Tales from the Trail

McCain: It can be “tough” to be proud of USA

June 15, 2008

mccainus.jpg WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate John McCain admitted on Saturday it can be difficult at times to be proud of the United States.
 
“I’ll admit to you … that it’s tough in some respects,” McCain said when asked by a questioner at a town hall meeting how to be proud of the country.
 
“We have not always done things right and we mismanaged the war in Iraq very badly for nearly four years.”
 
McCain’s wife, Cindy, pounced on Michelle Obama, the wife of presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, for saying in February that she was proud of her country “for the first time in my adult life.”
 
The Arizona senator said it was important for the United States to be more humble and inclusive.
 
“I think we can be proud of America because of what we’ve achieved and accomplished in this world,” he said.
 
“What we have to do is tell our friends around the world that we will be proud of America because of what we’re going to do.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

 - Photo credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton (McCain speaks during a town hall meeting at Federal Hall in New York on June 12). 

Comments
87 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

John and Cindy McCain would rather die, than EVER, EVER say “For the first time in my life I am proud to be an American”

Has obama ever fought for America ever in his life?
Has Michelle?

 

We have had the most evil foreign policy since WWII. We have helped displace millions of Palestinians from their homes & keep supporting this apartheid. We have caused turmoil in the Middle East by supporting Shah Iranian shiites against the Iraqi sunnis & then changing beds & arming the Saddam Iraqis against the Iranian’s. Repeat this multiple times in the current Iraq civil war. We have caused turmoil in South America & supported dictatorships throughout the world. We say we want democracy in the M.E. but are scared to death when democracy doesnt give the outcome we want (i.e. Gaza, Saudi royals). Explain to me again why we should be proud? We have caused a lot of turmoil & we need a straight talker & non denier like Ron Paul or we will be known as imperialists in the history books forever.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive
 

The human history is based on sacrifices of few (USA, Japan, China, India, Russia). It does not mean that a proud nation should not introspect. Questioning policy of government and a war does not mean questioning the brave men and women. It is a debate about policy. Our veterans are national heros and need to be treated with respect. But a debate on policies is needed for the welfare of all.

Posted by Al Sita | Report as abusive
 

I totally agree Mr. John McCain his comments, because look what America done to Iraq; after five years of illusion and death, the Iraqis are still left without a state, security, institutions, jobs or services. They are suffering from destitution, despotism, anxiety, displacement and death free of charge.

Posted by Mo ali | Report as abusive
 

Take the McCain-Bush Challenge and see if you can tell the difference: http://www.bush-mccainchallenge.com/

Posted by Scott Smith | Report as abusive
 

JFK, RFK, MLK, Emmitt Till, ’68 DNC, Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, Slavery, Jim Crow, 2000 election, mass racism that fails to ever let up. Some legacy, USA.

Posted by aliota | Report as abusive
 

If you all are really concerned about being proud to be an American, then why not for Ron Paul. Forget about the other two so called candidates an really get someone in office that will do things, according to the U.S.Constitution, that our founding fathers gave us. Think about voting in the box that says other. Otherwise be a lemming an go for another term of lies, deceit, an downright abuse of the Constitution. RON PAUL for a real American we can be proud of.

Posted by andrew | Report as abusive
 

Jeff, you are totally wrong when you say America is supporting Apartheid in Palestine.

The Israelis want nothing more than to achieve peace with the Palestinians. Israel is always negotiating with Fatah, who, just like Israel, support the two States, Palestine and Israel living side by side.

However, ISRAEL IS STAYING PUT FOREVER, and will NOT agree to being intimidated by Hamas, who do not recognise Israel’s God given right to exist.

What one must take into account here, is that Israel has been around for thousands of years, and will NEVER be DRIVEN OUT BY HAMAS.

As soon as Hamas recognises Israel’s right to exist,
as soon as Hamas stops fring deadly rockets at Israel,
the sooner the peace proccess has a chance to get off the ground.

Remember, it is peacethat has to get off the ground, NOT ROCKETS.

