McCain says Obama would rather lose a war than lose an election

July 23, 2008

mccainbushsr.jpgEPPING, New Hampshire – Though his rival may be on another continent at the moment, John McCain isn’t holding back from taking shots against Barack Obama

 The Republican presidential candidate came out on Tuesday with one of his sharpest attacks yet on Obama’s policies regarding the Iraq war, shortly after the Illinois senator wrapped up a visit to Baghdad. 

McCain pounded the Democratic presidential hopeful for opposing an increase in U.S. troop levels in Iraq — known as the “surge” — which has been credited with helping stabilize the country. 

 “When we adopted the surge, we were losing the war in Iraq, and I stood up and said I would rather lose a campaign than lose a war,” McCain told reporters. 

 “Apparently Sen. Obama, who does not understand what’s happening in Iraq or fails to acknowledge the success in Iraq, would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.” 

Fighting words — and ones he apparently intends to keep using. The Arizona senator debuted the same line at a town-hall meeting earlier in the day, repeated it at a brief news conference, and said it again during a network television interview.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (McCain and former President George Bush speak to reporters in Kennebunkport, Maine July 21, 2008)


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Why McSame has lost us the war and will never be ready to be commander-in-chief, as noted by another poster:
“It’s about judgment, my friends….

“And I believe that the success will be fairly easy” and “There’s no doubt in my mind that… we will be welcomed as liberators.” [John McCain 3/24/03]

“There’s not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shias. So I think they can probably get along.” [John McCain 4/23/03]

“Look, we’re going to send young men and women in harm’s way and that’s always a great danger, but I cannot believe that there is an Iraqi soldier who is going to be willing to die for Saddam Hussein, particularly since he will know that our objective is to remove Saddam Hussein from power.”

[John McCain 9/15/02]

“But the fact is, I think we could go in with much smaller numbers than we had to do in the past. But any military man worth his salt is going to have to prepare for any contingency, but I don’t believe it’s going to be nearly the size and scope that it was in 1991.” [John McCain 09/15/02]

“He’s a patriot who has the best interests of his country at heart.” ]John McCain on Ahmed Chalabi, 2002]

“Absolutely. Absolutely.” [John McCain, asked by Chris Matthews, “you believe that the people of Iraq or at least a large number of them will treat us as liberators?” 03/12/03]

I think the victory will be rapid, within about three weeks. [John McCain, MSNBC, 1/28/03]

It’s clear that the end is very much in sight. … It won’t be long. It, it’ll be a fairly short period of time. [John McCain, ABC, 4/9/03]

We’re either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months. [Meet The Press, 11/12/06]

“Well, then why was there a banner that said mission accomplished on the aircraft carrier?” [John McCain, responding to assertion by Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that “many argue the conflict isn’t over,” [John McCain, 06/11/03]

“My friends, the war will be over soon, the war for all intents and purposes although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years.” [John McCain, 02/25/08]

Posted by shirl | Report as abusive

John McCain is getting nervous and he has started ranting.
He wasted his time for 2 months after he had pretty much wrapped up the nomination and he has squandered a chance to concentrate on the economy on a week where he was left to himself. Obama is outsmarting him at every turn and fighting this battle on his terms. You can always tell when McCain is nervous….. he gets this deer stuck in headlights look.I also saw the ad that he is showing about the media fascination with Obama and what I can tell you is this…. It’s helping people getting to like Obama.
What idiot is advising his campaign ?

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

Senator McCain cannot have it both ways. He says that the surge was critical to “winning” the war so if that is true then why not agree with the government and people of Iraq and do what you do after you “win” which is to leave unless you really did come there to be a long-term occupying power. It the surge has allowed us to “win” then why not plan to leave? If it turned out that the “win” was not real, then what do you do? Another surge?

Posted by Steve S | Report as abusive

McCain would rather lose the Country than lose the election. The war in Iraq is very far from over and very far from a success. Talk to me in ten years about victory.

Posted by Dave Boyle | Report as abusive

War is always a lose-lose situation. People die, economies suffer, and politicians use it for excuses however it best suits them.

