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. JB, Nashville, TN

    Expensive gas is always a good reason to bomb another country. I think the price of Guiness is too high - can we invade Ireland??

    August 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Charlie Cameron

    Now McCain is nostradamus, to bad 26 years ago he didn't predict high gas prices.

    August 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Chris from NY

    What a wonderful reason to sacrifice the lives of thousands of American soldiers. Saddam may have been the worst dictator that ever lived but he was never worthy of a drop of blood of any American soldier. To hear that we invaded a sovereign country for the simple reason of violation of human rights is disgusting. If there's enough reason to invade a nation why haven't we invaded china. China has been one of the world's violators of human rights and they are still ecnonmically and politically thriving. Same are for countries in the thrid world countries and how many have we invaded or are threatening to invade them too if they have natural resorces especially oil?

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Phil in KC

    Aha! So it finally comes out – this war really was all about the oil.
    We knew it, but it's interesting to hear a Republican finally admit it.

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. APS in Hawaii

    Yes, and this is why McCain comes across as an intellectual nut case. There is no way that Bush would have gotten the public behind a war with Iraq if it was not for 9/11 and the lies that followed. I am personally upset with the Democratic nuts that took impeachment off the table. There needs to be safe guards in place to prevent this type of misleading the public from ever happening again. There should never be a war without a direct threat and proper justification.

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. bridgette

    How worse off can the world be. Everyone hates us. We have lost just about all of our allies. The oil was not this high before we went to war. Supposedly, atleast this is what we were told, that the war would pay for itself through Iraq's oil reserves and that has just not happened. This man truly does not know what he is talking about. And all jokes aside he is not ready too lead. Celebrity or not I trust American under Obama's leadership. Because the more I hear this guy talking the more he scares me.

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Change

    Well this man is cazzy, on what world is he living

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. gate

    I guess senile McCain forgot that there was an embargo against Iraq and he couldn't sell that oil unless it was through the UN oil for food program. He also forgot to mention that Saddam got those WMD's and permission to use them from the Reagan administration.

    Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it. What a moron. I'm sure his ignorant followers are eating it up though. Good job on the fact checking CNN.

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. MD Indepedent

    Seems like more of the same... The politics of fear are at play by the Republicans before an election. I reject this nonsense rhetoric as pandering for votes. Everyone knows that Saddam didn't have the weapons that Bush and McCain said he had. This is just a hypothetical statement from a proven liar.

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Jordan - San Marcos TX

    Keep going John, you're saving the Obama Campaign a lot of work.

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Darryl Miller

    That a fat lie,just remember Micheal More 9/11 video where he tape Dick Chaney say they're all fools. The American public will pay whatever we set the preice of gas they will pay what ever....

    Look at the video

    August 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. kev from florida

    I believe the world will be far worse off if men with the mindset of our current President are allowed to continue running this country.

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Mikey

    Perhaps McCain did not get the memo that there were no WMD in Iraq. Is he now saying it is okay for us to attack a sovereign nation because we don't like their leader? Should we start making a list of future engagements under a McCain presidency now?

    Oh, and by the way. Wasn't Iraqi oil supposed to pay for rebuilding? Where the heck is all of the oil money? Are we still not pumping any oil 5 years later? Or do we have no control over the money? (boy, that would be a surprise!) If the oil was supposed to pay for this mess at $30 a barrel, why do we have $120 oil AND a $1 trillion bill for the war? Who's pockets are full of oil money???????????????

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Asad Aftab

    It is funny how John McCain came up with this conclusion. He is trying to justify the war in Iraq and this is the best he has? Iraq war was fought for self defense, a clause in International Law. Its his frustration and unpopularity for the prime post that is making him make such meaningless comments.

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. LB

    John McCain knew in 2001 that these six months was going to happen? And his answer was to go to war with the country as a solution?

    When all you have is a hammer, suddenly all your problems begin to look like nails.

    Give that man a Klondike bar 🙂

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Sten, CA

    Yeah. We believe that!! McCain could barely remember his bearing let alone see into the future that oil prices were gonna go up that's he voted for the war. Hmm, I still believe in the tooth fairy and I will bet I could sell John an ocean front property in Arizona.

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    oil? well at least one of these jerks admits it.

    NoMoreRebulicans 08.

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. Harold

    McCain's comment shows that 5+ years in captivity has rendered his brain unuseable. He should seriously consider declining the nomination – or the party should demand he do so-in order to allow a sane person to run on the GOP ticket.

    August 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. spudmctater

    Uh, the war is the reason why prices are so high, you nitwit!

    We pre-emptively invaded a country that had not attacked us and destabilized the Middle East.

    Does anyone actually think the Iraq war was a GOOD idea? Apparently McCain does!

    August 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Ian

    So in other words, it's not okay to make billions of dollars from oil revenue?

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Jack

    What a clown McCain is. Four thousand American lives later, of course the war was about the oil and greed. How does a man runnig for president make a statement like that so proudly. What a shameful old man. McCain would bring four more years of Bush.

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. biffington, biff



    Really guys.... really???? 'this' is better than Obama????


    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. McMillan

    What a long winding spin to answer a very simple question. What McCain conveniently choses to forget is the fact that if Saddam was in power, the price of oil wouldn't be this high given the oil output on the supply side from stable Iraq.

    Hey McCain, you can take your audience for fools but not the rest of us.

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. Gerry in Virginia

    If you think John McOilmanbush, will ever admit he "the maverick" has made a mistake in wanting to go to war, you are ever so mistaken. There are some, and McBush is one of those, who believe it's o.k. to invade a country, kill its leaders and citizens so that they might steal from that country its wealth.. All in the name of democracy. And we wonder why the rest of the world looks at us as tyrants... Our ever so brillient BUSH is in China right now telling the Chinese how to run their government (as though he has done such a fine job here in his own yard). All the while begging for more money from the Chinese so we Americans can keep killing Iraq's country. When will our people and politicans learn to keep their nose out of other countries business and tend to our own problems first... When are we, the Citizens of the United States going to demand our military leave Iraq NOW and for god sakes keep that thug George W. Bush padlocked in the white house until his term is up.....

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Sue

    Let me get this straight. John McCain is justifying his support of the Iraqi war in 2002 based on what Saddam Hussein would do if he were alive today? That just does not make sense. I think McCain is having another senile moment.

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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