August 13th, 2008
08:50 AM ET
10 years ago

Georgian president to McCain: Move 'from words to deeds'


Watch the entire interview with President Saakashvili.

(CNN) – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili on Wednesday called for John McCain and other American leaders to do more for Georgia in their response to the conflict in his country.

“Yesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, ‘We are all Georgians now,’” Saakashvili said on CNN’s American Morning. “Well, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, it’s time to pass from this. From words to deeds.”

McCain told a crowd in Pennsylvania yesterday that he had called Saakashvili to express solidarity with the people of Georgia, saying: “Today, we are all Georgians.”

McCain’s foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann told reporters on the campaign plane Tuesday that McCain’s remark “obviously meant a lot to Saakashvili personally, but more importantly the message it conveyed to the Georgian people in this really, time of unprecedented national emergency.” Scheunemann said McCain and Saakashvili are friends who have speaking daily throughout the crisis.

But Saakashvili said action is more important than rhetoric in the face of “brutal” and “deliberate” Russian violence. He urged the United States to take the lead in installing an international peacekeeping force.

“We should realize what is at stake here for Americans,” he said. “America is losing the whole region.”

“What Americans should do know, first of all, clearly make known their intentions,” he said.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. JM


    August 13, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Veteran for Obama

    Oh my goodness, the Georgian president is doing the media's job by calling McCain to the carpet. McCain is being accused of using this war as a political stunt and is full of hot air.

    McCain is the old politician that has a hardened hate for countries like Russia, China, and everyone else. He also loves war.

    Be prepared for a military draft again if he is elected.

    August 13, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. VOTE Democrat

    Same O Republicans- McFEAR is trying to scare up some votes.

    August 13, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. David H. Blackburn

    Way to go, McCain. Common sense should tell our politicians on the republican side of the aisle and even democrats if they are listenening that if you are going to stand up for countries of the former Soviet Union who exert democracy, the U.S., EU and NATO have to do more than talk. Talk is cheap.

    What was needed from the beginning was a strong presence of troops in these democracies. Further, whose decision was it that Russia peacekeepers would keep the peace in a break-a-way province. Pure stupidity!!!!

    August 13, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Abby

    "He urged the United States to take the lead in installing an international peacekeeping force." FORCE as in TROOPS? Ours are busy buddy! no can do.

    August 13, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. Dave

    Excuse me, Mr. Saa...McCain doesn't speak for all Americans....only himself. Most Americans have no clue of where Georgia the country is.

    August 13, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Haha

    Mccain: " I was only planning on worrying about one Georgia this election now I have to worry about 2!?!!"

    August 13, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Alameda Chris

    Does McCain's adviser not detect the sarcasm in the Georgian president's statement?

    August 13, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Bill from ALabama

    Again,clearly,McCain is the only American that knows what we should do with this unwarranted Russian invasion. Clear messages should be sent to the Russian President to withdraw immediately,and stand down,or we'll be forced to take sides. We will not allow a Fledgling Democracy to be distroyed. Get out now,before we have to act! Russia must take their conplaints before the International powers that be,and let them decide the validity of their objections. Negotiations should be entered in ,from both Parties,and the U.S. should require both sides to air their differences,and seek a more peaceful way of solving the problems.

    August 13, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Jim

    If Obama was president there would have been a round table meeting right away and they would have analysed, gotten the facts, and dealt with it realistically, instead all we have is words and tough talk trying to score political points from Mcsame who has no authority on any of this.

    August 13, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. M from Texas

    McCain is doing the right thing. We can't jump into another war, but he can rally domestic and international support for Georgia.

    The Georgian president wants us to intervene, but it's too risky.

    McCain is making the right move.

    Again, congress is on a 5 week vacation while Obama is sipping martini's in Hawaii.

    August 13, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Larry in TX

    McCain calls Saakashvili daily.
    He tells the Georgian leader "I feel your pain."
    Saakashvili says "We are being destroyed."
    McCain says "Today, we are all Georgians."
    Saakashvili says "Your kind words mean much to me.
    So, what will you do to help?"
    "I'll call you again tomorrow."

    August 13, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. demwit

    Where's Obama??

    August 13, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Puck

    Oh no! McCain's BFF called him out! Snap!

    Yesterday, we weren't all Georgians. McCain has been
    waiting to say something to make himself sound Presidential,
    and he jumped the gun by saying something as stupid as,
    "Today, we are all Georgians."

    And now, he's getting called out on it. Well played, Saakashvili.

    August 13, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. jim in DC

    sam your an idiot. I think Mcgreat knows were not going to send troops to Georgia. Infact all he mentioned were sanctions against Russia. In case you missed the last century Russia hates America and everything we stand for. We will eventually go to war with them. Not because we want to but because we have to. Don't be blinded by hate.

    August 13, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. lol

    this sudden conflict between russia/georgia highlights obama's lack of foriegn policy experience. mccain's entire life has been devoted to his country, obama's campaign has been empty rhetoric from the start. john mccain has the experience, and proven track record to show he is more than "just words". mccain 08!

    August 13, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Esther cuyahoga falls ohio

    what has McCain gotten us into with his we are all Georgians response. we not going to ride in on a white tank and save anyone else

    August 13, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Veteran for Obama

    McCain is using Georgia and Russia another political stunt. Just like his campaign has said if there is a terrorist attack it will benefit McCain. Since that hasn't happed this is settling for second best.

    If you want another military draft vote for McCain. He loves war and their will be alot of it.

    August 13, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Brett

    Please, I thoroughly enjoy McCain's campaign spinning positive news for a grumpy old candidate with no personality and horrible policies.

    August 13, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Franky

    You know what I was thinking about guys?? I was actually thinking of President Bush and how he has handle the world. And I gotta say, the President is pretty calm to say the least. But if it was Senator be honest, I have no idea what he'll do, LOL!!!

    Now that's a Conservative! LOL!!! We like to think what he'll do but we just don't know for a fact, LOL!!!

    August 13, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. RealityKing

    We should just send Georgia all those unexploded IED's from Iraq. That should make the Russia's think twice about further advances..

    August 13, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. Sharon from Oklahoma

    John McCain is a name dropper. He thinks because he is 72 that he knows a lot more than that young whipper snapper Obama. Years does not necessarily make a man wise. His supported an invasion of Iraq, But of course they had WMD's didn't they. His lack of wisdom shows in the dumb ads he runs against Obama. He always hollers about his own experience but he fails to provide any solutions.

    August 13, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. Jim

    Also with most of Europe backing Obama, he could have had real talk with NATO force's and they could work togather to solve this, instead, again all Mccain offers is unrealistic tough talk to try to score political points, Obama would have been working with NATO by now and getting things done. But NATO and most of Europe doesn't even like Mccain, he would be on his own shooting off at the mouth from a far away land, while he's enjoying his wife's 100 million with bush's extended tax cuts, while sending the poor off to war and keeping his wife rich. POS.

    August 13, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Liberal4Obama

    McCains Plan for Georgia = Jet skiis for everybody!!

    August 13, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. Randal NYC

    Mccain's "We are all Georgians" remark wreaked of political motivation. I had to shake my head. Im glad he got called on it. But now he has a dialouge going wiht a foreign leader on a real issue while Obama is on vacation in Hawaii. The appearance of these developments is highly in favor of John Mccain.

    This is scary. Russia has made a move and has exposed the US as weak and ineffective.
    I dont know what Mccain would do if he becomes President. The more time that goes by the more he looks like Bush. His campaign lies and pulls BS stunts so he cant be trusted.
    Obama has yet to show he has any cajones at all though.

    August 13, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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