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. George

    This man (McCain) is contradicting himself. Now that his party is not in power, it's OK to fight for election and democracy. Well, his party was in power for 8 full years while Saudi Arabia has no elections, no voice of people, no freedom and they were not only close friends with that country but no one bothered saying, hey, the Saudi people deserve fair election. Look at UK, there's no elections there, they already know when the ruler dies, who will become the next ruler.
    Pick on Iran, because they have oil!

    June 17, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Dan

    GOP Philosophy:

    1. Attack Iran and North Korea, They are manufacturing Nukes.
    2. Attack Somalia they are Supporting Pirates.
    3. Attack Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Saudi Arabia because they have Al Quida Pockets.
    4. Attack Cuba and Valenzuela because they are Communist.

    Attack the Whole World, it will make America Safe.

    June 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. sifto77

    Obama–hide your head in the sand and continue to trash Fox News–at least we have somewhere to go for the truth.

    June 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. denverdoc

    Obama's measured approach so far is exactly what should be done. The last thing we need is American interference which would galvanize Iran's hardliners agains any reform seen as pro-american or allied with the west. There are other more secretive ways to push for regime change other than a bunch of bluster and military threats. I wouldn't expect Mccain or the republicans to recognize the subtleies anyways.

    June 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Daniel

    Hey, cool, lets all rush to McCains side. The guy is still whining because he didnt get the oval office.

    What frustrates me, is that republicans and democrats (more so republicans) seem to be SO much more worried about politics, then running this country. Its more important to them that they have control, even if the country is burning to the ground.

    Case in point: McCain would much rather see Obama do a typical US asinine move as to comment on another countries election making us look like jerks... AGAIN, just so republicans can use it against him in 2012.


    June 17, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Kristin

    And why would we care what war monger McCain thinks???
    I thought he was still busy trying to figure out how to roll the windows down on his new car.

    June 17, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. citizenjane

    Hey Phoenix86

    Try laying off being a FOX News parrot.

    June 17, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. matt

    hey all the obama idoits thinks they know everything the fact is obama is scared of Iran

    June 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. history repeats

    i dont know what to say about this because sometimes i feel we should take care of us first, but then i remember we are all human beings. a country that is not allowed to elect their own leaders should have some intervention on their behalf. i also believe though that NO religion should have supreme rule over any country. it flies in the face of what religion was supposed to really be about when it was pure. i think it was a guide to living right but everybody started adding these stupid divine rules and before long everybody thought it was about worship crucifix's and gods. and my god is stronger than yours. or your god isnt as real as mine. relgion is a poison for humanity. including christianity. have you ever tried to have a rational discussion about the valdity of christianity with a christian? even if they have been a christian for 30 yrs its like they dont know anything about the historical evidence of it at all....or should i say lack of historical evidence of it all.

    June 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Joe

    That's right people, Poindexter has all the answers. Take credit for the work others do. Amplify minor achievements. And most importantly, bask in self-absorption. I think I had a boss like that where I worked once.

    WOW! What a president!

    McCain was right, Obama does have little experience in foreign policy and his Europe-first policies are going to mar his administration. If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

    If this is our idea of a head of state, I've seen better heads on a boil.

    June 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. GG

    I think Obama is meddling indirect, but is carrying a BIG STICK

    June 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Carl, Illinois

    We shouldn't be surprised by McCain, he will take every emergency as an opportunity to look for a microphone. I think any, and I mean ANY, appearance that the US is meddling in Iranian affairs would squash the whole uprising over the fraud and the hard-line vote stealers would end up quelling this so much easier.

    If this is led by Iranians it may actually succeed in getting rid of that nut-job pathological liar Ahmidinijad. Something Bush or McCain never made any progress on.

    McCain is just wrong about this whole situation and his grandstanding is sort of comical. Hopefully he won't suspend his Senate duties and head to Iran to "solve" the problem – because his line of thinking has made the problem worse for too long.

    June 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Peace

    Hey McCain, we still have men and women in uniforms in their neighborhood. Have you forgotten that or you do not care!!!! The President does and the rest of us all.

