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. Travis

    smear attacks didn't work when hillary tried them, won't work when mccain tries them.

    people are supporting obama because he has a plan for the future that helps the everyday person. mccain doesn't have a plan at all - he's completely clueless.

    October 6, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. GPENN


    October 6, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. Nervous in Texas

    To: Truly Ameican, you my friend is the one that needs to wake up! Republicans have tanked our economy and our place in the world as the leader of the world, and that's just a few of the things they've done to us, but you will allow your form of hatred to dictate how you vote. Your VP has absolutely no clue as to what goes on beyond her world, your candidate will keep us in Iraq for years and years and years. That will only tank our economy further. I'm guessing that you included the H in his name to encite that he is a muslim. You people are so rediculous. Grab onto your fear tactics, the rest of us will continue our mission to make this country better and take it out of the gutter that the Republicans have put us in. Your party could care less if you can put gas in your tank, they just want to win the election and will do it at your expense.

    October 6, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Ali

    How about coming up with real issue rather than stupid personal attacks dear old John? Apparently there is no substance there....pretty pathetic

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. Susan

    John McCain, your desperation is showing.

    October 6, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. Lynn: 60 yr old white Obama supporter

    It is easy to sling insults and repeat them again and again when they are proven over and over again to be false when you refuse to speak with the press to substantiate them.

    Palin and McCain's attitude towards the press is dangerous to freedom of the press as is the MSM repeating these lies. Media outlets should refuse to air these unless the hurler of insults is willing to sit down and defend them. CNN continues to give them credence with their next blog!!

    Hopefully American voters will be smarter this time!!

    October 6, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. JohnLee

    And so McCain – exactly what is your plan to get us out of this economic crisis? More deregulation? More scam and bad lending? Please tell us you haven't wasted this past year just to discuss phone bills, underware and travel habits! Please tell us you have something more to offer than this!

    October 6, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Michael NJ

    This comment was part of a larger context and McCain and his thugs know it. Unfortunately, tens or even hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have died as a result of US engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq. And precisely this is sowing more seeds of hatred and hindering US efforts at gaining support and solidarity in both wars. It is a shame that nobody is making an issue of the thousands of lost lives because of Bush and the Republicans' blunders and excessive military aggression.

    October 6, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. Darryl

    Senator John McCain = Keating 5

    Gov Sarah Palin = Abuse of Power the truth VP Dick Chaney II

    October 6, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Tony

    "Obama tells the truth about what's happening in Afghanistan... How dishonorable."

    I can see how a Republican would think that way. They've been telling us lies for 8 years.

    October 6, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. Ohio for Obama

    John McCain is a coward.

    October 6, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. Ken in NC

    Senator McCain and Palin are fighting a losing battle so now McCain is going nasty. That's sad because I used to consider him a hero to this nation. I no longer consider this man to be a hero because a hero does not act like a mad, out of control bitter old man. A hero stands and fights head on.

    I hope he remembers that he has not been an angel in life.

    October 6, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  13. Glenn; North Carolina

    The truth to Sen. McCain is much like holy water or sunlight on a vampire. It has a very horrible effect. As the vampire feels more threatened and trapped, they become more unpredictable and dangerous. Now he has his sucubus sidekick who has taken quite well to spouting Rove/Bush doctrine. Only 29 more days to the liberation of America from the evil Republican empire!

    October 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. Jack

    Wow, I wish you liberals would get your stories straight ... half of you are saying, "These are lies. Taken out of context ... etc". Then the other half are say, "It's the truth and what's wrong with speaking the truth." Which is it?????

    Also, some are saying this is an act of desperation by McCain for bringing this up now, yet some are whining Keating 5, Keating 5. (Update ... McCain was exonerated.)

    Geez, what a bunch of dopes.

    October 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. Shockey

    McCain camp that is why you had no money to spend in Mich because of stupid reckless ads. Put something positive up like what are you doing about the exonomy and not what has happen in the past. Don't forget what goes around comes around and HIllary felt the heat from that effect this year. Also tell you Barbie to coperate with the trail of Super Trooper Gate instead of talking about something beyond her idea of a misstatement. Also Joe Libby you need to go hide in a closet. You have no room to talk about what is fair gain. McCain don't like you either. Just your vote.

    October 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. Florida Democrat

    The mind games have started. The people will get brainwashed. McCain Palin will win the election. And then the people will start whining again about republican policies. Way to go America!

    October 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. Ted

    Anything to distract from the issues. Nice try, but it won't work.

    October 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. TM in Colorado

    Instead of leaving off half of what Obama says, wouldn't McCain better serve the voters by telling us exactly what it is he will do to fix health care, the ecomony, the international relationships that Bush ruined? I've not heard anything from either McCain or his Pitbull, that is telling us how they plan of "fixing" DC or any of our country's ills. If this party makes it to the White House again, this country is doomed.

    October 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. janelle

    The McCain campaign will do anything to get the minds of voters off the issues that Americans want resolutions to. We are in a war in Iraq that should have never happened. The American people were lied to. It sickens me the lives lost because of some power hungry, oil greedy, and war happy Repulicans! Our economy is in shambles, health care sucks, and we desperately need alternative energy programs. What do the Republicans have to say? "Drill, Baby, Drill!" Sick, sick, sick....... Obama is getting my vote!

    October 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. creighton

    Another lie by McLiar. Hope the Main stream media starts calling him these blatant falsehoods. Palin is in Florida continuing her claims about William Ayers. I'm hoping the Troopergate thing hits the airways, they are trying to block any report by the legislature, it's in court right now. But those things tend to have a life of their own and get leaked to the press.

    October 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. V

    McCain is the new Nero – when economy is burning, he is talking of some year old comment....I thought his running mate hinted to Biden that we should not focus on the past

    October 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  22. Mo, NC

    One word..."desperate"!

    October 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. Ron Van Der Maarel

    McCain is LOST in his OWN GLORY: If you listen to him HE is the ONLY hope for our country. HE is our SALVATION! HE tells us that we are winning in IRAQ! What WE have really done in Iraq is to invade a country, ON FALSE information, and LIES, by BUSH & his jerks, and then systematically destroy Iraq and create the situation we are in!
    EVERYONE has said that the bad guys are in Afganistan & Pakistan, yet McCain says the battle is in Iraq! WHY: Simple if he was to admit that we need to be in Afganistan it would show, ONCE AGAIN, that he doesn't know, and REFUSES, to see the truth! As I have said before, the BEST thing McCain could do for our nation is to RETIRE and enjoy the rest of his life!

    October 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. SM

    Here we go again! Can the name calling just stop now? Can the McCain campain focus on anything else other than lies and smears? The people want to hear what you stand for. What your plans are. We want real answers, but I guess when you're a maverick you don't need to give real answers on issues that matter. When you're a maverick it's okay to continually repeat lie after lie and smear after smear. Thanks McSame campain for dumbing down america yet once again.

    October 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  25. ueheinz


    October 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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