 

The only way the USA can get back their respect and acceptence in the world community is by impeaching the mass murderers Bush and Cheny and Rumsfield – or drag them to Hague to face the World court on charges of crime against humanity. There is no other way. No one is above the law. Most American people are very honest,law abiding and generous people. Why should a couple of terrorists like Bush, Cheny and Rumsfield ruin the good name of the great USA…

Posted by yousuf | Report as abusive
 

The Supreme court judges were right.
Could John Mccain be alive today if he was not fairly treated as a POW (enemy)in Asia?
How can the same Mccain who was fairly treated as a POW (enemy) in Asia and who is now running to be the president of USA wish for inhumane treatment of prisoners (enemies) of USA?
These prisoners are criminals but they should be tried and sentenced. The universal law says do on to others what you will love them to do on to you or better, do on to others what they did to you.
Is Mccain just some kind of wicked person? We christains should think well before voting for this John Mccain. What I see in his presidency is Blood. Bloody streets all over the world. The universal law says love your enemies but also be wise in your dealings with people who hate you.
I cannot vote for someone whose best word is WAR and who demonstrate hatred towards fellow human being.

 

The straight-talk express roll on. But in this case I know you guys on the other side wish he would have thrown you a little red meat to feed your ignorance.

Sorry guys, In case you have not noticed, your candidate is confused and out of touch with the devices and tactics of the GOP party.

but more importantly
Happy Father’s Day Tim…. You will be sorely missed

Posted by Omentum | Report as abusive
 

WHY HASN’T THE MSM QUESTIONED JOHN MCCAIN’S PATRIOTISM AFTER SUCH A STATEMENT? COULD IT BE A CASE OF DOUBLE STANDARDS?

Posted by nena | Report as abusive
 

i like to see a video link…let’s see if foxnews will be making just as big a deal as they did with michelle obama

Posted by GORY | Report as abusive
 

Doesn’t McCain realize that there are people waiting for a reason to cast their ballots for him? All he has to do is think about what he’s going to say before he opens his mouth. If that means a few seconds of dead air, so be it.
The weasel-worded statement about pride in America was doubly lame because of Flag Day.
I have always been proud of being an American. I have always loved this country and this flag.
If there were no America, the world would be a conflagration of dictators and socialists with dead and dying people as their legacies.
John McCain is weak on ‘Global Warming’ and weak on American Pride

Posted by David Adams | Report as abusive
 

I’m proud to be an American and it’s not hard at all. I’m proud that our founding documents brought the concept of civil rights and human rights to the world. As long as we have been free, we have been a strong, good hearted and generous people. From electricity to the personal computer, we’ve given many wonderful things to the human race. In Mt Rushmore, we created the largest permanent monument on the face of the earth … one that will still be there when the pyramids have been blown to dust.

Most of all, I’m proud of our pioneering personal liberty. That’s why I’m still supporting Ron Paul. I’ll be marching in Washington on July 12th, and I’ll be marching into Minneapolis in September. I hope many of you will join us!

 

Wow — can we say “double standard”?. Jeez; Obama ’08!

 

I understand very well what Sen. McCain is saying. Pres. Bush’s approval rating is below 30 percent. When I see images of him with other world leaders, it has at times been very embarrassing. As he said in the article above..”it can be difficult at times…” and it’s tough in some respects”.
To the one speaking about POW’s…being a christian has nothing to do with war..do you think it was fair when Moses let the sea swallow up the army that was chasing them? Trust me, if someone raped your child the last thing you would do is treat that person “fairly”. Try learning about what Sen. McCain experienced as a POW. Guess what, he knew the treatment he was getting was because he was THE ENEMY!! “FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW.”

Posted by Margaret | Report as abusive
 

Wow. This will get the Bush dead-enders wound up. So McBush agrees with Michelle Obama on this issue. As do most of the sane and rational. The only difference is that the media won’t have a conniption over it when McBush says it…you know, because the media is “liberal.” Hilarious.

