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. Cire

    Ignorant, ignorant, ignorant, ignorant! Why doesn't Senator McCain just say he supports Ahmadinejad in the election, because if the POTUS says ANYTHING it will immediately and swiftly give the conservative radicals in the country the opening they need to crush dissent as American made. This man is either stupid or...I can't think of anything else he could be. Please Senator, I'm begging here, stop endangering Iranian lives to make your point

    June 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. GOP = 21st century dodo

    This from the singer of "Bomb Iran"? I'm glad this man isn't making decisions on foreign policy. Or domestic policy. Or economic policy.

    June 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. Scott in Tennessee

    You mean to tell me McCain is still hanging around trying to stir up trouble for the American people. This character needs to retire and get out of politics and stop all this confusion. If those people in Iran cannot stand up against unfair elections or cannot accept the election that was cast, people like McCain needs to accept it too. We as Americans cannot police the world all the time. Its those politicians in Washington that has special interest in these other countries that is breaking Americas financial system. It kind of puts you in mind of the British that was forcing our hand in the 1700s, except we are being the british now toward other countries. Lets take care of America.

    June 17, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. AIB

    I am extremely gald that McCain is not the President. He can say whatever he wants

    June 17, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. moosehead

    Let's face it, John McCain is a military lobbyist, and has always been. If he had his way,. the whole budget would be directed to waging war and starting new conflicts. He's become very rich, by being the bum boy of military suppliers..

    June 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Tommy

    What would McCain have done? Probably spewed beligerrent idiot-speak similar to the last administration that really had no overall effect at all.

    I think the Senator and the rest of his party need to put their heads down and get to work. They forget that their role at doing nothing while an ignorant president (their party leader) runs havoc over our economy and foreign relations is not going to work this time. The Age of Republicanism is (Thank God) coming to an end: no more underfunding of government programs to a point where they don't work anymore, and then coming out to decry the dysfunctionality of those same government programs, and using this as an argument for privatization of government functions. I think the American people have figured out their modus operandi after watching it happen since 1994.

    If you haven't noticed John, the White House is ACTUALLY TRYING to right this country after 8 years of absolute stupidity (6 of those years where an aloof, complicit Republican congress held power).

    Aim high!

    June 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Don

    Obama is right. We have no more business calling a scandal on the Iranian vote, then Iran would have getting involved in the two stolen Bush elections. Tit for tat, Friendo.

    June 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. E.C.Coleman

    Many persons who voted for obama are now seeing and realizing what they voted for and what fraud has been thrust upon them as citizens.

    There are many, many disinfranchised Democrats who cannot believe what a FRAUD obama really is.

    obama lied to the citizens of America ........and, he's still lying.

    June 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. Jon Cruz

    Could this sore loser get off the stage?

    June 17, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Dawn in Pa

    So we are to stick our nose into something that does not pertain to us... I heard several Iranians tell us on the news, that we as a Country not to interfer. Of Course the Republicans will say we need to stick out huge meddlesome nose into someone elses problems. Lets take care of our own problems, before we take on someone elses.

    Did the Iranian people need our help? shall we use a steath and BOMB Iran, as John McCain once said. We cannot afford another war that will defendedly bankrupt the whole world...

    Just get over it, we actually does not know what Obama is saying behind closed doors, just like he had done with the Pirates, and not of the Carabean nor Pittsbugh.

    People can show strength though silence and diplomacy other than fighting words or pissing someone off thus another costly war and we cannot afford it.

    June 17, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. daniel

    Yes, it's great to have the power of a giant, but better to know when to use it. Republicans seem incapable these days of subtle thinking, actions without bluster, words without threats.

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    Drew in PDX June 17th, 2009 11:47 am ET

    Nobody meddled in our 2000 flawed corrupt election… :\

    True... but we put our so-called corrupt election in the store window for everyone to look at. Nor did anyone die in the streets here for simply voicing an opposing viewpoint.

    Very poor analogy.

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Allan

    America dodged a bullet last November.

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Fran

    What’s your plan John? Send in the troops. Your party already has us in 2 wars.
    Do you have any knowledge of this situation? We may not remember how we destroyed democracy in Iran and installed the Shah, but they do. We can’t wave our credentials of supporting of freedom and democracy in their face. They know better. But I guess any thing the President will do you will criticize.

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. MarionN

    I'm glad that we finally have a president who does NOT try to tell other leaders how to run their country!
    Which does not mean that he agrees with the way they do.....

    If the GOP would have won the last election, we may already be at war with N. Korea right now and possibly starting anotherone with Iran......

    GOP: Stop critizising our new president at anything he is trying to accomplish!
    You had 8 long years and couldn't do much right....

    Let's see where America stands in 4-8 years from now and if it should be worse than now, THEN start bashing away all you can!

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Larry from RI

    Mr. Obama did the right thing – What would you do McLame – sing them a chorus of "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran" to provoke them even further?

    Same tired old man with the same tired old response!

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Barbara

    John McCain would be more effective an advocate for election reform in Iran if he would phrase his comments as against election fraud in Iran rather than as an attack on the President. We have no business publicly interfering or attacking another country, esp. Iran. They would only use our words against us in their partisan battles. We should express very strongly our support for Democracy and work in the background to help them if needed. McCain and the rest of the Republican should try and remember what direct interference in Iraq has cost this country in the lives of our soldiers killed – over 4,000 I believe- as well as the tens of thousands maimed in body and spirit as well as the suffering of their families. All for what? Bankrupting this country is also another legacy of the interventionists. Right now I think that John McCain is looking to score some cheap political points. He wants to stay in the news so HE feel relevant.

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. gary

    I guess McCain had no problem when Bush was given the Presidency by a rigged election in 2000.He only wants other countries to have fair elections. What a joke!!!!

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. Foo

    Old Man Alzheimer's thinks its in 1959

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Leslie W.

    And this is exactly why McCain is NOT in office! I can only imagine how McCain would've acted in those Summit meetings! Holy Cow! The troubles we would have right now- in 6 months!

    President Obama is right: we shouldn't meddle! It's only fair that we stay out of it and stop trying to police the whole world!

    June 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. Randolph Carter

    Because meddling in Iran has worked out so well in the past. Don't believe me? Look up Operation Ajax. Have a nice day!

    June 17, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. the nerve of it all . . .

    While the republicans are holding up an election in Minnesota , they now want us meddling in Iran's election too?

    June 17, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. Arlene, Illinois

    John McCain, the fresh new face of the Republican party!

    June 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Bill

    This is the real reason why the Republican party is scared about their future. Not because of a lack of a party leader but because they don't adapt, they don't want to understand. They want to employ the same old egocentric foreign diplomacy. They are creatively bankrupt in a new world they don't understand.

    June 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. Jon

    Because the Republican approach to Iran worked so well during the Bush years? Come on, McCain, your party's plan has been tried and failed. Now it's time for you to be quiet while the administration the people voted into power has a chance to try to make real progress in the Middle East.

    June 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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