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 β€˜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. JIM...TX

    Give me a break! The poor RNC finds somebody elses comments "offensive" !! They have run without a doubt the MOST offensive an deceitful campaign I can ever recall. They have NO PLAN for the future of our Country but to keep us mired in the same old crap we've had for the past 8 years. Let's HOPE the people can see through the BS this time and NOT elect another Bush to the WH.

    October 6, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. Ony

    How low will they go? At this late stage in the race does McCain think all these negative attacks will really work???

    If I was undecided, I think I would like to hear more about what you could do for me, not how many stale and disproven arguments they can find!!!

    Obama 08!

    October 6, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Dr. Proctor, PHD

    The lie about Ayers is no match for Sara Palin's pastor's sermon about
    Alaska being a refuge in the last days, Her husband wanting to suceed from America and witch hunting. This woman is far more scarier than Ayers. And besides, when I go to fill my
    gas tank up at $4.00 a gallon, Ayers is not standing at the pump,
    but the Republican ghost is. They are the one's we should fear.
    Palin is anti-woman, bans books, no foreign policy credentials, and
    a threat to our national security. Sara "Harry Potter" Palin is what can REALLY hurt Americans and for this we should be fearful. Palin should
    be sued for slander.

    October 6, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. cindy

    Americans have to understand that McCain is a dangerous person to be president. One, his mental condition is seriously questionable. He forgets very basic things. Confuses major events. Most importantly his appetite for war is alarming. This has to be discussed before this election. Not just for US, but for the whole world's sake, Mccains state of mind needs to be looked at closely.

    October 6, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. E POP

    McDesperate is done. It was a good career. Time to retire to one of your 7 homes. An watch how a real President/Man runs things.

    October 6, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  6. Will-South Dakota

    Ratch up the Fear Gears again McBush, complain but offer no solutions, so send in the Barracuda to attack, typical McBush tactic.

    October 6, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. Republican Woman for Obama


    October 6, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. john

    i guessing fact check will then call this true, but misleading...

    Hopefully FactCheck will read the WSJ editorial page today and check its claims on Biden's statements and post the results here on CNN.

    October 6, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. Mark, Ohio

    He seems to be pretty desperate – taking a one year old comment out of context.

    Shame on McSame πŸ™

    October 6, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  10. THE O

    where was mccain's so called good judgement when he voted for the war??? Where was his judgement on deregulation of wall strreet???
    where was his judgement on his VP choice??? Where was his judgement on tax breaks for the rich????

    So America where is your good judgement????

    BARACK THE VOTE!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  11. Anna PA

    McCain doesn't want to talk about our current state of affairs. That's what this ad is about. The problem with McCain's logic is that the economy is the only thing that we can all think about. Like a wise man once said "It's the economy stupid".

    McCain's a complete disgrace. What a way to ruin your reputation.

    October 6, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  12. Get Real

    McCain is a liar and distorter of the truth. What about his ties to the Keating 5 and Liddy.

    Oh, let us not forget
    SP connection to Troopergate and the Alaska Separatist party

    American does not need anymore of the Lies and Fear Tactics!

    October 6, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  13. jim

    John McCain is a shamefull man who has no honor..

    October 6, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  14. Andrew

    Your being crushed and have gotten us into a never ending war. I personally will never forgive those who voted to send us right into the trap Bin Laden set for us. He planned to drain us financially and we walked right into it with open arms. Only a true American like Obama can get us out of the mess we are in. Othewise we will end up like Russia broke and running home with our tail between our legs.

    October 6, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  15. Jim

    This is nothing more then a distraction attempt. McCain is desperate.

    Obama 2008

    October 6, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  16. MK

    I hope they have a high tax on all these ads – Atleast, the public gets more money from these losers.

    October 6, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  17. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    yap yap yap.... when will the GOP address some issues... the country is going down the toilet and all McCain and Troopergate Barbie can do is continue with the lies and smears....


    October 6, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  18. ANGIE

    Mccain the next sleaze ball for president mccain take your wicked witch from the north and yourself and RETIRE! we dont want you and the witch in the whitehouse!

    October 6, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  19. Don

    Gloves are off phew..........

    October 6, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  20. Lorna, NY

    I hope CNN releases Obama keating Five ad.

    October 6, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  21. Doris,Memphis,TN

    The Keating Five= Not Fit to Lead

    October 6, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  22. Erica

    Poor Mccain. In an effort to distract the American people to try to win an election, he is losing the one thing that has help to define him and that is his honor. If he loses this election his career is over along with his reputation. I hope the shame and dishonor that he has brought to his family and father is worth it. Shame on you Mac. I pray for your soul.

    October 6, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    the McCain campaign has no right to call anyone "dishonorable" with the way thay have been carrrying on.

    It would be nice if the American people could get a final month of issue discussion and not the garbage that we will surely get.

    October 6, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. Michael

    Is this the same McCain who was involved with Charles Keating and the Savings and Loan scandals? The same McCain who said he was against earmarks and voted for a bailout bill that included $150 billion in earmarks? The same McCain that chose a unqualified running mate who has had ties to a group that wants Alaska to secede from the union?

    Does this guy have a scrap of credibility left?

    John you sold your honor to win an election. Desperate.

    October 6, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  25. Female Voter

    I am just waiting for the Rev. Wright ad to hit the airways! Look, the people have made up their minds already about who they will vote for. Lets hear some "real" ideas from McCain and crew.

    October 6, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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