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. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Wrong again John. Any statement of support for the Iranian protesters will give the hardline regime and the mullahs an excuse to crack down more violently, citing interference from the American infidels. You never think things through John, just like when you picked a 'thoroughly vetted' VP candidate.

    June 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Ajw

    This coming from John McCain who infamously said, "Bomb, bomb Iran." Of course, he said that not knowing that there were things out there called "Google" and "youtube" which would make those comments known to everyone. Just like the Mullah's in Iran thought that they could lock down the country just by banning reporters.

    June 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Kevin

    Strange how McCain and other Republicans forget the controversy of our own election in 2000. Maybe as they say, those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. We have no proof of how any vote stealing in the Iranian election may or may have not been carried out. The same Neocons are just itching for a reason to take over Iran like we so "sucessfully" handled Iraq (that is sarcasm for any of you fellow neocons reading this). Any interference will simply serve to infuriate Iranian officials. Many NGOs over there are just now recovering from a crackdown when their government thought the US was intefering. Its time to shut up about their election and start talking more about ways to help our own fragile economy recover.

    June 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    Rob 11:30 am ET
    Obama commands Israel to stop building settlements, yet says he doesn't want to be 'meddling' in Iran. No real hard thinking here to see which side Obama's leaning towards.

    A completely flawed argument. When we send billions to Iran on a yearly basis THEN we can get involved in their internal affairs. RIght now, Israel needs to heed some advice from the POTUS unless they want to get cut off and of course they don't want that. As for McCain, SHUT UP. You are undermining Obama's efforts in the region. Back in Duh Duh Duhbya's time, the righties screamed bloody murder when a Democrat had openly disagreed

    June 17, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. LAW

    has McCain forgotten history????? we did that- we meddled in the affairs of Iran and became the Great Satan. A friend of ours did a year as a hostage in Tehran because of this policy.

    If we are seen to be on any side at all. – that side becomes "the tool of the Great Satan" and all credibility is lost. McCain – SHUT UP!

    June 17, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. citizenjane

    Yes, McCain, lets do get more involved. Shall we bomb, bomb, bomb Iran? Shall we tell Ayatolla what we want him to do, and then if he refuses, what, blame President Obama for not being forceful enough? Win win either way, right?

    June 17, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Drew in PDX

    Nobody meddled in our 2000 flawed corrupt election... :\

    June 17, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Simmy

    This coming from the candidate who selected Palin, wanted to suspend his campaign, rode into DC on a white horse to save the economy, and made a mess of a mess........May his words fall on deaf ears.......President Obama should keep his cadence......Let change come on Iran's forum.....If and when the time comes, he will know exactly what to do......Peace

    June 17, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. joe smith

    I have one for mr mccain and mr. obama; please find out what happened to the Freddie Mac report, instead mincing words over a deadbeat country, with a deadbeat government. This Nation, which the two of you swore to uphold, can't even get to the bottom of a key financial report owed to the very American people you so desperately try to placate..

    June 17, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. Bob C.

    That's right lefties, attack all the Obama critics. It's called moderation in this country. You don't have to like McCain's criticism, but boy am I glad he can freely express his views. Why did CNN allow comments to be submitted on the "Obama attacks Fox news" article, but then remove them once there were some negative comments for our Commader in Chief. Supression of the opposition? Hello Iran, here we come. Let's continue to sensor the media – love it!!!

    June 17, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Ajw

    And another thing... why does CNN keep playing clips from McCain and Republicans, but they fail to play clips from Democrats and Independents?

    June 17, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Pegasus

    You know, McCain, Romney, Boehm, Cheney, and others of their ilk in the disgusting republican party complains about EVERYthing President Obama does. They just criticize and criticize until they have no frickin solutions. It's really beginning to be redundant and irrelevant on what they are saying. The republicans act like they are so much better and beyond the Democrats but they have yet to prove it. Why don't they just shut the hell up and let President Obama run this country. The Republicans had there chance...they screwed up and failed and now is chanting "failure" in a sense for President Obama's administration. But their evilness towards President Obama will only hurt the republicans. And those curses they are throwing is only turning into blessings for the current administration. So come on, republicans! Keep talking about President Obama because the more you talk negatively about him, the more you are making him look even better. You republicans are a horde of faithless and fearmongering naysayers.

