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. ANGIE

    Mccains campaign is worse and more vile then George w BushS campaign now thats saying alot not so much he is gonna be the same as Bush BUT MUCH WORSE!

    October 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. Mark G

    How many more lies and embellishments must we endure before we get to election day? Anyone with a pulse and the smallest intelligence can see what he meant by that, and it is irresponsible and downright dishonorable to exploit this. I'm sure all of the Obama bashers are loving this, but unfortunately they already have a perveted ideal of Obama is...one could make the case for racism...

    October 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. H-Minus

    Mrs. Palin,

    Who's baby is it ?

    October 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. Pete from Austin Tx.

    McCain, a once honorable man has turned into a hypocritical pandering prostitute. My apologies to any hard working honest prostitutes. He wants to be president so badly that there is no statement he won't lie about or take out of context.

    October 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. Fritz

    Does McCain have any policies at all? Or is he just all negative?

    October 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. Miss Piggy

    I can't believe that McCain would stoop that low to get Obama that way.
    Maybe thats how Obama feels, and thats what you got to do in a campaign, you have to state your opinions. McCain shouldn't judge Obama based on his ideas and thoughts. McCain should focus on what he wants to do with the campaign and not worry about what Obama does.

    October 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. JD

    More straw grasping. It does amaze me that we are in one of the worst economic crisises in a generation and these folks want to discuss distorted comments and debunked stories.

    October 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. Doyle - MI

    It's never dishonorable for an American to tell the truth to Americans. Sometimes the truth hurts, but, nonetheless it's the truth.

    If McCain wants to know what is dishonorable he should look at himself. When a POW tells his captives that base he took-off from that's dishonorable. Anytime a pilot gives-up real information to the enemy, that information is used against other captured pilots from the same mission. Yes McCain was tortured, but the honorable thing to do is die before giving information to the enemy, especially information that will cause your comrades additional torture.

    October 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Abby

    As always, McCain runs a dishonorable campaign. Nothing new here.

    October 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. amosven

    McCain is just showing his true colors. He is a mean, grumpy old man who will do anything to anyone who gets in his way.

    I, for one, do not want this kind of person representing me or my country on the world stage.

    How disgusting and pathetic he is, Sarah Palin is, and Fox News for that matter.

    Yuck, yuck, yuck.

    October 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. Christiane from Germany

    Enough Lies.
    And they will tell you alot more Lies till November4.
    People please be sure, you are on the right Way. People , when ever you confused or scared, be sure you will make the right Decission.
    You can change your Country and the World and you can make the World to a better Place.
    Never before so much People from all over the World was interested in the Election. And this is about Barack Obama. He give the World Hope , like we have never seen before. He is a great Man, lovely Husband and Daddy.He has the Chance of a Lifetime, to change the World.
    You, People can make it happen.

    October 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  12. Sam7_OR

    What’s Dishonorable Mr. McCain is your continuous attempt to suppress the truth…

    I guess this is your way of putting COUNTRY FIRST!

    October 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. PA for Obama

    OK...what's next? Boring, boring....It does not matter, face to facts, you are losing and will loose coming November 4th. Obama/Biden will be our true leader for the next 4 years.

    You are going down, down, down McCain/Sarah...

    Sarah: Looks: 10/10
    Brains: 0/10

    October 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. jfs Memhis, Tn

    We need to concentrate on McCain's two week old suggestion that the "Economy is essentially Strong"...not only does that show lack of understanding, it is MUCH more current than something a year old. To quote Palin we need to look forward >>>not Back.

    October 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. rusell

    CNN, you need to do your job, of course youm guys see Mcain grasping for a last shot of air, that's what you do when your on the losing end, nevertheless , you guys also know that Mcain has no policies of his own that are going too help our economy ,and you guys are hepling him get off these stupid attacks against Obama , if Mcain doesn't have the know how to win an election, maybe he should call it quits,........I think this country has had enough of that .............

    October 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  16. CarolRose

    I'm staying calm because EARLY VOTING here in Nevada is about to begin and I will be one of the first in line to cast my vote for OBAMA/BIDEN. (the MUTE button on the remote is already pushed for all McCain ads...hahahah)

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. Mighty Joe Young

    Obama voted against a funding bill that had no dates or timelines for troop withdrawal; McCain voted for this bill. This is the vote the McCain is referring to. Obama did vote for a similar funding bill that did have a timeline and dates for beginning the troop withdrawal. McCain voted against the bill the Obama voted for. No Democrat and no Liberal has voted to withdraw funds from American troops in the field. McCain's ad is a lie, knowingly told, to American voters.

    The problem with negative ads is that everyone hates them and they work. Many people will vote against Obama because John McCain is looking us right in the eye and lying to us. This is a shameful end to the career of one of the two Conservatives I once respected.

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  18. cmoore

    If you vote for Obama you deserve what you will get.

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. ran

    Sad to think that some people out there are going to fall again for the attack/lies to distract from the issues that are facing our great country.

    Hopefully not as many this time will fall for this junk. People you all need to open your eyes/ears. Obama/Biden and other Democrats is our only hope to getting this great country back to the people.

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. MJ

    Obama is a complete IDIOT....change indeed

    NOBAMA in 08

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |

    I can smell the desparation....

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Molly KC

    This is a sad and pathetic last chapter in a man, whom many of us believed was an honorable hero’s, life. R.I.P. John McCain of Old…

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  23. Kay

    With everything that is going on with health care, education and our economy instead of attacking Barack about something that has been proven in fact check, why don't you tell America what YOUR policies are and what YOU stand for then maybe you can get some votes. NO WAY, NO HOW, NO MCSAME.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. Gia Jolie, Anaheim California

    Mud flining racist Republicans. Nice to see them perverting their party even further. Everyone should check out Rolling Stone's current cover story on the so-called make believe Maverick.

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. Theword


    You people make the other maniacs on Fixed news look less fringe. This is the internet version of everyone sitting around in a happy circle and agreeing with one another. Bush, the economy, both wars, terrible foreign affairs relationships.....YOU DID THIS! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE VOTED THIS COMPLETE DISASTER INTO OFFICE...STOP PATTING YOURSELF ON THE BACK JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE GETTING RID OF THEM!

    October 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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