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. dAVE

    Wrong again McSame.

    This disastrous war should NEVER have happened, and we all know it.

    August 7, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Ken Pittsburgh

    This is pure crazy talked so we go to war five years before high fuel price to keep fuel low .We wre told that this war was not about oil.

    August 7, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Adam, Los Angeles

    Isn't that putting the "cart before the horse"? Sounds like someone needs a course in logic.

    In any case, I'm glad McCain finally admitted it: THIS WAR IS ABOUT OIL AND CONTROL not about terrorism or wmd's

    August 7, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    You have got to be kidding me.

    Obama's vacation timing is perfect. McCain with several days in an uninterrupted media spotlight (just what he wanted).

    He might concede the race next week.

    August 7, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. AL in West Palm Beach, FL

    McClueless... there was no attempt. there was no weapon...


    Lil Kim of North Korea is killings his own people too... does that mean you'd start another Korean war given the chance?

    My friends... if we elect this old white-haired dude, we're in trouble.

    August 7, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Matt

    Another misleading headline by CNN.

    Along with spin in the article.

    Somehow, CNN loves to help aid Obama into a dishonest campaign.

    Childish and dishonest.

    August 7, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Nick

    Wow, never thought someone this blind could make it this far:
    1. We could of heavily subsidized oil in this country and reduced gas by $1/gallon easily if we didn't spent all that money in Iraq.
    2. We wouldn't be wasting fuel driving tanks and airplanes around the desert, which causes an increase in demand.
    3. We wouldn't of created instability in the region which is a chief cause of a lot of this speculation.

    Sadaam had palaces with the nicest amenities. He had no problems with money at oil's current price. Yes, giving him more money would be a bad thing, but maybe McCain should of voted for alternative energies in the past so we wouldn't be so frigging dependent on that oil. Solving the problem instead of prolonging it, what a novel idea.

    August 7, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. edw

    The only reason we are in this war is because of oil. The criminals that attacked us on 9/11 are not in Iraq, they are in Afghanistan. McCain signed off and voted for this wrong war. He gets millions from the oil companies and he will sell us out for another dime.

    August 7, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Are the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi's far better off? How about the almost 4200 dead Americans are they better off?

    You senile old man. You are a disgrace to humanity!!!

    What happened to the McCain of 2000???

    Sold his soul to the devil and will do and say anything to reach the White House.


    August 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Watermann

    CNN. don`t you know or even remember that it was the US who provided Sadam Hussein with all his weapons to attack Iran, or are you that short minded?

    August 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. biffington, biff

    McCain is speculating more than those who actually drove the price of oil up!!!

    That is QUITE a stretch!

    The mental gymnastics it takes for him to get to THAT conclusion would qualify McCain for the OLYMPICS!!

    August 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. Mark, Pasadena, CA

    The Crypt Keeper is an idiot. The entire reason oil is $120/barrel is because we are over there stirring things up for no good reason. Oil traders use the excuse of "regional instability" to drive up their profits. If none of this had ever happened, and Hussein were allowed to pump oil unimpeded, we would be looking at oil prices in the $30-$50/barrel range. As far as security goes, Hussein was being well-contained for years. Even if did have WMDs, nobody has ever explained how Iraq could have delivered them to US territory. Absent that, it's not our problem.

    August 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Josh

    One of the strongest upward pressures on oil prices the past 5 years has been our military engagement in the region. McCain falls victim to the fallacy of the pre-determined outcome. If we hadn't removed Hussein by force, the Middle East would be more politically stable, which would mean lower oil prices today. Give it a rest, old man. You've done unspeakably courageous things for your country in the past; let us move forward into the future with our eternal gratitude for your service.

    August 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    McCain's strong suit is town hall-style meetings? He really wants to go toe-to-toe with Obama in a venue where a script is worthless? He wants to challenge Obama in a setting that requires off-the-cuff responses?

    Obama should suggest they have one every other day.

    August 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    So in hindsight, McCain would still have invaded Iraq because Saddam was a bad man and had oil at his disposal. That tells you what we can expect if McCain gets elected. Using that criteria, we will soon be invading virtually every country in the Middle-East. What a swell idea.......NOT!

    August 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. kendall

    How dumb does he think we are? Oil prices surged after the Iraq war started, Oil prices go up when there is a war, I said it before McCains strategy for the White House is to tell so many lies that no one knows exactly where he stands.
    This is not the 2004 McCain r the 2000 McCain, Just imagine the 2009- 2012 McCain, it will just get worse.

    That statement is insulting

    August 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. sherry for Obama

    your the reason the oil is so high mc-have -no-shame
    Sinnce the the white house has been with Bush evrything has gone up...........

    August 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Mitchell

    Not True, Obama would go have tea with him and the whole world would sing be as one.

    August 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Incoherent Economics

    McCain ... did you ever stop to think that if Saddam were in power the region would be much calmer and the price of oil would be well below $100 per barrel.

    Don't you and Phil Gramm believe we are in a psychological recession and that the psychological impacts on the price of oil are superior to the effect of supply & demand ? (you non-economist).

    August 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. ls

    OH MY GOSH – the mindset of McCain is WRONG. To say a man, whose sons were killed, and his life destroyed was based on speculation.

    Well, there's your answer to why a lot of American's were killed and STILL are being killed, because of OIL.

    CNN, your posting of MCCAIN ALL day long has finally made me literally SICK! THIS IS TOO MUCH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. OBAMA 08

    Well if thats the case...a McCain presidency means war with Iran and Venezuela.

    I hope no one has any 18-21 year old children.

    August 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. R.I.F.

    WHAT!!!!!!!!! This is supposed to be the foreign affairs guru???

    This is the silliest answer I've ever heard. Money was the least of Saddam's worries. He had access to enough money when gas was $30 a barrel to buy whatever he would've needed to make WMDs. What an idiot. Why doesn't the media call him on the bull.

    August 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. CNN = Jerry Springer of news

    This man really scares me. No hindsight and he is even trying to tie in the oil prices to WMDs!! WWIII seems a certainty if we elect this senile, bitter old man who is still trying to make up for Vietnam. The US will soon become the lost Roman Empire with this way of thinking. Overextending our military presence while owing countries like China trillions of dollars – not very patriotic if you ask me.

    August 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. seeing the truth


    August 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Terry from VA

    This old dude is out of his mind and out of touch. Please God in heaven help us.

    August 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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