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. CNN = Moveon.org

    Obama is afraid to do anything or say anything. He is essentially voting "present" like he did so many times during his very short term as a Senator. Unfortunately, the Iranians who are trying to have a little freedom, can't rely on this President to help them. He is scared to death of the liberal left in this country and ruining his popularity rather than taking a stand on anything.

    June 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. S Callahan

    I think this situation in Iran belongs to the people in Iran. I also think the spirit of God is pulling people out of their homes to protest tyranny and that is a good thing. We all have born given rights as a human being..and they , the Iranian citizens, are right to stand up and demand those rights be accounted for. Mr. McCain, in all respect to you, it's not right for us, at this time , to instigate. Let the people there make their voices heard..they are doing a very good job at it despite the opposition against them. Have some faith in people.

    June 17, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. FactCheck

    Bill Maher is right.. the Republicans are a party of old white men and Jesus freaks.

    June 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. HJA

    Go for it McCain!!! Right on, more war. Send the RIGHT message. After all we (USA) should stick our nose in everyone's business. (Like they will listen) Bomb 'em to the stone age. Come on be like GW and invoke God. You gotta love the GOP.

    June 17, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Rush Von Brunn

    McCain needs a brain just like the tinman.Rush is going down soon,just like the fly the President squashed.hahaha

    June 17, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Nini

    The people of Iran standing up to the mullah’s after 30 years and Obama with every speech is trying to legitimize the terrorist supporting regime of Iran.
    Has anyone noticed how Obama refuses to call them the regime and keeps referring to the them as Islamic Republic of Iran, guess what Mr. President the Iranians hate it when the country is referred to by that name. Iran is Iran and will stay Iran.

    After 4 days of bloodshed of the students and the youth of Iran our president Obama hasn’t condemned the actions of these tugs.

    It is a sad day for Democracy and the free world.

    I wish Obama had the guts to come out and stand with the people.

    If America doesn’t standup for Freedom, is there any hope for the rest of the world?

    June 17, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Maria Loi

    America had meddled enough on affairs of other nations. The people of Iran have to do their thing. We are but arm chair critics. Obama has a plan and he does not allow this upcoming ugly event to hurt his long term goal with the Iran and the Middle East!
    McClain speaks through his nose. Did he really know the truth to this ugly event in Iran?
    The best way is to see how it is played out. Obama has priorities and your country comes first!

    June 17, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. history repeats


    "the FACT is obama is scared of iran"???

    are you joking? go back to the fox news chats ok the adults are talking.

    June 17, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. MOI

    For Dan: Wonderful Analysis!
    Republicans keep using the concept of "Freedom" as an excuse to fight and kill whomever disagree with their Imperialist agenda. Thank God that the Demographic of America is changing, and with it, this old ugly conception that we should dictate to others how they should live.

    June 17, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. Nichole, Tulsa, OK

    Pick your battles, John. If that's your view, I'm once again reassured why choosing Obama to be my President was the right thing to do.

    June 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Judy Who

    I understand Senator McCain's point, which I think is very valid.

    However, I do believe that President Obama is right to be cautious about stepping too much into this situation. Too heavy of a hand or too loud of a voice from the American Presidency, could indeed be twisted by the current government there as meddling by the US and Israel in order to destabilize an Islamic nation. The hard liners are still in control, and although there are hundreds of thousands of protesters in the streets, all the Iranian government and military would need is some way to cast these demonstrators as being under the evil influence of the West (silly here, valid reason there) to step up the crackdowns.

    June 17, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Respect

    So republicans when are we going to speak out loudly with actions against Saudia Arabia, China, Pakistan, Egypt, and elsewhere?

    I'm still waiting. Oh that's right we are to busy borrowing money from these countries.

    June 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    The Songbird is a warmonger and his words and the words of other Greedy Obstructionist Party members is having a negative effect in Iran as we speak.

    THEY NEED TO SHUT UP. JUST SHUT UP. THEY were not elected and have no diplomatic skills whatsoever.

    June 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Lara

    As with Iraq which we had no business attacking because they were no threat to us. We need to stay out of Iran and let the people there work out their differences. We have enough on our plate now as it is, to start another issue would be just plain foolish. Let this man run the country without other people second guessing him. Like it or not he is the President of the United States.

    June 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. Sherri

    I am so glad that McCain did not win! We would be at war with every other country by now. People are blind if they don't see that all he wants to do is fight and get revenge for some crap that non of America has to really do with. It is so sad that he is still trying to talk and discredit the President. I never heard all this crap when Bush was in office destroying America and what people really have worked hard for. He just distorted the American dream! So go retire McCain! Your game is over, OLD, done, suspended and dismissed!

    June 17, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. @ NYC

    Somebody please tell McCain to shut it.

    June 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Nini

    Carter gave the gift of Mullah’s to the world and Iran and now 30 YEARS later Obama is making sure that Mullah’s are secured for another 30 YEARS with no regards for the Iranian people

    The Free world no longer has a LEADER.

    June 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. JonDie

    McCain doesn't even know that Iran and Iraq are two different countries.

    June 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. JP

    Obama can never do anything wrong. Never. It was McCain who opened his mouth in front of the worshippers.

    June 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Jack in Florida

    Thank God McCain was not elected..........still doesn't get it!!! Time to drive the hybrid into the sunset, John........the Repubs need a new generation of moderates that get it...

    June 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. really?

    Well, no one – and certainly Iran – didn't help us sort out the election that W stole in 2000 – so why should we help them? Why aren't we worried about the fraudulent elections, puppet governments and genocides in Africa? Pick and choose political grandstanding – that's all this is.

    June 17, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. HellsEye

    Okay McLame, you didn't win. But thats not the big picture. Don't these blowhard rethuglicans understand that Iran can use propaganda against us if it is deemed we are too interested in Iranian affairs? Okay, so Obama goes on record and lambasts the results. Now what happens?? Exactly, nothing....

    June 17, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Ms. Dee, Texas

    Can someone tell John McCain to sit his tired behind down. I'm sick of him. He is not the President. He lost the election. We were not interested in his NONSENSE then and we certainly are not NOW.

    June 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Lisa

    Funny all the experts agree that Obama staying out of the Iranian election politics is a blow to Amadinnerjacket because it takes away his ability to talk about "America meddling" America trying to impose their version of democracy on an Islamic state" etc.. But McCain knows better. Does McCain really think Obama has to stand on a soapbox and cry about freedom and indevidual rights and democracy or else he avocates the opposite?

    June 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. once upon a horse

    I guess that "BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB IRAN" is the next best solution eh Sen. McCain?

    June 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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