    June 17, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Bonnie Kimberly

    I read a posting about the FOX network and it seemed like that person did not think FOX was biased in their reading of the news at all. What fog are you sitting in? And what does this President have to do before you decide he is doing OK? Yes I know that will never happen, I just had to ask. This country will never come to agree on anything much and as long as I live I expect to see people ranting about whoever is POTUS , but this is really getting old, the ranting and raving by FOX is nothing short of scary. Mr Obama won the election can't we just racket down the rhetoric some? I know this network is the only one some of these folks watch, and if you try to talk to some of them about world affairs the first thing they say is "I love America and you are living under a rock and don't see how bad Obama is" .Now this implies two things one is I don't love America and secondly I am stupid. NICE. This is what they hear nonstop on FOX. I am at least willing to talk about their point of view, and I never say they are stupid or UN-American. However if they don't stop all of this talk of socialism and fear mongering I may get a lot more testy.

    June 17, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Walter

    So the conservatives want Obama to talk trash against Iran when we don't the specifics about how the elections were rigged. Seems someone may want to get facts straight before making claims. I forgot, conservatives don't need facts, just ideology.

    June 17, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Shawn

    Be quiet McCain. The adults are now in charge.

    Remember when McCain was about to start WWIII with Russia over the Georgia conflict? Remember how awesome he thought invading Iraq for lies was? Mmmmkay. All the pro-reformers we see protesting (you know...the ones Obama wisely reached out to) are the same people McCain wanted to bomb and kill. Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran. Remember?

    President Obama is handling this situation perfectly. He's informed and cautious, pragmatic and actually waiting for the facts before saying something stupid or doing something dangerous. And that's why I voted for him.

    June 17, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Fox News is Zionist jewish station

    If you havn't figured by now that Fox is a zionist israeli station at heart, owned
    by a hard core jewish man, you know nothing about fox.

    That's why Fox always
    defends Israel when it slaughters children and pregnant women as an act of peace, while when someone speaks a word against israel, he is DOOMED as ignorant by Fox.

    By the way, CNN.com not CNN TV station, is also somewhat a zionist machine. I see a huge difference in attitude beteen cnn.com and cnn station. Obviously different management is the reason.

    June 17, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. John M in NoHo CA

    Did ANY country get involved in our 2000 election fiasco? They kept their mouths shut because they knew they'd have to deal with whoever ended victorious.

    June 17, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. marcus

    i'm trying to think back to how the first president Bush handled the tianneman square uprisings.. oh yeah, he didn't do a thing !!! that was the opportunity for the US to take a stand and help bring about reform in the most important other nation on this planet.. but, here comes another idiot republican, who didn't call out his idiot president, but has all kinds of laughable opinions about this democrat.. it's so hard to take these clowns seriously.

    June 17, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Marty, FL

    Could you imagine if the war-mongering McCain had been president, or Palin VP?! Fortunately, the neo-cons are no longer in control of our foreign policy. They have made ENOUGH of a mess.

    President Obama is handling this situation appropriately. Our administration should not be involved in the election process of another country. It would surely be used as propaganda, but McCain somehow does not seem to understand that fact, or is ignoring it to pander to the neoconservative "base." Nonsense.

    June 17, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. history repeats


    its so true. attack everyone to keep us safe. and they think it is sooo outlandish to compare that philosophy to the exact propoganda of adolf hitler!! they always say "its not the same" because we are up against REAL TERRORISTS and im wondering if they thought hitler was onstage telling his people "we think their might be terrorists in poland but we're not sure if they are real or not, but we'll invade and then we will let you know the outcome afterwards" "they might just be cardboard cutouts of terrorists"...... i dont understand why these so-called "conservatives" can never understand logic. i truly think its rooted in their deep belief in mythical creatures of the bible that have absolutely no substantial proof whatsoever.

    June 17, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Leah

    I think the President approach is the right way to do.
    US should not interfere with other country especially Iran.
    By meddling with Iran's politics, you are handling a tool for Ahmadinejad the reason to cracks down and harms those who protests against him.

    Better be an observer on the side line.

    June 17, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Ann C

    Keep Talking John...it just confirms why you are NOT President and Obama is. Every time you or Palin open your mouths I say a prayer, you are tired and old. Maybe your party should look at it's own election problems..Florida 2000 and am I mistaken but is your prty holding up a democratic free election in Minnesota so thre isn't a democrat in there.

    June 17, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. CD in FL

    Imagine having him and Palin right now in the White House: We would start another war and Ms. Palin would be responsible for the Nazi-like propaganda telling that is God's will to go to war.
    Thank you, President Obama for doing the right thing.

    June 17, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. Randolph Carter

    matt wrote: hey all the obama idoits thinks they know everything the fact is obama is scared of Iran

    What do you suggest we do, Matt? Have a nice day!

    June 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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