Posted by Jen | Report as abusive

I’ve followed the campaigning very closely and never expected McCain to launch such a disgraceful, false, and
self-serving attack on his opponent. I respect Senator
McCain’s heroic service to our nation but his accusation
that Senator Obama would rather “lose a war than lose a campaign” has no basis in reality. Both candidates have
different but legitimate perspectives that should be logically and rationally explored. But McCain’s attack rhetoric is now just insulting trash talk. Our presidential election this year is too vitally important for such language. In contrast, Senator Obama’s statements about his opponent have been respectful and his views about Afghanistan and Iraq, insightful. Regarding “the surge” he correctly notes that the sunni insurgents who came over to our side, 100,000 of them, and the thousands of shia who observed a cease fire called by Sadr are important factors along with the increase in U.S. troop levels. But Iraq is still a dangerous nation in deep crisis. It has four million refugees; the U.S. equivalent would be sixty million.
How “successful” would we feel if sixty million Americans
were refugees?

Posted by F.A. Kafka | Report as abusive

The Dems don’t get it. Obama ran soup kitchens in Chicago, and served in the senate for 3 years that accomplished no legislation, were he has the most liberal voting record in the senate (fact). If the republicans had chose as it’s nominee the most conservative person in the party all hell would have to be paid, since the media would label the GOP as far flung, but if its the number one socialcrat, well then it’s WOUNDERFUL. The Audacity to go on a Worldapoolza acting as if he is the Prez in waiting, exceeds the common sense factor not to mention its in bad tatse. But I am sure the liberals will defend it as just On the Job Preparation For 09. Well I can’t wait for the Dems to raise my taxes, cut off any hope of more fuel production, welfare and health care for terrorists and the country turned over to illegal immigrants. Wow what a UTOPIA. I am gonna get some beads and weed, then join the fun. WHAT IF OBAMA LOOSES???? ITS NOT OVER YET!!!!

Posted by zenon | Report as abusive

I have been in Iraq for over 4 years, I have been in the military, and I am in my mid ’50s. I am not going to vote for Obama. The fact, some nations may embrace his “posing Presidential”, is self serving for both of them. I am more interested in what I think is best for America, and it is not Obama this year.

Posted by alberta | Report as abusive

I hope Gramps gets his wish and we win the war while he loses the Presidency. The sad thing is he and Bush have no idea that what winning means to them is unacceptable to most Americans. Their definition of winning is a foreign nation allows us to stay indefinitely ripping off their oil, and propping them up as a puppet. Any resistance on their part is termed terrorism. Most of us including the service men and women on the frontlines are not willing to risk American lives to achieve that definition of victory.

Posted by chris | Report as abusive

If the Sunni had not reject Al Queada before the surge and al Sadr had not had his militia back down the surge would not be working….McCain is losing his ONLY advantage and he knows it…hench the rant!

Posted by Docb | Report as abusive

McCain is obviously not thinking his words though. If being against the war is a “winning” strategy for the Presidential election, then most Americans are ALSO opposed to continuing the war! Think about it, Senator McCain!

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

AMEN! We want to win the war and save our country — McCain is the only candidate for America.

Have you all noticed the recent attacks on our American Flag, the alterations of and disdain for our National Anthem?

I see a pattern developing with Obama in the White House (if “they” can pull it off?) and it seems to be…to pull us into a One World Government.

In order to fully accomplish such a daunting task…it would be wise to have an “Insider” first and then go after a nation’s guns, her sovereignty (flag, anthem, etc.) and then…slowly…ever so slowly…pull the country out her innocent slumber and into a New World Order.

Easy. When you know how… :>)  ?rsrcID=2036

Posted by EAST COAST | Report as abusive

I know the MSM likes to paint this as a tight race, but come on–there’s about 1 percent of the country that wants to see John McCain continue the Bush presidency, and that’s the richest 1 percent of the population. Everyone else is sick and tired of all the failures of the last 7.5 years.

Posted by ckp | Report as abusive

Reuters/McCain: ”When we adopted the surge, we were losing the war in Iraq, and I stood up and said I would rather lose a campaign than lose a war,” McCain told reporters.

”Apparently Sen. Obama, who does not understand what’s happening in Iraq or fails to acknowledge the success in Iraq, would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.”

