September 18th, 2008
12:20 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain comments make headlines in Spain

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Spanish reporters are questioning some comments McCain made in an interview Tuesday."]
(CNN) - Spanish reporters are parsing John McCain’s Tuesday interview with the Miami station of Spanish-language radio network in which he had praise for the government of Mexico - but would not say directly whether he was willing to meet with Spain’s center-left prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

"I will meet with those leaders who are our friends and who want to work with us cooperatively," said McCain, according to a translation of the interview with a station that is part of Spain's Radio Union network which has grabbed headlines in that country.

The interviewer followed up, looking for a direct response on Zapatero. "Okay, but I'm talking about Europe, the president [sic] of Spain, would you meet with him?"

"I will reunite with any leader that has the same principles and philosophy that we do: human rights, democracy, and liberty. And I will confront those that don't," said McCain.

The seemingly cool reaction to Zapatero appears to represent a shift for the Republican nominee towards the leader of fellow NATO member Spain. Soon after taking office in 2004, the Spanish prime minister did order the withdrawal of the country’s troops from Iraq, drawing the ire of supporters of the war like McCain - but as recently as this April, the Arizona senator reportedly told a Spanish newspaper he would extend Zapatero an invitation.

"I would like for [Zapatero] to visit the United States. I am very interested not only in normalizing relations with Spain but in obtaining good and productive relations with the goal of addressing many issues and challenges that we have to confront together."

Randy Scheunemann said McCain had not been misinterpreted. "The questioner asked several times about Senator McCain's willingness to meet Zapatero, and ID'd him in the question so there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred. Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview," he said in an e-mail.

"In this week's interview, Senator McCain did not rule in or rule out a White House meeting with President Zapatero, a NATO ally. If elected, he will meet with a wide range of allies in a wide variety of venues but is not going to spell out scheduling and meeting location specifics in advance. He also is not going to make reckless promises to meet America's adversaries. It's called keeping your options open, unlike Senator Obama who has publically committed to meeting some of the world's worst dictators unconditionally in his first year in office."

(Updated with Scheunemann statement to CNN)

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. Roger

    Good grief. It just gets worse with every utterance out of his mouth. We all better pray long and hard that Obama is elected or I shudder to think of the fate of our country in the hands of this man and his lipstick princess!!!

    September 18, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Open Your 3rd Eye




    September 18, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Kenn

    Let's see…Obama goes to Europe and the Middle East to talk to the leaders, draws 200K in Germany, and is ready to put the US in front of the world stage as the leading nation.

    McCain is rattling sabers with fellow NATO members.

    What's wrong with this picture?
    -Peter (CA)

    Republicans talks about lipstick.
    Democrats talks about economy.

    But people are still voting for republicans because Palin and McCain are white.
    If Obama were only white, he could have been all the way out there on the poll.

    Too bad, this election is about race.

    September 18, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. georgia independent

    This is scary. He seems to be melting down mentally.

    What is more scary – if he wins, it will be Palin to take over when he stumbles or "mis speaks".

    If the Republicans win, can we just keep Cheney as VP?

    September 18, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. chelle

    Wow....John McCain is truly scary. What exactly is he good at? Not economics....not foreign policy....not being a maverick (that died about ohhhhhh 8 years ago).....oh wait...he has become more socially least today.....

    September 18, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. AA

    How sad.

    I don't think I would have ever voted for him he is far too cynical, confrontational and not nearly intelligent enough, but, as a human it is sad to see someone being used as a scapegoat.

    The RNC knew very well that they could not win against either HRC or Obama and threw John to to the dogs, then gave him a gopher as a running mate.

    And that's how cruel they are. I mean c'mon his facilities are not all there.. and that's normal. They should not parade him around and make him look foolish. He could just been allowed run out his years in the Senate like the rest of the old timers like Thurman etc.


    September 18, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Jill

    What????????....the old geezer needs to get a grip.

    September 18, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. kathy

    Gheesh...the old geezer keeps digging a bigger hole for himself and his VP has a shovel too!....she doesn't know she's in cedar rapids and he doesn't know where spain is located.....scary! I was watching the iowa speech when the USA USA chant began..i knew immediately there was a protest going on....remember the republican convention?...well every time the crowd chanted USA USA it was because the had to drowned out protestors. seems to me they should listen to these people...cuz they are sick of the war...the high prices and the tom foolery the mcain campaign is trying to cram down the throats of the american people. Maybe FIX news...oops i mean FOX news should cover the protests too.

    September 18, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    I married a spanish woman.
    I buy my soap from Spain and my cologne from Spain.

    I'm a Republican.

    Common sense knows no national or international boundaries.

    Vote McCain–not the un-cola.

    September 18, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Brain in DC

    Continue the policy of talking only to who agree with us or countries that we can bribe to say what we like to hear? That's called friendship or schmoozing at best, not hardcore diplomacy. We have tried that, our leader surrounding himself with his handmade bubble. Ask Jim Baker, Kissinger, or Israel what diplomacy means.

    September 18, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Susan

    Way to go McLame. Make us more enemies by your refusal to open minded! This man will go to war with anyone, and his lap dog Palin will be right there next to mim. No McCain/No Palin!

    September 18, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Kerri

    Ah, gotta love that McCain "experience" with foreign policy, eh? Maybe we can war with Spain, now!

    September 18, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. R.I.F.

    Great, now we're about to get into a war with Spain. Have no fear though because Palin can see Taco Bell from her patio so she understands everything Hispanic.

    September 18, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. JT

    A senior moment

    September 18, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Matt

    Who cares? Even if McCain firmly answered one way or the other with a "yes" or a "no" nobody in their right mind would trust his answer after all the lying he has done during this campaign. This is what people are failing to realize. You Republicans supporting him think it's cute and think you're pulling off some sort of mind-control on the unsuspecting public that trusts him, but the rest of the world is watching. Do you think they respect what he's doing? Do you think they will respect him and trust him as a partner in fighting for a better world for ourselves and our children? Running his campaign the way he has is a fundamental failure on his part and when the giggles and slogans and rallies are gone, you're going to find yourselves sorry.

    September 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Kelly

    McCain and Palin have given us alot of laughs this past week. However, this is serious, the Republican ticket is dangerous for our country. The laughing should stop here.

    Vote OBAMA the SANE choice.

    September 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9