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. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    So, in other words, we went to war for oil? Or did I miss what he was saying when he spun his answer. This is really sad...over 4100 soldiers are dead because of him and those who voted over a lie to the American people. I hope you all know that McCain will keep over half the staff that G.W. Bush has.

    So pathetic.................

    August 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. dave


    So much pandering to do, so little time to do it in.

    I had a lot more respect for John McCain a few years ago.

    August 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. True

    All Hypothetical BullShiza! I have one too, John McCain is better off dropping out so the world can be a better place.

    August 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Sherry, Atlanta



    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Mark Wagner

    Yet another lack of understanding on McCain's part. Considering the price of oil was around $30-$40 when we went into Iraq, how can he say if we didn't go into Iraq oil would be at the price it is now?

    Does he not understand that our Middle East policy, especially what we've done in Iraq, has had a big impact in the cost of oil today?

    Again, will someone tell me how town halls meetings are where McCain does his best? Do people who report that not watch those town hall meetings? Seems if he gets a question that isn't pre-selected to match his current policies, his answers are always so ignorant.

    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. JoeJ

    Does this guy really think that we'd be dealing with oil at $120, $125, $130 a barrel if it weren't for his war?

    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Veterans for Obama


    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. JulesT

    Finally the truth, we went to war over oil. All those lives lost, and for what? It has done no good. Wish McCain would stop insulting our intelligence.

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Matt from NYC

    Or... if we had never gone in... and the Iraqi resistance hadn't blown up most of the Oil production devices, and therefor cut the supply from Iraq, and caused billions of dollars in reconstruction....


    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. Jean, CANADA

    So you are finally admitig that the only "plausible" reason for invading Iraq is because we didn't wan't them to have access to the large amounts of Oil stored in THEIR "Sovereign" lands.....??!!!! After the enormous death toll (US, Allies and Iraq's)......this is all about OIL??!!!!


    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Marlon

    Yeah, I'd much rather have a backwater dictator whose country is under all sorts of economic and trade sanctions than U.S. oil companies who get a free ride from the government and have Americans by the balls in control of Iraqi oil. People don't seem to understand that American oil companies don't care about the pain of American consumers any more than Saddam Hussein, AND they have much more power to raise prices. Oil probably wouldn't be AT $120 a barrel if we hadn't invaded Iraq.

    Now he's trying to use the same old Iraq scare tactics that got us into this misguided war in RETROSPECT? God, McCain is so dumb! How dumb does he think we are? It makes me so mad!

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. JB

    Iraq was being embargoed. He wouldn't be getting that money.

    You are confused, old man.

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. dona

    We already knew this. Please, please give McCain the news coverage he is whining about!!!! America needs to see the real McBush!!! Let the media fawn on him for a while. At least, America will begin to be informed at his "oil hungry-warmongering" ways!!!

    August 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Selah Brown

    At last someone is telling the truth – this war has ALWAYS been about oil...from the very beginning. This is why is it is vital that we rid ourselves of our dependancy on foreign oil, and oil period. Than no one ever has to die or kill for oil again.

    August 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Rus

    Even if this premise made any sense (e.g. no WMD ever found), who says the price would have ever gotten this high without the Iraq war?

    August 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain is a total nut case. Saddam never controlled oil pricing, OPEC did when Saddam was alive and OPEC still does. McCain needs a history lesson on the middle east and stop using lies and fear that only tells informed people how misinformed he is.

    August 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. BWJ

    If Saddam were still isolated and contained as he was when we invaded Iraq, the price of oil would likely still be stable and McCain's fear-mongering would be even more laughable than it is in this story.

    August 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. citizen

    I thought we had sanctions and Iraq could only use their oil for food? Or was that not the case!!!! So how exactly was he going to be making the big bucks?

    August 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. jesse

    Wow! These republicans are actually scientists! They had discovered the time machine in 2002 and traveled in 2008 to see how high the oil prices would be and how many weapons saddamm hussain would be making in 2008!

    That's why they attacked Iraq, but had a difficult time explaining their action since they weren't allowed to disclose about the time machines....

    Bunch of fanatics......

    August 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. eli

    Right on, John! Let's invade Iran too! And Saudi-Arabia, since al the 9/11 hijackers came from that country! Keep 'em coming..."bomb, bomb, bomb Iran." "100 years in Iraq"

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. The Truth

    The cause of the Iraq War was Oil period! McCain and Bush say repeatedly that we are getting oil from a part of the world that does not like us very much. With rising demand for oil in the rest of the world (Russia, China, India), those countries would reach a point where they would not have to sale oil to us. That would have destroyed our economy. I am sure the Oil executives briefed Bush on this threat very early on in his presidency. The Bush administration felt that they had to install a government that was friendly to the United States and would continue to sale us oil at a reasonable price. I think that was the rationale for going to war. Sounds logical, right? Iraq was just the easiest target for the installation of a U.S. friendly government (We basically dismantled their military during and after the first gulf war, they had a crazy dictator nobody liked, and they were under U.N. sanctions). We invaded them expecting that their people would love us for doing so. However, they were not happy with our presence and we dismantled their military and police force which created a law enforcement void that Al Queda exploited. This is what happened folks and I strongly believe that those that think otherwise are foolish.

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. Ryan

    What a can anyone vote for this clown? After all that's happened he still clings to the WMD theory. How can someone be so out of touch.

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. deb

    So McCain thinks this is a good reason to go to war and lose over 4,00 Americans lives with untold hardship for injured vets and the families of all servicemen not to mention a million Iraquis killed, many children? For oil? So spending billions each month in Iraq somehow off sets his view about the expense of increased oil if we were not invading such a country? Where is this logic when he voted against all the recent bills that would have supported new energy sources like wind power? So going to war for oil is OK with him? Wake up people, if he wins we will invade Iran, Pakistan, you name it. We will be a broken nation with no army left and ruined finances. Thats how Al Q. will win.

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Out with McWar

    Well who do you think has been holding the money bag for the last almost 8 years after invading Iraq for not one reason just a pack of made up lies to frighten citizens ?The crooks that come to mind Bush,Cheney , G raham, Rove, McWar ,Haliburton and the list goes on and on.
    Get your your story straight before you open your Frog mouth then grin like one.
    We are fed up with your made up lies you no doubt have Buffalo chips in your head .

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. Peter (CA)

    How sad Sen. McCain has become. It's the instability in the Middle East that has led to this gouging. If Saddam (yes, a brutual dictator but one of many) was still in power, more stability in the Middle East could have led to the oil flowing more freely. Prices may not even have jumped. We no longer have any way of knowing but it is a ridiculous stretch for McCain to come up with this.

    August 7, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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