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. Voice of Reason

    McCain is a moron...the reason oil prices are high in the first place is due to the American presence in the Middle East. invading a country without the consent of the NATO, even if they are an immediate threat, is unjustified. What about Sudan? What about North Korea? What about the dictators of the world and yet, you pick the one in a oil-based nation. How convenient....

    August 7, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. iLL

    What the heck are you talking about Bill?
    I dont see any absurdities from CNN you're nuts dude.

    Now McCain is bringing back the non-existent WMD – Saddam claim? Wow I REALLY hope he doesn't get elected. We'd be totally screwed if he does.

    August 7, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Steve

    Jeeeeez still trying to justify the stupid Iraq war. How about we go and blow out N. Korea, Iran and the rest that have those issues that you've mentioned McCain???? Bottom line is the Iraq war was and still is a distraction and we'd not have $140 oil but $50 oil were it not for the Iraq war.

    August 7, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Veronica

    What? McCain has lost it. That is crazy and I can't beleive he basically said, we went to war for oil!!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. chyk o

    If MacCain wins this election with all these gafes, then something is wrong with the system, may God help us all.

    August 7, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Chad, Durham, NC

    What if, what if...
    grumble, grumble, grumble, hrumphf, hrumphf, hrumphf....

    August 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. Craig a Texas Democrat

    First off we built all those plants and refineries that Iraq is pocketing the money from right now and i think it about 100 billion and we paying for their infrastructure at the same time. JOHN THINKS YOU ALL ARE STUPID. Especially when we dont even get our oil from Iraq. We get it from Saudi Arabia. Take that and smoke it .

    August 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Neutral

    It's shameful to see McCain going one step further and fooling Americans on a issue that never was an issue. Americans know for good that Bush lied when he said Saddam had WMD. Now, McCain is trying scare Americans with what-ifs on the same lie. Wake up America!!! Even babies learn from their mistakes. What is McCain trying to prove here? That it is easy to fool America? Or that it is easier fool America repeatedly?

    August 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. Max from NY

    Perhaps if there was no war the price of crude oil would not be $120+ per barrel.
    This guy is out of his mind. He is speculating about something he couldn't possibly know about.

    August 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Brennan - Seattle, WA

    Wow, does he even know what he is saying? Just by saying this he is admitting that one of the reasons that he voted to go to war in Iraq was for oil.

    On top of that if you think through the argument at all you know that Iran is next in his mind.

    August 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. lou from Wyo

    Perhaps Mr McCain, the fact that there is instability IS a main contributing factor to today's price of oil. Duh.

    August 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. rob

    Wow, this senile whimper, absolutely has nothing to offer this great country of ours.

    if McOld gets elected, I would love to see the ones who voted for him four years later. They'll probably would not forgive themselves for killing the World's First Economy.

    CNN post this message.....

    August 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. thegoreyears

    McCain is honestly not making a connection between the Iraq war and today's prices? How is it even possible for a presidential contender to be that stupid? The volatility in the market is directly tied to the mideast conflict. Rising demand in China and India would be contributing factors to a steady (but much slower) rise in oil prices, but it is the constant conflict that has enabled speculators to bludgeon the market and consumers.

    August 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. hitobito

    What McCain failed to mention is that the US gave Saddam WMD to use in his war against the Iranians. John McCain sounds like he's a bit unbalanced. Knowing what he knows now, a sane person would say, well, there were no WMDs, no imminent threat of WMDs, the intelligence was wrong and we made a huge mistake and 4400 soldiers died and 35,000 soldiers were severely wounded, and we spend $750 billion of taxpayer money. Instead, he is following the Bush credo of never admitting an obvious mistake. What a dope!

    August 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. bukky


    is this guy really saying that we invaded a country on market speculation of oil prices, in order to make sure saddam didnt get richer? Is any one paying attention to this lunatic?

    August 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. roger dowdle, lockhart, Tx

    Since human rights abuses are evidently a reason to go to war (per mcCain), does that mean he will be willing to attack china, russia, and the bush administration?Sure Saddam would want to obtain wmd's, but was smart enough to wait until sanctions were lifted in 10 or 20 years, and by then he would be almost as old as McCain is now.

    August 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. Sammy

    Unless I am mistaken the only oil he could have legally sold was within Iraq. And even then it was tightly controlled (oil for food scandals aside) as was where the money was supposed to go. Therefore I suppose McCain is suggesting Saddam would have either tried to sell all his oil on the open market and/or invade his neighbors? Dont know how he could have sold it considering nobody could legally buy it. Nor do I know how he could have invaded anyone with hardly enough strength to even keep control of his own country.

    August 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. Janelle

    Here we go...

    August 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. madison

    HUH??? Does he seriously think people are that stupid? Iraq war is a HUGE part of the high oil prices and instability in the region. Are people really buying this load of balogna?

    August 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. The Nabi

    In the words of Paris Hilton:" John McCain is the oldest celebrity in the world, like super-old, old enough to remember when dancing was a sin and beer was served in a bucket," and asks, "but is he ready to lead?"

    August 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. David Peter


    August 7, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. jb in Atlanta

    No you are not. It is just to bloody pitiful for most to even respond. Essentially, lets go to war, kill and destroy because we are worried about what he would do with money from his oil. Well, we provided or cleared the way for him to get the weapons he got and then old rummie met with him after he used the chemicals on his own people. Give me a break on this bs already.

    According to that logic...maybe we should invade Venezuela now that Chavez has so much oil money, no wait, it should be Saudi Arabia because that's where the 9/11 hijackers came from and they oppress their citizens, no wait, Nigeria because they are so corrupt.

    Give me a break.


    August 7, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Linda from Jacksonville

    Based on McCain's version of revisionist history, he probably believes that the surge began with the arrest of Sadam. This could not have been done without our Czechoslavakian partners. Yeah for the purge, sorry I meant surge.

    August 7, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Luis

    Is McCain slipping away in his own senility? It's disgusting the way Republicans have learned to ignore the consequences of their actions.

    Bush's nightmare Iraq policy, or lack of one rather, is a major cause of our high oil prices. Also, don't even get one started on the fact that Bush and Cheney families are so close to big oil they both probably brush their teeth with black gold everynight.

    It's disgusting McCain, stop perpetuating Bush's PR talking points, come up with your own stances on these important issues and drop your grandpa humor as a marketing plan.

    August 7, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Houston Texas


    August 7, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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