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. K.

    Wow, WMDs. Haven't heard that one in a while. McCain's dusting off the oldies (no pun intended).

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Lyndon

    These people can only fool the American people. They will swallow any line hook line and sinker. They were duped into getting rid of Saddam for the Iranians(i.e. curveball and Akmed Chalabi) and they gladly went along because the big oil companies were complicit and satiated. I don't know about the average Joe, but "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Go home McCain–as crazy and adolescent as Obam is–you are old enough to have more common sense.

    Libertarians–no games, no crap, just commons sense and the constitution/bill of rights.

    Thank you for your support.
    Bob Barr 2008

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. karen-phoenix

    McCain is out of his mind!! You can not project "what ifs"!! McCain is sooooo out of touch with reality. All he wants is an excuss for war, war and more war. No Draft, No more wars. Out with the very old, and in with young, educated, good judgement, and no radical temper!!! mcCain scares me!!!! Go Obama

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Joe

    if we had not gone to war, would our economy be this bad?????????!!!!! This joker is just like Bush. I guess Saddam cause the mortgage mess too.

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Mary, Dallas, Texas

    War monger.

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Citizen for Boysenberry Jam

    This unjustified war against a fully contained Saddam Hussein is WHY gas prices got this high. How many straws can this fool grasp at?????

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Arthur

    So while the Iraq government has an $80,000,000,000 surplus from their oil reserves, the United States is still bearing the full cost of this invasion and occupation, and somehow it's Hussein's fault? Is McCain incapable of using reason? This man is wackier than W.

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Dave

    I don't know, the same thing all the other middle eastern states do? Fund terrorism, oppress their people, live like kings while their people suffer...we don't mind allying with them though.
    The reason we went to Iraq turned out to be a lie, you can't fix that with hypotheticals 7 years later.

    August 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Mattk

    except the UN already had sanctions against what he could use the oil for and price, etc......MCCAIN IS TOO OLD AND HYPOCRITICAL!

    August 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Ell TX

    Unbelievable! The man has a one track mind!

    August 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Dennise

    HA! That's funny, when Saddam was in power, our petro wasn't that high. Next justification for war please

    August 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Shirley

    American loss over four thousand men and woman in this War.
    What you think he would have been doing is not worth the lives of four
    thousand service men and woman.
    Saddam's brutal human rights issues is no our business, we should
    take of our own human rights ISSUES. Your reason for the War
    resulution is sick.

    August 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Tony Z- MD

    Where is this logic? We did not find WMD. So, he would have acquired this all of a sudden. So, are we now the UN enforcer while other countries were not in agreement? Sounds like a WarHawk.

    When he is talking about "human rights"- Is China next on the list?

    I wish the Straight Talk Express and Maverick were here to see this. They would not recognize this guy at all. So sad.

    August 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Adam

    Hey McCain, if we didn't go into Iraq we would have billions of dollars to invest in renewable resources. You are a warmonger, all you know is to kill and destroy for power. You will be dead in 20 years and have no vision for the future, leave the rest of the civilized world alone.

    August 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. So the Bush team decided I want that

    So the Bush team decided I want that and so here we are 5 years later, trillions of dollars in debt and countless of lives lost so he (Bush) can have control of that oil.

    August 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Capt'n Fatty

    oh McNuggets please shut up

    August 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Cathy

    Everyone knows the war wasn't about WMD but the oil. Bush and Cheney have a nice fat bank account waiting for them after January.

    August 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. JEric

    Wow this is going to come back and bite him. Outright stupidity that's all I can say.

    August 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Jim Thompson

    Listen, even though Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney and the gang said that we'd be paying for the war in Iraq with Iraqi oil, IT HAS NOT HAPPENED!! Even though the government of Iraq is raking in billions in oil revenue, it is still, you and I, the American taxpayer who are footing the bill for this mess. The military has a name for stuff like this. FUBAR.

    August 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Neil K, Lake Forest CA

    Senator, oil prices have skyrocketed in part because we are IN Iraq. Do you not get that?

    August 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. An American

    Wow, unbelievable!

    August 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Mike Philly

    That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. He took her question and turned it into something completely different. I'll bet if CNN tracked her down and asked how she felt about that answer, she'd tell you she's really pissed off to have been used that way.

    August 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. JS

    Did McCain just confirm that a primary motivation for the Iraq War was oil?

    August 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. SidearmS

    You have to be kidding me...

    No, seriously, did McClain just pull WMDs back into the discussion?

    Isn't he speaking in a town in which one his campaign managers DOOMED to outsourcing because he lobbied for DHL?

    Meanwhile, the member of Saudi royalty known as Osama Bin Laden is still alive, and he IS profiting from the high price of oil. So three cheeers for that (sarcasm there folks).

    Remember, as the article from a few weeks stated, "speculators were allowed into the market by a THEN REPUBLICAN CONGRESS."

    And remind yourselves again, just how much money is Iraq making from oil revenues this year?

    Everytime I think McClain (who I used to like a lot) sinks low like this and can not sink any lower, he one-ups himself.

    Sad, just plain sad.

    August 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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