    June 17, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. tony

    Wow, most of these comments make it pretty plain to see that the only time liberals believe in free specch is when it coincides with their philosophy. What ever happened to open and intelligent debate on a topic?

    June 17, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    The Hate coming from the Left is incredible.

    June 17, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. darryn davis ll

    Hey SENATOR, the world know what we stand for, also he knows he has deal with who ever the winner is, it best to start with a with no waves.

    June 17, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. AJ

    Senator McCain said '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 " If to tell the USA that the election results between Al Gore and G.W. Bush was not fair and we needed to address it, there would have been outrage among all Americans on the audacity of another country trying to police our elections.

    Politicians should think about if the shoe was on the other foot before commenting about how we should addressing the "democratic" process of another country. Recent history shows us that the right candidate does not always win the race. Look at the Al Franken situation as well as the one mentioned above!

    June 17, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Beth from Virginia

    With all due respect, Senator McCain is wrong. President Obama has strongly stated the need for a democratic process in Iran. But Obama is absolutely right that we should not meddle in the affairs of other countries. "Meddling" is what got us into Iraq, remember???

    June 17, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Henry Miller

    The main reason I didn't vote for McCain was his insistence that it's okay to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries. I see he hasn't gotten any wiser over the last eight months.

    June 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |

    McCain is an idiot. Here he is talking like some "bully" in the sand box.

    However, John McCain is NOT the President and is NO position to question how the President handles Iran. John McCain is just like Bush, they do nothing but create WARS and never do anything to solve them but talk trash!!!

    GO HOME McCain, President Obama doesn't need your advise, based on your own record, you never practice what you yourself preach.

    June 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. Seattle

    Thank God he isn't president right now!!! Admadinejad, Hezbollah, and Alquiada would be flourishing. Isreal would have attacked Iran by now. We would trying to figure out how we would be able to afford the occupation of Iran.

    June 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. Biff

    This headline is about 15 articles down on the ticker.

    "Obama pledges U.S. help for Afghanistan presidential election"

    All you sheep spouting we shouldn't help or care about other countries are not commenting there.

    Can you not comment on an article unless it has McCain, Palin, Rush or RNC in the headline?

    Do you really care about this country, this world and its people or are you just getting caught up in the soap opera we are being fed every day?

    June 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Ray from Nashville

    It's funny how the conservatives are all about bringing free elections to the world, yet our nation has been instrumental in plotting against and bringing down (by any means necessary) any lawfully elected government that it deems unsuitable to our interests (and you can read into that unsuitable to American business interests.) Usually these governments are champions of the common people against the wealthy elite, which conservatives will tell us means they are socialists. It's that kind of foreign affairs policies that have gotten us into this trouble to begin with.

    June 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. libertad

    I understand where McCain is coming from, and his recommended response would probably be appropriate were this upheaval taking place in a country other than Iran. But, Iran has such a long history of anti-American sentiment, the best way for Ahmedinejad to consolidate support after the election would be to have the United States appearing to be pressuring the Iranian people to oust him. His confrontational stance towards the United States is what the Iranian people appreciate MOST about him.

    In this instance, Obama is doing just the right thing.

    June 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. E.C.Coleman

    obama is a yellow, spineless, wimp; McCain knows this and should blast obama for his response as he is doing.

    That obama is now blasting Fox News is idiocracy.....and dictatorial.

    Too bad, obama, that not all of us want you to be president.

    obama is merely the chosen loser.

    Get over it.

    Enjoy the next few years.

    There will NOT be another four.

    June 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Soy

    McCain, like many other Repubs out there are completely clueless about how other nations work and operate politically. Its the same clueless and useless reaction that Bush would give to a situation like this which would do more harm to the cause of the reformist. First, what evidence has been provided that there was any rigging in the election? We can't go based on feelings, gut and any other crap out there that ppl want to base this on. We need facts and evidence before you challenge these things. President Obama is absolutely correct in this in that the involvement of the US would be detrimental to the reform movement. The Ayatollahs would now make it about US meddling and influencing the politics of Iran. Ever hear of propaganda as a tool of war? When will the Repubs start thinking strategically and not withcowboy diplomacy?

    June 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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