June 17th, 2009
11:25 AM ET
12 years ago

McCain again pans president's Iran response

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain told CNN Wednesday President Obama's statement that he doesn't want to meddle in the Iranian election controversy sends the wrong message.

"On this issue, I do not believe that the president is taking a leadership that is incumbent upon an American president, which we have throughout modern history, and that is to advocate for human rights and freedom - and free elections are one of those fundamentals," the Arizona Republican told John Roberts on CNN's American Morning.

President Obama Tuesday said that he has deep concerns over the election results in Iran, but stressed that "it's not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling, the U.S. president meddling in Iranian elections."

McCain disputed that assessment. "We're not meddling in any country's affairs when we call for free and fair elections and the ability of people to exercise their human rights," he said Monday. "And when they disagree with a flawed or corrupt election, as the Iranian people have, [not] to be beaten and even killed in the streets."

Filed under: Iran • John McCain • President Obama
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Tracy---Indianapolis, IN

    What response do you expect from a Natural Born Killer(McCain)?

    Obama 12

    June 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Joanne

    Statements like these from McCain are exactly why he was not elected. Remember his 'bomb bomb bomb Iran? What a jerk!

    June 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. yolanda

    This is one reason why McCain is not the president. Knee jerk reaction like this can only create more problems for America with Iran. His handling of the financial melt down gave America a clue to how he would govern, reckless and thoughtless. I am thankful that I have a president that thinks through situations before acting a craze cowboy.

    June 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Royster

    McCain's Iran solution: INVADE! Thanks John, more of the same.

    June 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. jj

    Shut up old man McCain and let our prez do his job and go 2 one of your 7 houses. Will reps ever give this president any credit?

    June 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Hastey Dellinger

    Obama won't stand up for the democratic process because he doesn't believe in it himself. He doesn't care if he is showing himself to be indecisive and weak because he thinks by being everybody's friend, no country will attack us. What a fool!

    June 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Beacon

    I could not disagree more with Mr. McCain–Pres. Obama is supporting human rights, free speech and personal involvement in due process. He has decried the violence while supporting the Iranians' right to question authority and to undertake their OWN assessment and treatment of THEIR situation. He has not put his oar in where it is neither wanted nor requested at this time. Like most (if not all of the rest of the world leaders) he is awaiting the PROOF that the elections were (or were not) corrupt rather than going on surmise and suspicion before he takes a definitve stance. My old grey-haired mother once told me, "A smart person has the information; a wise person knows how and when to use it." Thank goodness there's a wise person in the White House.

    June 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Why do so many Republicans what the USA to meddle in other courtries affairs, but hate for THE USA to take care at their own country. McCain incase your forget THE USA IS fighting two wars one that was an unnessary war. McCain we all know by now you are obessed with fight wars all over the country. MAIN REASON YOU ARE NOT OUR PRESIDENT. PEACE AND BE STILL!

    June 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. JM

    I see McCain's point, but I have to agree (especially given our history with Iran) with President Obama. It just would not be productive and of course, we would be trying to be helpful (and it would be), but Iran and other right wing Muslim countries would just see it as us interfering and it would just make our relationships with them, which are already bad enough as it is, even worse.

    June 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Anonymous

    The republicans have no sense of subtlety when it comes to confronting problems of the world...they have only one response, bluster. It is the right way to confront the hard liners in Iran. If we are seen to meddle, they will just begin to encircle their current president and protect him. They just have not gotten it that we don't want their ways of facing the world any longer...John, we will bring you home for a long retirement at the next election....

    Michael in Tucson

    June 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Arizonian

    Shut up bomb bomb Iran John. You lost. Let the Iranians handle their own affairs, it might work out better for them than you think.

    June 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Peter Weller

    John McCain, is history, the future is a mystery, Pres Barack Obama is a gift today, he is a present to the people of the United States and the World at large. We need new, fresh and useful ideas, not old and stale ideas that have been tried and shown to not work. Thank you.

    June 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. MLMitchell- Baltimore,Md.

    Funny how people conviently want to direct or suggest how things should be done, when people that looked like President Obama were often violated and even killed just some 40 yrs ago.......no Human Rights issues then, say John!

    June 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Russell

    I geuss it's just the great white American way to meddle in other countries affairs , why would Obama do more thatn just comment on Iran , isn't it enough that foriegn countries look at the US as blueye'd devils , and don't know how to mind thier own business , try for once Mcain to keep your mouth shut , because if the peope of Iran know that US has any even the littlest hand in their election, that would compound the problem , How come so many white republicans always think their way is the only way to get things done , if they haven't been paying attention this country was almost destoyed financially because of that John Wayne shoot from the hip mentality , that's why Mcain lost the election , because the first thing they want to do is pull out the sword on you .

    June 17, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Tim

    Shut up McCain, President Obama is handling the situation just the way he should. We cannot interfere in another countries election process.

    June 17, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Nan

    Though it is most likely the Iranian elections were not fair, there is no way of knowing if the outcome would be any different. Yes it is impossible to count 40 some million votes in a few hours. But remember that the protests are being held in the cities not in the south where the poorer people live. Obama is being very wise in his reaction. The knee jerk reaction of attacking is what has caused so many countries to dislike us. McCann is once again showing that he does not think before he speaks. He should take into account all of the facts. Obama is wise in opposing the violence but stating we should not meddle in the Iranian affairs. This allows the US to take the high road and not give the current Iranian government the ability to state the unrest is due to US intervention and cause further hatred in the region.

    June 17, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Jessica

    This is why im thankful McCain and republicans didn't win. Inserting the US in this affair – at this point – IS MEDDLING! And everyone in the world knows that.

    Imagine if other nations swooped in in 2000 – when we KNEW Jeb and Florida stole the election, along with OH! And they declared that our elections were fraudulent (hindsight 20/20 most of the world didn't realize the bafoon we were getting in Bush).

    We suspect they were fraudulent, but we can't prove that? What good would getting involved, short of supporting the people of Iran who wish to secure their freedom and right to cast their vote and have it counted?

    We can only support – and SHOULD this turn far more bloody, then yet, the intl community (not just us) should step in and try to do something.

    We cannot let another Tiannemen Square happen

    June 17, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. lurch

    I agree with the president. We really have no need to put our noses in the affairs over there, however we should know what is going on. But the way McCain is talking is not to smart I guess that's why he lost and Obama won.

    June 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Jean (Plantation, FL)

    I think McCain should mind his own business. We had a rigged election right in the US in 2000? Did he call for international observers? Did he think the international community should have blessed the results of the election? No.

    I don't think we have anything to say to Iran. Let the Irannian people take care of their own fate.

    June 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Tim

    Proof that ahd we elected this warhawk we'd be sacrifing our soldier's lives for that cause as well.
    Thank God this old fool didn't make it to the Oval office.

    June 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, it doesn't seem like we need to be urging anything except calm and peaceful protests for Iran's civilian population. We know that there is a problem, but to get ourselves directly involved and attack them over this is premature.

    June 17, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Schlocktight

    Where were you comments on election freedom when your party was stealing election? Take your modernized racist comments and your bad jokes and go live in Alaska with the new leader of your party along with your wife and drugs.

    June 17, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Buddy San Diego

    And you, sir–who was NOT elected president–exactly what would you do???

    June 17, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Tony in Maine

    McCain is pandering to the lowest common denominator in the Arizona electorate. I keep waiting for him to break out in song again.

    June 17, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. phoenix86

    Hey Obamabots,

    Try being informed instead of just opinionated.

    June 17, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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