McCain: 'I'm not a starry-eyed idealist'
February 3rd, 2011
06:37 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain: 'I'm not a starry-eyed idealist'

Washington (CNN)-Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain said he's no "starry-eyed idealist" when asked about his opinion on the conflict in Egypt and the role of the United States in the region by CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King.

On CNN's "John King USA," airing Thursday at 7 p.m. EST, he said "I'm not a starry-eyed idealist. I know the nature of war. I think I understand these issues and I understand the criticality, but for us to be on the side of governments that are oppressive and repressive in the long run can never benefit us and help us achieve our goals."

And according to the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, history proves that he was right about the troop surge in Iraq, despite what former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld may have written in his new book "Known and Unknown."

"I was over in Iraq to know that we were losing and American lives were being lost. There's nothing more important than that and I came back and we had literally pitch battles on the issue of a surge and he steadfastly opposed it.

"He didn't believe we needed additional troops. That was a huge bone of contention between myself and Secretary Rumsfeld and fortunately after the election of 2006 the president decided to replace him. We had the surge and we've achieved a significant degree of success in Iraq which we wouldn't have under Secretary Rumsfeld."

Of his campaign rival, President Obama, McCain revealed that they now have a "common interest" and "common values" that will help them work together. Specifically, McCain believes the two could cooperate on "enhanced rescission" and "once we get the border secure…immigration reform," along with "several other issues."

Filed under: Content Partner • Egypt • Iraq • John McCain • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. johnRJ08

    McCain is a complete dope. No wonder he graduated 896th in a class of 898 midshipmen at the Naval Academy. The fact is, the so-called "surge" would never have worked unless it coincided with the "Awakening" and the US tactic of paying off warlords. When the Sunnis decided to turn against the insurgents, the writing was on the wall. McCain tries to take credit here for something he had almost nothing to do with at all.

    February 3, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. Ken in NC

    How can this old fool understand anything when he constantly flip flops on everything before he has had a chance to understand. I think more of Megan than John because while we have different views, she is consistant.

    February 3, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. thomas

    starry-eyed idealist , you ran with Sarah Palin !

    February 3, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. MikeB59

    John McCain is certainly not a starry-eyed idealist. He is a bitter, mean old man.

    February 3, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. S. In California

    All I can say is Thank God this man is NOT our president. While he is certainly NOT competent to EVER be president, I will never forgot that abomination you bought on us from Alaska. Please go away.

    February 3, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    ["...history proves that he was right about the troop surge in Iraq, despite what former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld may have written in his new book..."]

    A SURGE would not have been necessary if we DID NOT go to WAR!!! McCain seems as if he is a little SALTY towards Rumsfeld and his BOOK!!! LMAO

    Stay Tuned for MORE....

    February 3, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Lee from NJ

    What unites republican is their hate and disdain for others.... But lock a group of republican leaders together in a room and they would tear each other apart. Republican leaders are reptilian, amoral and power hungry. See the book "The Authoritarians" (free, use google) written by a Univ of Manitoba prof about their personality types.

    February 3, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. moderateray

    Starry-eyed or not, someone a lot smarter than I am please print Sen. McCain's voting record on Aid to Egypt since his election to Congress in 1982. And any previous public statements he has made before two weeks ago that reenforce this apparently new position.

    Secondly, Mr. History Revisionist, the FOURTH surge was successful due ONLY to the huge monetary (U S $$) payoffs to the tribes and insurgents.

    February 3, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. jerseylou

    McCain,what you need to do is go plant some seeds in a garden or build a bird house.

    February 3, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. JJ

    Excuse me but no, you don't know the nature of war, John. You know the nature of being a POW, because you saw little combat in Vietnam, and after you were released you only ran a training squadron, and not very well at that. Don't try to BS us, we know your history.

    February 3, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. Dieter

    Starry eyed idealist? Really? How about a cataract eyed old fool who's time is waaaaaaaaaaaay past. Geez, retire to the desert already and join the early bird specials crowd at Red Robin. You're an embarrassment to yourself.

    February 3, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. LouAz

    Yea, Yea, Yea, John. Mubarak was OK for 30 years and you never said ANYTHING. Sit down and shut up.

    February 3, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  13. PAUL W.

    Nope, you are just an awful person who is willing to do or say anything to get your way. Time to step aside, John. You're no longer a benefit to your constituents.

    February 3, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. raingirl2

    I am praying that this country wake up before it finds itself in the same predicament that Cairo Egypt is dealing with and the other countries who are quickly following suit. These are challenging times and we must all stay vigilante. Above all we must stand together as Americans not as traitors and protect the sovereignty of this country. It is time to reverse our generosity and send both legal and illegal aliens to their home lands at least until we figure out what we have left and what direction we are going as a nation. This country cannot sustain itself under the weight of too many poor people the low/unskilled illegal aliens who are destroying the economic fabric of every state in the United States. We must act with prudence and deliver on self preservation first and foremost. Nothing will ever rebuild this country once we loose our will to stand together as American citizens. We cannot allow law breakers to destroy us any further. We must stop them now.

    February 3, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. jbird

    Very sad. It's been said that when you stop dreaming big, its like being dead inside.

    February 3, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  16. Marko

    I am a Democrat. I was a 2000 McCain fan. Not a fan today, but well said Senator McCain. I could be a fan again, but 1 statement will not win me back. I miss the old McCain.

    February 3, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    Of his campaign rival, President Obama, McCain revealed that they now have a "common interest" and "common values" that will help them work together.
    Yeah, after 2 years of throwing every resource posssible behind the wrong approach he is finding much more success in the middle. Conservative ideology sure seems more brutal and less friendly at first, but in reality it works better. But that's the point. Why waste time and money on things that don't work, like massive government spending and runaway entitlements just when we can't afford them? Take the tax breaks for instance. The signs of economic improvements are not just a coincidence.

    February 3, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Clwyd

    John, we know that! You a re also blind since you picked sarah palin to run with you!

    February 3, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    "I'm not a starry-eyed idealist"

    Ah, but McCrypt, your current state of mind does start with an s


    Would you like to buy a vowel?

    February 3, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. Joshua Ludd

    Of course he isn't... he is just an empty suit that will say whatever any audience wants him to say.

    February 3, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. Ed FL

    Tweetle dee and tweetle dumb and their so called expertise cost us 4400 American kids and 30,000 wounded and maimed. Now DUMBSFIELD wants to sell books .I guess he will sell at least 2 one he buys and one Mccain buys. These two give the US military a black eye and an unbelievable disgrace that will be hard to overcome.

    February 3, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Marie MD

    A "starry-eyed idealist"? Was this while being a maverick. Oh no, wait, he iwas never a maverick even though he and the imbecilic moron ran on the mavericky platform.
    Anything this man says and does goes directly to the trash can. He who unleashed the she devil in 2008.
    Just for that everything else he did before and after is a moot point!

    February 3, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  23. Tam

    John, you're not anything any more, esp. after unleashing SP on us.

    February 3, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |