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. fllorida mom

    Are you kidding me, reading these statements shows me how many uneducated people there are in the world.Thats what im scared of.

    October 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. Candy West Virginia

    Desperation is funny to watch.
    mccain/palin = pathological liars!

    October 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  3. Tim in VA

    When will the press do it's job and investigate the Messiah's background?

    October 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Doug R.

    How desparate and pathetic this pathological liar McCain is. He has NOTHING for the American people...no ideas, no vivions, no plans, just negativity, personal attacks, and smears. He and Palin will be soundly defeated on November 4th. The Republicans will also lose seats in the Senate and many in the House.

    October 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. Edge of cliff

    Barack Obama For Radical Change

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

    "Dishonorable" is the camp whose candidate has disgraced himself throughout this race. By picking that Frozen-Mind Idiot Palin made things worse and are going down a cliff.

    Shame on you John McCain!

    October 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Concerned Citizen

    McCain is the dishonorable one.
    Lies, smears, and more lies.
    This despicable man can no longer hide behind his decades-old record as a POW/ "hero." He has become quite a villain, and an unpatriotic man indeed. He is also ruining his credibility and political career forever.
    Goodbye, John McCain.

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Southern view

    The Republican attacks are lies and gross distortions of Obama as a person and a candidate. McCain, graduate of the Keating 5, public adulterer and apologist for the Bush voodoonomics that has created the worst economic disaster since 1929 and a chasm between the haves and have nots wider than the Grand Canyon, is absolutely clutching at straws. He has no leg to stand on. Palin is mouthing trash amounting to slander regarding Ayers. Obama served on a charity board with the guy. He has condemned his past activities publicly.

    Quite simply, it's time for the Democrats to fire back. There's plenty of grist for the mill in both McCain and Palin. The tabloids seem to find plenty of dirt on Palin, that's besides troopergate and her dysfunctonal family. I'm afraid nothing can be off limits at this point. Obama is too much of a gentleman. That has been obvious at the last debate. He has to fight fire with fire tomorrow night and from now on.

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Kenn

    There should be a new movie titled "Desperate Old Man"

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Lawrence

    It's shameful CNN that the Palin/McCain ticket hasn't had the same scrutiny as Obama. Lets hear more about the repubs media darling without any substance. Lets go further into EVERYONE'S education, religious affiliations, legal preceedings, and spouses......... oh,! we've already done that on one side of the race. Why would anyone be comfortable with Palin's judgement, refusal to answer any questions directly, and inability to put two complete sentances together? I expect this one sided reorting from fox............................. disappointing!!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Kelly from Florida

    This is sad. McCain cannot debate on the issues. I hope..no I pray Americans will look at the issues and dont focus on what McCain is trying to do.

    Dont be stupid my fellow AMERICANS..we cannot afford another 4 years of McBush and APalin.<–appalling..hahah

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    If this is how John McCain runs a clean campaign, what would it look like if he actually got dirty? Suggested reading: Rolling Stone article on line, "Make Believe Maverick." Very interesting.

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. Toni

    Was i dreaming? Or am I the only one who remembers seeing Sarah Palin's sister in an interview on CNN mention and i quote "the baby shes carrying". WHAT BABY? or has she done the unthinkable (in her book). Does anyone out there remember this statement other than me??

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Accountability

    Here we go folks....this is the usual tactic for the Republicans in the last month of a close race...attack the character of your opponent with fake charges...make them up if you have to...let's see...Dukakis/Willie Horton...Kerry/Swift Boats....they are so predictable...what I want to know is how they are going to fix the economy...get out of Iraq....make Health Care available to everyone...but I don't hear anything from them on those issues...I don't expect to either.

    It's really sad that an honorable man like John McCain will go down in history for running one of the most dishonorable campaigns...sure..."Country First"...he should be ashamed.

    A new day will dawn on November 4th with President Obama. Thinkgs aren't going to get better as in a miracle, but at least we will have thoughtful, deliberate and honest leadership for the first time in eight years.

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Okey Moronu, FortWorth, TX.

    By the way Sara, remember the 8th (or 9th) commandment depending on the text you choose to read – "Thou shalt not bear false witness ".

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Mike from Boston

    Are you kidding me? Is this the road he really wants to go down? Would he like to see an ad about McCain walking out on his crippled wife to follow the money? Or taking bribes from felons in the 1980's?

    Obama needs to lay the smack down on Tuesday.

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. Reformed PUMA

    Read Obama's actual comment!!! He says he does not want us doing that stuff. He nevers says that we actually are doing it.

    Give me a break. The McCain campaign is so dishonest w/ these smears. Please, let's stick to the issues.

    October 6, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. Mark

    Whats so dishonourable about mitigating civilian losses by having enough troops on the ground to get the job done instead of carpet bombing villages?

    October 6, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. Craig in Washington

    The Repugnants can run all the misleading ads they want. It won't make any difference. They are going down in flames and we're bringing marshmallows.

    October 6, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    You know and I know that it is Obama's people who are forfeiting and not paying their mortgages. You and you and you are paying yours but a ton of his supporters are not and we will end up paying for them

    I am upset that they used minority set asides as a way to get a bunch of deadbeats in houses they couldn't afford and now look at the mess we are in.

    McCain will protect our country and our values. PUMA

    October 6, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. Chuck

    Hey McCain and your backers. IT IS THE ECONOMY STUPID!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. C Spurgeon

    An old fool and his less than ethical attack dog. Lets turn the TVS off until election day. No solutions...just attacks..

    October 6, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Kevin

    Wow, this thing must really be slipping away from Mccain. First pulling out of Michigan, now this. What's next?

    October 6, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. kathy

    The McCain campaign is drumming up issues that have been dealt with and they need to find another strategy. The voters are tired of the bickering and the mud slinging...there are important issues that need to be explained and tha tis what the focus of the next 30days should be. It is never good for someone to dig up another's past, as they can find themselves front and center of some scandal and the McCain/Palin combo are not w/out skeletons in the closets. Let's get to the facts and forget the fiction!

    October 6, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    I just heard an entire stumping speech from Sarah Palin, will we hear the same from Obama? Or do Palin's lies and slander deserve so much air time?

    We all know that repetition is the greatest way to learn something, at least all teachers know this fact. If you keep playing her nonsense over and over again, there will be those of little mind who will begin to believe it.

    Palin appeals to people with little commonsense, people like herself. Those people are sheep that will follow any piper over a cliff be they political or religious. McCain knew why he was choosing Palin.

    October 6, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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