Posted by jim | Report as abusive
 

Interesting how the GOP is quick to bounce and viral Michelle Obama’s comments… Question? What will the Tennessee GOP say NOW??

Posted by Thetruth | Report as abusive
 

Here’s what caught my eye in this web log (assuming the facilitator quoted Mr. McCain correctly):

“I’ll admit to you…that it’s tough in some respects,” McCain said when asked by a questioner at a town hall meeting how to be proud of the country. “We have not always done things right and we mismanaged the war in Iraq very badly for nearly four years.”

I’ve never understood, Mr. & Mrs. Reader, why the term “managing” is used or alluded to by Mr. McCain or any other politician or a pundit when referring to the counterinsurgency operations being conducted in SW Asia by Our Best & Finest. I’m sure that I’ve read where Mr. Obama has used this term too, within the same or a similar context.

I’m a retired Soldier. I commanded Our Best & Finest’s engineer units for five and a half years, to include a combat engineer company in the 8th Engineers, 1st Cavalry Division, III Corps. I came up through the ranks, having been a noncommissioned officer in Vietnam.

Based on my personal experience then, “managing” is not a term that can be applied to the world of Our Best & Finest.

Young squad leaders lead. Young platoon leaders lead. Company commanders command, and mentor platoon leaders. Platoon sergeants advise platoon leaders, and mentor squad leaders. Company first sergeants advise company commanders and mentor platoon sergeants. Squads and platoons conduct operations and tactics “down where the rubber hits the road”…where they risk their lives or limbs, sight, hearing and mental & physical health.

Above company level, battalion, brigade, division, corps, army & army group commanders command. Command sergeants major advise their respective commanders, mentor first sergeants and collaborate on how best to take care of Our Own.

There is nothing about “managing” in what I just wrote.

Now…this brings me to the president’s relationship with Our Best & Finest, as briefly spelled out in Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of “this Constitution for the United States of America”, to wit (EMPHASIS added):

“The President shall be COMMANDER in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

Does it say “MANAGER in Chief”? Of course it doesn’t. “Managing” relates to civilian business affairs, and is not applicable to “military business”.

Secondly, Our Best & Finest are not fighting a “war” in SW Asia. A war is an open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations.

Rather, Our Sons & Daughters are conducting artificially extended counterinsurgency operations resulting from an unconstitutional congressional “resolution”. That is, no “war” has been declared in accordance with Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution, to wit (EMPHASIS added):

“The Congress shall have Power…To DECLARE war, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;…”

Does it say “RESOLVE or SOLVE war”? Of course it doesn’t. A “resolution” is a formal expression of opinion, will or intent. To “DECLARE” on the other hand, is to make known formally, officially and explicitly, i.e., clearly and forthrightly.

If temporarily elected politicians don’t like the U.S. Constitution’s permanent wording, then they have every right to try and get it amended by the states. What they don’t have a right to do is make end runs around America’s supreme law, i.e., the law that transcends all other U.S. laws. Such an end run by the legislative and executive branches is illegal, whether OR NOT ruled and declared illegal by the judicial branch, e.g., the supreme court.

The vague and murkily implicit business of “resolutions” only leads to unconstitutional powers being indeterminately exercised by elected and appointed officials–said powers and their indeterminacy never being expressed by the framers of the U.S. Constitution.

If such indeterminate “war powers” are somewhere in the U.S. Constitution, I challenge anybody to quote them.

Finally, I just mentioned “artificially extended”. It’s way past the time for hedging and the mincing of words when it comes to what has been going on at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

It is downright shameful of politicians to sacrifice Our Sons & Daughters on the altar of their desire (even lust) for power.

Okay, I’ll give a few of those temporarily elected politicians who have not taken personal action to make every human effort to rescind unconstitutional “resolutions” the benefit of the doubt. Let’s just say that they should be downright ashamed to sacrifice Our Sons & Daughters on the altar of (first) their ignorance and (then) their informed procrastination.

