McCain hits Obama on earlier 'inaction' on Iran, terror consequences
October 13th, 2011
01:50 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain hits Obama on earlier 'inaction' on Iran, terror consequences

(CNN) - In an interview deriding the Iranian government for their alleged role in a foiled terror plot against the Saudi ambassador in Washington, Sen. John McCain took a swipe at President Barack Obama Thursday, saying that his failure to support Iranian anti-government demonstrators in 2009 may have allowed the plot to unfold.

McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said in an interview on CBS' "The Early Show": "we could have avoided this. We should have supported [the demonstrators], and they could have overthrown the government then."

The alleged plot came to the attention of authorities when an Iranian-American man, Manssor Arbabsiar, attempted to hire an undercover DEA agent to conduct the assassination. Officials at the Department of Justice outlined their investigation at a press conference on Tuesday, announcing their intention to charge Arbabsiar as well as an Iranian co-conspirator, Gholam Shakuri.

The Arizona senator clarified that he did not believe the president's policies towards the demonstrators specifically influenced the evolution of the terror plot, but added: "When they were chanting in the streets 'Obama, are you with us or are you with them?' and he came out and said he didn't want to jeopardize his chances to negotiate with the Iranians, was an opportunity that we lost, because I think if we had supported those demonstrators at the time, it could have meant a significant change in the government of Iran."

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Filed under: Iran • John McCain • President Obama
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. The Greedy Old Pigs are a DEATHCULT!

    Watch the GOBP bedwetting screech-monkeys start clamor for war. This is what happens when people mistake a neocon deathcult for a real political party.

    October 13, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. Old Fogey

    Give it up McCain you lost the 2008 election.

    October 13, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. 1crusader

    John McCain seems to want to intervene at the first sign of any trouble, anywhere.Generally speaking, countries need to resolve their own conflicts , and topple their own dictatorships.We have enough on our plate, and not enough money now.I appreciate the president's calm, deliberative manner on foreign policy, which has proven to work in making the right judgment calls repeatedly; and I'm sure that if he thinks we need to take military action we will.

    October 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    Keep your trap shut McCain. If he had supported them back then, you and the rest of the "whatever Obama does is wrong" crowd would have blasted him for interfering. Nice way to talk out of both sides of your mouth. The country will never forgive you for unleasing the E-bola virus (Simple Sarah) on us.

    October 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I hope when I am McCain's age, I will be retired. It appears you lose your sense of reality when you are as old as John.

    October 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. once upon a horse

    did the entire GOP take one of their famous pledges to "not give President Obama ANY KIND of credit or praise for anything?" Some couldn't even praise the man for getting Osama bin Laden and instead tried to give the credit to Bush. I bet though had that planned gone WRONG they all would have been in line to blast the president. Sorry McCain I had a lot more respect for you than I did for Palin but in this case you sound just like her.

    October 13, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    McCain is distorting the facts.

    The real truth of the matter is that Saddam Hussein had been the check and balance on radical islam in Iran since 1979. They went to war with one another. Saddam wanted to be the strongest military in the Middle East, preferably the only power. Saddam would bomb what he suspected were weapons factories, research facilities, power plants, etc.

    We even allowed Saddam to continue to make such raids and attacks after the first gulf war. Better to let him do it, than to put US troops at risk. When we took out Saddam, we removed the check and balance on Iran. Iran began making these types of moves before Obama took office. "Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb, Iran."

    Senator McCain is lying through teeth. He knows exactly why Iran is stronger today and a nuclear threat. It is due to lack of vision on the part of the George W Bush administration. Taking out Saddam was a gross error in judgement and McCain knows it.

    October 13, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. HenryB

    Well, well, another voice from the 19th century. McCain, you no longer matter! You gave great service to our country but you have quickly spent all your moral capital by speaking the way you do. I am ashamed you are an American, truly ashamed.

    October 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    McLame should stfu because his actions and words when he took off like a bat out of hell to go to Washington in 2008 showed that he has a tenous grasp on reality, an over-inflated and baseless sense of self-importance, and a complete inability to focus, prioritize, and act effectively.

    We duly elected THAT ONE to be our President. We'll let THAT ONE continue to make the important decisions in his capacity as President.
    The majority has spoken. Shut up. Sit down.

    October 13, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Kenny

    If Obama put his shoes on backwards, Republicans would hit him for not knowing how to put them on right. If Obama put his shoes on correct, Republicans would claim he is trying tot be like everyone else and if he went barefoot they would say he was a savage. There's just no way this President can do anything where Republicans are concerned. They hate this President so bad that when he supports something they are pushing or a bill they introduced, they would turn on it and vote against it simply because he agreed with them. Republicans are so so pitiful.

    October 13, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Herman Cain is NO Collin Powell, but He is a token Black Teabagging Racist to BOOT

    GOP solution to any crisis...even when the terror plot was avoided; BLAME the President!

    These holier than thou GOP clowns in Congress should point the fingers at themselves...STOP the BLAME GAME and get your old A S S to work and pass a JOBS BILL!!!

    October 13, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Shawn in MD

    "Obama should have done this. He should have done that. He should'nt have done this. He should'nt have done that."
    That's all the repbublicans have to say.

    Where are your answers? Where are your solutions? You got anything other than soud bites or something short enough to fit on a bumber sticker?

    Anyone notice, that Obama does talk much but acts? "missin accomplished" anyone? "Taking out Osama" anyone?

    October 13, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Shawn in MD (eliminating typo)

    "Obama should have done this. He should have done that. He should'nt have done this. He should'nt have done that."
    That's all the repbublicans have to say.

    Where are your answers? Where are your solutions? You got anything other than sound bites or something short enough to fit on a bumber sticker?

    Anyone notice, that Obama does'nt talk much but acts? "mission accomplished" anyone? "Taking out Osama" anyone?

    October 13, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    For anyone who complains about Libya, look at what McCain would have done if he had his way.

    October 13, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Patrick Lewis

    We had two unpaid for wars at the time. That wasn't enough? We needed to waste even more blood and treasure on going to war with Iran? Really, what more is McCain thinking that we could have done for Iran? Should we have dropped Crate loads of guns?

    October 13, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Indy

    Rudy NYC
    You absolutley and completely nailed this one !! Bravo on your post ! Perfect !

    October 13, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Thad

    Hold on stop the madness this whole Saudi/Iran murder plot really has nothing to do with nothing. One country has a monarchy and the other a theocracy. Ok tell me how one is our friend and the other our enemy. Both are not what our country stands for so whats the big deal. In reality both of these country hates our guts. Saudi's are some of the most active and dangerous of all the terror states but we get oil from them so they get a pass. We don't get oil from Iran so the need to be invaded so we can make some rich texas oil barron(BUSH) a little bit richer.

    October 13, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. FIELD1stSGT

    He could have avoid it, John. That is if he wasn't in on it in the help of planning it. This man OBAMA is the ANTI-CHRIST himself. If he is reelected you will see America become Nazi Germany with many, many, many people going to gas chambers.

    October 13, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. Noodle Nose Johnson

    War is McCain's answer for everything.

    October 13, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. thomas

    John , it's about jobs !

    War's are not the flavor of the month !

    October 13, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. midleclssfan

    Let me get this striaght. McCain is blaming President Obama for the foiled terror plot against the Saudi Ambassador, insinuating that if Obama would have supported the anti -government demonstrators this ploy may not have unfolded. I tell you the Republican Party is simply SHAMELESS. I hope voters do the right thing for this country and vote these lying, obstructionistic, do nothing, say anything SOBs out of office. At this point the country would be much better off without Republican/teaparty negative contributions.

    October 13, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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