August 13th, 2008
02:41 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain: Georgia conflict won't 're-ignite the Cold War'

McCain said the United States should stand 'courageously' with Georgia.

McCain said the United States should stand 'courageously' with Georgia.

BIRMINGHAM, Michigan (CNN) - John McCain came out in support of President Bush’s decision Wednesday to dispatch U.S. aircraft with humanitarian aid to Georgia and to send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice there to demonstrate America’s “unwavering support” for the country.

And despite some recent tough talk towards Russia that has drawn criticism from Barack Obama's campaign, McCain also said he did not think the Russia-Georgia conflict would “re-ignite the Cold War."

"I don't think it means we're going to reignite the Cold War, and I don't think that we're going to have kind of situation," he said at a fundraiser in Michigan, “but I do believe that we need to stand as courageously as we can on behalf of this little country.”

Bush said in a Rose Garden statement that Russia must halt all military operations in Georgia and withdraw troops from the country, while allowing international aid into the region.

McCain said he “strongly” supports Bush’s position.

During the fundraiser, McCain continued his expressions of solidarity with Georgia, at one point citing reports of possible human rights violations by the Russian military.

“I hope they are not true,” McCain said. I'm afraid that some of them are, but we'll find out in the upcoming hours and days."

The presumptive GOP nominee repeated his recent assertion that Moscow’s aggression indicates the country wants to create a modern-day version of the Russian empire.

“I also believe that we have to understand, in the larger context of what this is all about, and it's all got to do with the centuries old ambitions of the Russians to establish the Russian empire,” he said.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. Ally

    McCain cheif advisor is a lobbyist for Georgia. CNN please report this and the article

    August 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Brennan - Seattle, WA

    After the things that John McCain has said publicly about Russia and their leaders, why would the Russians want to work with him?

    John McCain is an old fool.

    August 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Obama supporter:White, 60 year old woman

    I firmly believe this man has lost his bearings, his memory and his integrity. Obviously their polling must indicate that his bellicose comments of yesterday weren't sitting well as he said the complete opposite yesterday.

    Before, I just thought McCain was a silly man tied to the last century; his responses to this crisis however his erratic, conflicting behaviour have convinced me that he is very, very dangerous.

    I hope CNN is going to do an overview of the conflicting statements that this candidaye has been spewing since Friday.

    August 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. t

    what a difference a day makes

    August 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Rob

    Proud Obamacan here. McCain, his entanglements with lobbyists, imperialistic thinking, and lousy economic policies are something this nation cannot afford. Voting Obama to return reason to America.

    August 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. demwit

    Where's Obama??

    August 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. americaN for Peace

    It's a step in that direction though. That combined with the damage Bush Inc. has done to U.S. – Russian relations over the last eight years certainly is cause for concern.

    We should stay out of this mess ... but these war-mongers can't help themselves ... it is all they know.

    If McCain is elected President prepare for at least 4 more years of war ... that is the only guarantee with him.

    August 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. CommonSense

    No will NOT quit picking on the Republican candidate as long as he contintues to make a joke out of us Americans. He's starting a war that he can't finish. We have depleted our military resources and funds... his threats to Russia doesn't carry any weight!!! It's funny that he's so eager to support the country of Georgia, but yet isn't concerned about the US economy! Actually, that's not funny... it's down right pathetic!!!!!! That's McCain and the GOP for you!

    August 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Now McCain falls behind Bush. Obama was there from the start.

    No doubt that both candidates received a security briefing on the situation as it unfolded. Briefings that came from the White House. I wonder if they were received at the same time, and contained the same information.

    I apologize for sounding paranoid or crazy by asking that question. But, I would not put anything past the current administration.

    August 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    America's role as the "rescue squad" on call 24/7 to response to every conflict that errupts in the world is over and McCain has the slightest idea of what Russia's action will bring or be forthcoming. I learned in Vietnam that sending the Seceretary of State when a physical conflct or invasion is occuring........well, it is like watching files have effect to the viewer, but tremendous action for the flies.

    August 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. tigerakabj

    Yeah, way to backtrack McCain, talking about Russian Empire? This guy is off his rocker and needs to retire. It is clear to anyone listening to him what is on his mind - war, war, and more war. Period.

    Obama/Sebelius 2008/2012.

    August 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. stone cynic

    Careful McTuffguy .......all Russia has to do is whisper Iraq into your ear

    August 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. EBC


    This is EXACTLY what EVERYONE in this blog has been saying for weeks.

    WE are headed into another WORLD WAR III!

    IF this doesn't WAKE the American People UP, I don't know what will.

    George W. Bush is going to start ANOTHER WORLD WAR with Russia and John McCain is ignorantly "FUELING" the fire for another COLD WAR!!!

    HOW many more of our young military members are going to be killed over these two idiots that think of nothing but WAR!! WAR!!! WAR!!! Russia is nothing to play with and right NOW our armed forces are NOT READY for another WAR, bottom line. We've been stretch to the limits.

    Are you willing to sacrifice your sons and daughters ALL over again?