Here are just a few of the preceding phrases, Mr. & Mrs. Reader, that I would rather “lose my lunch” over than hear even one more time:
1. “stood up”
2. “lose a war”
3. “success in Iraq”

Secondly, the demagogic comments by Mr. McCain beg the question, “How does one ‘lose a campaign’?” Perhaps he means “lose an election.”

Lastly, wasn’t it Mr. McCain who recently said that Our Best & Finest could be out of Iraq in 2 years (versus Mr. Obama’s prognosis of 16 months)? I think he also sees the handwriting on the wall.

The bottom line is this, Mr. & Mrs. Reader.

The so called “surge” has been a success not necessarily in and of itself…but rather because the bulk of the insurgent forces and their leaders in Iraq (Shia & Sunni) stood down and let it be a success. “Why would the insurgents do this?” you may very well ask. That’s a reasonable question.

I believe that the insurgents held things down to a dull roar because they saw Mr. Obama coming, i.e., they are betting that he will be the next U.S. president, and that U.S. forces will be withdrawn before the next U.S. congressional election in 2010. Just about all major political decisions and milestones are cyclic in the United States. The cycle they follow is the 2-year election cycle at the federal level.

Even Iraqi prime minister, Nouri Kamel Mohammed Hassan al-Maliki, sees the handwriting on the wall, and has jumped on the bandwagon for withdrawal. He sees this as a very good political move that matches the mood of the majority of the Iraqi population like hand and glove.

I say “Iraqi population” guardedly folks. My reasoning is this. I firmly believe that within 2-3 years (perhaps much sooner) after the final withdrawal of a U.S. military forces from Iraq…that Iraq will break up into three separate and distinct ethnic regions: Kurdish, Sunni & Shia. This is a tripartite event just waiting to happen (and one which I’ve predicted since 2002 when the U.S. congress was more or less politically blackmailed into voting to hand Mr. Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq on a silver platter).

After all, what the world presently sees as “Iraq” was created by the British after the fall of the Ottoman Turk Empire at the conclusion of World War I in 1917. During Turkish rule, “Iraq” was not “Iraq”. It was three separate and distinct ethnic regions (actually administrative units) as I just stated, i.e., Mosul Vilayet in the north; Baghdad Vilayet in the center; and Bassorah (Basra) Vilayet in the south.

OK Jack

P.S. As a Vietnam Veteran of the 1960’s, I find all of this to be reminiscent in an eerie sort of way. The difference is that after the final U.S. military withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973, north and south Vietnam were reunified by the communist north within 2 years…whereas…just the opposite will happen in Iraq, i.e., Iraq will break up into three autonomous regions (possibly into three different sovereign states).

Of course, the modern day Turks (NATO member) will not want to see an oil-rich independent “Kurdistan” in the north. The minority Sunnis in the center will not like it that the minority Kurds in the north and the majority Shia in the south will have all of the oil. The majority Shia in the south will not like what happens because they will have lost control of the entire country (i.e., “Iraq” as the world presently knows it to be…or not to be…that is the Shakespeareanesqe question). In other words, the Shia will have lost the ancient capital of Baghdad in the process.

I do not foresee a peaceful breakup, but rather a very bloody one.

As for “Iraq” oil…it will finally flow more or less freely from the south. Something tells me that the oil in the north will for the most part remain in the ground.

Posted by OK Jack | Report as abusive

i have never heard mcbush admit that vietnam was a mistake
the same as iraq has been bush gave the terriost a place to practice killing americans. whilemacain was confined in vietnam
more then 75000 young men died there for nothing and more then 300000 vietnam people died. they ran us out. and the united states was not took ever they way we was told it would be if we did not kill as many as possible. today we can go there. and walk the street. macain should have learned a lesson from vietnam. we do not need someone like him in office we have had that for 8 years already

Posted by virgil riggs | Report as abusive

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Posted by McCain Would Rather Win an Election… « Nachon Blog | Report as abusive

McCain, would rather loose an election than see his country lose a war

that is someone who cares about his country,

character humility

I want someone with character to win this election

Posted by MBeard | Report as abusive

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Posted by Fun Fact About McCain #2: Attacking The Character of His Opponents – 2parse/blog | Report as abusive

McSame don’t have to worry…..He is going to loose the Election and we are going to win the war. Dont worry McBush you will get you wish old man!

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive