October 6th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain targets Obama's year-old comment on Afghanistan

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/06/art.mccainad.cnn.jpg caption="A new McCain ad questions Obama's past comments."]

(CNN) - John McCain's campaign released a new ad Monday that targets year-old comments from Barack Obama about the conflict in Afghanistan, calling them flat out "dishonorable."

The ad comes as the Arizona senator's campaign aggressively steps up its attacks on Obama's readiness to be a commander-in-chief and raises questions about his background with only a month remaining before voters weigh in.

Watch: New ad targets Obama comments

"Who is Barack Obama? He says our troops in Afghanistan are ‘just air-raiding villages and killing civilians,’” the ad's announcer says. "How dishonorable."

The ad refers to an answer Obama gave at an August 2007 town hall meeting with New Hampshire voters, during which the Illinois senator was asked whether he had plans to shift U.S. troops out of Iraq to other terrorist hotspots like Afghanistan.

"We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there," Obama said of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

Those comments were immediately seized by GOP critics. The Republican National Committee sent out a press release shortly after the remarks calling them "offensive," and demanding he apologize. The McCain campaign has also highlighted the comments several times this campaign season. An AP Fact Check later reported Western forces had been killing civilians at a higher rate than insurgents.

"Congressional liberals voted repeatedly to cut off funding to our active troops," the ad also says. "Increasing the risk on their lives. How dangerous. Obama and congressional liberals."

Palin also made similiar comments in an interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric last week and on the campaign trail in Florida Monday morning.

The campaign says the ad will run nationally, though it did not reveal the extent of the buy.

Responding to the ad, the Obama campaign released a statement from retired Admiral John B. Natham.

"Senator Obama has consistently voted to fund our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and, just as importantly, a proven record of support when they return home," he said in the statement. "That's why independent veterans organizations give Senator Obama higher marks than Senator McCain. Despite consistent distortions of his record, thousands of veterans like myself support Senator Obama because he has the judgment, character and integrity to be a great president. We will need a great president to lead us in these very challenging times."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. horace

    Sarah Palin speach in FL. tis morning, when she made fun of Joe Biden when he is having a family death, is poor taste!!!!!! I'm glad I switched from republican. Republicans became liars, very untrusted. Palin said in the debait about Biden spoke in the past. Well what she keep doing is speaking of the past. What a joke she is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Margo

    It doesn't matter what Senator McCain says or does. When he picked Palin as his running mate, I jumped to the Democratic side. One independent voter gone for good.

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Chris B

    Isn't that what we're doing though? I mean, yeah Barack said something flagrant,but McCain admitted during the debate that we're torturing people. Hello?

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. Jim

    I demand that the RNC apologize for its offensive attacks on Barack Obama's character.

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. mccain's affirmative action pick

    this is only the beginning. undoubtedly they have more distractions to throw against the wall to see if they stick. with sarah palin now pushing his wheel chair, john mccain will certainly not go gently into that good night.

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    The Afghan government ITSELF has blasted the US for killing more civilians than Taliban! Then again, truth seems to be the last thing that John McCain cares about. He keeps sinking to depths unimaginable earlier in his career. "Country first" ? Yeah, right!

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. Pete

    Oh, but supporting Keating with the regulators was honorable?

    I believe it was studied and confirmed at the time that more civilians were in fact being killed in Afghanistan than "bad guys" (to use Sarah Palin's intellectual quote)...so when did it become dishonorable to tell the truth?

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. CM

    Let them run their ads. They'll be refuted by Obama's team and McCain will just have lost more money while not changing the poll numbers in his favor.

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Jim

    What about your lipsticked pitbull making slanderous comments that Obama "pals around with terrorists" after these alegations have been disproven? Is that honorable?

    Keep digging through the video archives for more comments to take out of context, McCain. You are just destroying your own image and reputation. Karl Rove tactics won't work this time, the American public is fed up with the Republican BS and fear mongering.

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. McCain=the draft

    More lies and distortions!

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. charles

    its the economy stupid you clueless mr/mrs lipstick.war war war is all you know to talk about. you are still a pig spin it which ever you want.

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. The worst

    This is the worst election ever.
    Simply because both candidates are lier and can do nothing but give us hard time.

    This entire election represents how stupid Americans are.
    Why DNC choose Obama as a candidate when there are a lot of better possible candidate out there?
    Even Biden is better than Obama. As same as GOP. McCain?

    There is no choice. McCain or Obama?
    No thank you.

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. RepubNoMore

    McCain is so desperate it's pathetic. The GOP is sinking faster than the Titanic. I can't believe I was once one of "them". Obama's definitely got my vote!

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. Chanda- Cincinnati

    You know I continue to be amazed that the McCain/Palin ticket is still able to attract voters. His capmaign openly admits that they are turning the focus away from teh issues, and are now getting set to resort to shool yard name calling and attacks. Of course they don't want to talk about the issues!! They have no plan for this country!! The biggest financial crisis since teh great depression, and a member of the Keating Five wants to be at the helm. That's like putting a child molester in charge of a day care!!! Lets not forget about his ties to the orgnization that had several members involbved in teh Iran Contra scandal!!! And PALIN....she is embroiled in an investigation RIGHT NOW, and she has the nerve to throw stones??!! Palin, First Dude, and her entire staff, are refusing to cooperate with their subpoenas!! An investigation that she was so willing to cooperate with when she was talking to Charlie...I guess that was just talk..which she seems to be really good at!! America..you already let George W and Rove distract you twice. Lets not fall for this nonsense again!!!!! THINK PEOPLE!!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. robert herbert


    October 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. A Proud Democrat!

    McCain/ Palin are so incredibly pathetic! They have NOTHING to offer this country except the same old Bush policies. These smear tactics speak VOLUMES of their characters. When I hear them sput out their lies on TV it literally MAKES ME SICK! I tell you, if people are dumb enough to elect these two idiots into office then don't cry to the Obama supporters when this country is in even worse shape than it is today!

    Obama/ Biden 2008!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. CarolRose

    P.S. What I really resent is seeing McCain's face during the football games. hahahah....Stay off my TV and ruining the game.

    October 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. Team America

    Do you liberal Dems in the room have jobs? Or do you just hang out on these blogs all day and think of new names to call McCain? McOld, McBush, McWar, Mcsame, Mcshame, etc. You've lowered yourself to name-calling? Really?? If that's the way it's gonna be....here's my take. Osama has been in the senate for 3 years, McCain for a couple decades at least. For the top job in our country, I'm going with experience. Keep whining hippies...you're showing your true character.

    October 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. Chris S.

    "7 people in Palin's administration agree to give statements in probe". Sarah Palin is about to go down BIG-TIME.

    October 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. Vincent, Great Lakes, Illinois

    Obama, take the gloves off:

    Song Bird McCain....

    October 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. won't work this time

    We have been killing civilians over there and that is a fact that cannot be disputed. What a mess the Bush administration has put us in – $10 billion per month for a mess of a war. Sounds a lot like Viet Nam doesn't it? Keep trying McCain – it's too late for my vote.

    October 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Neal

    Desperation and gross ambition McCain is gross.

    October 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. Jim from Pittsburgh

    This political war is almost over and they continue to throw stones. How primal.
    I applaud Obama for the professionalism. McCain/Palin campaign is self imploding.

    October 6, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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