OK Jack

P.S. As for Mr. McCain’s remarks about being proud of our country–I’m proud of the U.S.A. and Our Best & Finest. However, I’m extremely disappointed in the majority of politicians who occupy the White House and Capitol Hill. Are they disappointed in themselves? Perhaps…but I really seriously doubt it.

 

McCain is a pathetic liberal moron. Screw him! Americans don’t need to apologize for anything. Americans should be proud that they have liberated over 25 million people from tyranny.

He just lost election.

Posted by Brownthunder | Report as abusive
 

My jaw dropped when I saw this. Is McCain actually being reasonable and realistic? Will he criticize and anaylize our situation instead of being a republican clone? Continue to criticize the president, people voted for you because they didn’t want an intrenched republican like Rudy, they want a CHANGE. They don’t want more Bush Co.

Posted by Geoff | Report as abusive
 

‘What we have to do is tell our friends around the world that we will be proud of America because of what we’re going to do.” says McCain…………”
——————————-
So McCain said there are times when it is difficult to be proud of our country. By his comment above, is he saying he is NOT PROUD of our country now, but WILL BE PROUD OF AMERICA ONLY “because of what we’re going to do.”? That is actually what he is saying folks.

By the way, Michelle’s comment was: “For the first time in my adult life, I am REALLY proud of our country.” She did not say, nor is she saying, she was never proud of our country; she has ALWAYS been proud of our country but now she is REALLY PROUD of it. Senator McCain is clearly stating he is NOT proud of our country now; however, “will be proud of it ONLY because of what we are going to do….”, in other words, he will be proud of it ONLY when HE becomes President!!
And some of you want this fellow to be your President? What he is saying is MUCH, MUCH worse than anything Micelle said!! And I still feel Michelle did not say anything wrong!!

 

totally agree Mr. John McCain his comments, because look what America done to Iraq; after five years of illusion and death, the Iraqis are still left without a state, security, institutions, jobs or services. They are suffering from destitution, despotism, anxiety, displacement and death free of charge.

- Posted by Mo ali
——————
Are you forgetting it was McCain and people like him that helped propel this needless war?? Yes, he is as responisible for all the things you list above. He is the one that wants to continue the war in IRAQ for years to come. McCain is a very sad and confused man.

 

proud of america?.. just WHAT does that mean?… there are certain things.. and certain segments that would be tough to be proud of.. certain actions… that would be tough to defend.. and clearly not something to be proud of… so.. for sure.. I for one.. am not totally proud of america.. and yet.. its not really america that Im thinking about.. rather its some bits and pieces that I for one would no longer consider to be part of America….

Posted by Levi Cro | Report as abusive
 

Is this really an article? Sure sounds like a lame comparison of quotes by an idiot journalist quoting the other idiots in the mainstream media.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive
 

America Has done some great things, and I sure would rather live here then Egypt. However we do have some people with Blinder’s on around here who don’t care about the difference between rite and wrong as soon as our troop’s are involved. And to whom 80,000 to 1,000,000 dead in Iraq means absolutely nothing . Go salute a flag.

Posted by DLS | Report as abusive
 

Proud of ones’ country? Give me a break. Try going to a foreign country and seeing the looks you get when u say you’re an American or the special menu you get,or look at the anti-american graffiti splashed everywhere. This president is not only a moron, he’s a criminal. This is the 1st time in my life that I can truly say that I am ashamed to call myself an American. The damage that has been done can only be undone by someone who truly cares about America and its’ citizens. And that person is not McCain.

 

It’s tough in some respects to be proud of your country. I don’t think this was a hasty answer, but one that took a lot of courage to give. This is obvious by some of the comments made here. For those of you who have posted here that you have “always been proud of America” I would say that I honestly don’t think that is what you meant. I don’t mean to put words in anyone’s mouth, but what I believe you were trying to say is “I have always been proud to be American”. Ofcourse I could be wrong in what I say, but that wouldn’t really suprise me too much. Americans as a nation seem to be quite self deluding. For example the guy who claimed that Mt. Rushmore is the largest manmade monument in the world. Is it just me or can the Great Wall of China be seen from space? You seem to overblow your own importance, and take extreme and sometimes plain bizarre offence when that importance is questoined. The “Freedom Fries” incident is a prime example of this, and the saddest thing is the massive majority of you would now most likely agree with the French and how they acted all those years ago. You seldom do yourselves any favours on the world stage, you call your President the leader of the free world which you must see is laughable, and not just because George Bush occupies the position at the moment. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. Other world powers have got through their insane arrogance and come out the other side fine, apart from the British (we’re still pretty deluded ourselves) and to be fair you have 2 pretty solid and driven main party candidates. Personally I would probably prefer Obama, but then McCain at the helm would be too bad either. Just remember ya ‘aint as fly as ya think ya are, and chill out.

Posted by Mik Osborne | Report as abusive
 

Has America made mistakes?…sure. Will they make mistakes in the future?….sure But I am always proud of this country. Because in spite of the faults it is still a great nation. Personally, I don’t like the fact that i have to vote for McCain because Obama is COMPLETELY not acceptable to me. But he is making this very difficult. First the Global Warming speech and now this. McCain continues to cater to the left/moderates and angering the conservatives. If he continues down this path I may stay home because I don’t want either one of them.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive
 

I am not surprized or upset that Mr McCain has said what he said. What surprizes and upsets me is that so many people expect more from the man. The best thing that McCain ever did was to get shot down over Viet Nam. If that had never happened we would not even know his name or care if we did.
All of his political life he has gone which ever way the wind blows and right now he feels the wind blowing towards the left so that is the direction that he is leaning. What can you expect from a Republican that was entertaining the idea of becoming Mr. Swiftboats VP?
Every one has been calling him a maverick for years when in truth he is just the worst kind of professional politician. He is the kind of guy that is willing to say or do anything to achieve his own personal agenda…….More money and more power!
I really feel like thare are two empty suits in this election. But at least Obama is wearing a suit that fits!

 

I don’t understand why people think just because you say America is not perfect you’re not patriotic. It really blows my mind. You sound fanatical. Do you know anything about your history or are you just blinded by ingnorance? This country has done good and bad. Lets please be realistic. And please understand people have different experiences in life that draw them to their conclusions. Just because life in America has been perfect for you doesn’t mean that it has for someone else. And also doesn’t mean they should move to another country if they point out this country’s faults.

Posted by rj | Report as abusive
 

“McCain is trying so hard to reach across the aisle to the independants and democrats that he is going to lose those of us who don’t appreciate him slamming our president.”

The president deserves to be slammed. He is an idiot and incompetent. If his last name weren’t Bush and if his brother weren’t the governor of Florida, there’s no way this moron would’ve been elected president in the first place.

Posted by Andrew | Report as abusive
 

McCain made a valid point which is why it hypocritical and plain silly to take one sentence Michelle Obama said and run for it. Never including what was said before or after. Just silliness and pettiness.

Neither McCain NOR Michelle should be picked apart for this sentence but of course small minds will continue to do so

 

All those who are drinking the poison of hate spewed forth by the republican party need to answer the question asked and stop doing what they always do when they cannot give an answer to a direct question. Here it is. Why is it different what Macain said from what Mrs Obama said? Now I know this might be hard for hate to adhere to, but please THINK before you type, no hate, just give us a reason to believe you guys has the ability to Think.

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8QCkgg5K jo

B. O. Refuses to salute our flag or sing our Anthem. See the actual footage above. McCain should use this footage for one of his powerful ad’s. This speaks volumes to all Americans. He actually said this:
“As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides,” Obama said. “There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.’ If that were our anthem, then I might salute it.”

Posted by Teri | Report as abusive
 

Rumors and smears is what you are all getting frustrated and mad about. I bet that none of you know the real issues at hand. Poeple, get off this nonsense and get involved in the issue.

Posted by Terri | Report as abusive
 

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