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. Watermann

    The "cold war" lasted for decades, thus McCain would most probably not experience it until it ends in 2050.

    August 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Jim

    Marc, maybe he's actually getting the facts before he goes off at the mouth, Oh my god that would be UNTHINKABLE!!!

    August 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. haha

    No...IT wont, but YOU sure will, hahaha.

    August 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. pam Eugene OR

    McCain "strongly" supports every decision Bush has ever made!
    We need to change the way American's do things.
    Obama 08

    August 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. DJ Los Angeles

    Back-off McCain. I'm not your friend and not Georgian. Let Russia and Georgia solve their differences and quit being such a trigger happy war-mongerer.

    August 13, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. The Main Man in Kentucky

    McCain must have had the staff reading the blogs this morning.

    Yesterday it was Putin was trying to bring back the Russian Empire...but today after people didn't respond to it, it's

    "Um, Uh, well, I don't think it's going to lead to another Cold War..."

    McCain left himself some wiggle room with saying, "I DONT THINK"

    August 13, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. v.a.

    it will if you keep being a retard and trying to incite a repeat!

    August 13, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. TH - ATL


    Do yourself a favor. This is a must see for ALL Americans. It answered my questions about Bush, McCain and Obama as I am sure it will answer yours.

    August 13, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. flavoter

    2004 Bush used Osama Bin Laden as his fear card. McCain old @$$
    is still stuck in the cold war era so he's using this as his fear card. Next he'll be saying the Russian will be marching down the streets of America...FEAR, FEAR, FEAR...And my friends so many of you fall for it everytime stop blaming politicians for the tricks they play...Because people eat it up!!!. McCain and his nation building crew (IRI) are the ones at fault here of course no one wants to say that and at tax payers expense...

    Wheres the story CNN ??? CNN and others have remained mute on McCain and this group why??

    August 13, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. JP

    Does Obama support or oppose President Bush’s decision to dispatch humanitarian aid to Georgia?

    Nobody knows, ask him you'll hear some wishy washy terms.

    August 13, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Ex-Republican for Obama

    McCain to reporter: "I don't think"

    Atleast he admits it.

    August 13, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Lou R

    The Georgia situation is beginning to look like another inside Republican political stunt. On one hand the U.S. encourages the helpless Gregorian President to advance his country's interest into the separatist areas. Was there no thinking about a Russian military response? Such a response serves the McCain campaign's interests as he needs a military crisis to sell his perceived value even if it reflects a Cold War/Cheney/Bush mentality. Of course, having a lobbyist doing business with Georgia helps to stage the drama. Rove's recent vacation (rather then testify in Congress) into the Balkans also raises eyebrows. The Georgia/Russia story has a strong stench of deep U.S. instigation.

    August 13, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Arin

    Come on McChicken.... send troops to Georgia. They need deeds not words. SEND TROOPS to defend a US ally. Georgia sent trooops to Iraq to help the US, so McChicken send combat troops to Georgia, or just shut-up with your rhetoric and grandstanding.

    McChicken.... not in '08

    August 13, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Someone from somewhere

    I think it's a little too convenient how this "unforseen" conflict happened in the middle of the presidential election. Iraq war is too messy, so we needed something else to shift the public's attention from Iraq. This is all a big conspiracy between Georgia and the US. The US needs a "real reason" to hate Russia, so they don't have to use diplomacy – it's harder – to persuade Russians to talk to Iran for us.

    Just bomb bomb bomb everyone, it's easier than talking. Apparently.


    August 13, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    DR. YES August 13th, 2008 2:45 pm ET

    and what about the 2000? people of tskhinvali,mccain?why were they killed?you dont have anymore info than anyone else except for your lobbyist buddy,scheuneman.mccain may have had more to do with this than we'll ever know.probably trying to SCARE up a few more votes.

    Do you really think McCain had something to do with Russia Invading Georgia. The dems posting hear are zealots. Just as bad as terrorists. This is the same way that terrorists get people to think that America waged war on Islam not terror. Repubs have stopped posting hear for the most part thanks to zealots like you. You will twist the truth until it fits your views and when someone calls you on it you will run and hide. I have posted questions to so many of you zealots and i never get an answer. Questions like, if we go with the Obama plan and increase the minimum wage will it drive more companies over sees?
    No one answers!!!