    August 13, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    We know John McSame supports George Dubya 95% of the time; but here is another 5%!

    pot trying to run away from kettle!

    August 13, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Lance

    I just found out that one of the heads of McCain's campaign is a major lobbyist for the Republic of Georgia. He was paid several hundred thousand dollars to lobby Senator McCain to support Georgia, and no doubt some of that money has found its way into McCain's campaign.

    This totally obliterates any objectivity Senator McCain has on this issue. He's war mongering because he feels he owes Georgia.

    McCain is the scariest guy on the planet right now. How anybody with any feeling for our country can vote for this two faced typical washington lobby money taking insider is worse than crazy, its criminal.

    McCain should be under investigation for taking so much lobby money and how its influencing his campaign and his Senate career.

    I'm so sick of the same old political games McCain and his good old boys play.

    August 13, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. LS

    Of course the Right-Hand-Bush-Man McCain stongly supports BUSH. We get the McCain = Bush part already.

    It's sure going to be nice once Bush and McCain are out of the spotlight. Bush, with all the bad decisions he has made already, he really should step aside and let someone else handle this situtation with Georgia, you know, someone who has common sense and good judgment. Don't trust Bush or McCain's judgment, they have already shown not to sport these necessary traits to make critical decisions.

    August 13, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. Rick K

    "We really need a complete and utter novice like Obama leading the country when a crisis like this happens."

    We are making these crises!!!

    Oilmen and soldiers are inventing the world to suit their identities. In terms of constructing a vision for a post-petroleum, high-tech US, and inspiring people to move towards it – Obama has much more demonstrated experience that McCain has.

    Applying McCain's experience to the 21st century is like touting the Maytag repairman's 30 years of service has he wonders where to use his pipe wrench to fix your Macintosh.

    He's lost, and everything he touches gets worse.

    August 13, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Da Sponge

    So John "The Inept One" McCain makes a "bold" comment: "We are all Georgians"...nice words...Now the president of Georgia who thinks the words mean something is calling McCain out to help him. McCain, of course can't do squat and looks like a buffoon...and he makes the U.S. look like a buffoon.

    Typical of McCain for not choosing his words carefully.....

    Next thing he will be singing "Bomb Bomb Bomb Moscow".

    Another thing, no one is mentioning the fact that Georgia started this whole mess with genocide on South Ossetia citizens....

    Georgia is pro-Western...but unfortunately, has done some very 'eastern European bad genocide'

    As much what Russia did was over the top and outrageous....Georgia did start it.....

    August 13, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. Corey Gabriel

    McCain and his buddy Bush are either hypocrites or don't know history, or both. Why was it ok for the US to invade and/or bomb Serbia, Grenada, Panama and Iraq to protect US citizens, but its not ok for Russia to invade South Ossettia to protect Russian citizens after the Georgians started attacking them? Why was it ok for the US to support the independence of the break away Kosovo province, but its not ok for Russia to support independence for South Ossettia? And for all his bluster about Georgia being Christian with an oil pipeline, McCain is certainly old enough to remember that Joesph Stalin was from Georgia. Geez, give me a break here guys, and at least be intellectually honest instead of merely pushing your own political agendas.

    August 13, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Diane Panama City Fl

    Maybe one of the reasons John McCain seems so concerned about the Russia/Georgia conflict is the fact that his campaign foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann and his lobbying firm, lobbied on behalf of Georgia over 49 times in 3.5 years in Congress, raking in over $800,000. Of couse the typical McCain attack claims that Senator Obama is trying to politicize the issue.

    Again, the old adage that once a philandering crook, always a philandering crook proves to be true.

    August 13, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Unity

    McCain is tempering his overzealous comments over the past few days so as not to appear too gun-ho about the possibility of a cold war. If you looked into his bag of tricks, about the only thing you'd find in there would be War, Fear, Draft, Negativity, and a big fuzzy thing – oh, that's his memory.

    August 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Jimmy P - Chicago

    I disagree with you here McCain. Russia will ultimately re-absorb all break-away republics it lost as a result of the break-up of the USSR. And the realities are that the West is absolutely impotent to do anything about it – without nuclear catastrophie of course. The West, and primarily the U.S. has finally been exposed for the paper tiger it is. And of course this is the result of unchecked liberal policy!

    August 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. NMB

    To: McCain supporter August 13th, 2008 2:58 pm ET
    who wrote:
    We really need a complete and utter novice like Obama leading the country when a crisis like this happens.

    McCain will select all his paid lobbvists to fill diplomat roles!
    Obama has the judgement to select a team of professional diplomats to staff the State Dept. We have a shoe shopping and piano playing, current Sect'y of State whose specialty is Russian studies and look where we are...NO WHERE!

    August 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Republican for change

    McCain: Putin wants 'to restore the old Russian empire'

    Takes one to know one no? The GOP wants 'to hold on the power of the oil empire' at the expense of the redneck base?

    August 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. PG

    Hear ye, hear ye, here is the real Panamanian McCain:

    John McCain's chief foreign policy adviser and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3 1/2-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia (Yost, P.)

    August 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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