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. victorhill

    Show Me The Oil MoeCain
    Drill Right Here, Right Now!
    Drill, Drill, Drill!

    The Oil Companies have made financial history, and still crying broke!
    We can't afford to drill drill drill inland, Please help us Sen. McClown.

    August 7, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Still trying to justify why we invaded Iraq.

    First it was because Saddam caused 911.

    Then it was to get rid of those WMD's.

    Then it was to dethrone mean Saddam.

    Then it was to give Iraqis FREEDOM AND LIBERTY!

    Now it is the WAR ON TERROR!

    And McCain has a NEW is about.......OIL!

    August 7, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    Is this guy running for commander-in-chief for the iraq war? Did he hear the news from iraq today?

    August 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. Rob indetroit

    John MCbush is at it again he's either senile or crazy. MCcain a brand vwe cannot trust in.

    August 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. cisco kid, Los Angeles

    I thought that sddam had an oil for food program going on... not a money for food program... let's check the facts CNN

    August 7, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. VB Lincoln Park, NJ

    It is amazing that Senator McSame expects anyone with half a brain to believe this nonsense.

    August 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Nancy

    who CARES at this point!!! We are there, we have created a mess and made the whole region less stable--we are not safer than we were-we have only inflamed Islamic fundamentalists even is ridiculous he is talking about this now

    August 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  8. doob

    What a load of croc!! This guy has lost it!!

    August 7, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  9. KG

    Freedom is the only true justification for the Iraq vote. To free the people of Iraq from the wrath of Saddam Hussein and to instill the possibility of freedom into the minds of all the people of the Middle East. As we've seen throughout history, once one country in a region becomes free, the people of the other surrounding countries will demand the same. Let's hope what we've started in Iraq, can sweep across the Middle East and into Africa and Asia. The seed may have not been planted very well, but let's still hope it grows for those peoples' sake.

    August 7, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. BlameBarack

    His crowds look bigger.

    August 7, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. Mccain for president

    What about all the people Saddam and his sons tortured and killed.
    If you don't think the money he would have made on oil was reason enough to take him out of power what about helping the people in his country.
    He was a dictator who wanted to rule the world and he would have done anything he could to do so. The war was necessary. Iraq and everybody in the world are better off today than they were with him in power.

    August 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. david


    August 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. Eric Jack

    You McCain/Bush/GOPers & Independents should be upset! The reasoning to attack a sovereign nation was for OIL... How many more ways does the message has to be told...we invaded Iraq for oil! we are not safer nor is gas cheaper. This dictator crap.. is a farce... Cuba 50 miles from our coast and Castro as a dictator... we've done nothing. McCain's ideas are like his age....OLD!

    August 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    High oil prices are a direct symtom of a weak dollar. Bush and congress have kept the US dollar weak by taking on trillions of dollars in debt on the bank of China credit card for a war that shouldn't have been authorized.

    Therefore if we didn't invade Iraq the dollar wouldn't be as weak and oil prices would be at reasonable.

    August 7, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. James




    He does not want to be in a controlled environment where there are people who know the facts and can ask follow up questions to make him clarify some erroneous statement or make him retract it because the facts don't support what he said.

    He would rather be in townhalls where he can grandstand or give a false answer and move on without being challenged.

    This response is just one more example of what I'm talking about.

    August 7, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. Veteran for Obama

    John McCain once again is a fraud. He wanted to go to Iraq in 1998. He tried to push a bill to invade Iraq before Bush was even in office. McCain is nothing but a warmonger and will find any justification to attack someone. I don't think he can go a full term as president without starting a new war with someone. He will destroy America when he gets the entire world to hate us. Our military is strong, but we can't take on the entire world like McCain wants to.

    August 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. Mike

    Again McCain is taking the low road with the fear mongering. Please don't let this war crazed wacko into our white house...

    McCain/Draft 08..

    August 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Chris

    You know, maybe if supporters of the Iraq war had just used these kinds of arguments in the first place, instead of scaring people with lies about WMDs, these claims would have some merit. Now, however, they are just the cries of politicians trying to save their political records.

    August 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. In case you didnt know

    The tax cut for the wealthy funded China's growth to American workers detriment. Rather than invest it here they invested in China to build the plants that took away American jobs. Now those same foreign workers who are buying cars are driving up the price of gasoline.

    The tax break was a double wammy for American workers. Not only was the capital used to outsource their jobs but now the oil demands by the low wage employees who tooks those jobs is pushing up fuel prices and creating more misery and unemployment.

    The wealthy tax break is a job eating ebola virus to the American economy. John McCain thinks this is wonderful.

    August 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Lance

    Actually most real economists agree that speculation has very little to no affect on oil prices. Using anecdotal evidence to try and prove a point is absurd and should be universally condemned (since it typicaly works on stupid ppl).

    Otherwise I could just say that most of Oil's rise was after the democrats gained a lot of seats in the house and senate during the 06 elections......Therefore the democrats caused oil prices to skyrocket. Makes sense....right?

    August 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. Sean

    So then McCain would vote the same, even with hindsight. Honestly, I supported the war early on, but was able to see that it was a mistake as time went on. McCain is clueless, and the fact that he can't even admit his vote was wrong in hindsight tells me that he's a danger to this country's future.

    August 7, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Sammy

    Sure. Okay John - you win. Saddam Hussein would be trying to acquire WMD - so that he could TAKE OUT IRAN, you numbskull.

    Saddam Hussein had no problems with the U.S., until about 1991, when our OTHER boneheaded president decided to invade his country. History lesson, McCain - please go and talk to your buddy Don Rumsfeld, who visited the "evil dictator" ten years before, shook hands with the guy, and promised our unwavering support for Iraq.

    We did. WE, meaning the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, provided material aid to Iraq, in the form of plans and materials and advice on how to create said weapons. GE, Dupont, Dow, and numerous other corporations engaged in helping this "madman."

    So - what you are saying is that if Saddam Hussein were still alive, he would be taking care of our "other" problem for us. Thanks for telling us now. We can all safely put you in our back pocket, and vote for your competitor.

    Go Obama '08.

    Boston, MA

    August 7, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. kendall

    Good move McCain blame the dead.

    August 7, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |








    August 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. Joe, Chicago

    What a joke!

    I am so sick of hearing President Bush and his cronies trying to post-justify the Iraq War.

    Do we deserve another 4 years of this with McCain?

    August 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
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