idiot.

    August 7, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Ted from NJ

    Now the real truth comes out! McCain would support the war even using another list of bogus reasons. Give me a break!

    August 7, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Greg Ski

    McCain's comment made me laugh out loud. Really? Did he even consider that if we had not gone to war in Iraq.... the dollar would be stronger, and oil would not be nearly as expensive....smells very Rovian....

    August 7, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. Chanda-Cincinnati

    Oh PLEASE!!!!! Let's manufacture a reason now that we are knee deep in it!!! Go home to Arizona and retire McCain. I can not believe people listen to this man and STILL want to vote for him!!!!

    August 7, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. TangoDancer

    These are all hypotheticals proposed by McCain. I too was a supporter of the Iraq war at first. If I had it to do all over, I would be in opposition. I'd much rather have the two no-fly zones in Iraq and would have preferred that maximum effort be devoted to Afghanistan. That is the conclusion of my hindsight. My suspicion is that McCain would rather have a similar situation, but he has painted himself into a corner with the support for the war. It will cost him the election.

    August 7, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. dale from indiana


    August 7, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. Charles Los Angeles

    He admits it's true! A war purely for oil!


    August 7, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Get a Clue, St Louis, MO

    What kind of reasoning is that?

    August 7, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. hill

    Let's see how Mccain will generate election coverage when Obama goes on vacation, let's wait and see who will be interested in this election!!

    August 7, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. The smartest man on earth

    The price of gas went up dramatically AFTER the war was started you freaking idiot!!!!!

    How much more of a stupid comment can McWar make???

    August 7, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. Chicago Architect

    CNN please post:

    McCain will say anything to scare people into voting for him. It has been proven time and again, that there were NO WMD. I agree Sadam was a bad guy but there is no justification in starting a war, not to mention the lame excuse that McCain is using in the article above.

    He is accusing Obama of worthless promises. It is clear here that he is promising to continue this costly war. The difference in the 2 candidates!

    The great thing about Obama is his promise of HOPE, his ideas of improving our lives as common people, and his plans for making this country GREAT again.

    The scary thing about McCain is his actions mimic the same as GWB, his ideas are geared towards the protection of the rich (and making them richer), and his plans are leading the country in the same direction it has been going in the last 7 years.

    The promise of something or someone is much better than the certainty of doom and more despair.

    America, please look beyond the surface and see that the country needs positive change. Obama is the closest thing to this promise of hope and change.

    August 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. victorhill

    A Message to Sen. Obama and his supporters;

    Here's a quote befitting of your whole improbable journey to the US presidency. You've probably heard it before. It's from the great Mahatma Ghandi:

    First they ignore you
    Then they laugh at you
    Then they fight you
    Then you win.
    So be encouraged!

    August 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. JR, Plymouth

    Belated honesty or sheer desparation?

    August 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Chris

    This is one of many instances where the true motivation of the war is revealed. Just like all the wacky-liberal-conspiracy-freaks had said all along – this was a war for oil. I pose this question for my country: Do we lose our morality and purpose in imposing violence, death and destruction to secure our own resources?

    August 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. The smartest man on earth

    The price of oil went up dramatically AFTER the war was started you freaking idiot!!!!!!

    How much more of a stupid comment can McWar make???

    August 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Watermann

    Hey, what about Iran making x-times as much with their oil $$$$. Does he talk about the next upcoming war?

    August 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Sacto Joe

    McCain said: "Obama's claiming that putting air in your tires is the equivalent of new offshore drilling. That's not an energy plan my friends."

    But it is! The Republicans are in utter denial over the benefits of CONSERVATION!

    An old man with old Republican solutions. The same old tired solutions that got us addicted to oil in the first place!

    August 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Eric from ND

    Seems a funny thing to say about justification for a war.

    Perhaps looking to create or buy WMDs.
    Has a large stockpile of oil that he could sell on the global market.
    Noncompliance with UN resolutions.
    And human rights issues.
    Against American and Western culture.

    Does this sound like another country's leader close to Iraq that would be able to take advantage of high oil prices to purchase or develop WMD? When is that invasion scheduled?

    August 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. Voice of Reason

    The standard Republican line: FEAR FEAR FEAR. No wonder FDR said, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." – He was a democrat.

    The whole intent of using fear to control people is to evoke an emotional response. If you can get a 'gut reaction' first, then there is no need to think things through – the decision is already made.

    So stop thinking America! instead let visions of WMD-seeking, oil-cartel-forming, fundamentalist Muslim, American-hating dictators in faraway places run through your mind. See them rubbing their knuckles as they plot to kill you and your family and destroy life, liberty and the American way. Then go out and Vote for McCain. It worked for Bush, and now they're trying on you again.

    Whatever you do: DONT THINK FOR YOURSELF!

    August 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. Griff

    Why is it CNN? I keep punching! The USA is a Super-Power, the only way you can continue this journey; is to spend money.. Gigantic amounts just as Protection/Defence... People want to come to the US to live, but they don't want to share the Bill... I want! I want! I want!...
    Wake up America...

    August 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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