August 9th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain skewers Obama's judgement on war in speech to vets

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="John McCain accused Barack Obama Saturday of blocking funding for the troops."]
LAS VEGAS (CNN) - After a week spent trying to poke holes in Barack Obama’s energy and economic policies, John McCain returned to the topic of the Iraq war on Saturday, accusing Obama of “varying positions on the surge” and trying to “legislate failure” by voting against troop funding.

McCain told the annual convention of the Disabled American Veterans that his Democratic rival “tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge.”

“Not content to merely predict failure in Iraq, my opponent tried to legislate failure,” he said. “This was back when supporting America’s efforts in Iraq entailed serious, serious political risk. It was a clarifying moment. It was a moment when political self-interest and the national interest parted ways.”

The McCain campaign made the same charge against Obama in a television ad released last month in key states called “Troop Funding,” citing Obama’s vote against a supplemental appropriations bill in May 2007 during the Democratic primary race. Obama and other senate Democrats voted against the bill in protest because it removed language calling for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

An Obama spokesman said the Illinois senator had voted for every troop funding bill prior to the May 2007 legislation, and the nonpartisan noted that “Obama cast at least 10 votes for war-funding bills before voting against one last year.”

In his speech to a veterans' convention, McCain accused Obama of being a simple opportunist when it comes to the war, pointing to a recent interview Obama gave to ABC News in which the Democrat suggested he would still oppose the troop surge today despite its current success.

“Even in retrospect,” McCain said, “he would choose the path of retreat and failure for America over the path of success and victory. Behind all of these claims and positions by Sen. Obama lies the ambition to be president. What’s missing is the judgment to be commander in chief.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Dawn

    What John McCain doesn't mention is the fact that he voted for the war that never should have happened to beging with. He's one of those responsible for our troops being there. Iraq is rolling in oil money and he makes no mention of what it costs every tax paying citizen in this country to continue to support Iraq when they are capable of doing it themselves. I doubt very much if Obama's vote meant that he no longer would support the troops but rather he doesn't support the McCain Bush love for war. The intent for starting a war from the beginning was to control Iraq's oil. That didn't happen and it's not going to. How dumb does he believe the public to be? A vote for McCain is four more long years of Bush strategy. God help us if that happens!

    August 9, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. Veterans for Obama

    McCain ought to be ashamed of himself. He is running the dirtiest campaign I have ever witnessed. He is probabsly the most dishonest candidate I have ever seen. I used to be a republican prior to his dishonest fight against Mitt Romney where he continuously lied to get Romney to drop out of the race. He is now doing the same to Obama, but this time it will backfire in his face.

    August 9, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  3. Randy

    War is good, killing is a great way to bring about peace, lying, negativity and mistruths. McCain sounds sooooo old school and a great example why people hate our government. It's time for a change and McCain isn't going to provide it.

    August 9, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  4. Bill

    After 26 yrs in the senate, McCain has nothing left to run on except negativity. He may be a hero, decorated with all the scars of honor, but this nation was founded on the creative tension of its potentiality. Yes, this is America that dares the glory yet to come.

    And I will role that dice, for the young, athletic, constitutional law professor, civil rights attorney, community organizer, writer, junior senator, celebrity.

    August 9, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  5. Don Hiller

    HELLO!!!! Is CNN blog 'moderation' shut down for the afternoon and night? No one even to say 'comments are closed for this article (becuse none were acceptable')?

    August 9, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  6. Timothy,

    John mcain surely loves war. Being victorious doesnt mean running down ur economy funding a war and success doesnt mean building another country when ur own country requires much effort too. Am sure the is something in iraq that surely the rep love more than their country

    August 10, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  7. Bob Jensen

    McCain's claim that the 'surge' is responsible for the decline in violence in Iraq and anyone who disagrees is being disrespectful to our troops'.

    In the British zone of occupation in southern Iraq, the UK followed Obama's plan. Instead of a troop surge the UK began to withdraw from their occupation zone in 2007 and while the UK was withdrawing and turning oer operations to the Iraqi army and security forces, violence in southern Iraq has also declined at the same rate as the decline in violence in US occupied Iraq.

    Someone at CNN ought to ask McCain or his surrogates how explains the 'victory' in southern Iraq which followed Obama's withdrawel plan.

    August 10, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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