    So go look up Zealots and figure out what I am calling you and then try to answer the question.

    August 13, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Jim

    Everyone talks about Obama being a novice and new to all of this, the exact same smere campaigns that were said about JFK and Ronald Reagon...

    August 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Steve

    People forget that Georgia and other countries along Russia's southern border including the Ukraine were part of Russia for hundreds of years prior to the breakup of The Soviet Union. These are not countries like Poland, Hungary, Romainia, and other States like the Baltic States that the Russians occupied sfter World War 2.
    If they want to reoccupy these States that they held for hundreds of years then that is Russia's business not the United States whose only aim is to grab Russian oil.
    Well Russia is no longer weak but again a strong military power with around 10,000 hydrogen bombs.
    If the United States keeps sticking its nose into Russia's business
    they are going to start a nuclear war. Russia could drive the price of gas in the United States to $10.00 a gallon overnight.

    August 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Yet John McCain fully supports George Bush's unprovoked and illegal attempted occupation and colonialization of Iraq in order to control its oil and build 58 permanent bases.....over 1.2 MILLION Iraqis have died as a result! How dare EITHER man lecture Russia after Georgian troops spearheaded the initial attack, NOT Russia. Bush and McCain are the epitome of hypocrisy.

    August 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. Ron Democrat turned independent

    how many terrorist attacks have we had since 9/11? how long do you think it will be before there's another one if sen Hollywood gets elected? those terrorist are deadly afraid of speech makers right?

    August 13, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. BKoi

    War Monger McCain! The reason this is happening is because of the Bush doctrine! The saber rattling is now being paid back! How can Bush, with the full backing of McCain, tell the Russians they can't invade Georgia, a sovereign nation, when he just invaded Iraq?? Where the hell is the credibility! The world does not need another WAR! McCain is the past, bomb bomb bomb Iran, remember? GET OVER IT! Please elect Obama!!!

    August 13, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Rob

    Today McBush's pal, The President of Georgia whom McBush has gone boating with overseas. Said that McBush's statement "Today we are all Georians" were nice words but that he needs actions not words. Unfortunatly for him. Words are all that McBush has. He never had any authority to back up his tough talk. All he was doing was grand standing and trying to look tough for the voters. Old Man Yells at Clouds is all bluff and no substance. Georgia will do better to rely on Sarkozy who flew immediatly to Russia to confront Putin.

    August 13, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Nando, Florida


    August 13, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. TunnelVision

    GOP Supporter. – Give us one instance where McCain has displayed superior knowledge due to his experience..only one Please, that shouldn't be too difficult should it...

    ExxonMobile/McCain 08.

    August 13, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. doob

    I love it......McCain "strongly supports Bush's position."
    Get tying yourself to the anchor Bush. You're bound to loose the election!!!
    Go Obama!!

    August 13, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Manny, New York, NY

    Both MaCain and Bush are partially responsible for this since it was encouraging the Georgian president to be aggressive. He was selling weapons worth billions of dollars in the last few years. Why does a small country like Georgia needs to get so much offensive weapons? Georgia has the 4th largest military budget per capita in the world!!! And of course all the American instructors who taught Georgian army how to attack South Ossetia. However, the largest responsibility is with Georgian President who, as many people who had a chance to deal with him know, is very impulsive and is known to take big risks for the sake of his career, even if it will bring disastrous results on his people.

    Just like it happened with Saddam, Taliban and Osama... the U.S. grew a monster in Georgia and then lost control of it. Georgia started the ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia – a small country of 70K people – by launching a heavy artillery offensive and killing over 2000 civilians. Saddam was hanged for killing 400 people in Kurdkystan. Why is Sakashvilli different??? Most of the 2000 civilians killed are Russian citizens – why then it should be a surprise that Russia responded? The question is if Russia overacted. I don’t know. Did we overreact when we (Nato) attacked Serbia over the conflict in Kosovo, bombed civilian infrastructures all over the country, including Belgrade? We bombed the bridges and main TV tower in Belgrade, killing journalists. All this was done supposedly to protect Albanians from Serbia, even though Kosovo was and is part of Serbia. All this was done without UN mandate.

    August 13, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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