Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

McCain Attack Ad Makes an Issue of Iran

By Juliet Eilperin
Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign unveiled a new attack ad questioning Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) foreign policy credentials, which starts today on national cable, in Denver and in scattered markets throughout the country.

The ad, which takes selected phrases from remarks the presumptive Democratic nominee made on May 18 in Pendleton, Ore., implies that Obama doesn't take Iran seriously.

"Iran. Radical Islamic government. Known sponsors of terrorism," the narrator intones. "Developing nuclear capabilities to 'generate power' but threatening to eliminate Israel."

"Obama says Iran is a 'tiny' country, 'doesn't pose a serious threat,'" he continues. "Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren't 'serious threats'? Obama -- dangerously unprepared to be president."

The ad clearly takes what Obama was saying out of context, since the Democrat was not addressing Iran's policy on Israel or nuclear weapons when he made the comments. Instead, he was defending his controversial proposal to personally meet with Iran's leaders, comparing the situation to how President John F. Kennedy met with then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev during the height of the Cold War.

"I mean think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela -- these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us," Obama said at the time. "And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying we're going to wipe you off the planet."

Liberals are already criticizing the commercial as unfounded: Ilan Goldenberg, policy director of the National Security Network, posted a blog entry on his group's Web site noting that McCain has spoken of bombing Iran and taking a more confrontational approach to Russia.

"I think it's time to take the gloves off and paint McCain as the reckless and dangerous overeager warrior that he is," Goldenberg wrote.

Criticism or not, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds wrote in an e-mail that the "Tiny" ad would appear "in select markets" in Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri, in addition to airing in Denver and on cable stations nationwide.

The Obama campaign responded with a "a fact check of the false claims" in the ad. "John McCain is distorting Barack Obama's words to cover up for the fact that it's the failed Bush-McCain approach to foreign policy and the Bush-McCain war in Iraq that have strengthened Iran and endangered Israel," said Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan in a statement. "While Barack Obama recognizes that Iran has been the biggest beneficiary of the war in Iraq and that the Bush-McCain fear of tough diplomacy has allowed Iran to spin 3800 centrifuges, threaten Israel, and fund terrorism, John McCain promises more of the same. If John McCain was serious about dealing with the threat from Iran, he would join Barack Obama's bipartisan effort in the Senate to step up sanctions on Iran instead of adopting the same tired, old Bush-Rove playbook."

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 27, 2008; 1:27 PM ET
Categories:  Ad Watch , B_Blog , Barack Obama , John McCain  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Live Online Today
Next: Obama Previews Goals for Speech


We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, but we set the rules of the game and censor any comments we don’t like under editorial rights.
You can say anything you wish but we only publish what our bosses have told us to let go thru! We are a commercial entity running mainly on advertisement revenue and donations from our powerful friends and we are not going to jeopardise our revenue for the sake of your freedom of expression!
Grow up and write something we can publish!

Posted by: Kiumars | September 1, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The whole issue of conflict with Iran is about control of the sources of energy, oil and nuclear fuel. British-American control of the sources of energy, oil, started once the value of oil over coal was demonstrated by German engineers especially for propulsion of ships.

The second main source of energy is nuclear power generation. The efforts to monopolize nuclear fuel production started in 1978, when the Nuclear Suppliers Group tried to impose restrictions on the right of developing countries to enrich their own uranium, a right. Since Article IV of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ensures access to peaceful uses of nuclear technology for non-nuclear weapon states, the technology for uranium enrichment must be permitted to all states under the current nonproliferation regime. Countries like Iran therefore, are permitted to develop their own enrichment technology for peaceful nuclear energy production. Iran has argued for an international nuclear fuel consortium to operate Iranian nuclear enrichment. Iranians assert that this international cooperative arrangement and IAEA oversight together will eliminate USA fear that Iran is attempting to use the technology to develop nuclear weapon.

The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) is a USA initiative that offers an international control over production of nuclear fuel and disposal of the associated nuclear wastes. GNEP-initiative monopolizes nuclear fuel production and waste management infrastructure.

Global Nuclear Power Infrastructure (GNPI) is a Russian initiative.
The Angarsk Electrolyzing and Chemical Combine, a plant created to enrich uranium for the Soviet nuclear program is located in Angarsk in southeastern Siberia, Russia. The international uranium enrichment center" (IUEC) in Angarsk objective is to provide a guaranteed supply of uranium fuel for countries which do not enrich uranium themselves, Iran, India and others. Russia will retain exclusive control of all sensitive enrichment technology.

All these initiatives, both GNEP and GNPI have one thing in common, monopolizing production of nuclear fuel. Any nation who would have nuclear reactor but can not control the supplier of nuclear fuel is not an independent nation. The case of Iran and Russia as supplier of the fuel demonstrates my argument. The Iranian problem for receiving from Russia fuel for Bushehr - Iran Nuclear Reactor was greatly co-opted by the United States forcing Iran to initiate her own fuel production.

Posted by: St Michael Traveler | September 1, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Iran has not attacked any other country for centuries, what would give them the motivation to start a war with Israel and the US? There is none. Mccain is an idiot who wants to scare people into electing him. I hope the American people dont fall for this like they did in 2004. Mccain would be a disaster for this country. If he is elected he would try and start wars with Russia, China, Iran, N. Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, once he's able to find them on a map.

Posted by: Joey | August 28, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Obama is on record as downplaying the threat from "tiny" Iraq and favoring sweet talk instead of tough talk. His would-be policy of appeasement toward Iran is indeed reckless, and his stated view that Iran is not as serious of a threat to our security as the USSR during the cold war was idiotic. This isn't a basketball game, there is no way to score the threat Iran poses, but history tells us a lot. Sometimes a small country or seemingly unimportant event can trigger a much larger conflict.

Japan entered WWII after it lost access to middle eastern oil. If Iran follows through on its threat to close the Straight of Hormuz (through which 40% of the world's oil passes) with its missiles in retaliation for not being allowed to pursue its nuclear ambitions, another World War-- this time with China, N. Korea and India as nuclear armed players-- is certainly a possibility. In which case Bush's Iraq adventure might end up seeming like brilliant military strategy... just a thought.

Posted by: EyeNever | August 27, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Double Speak Express

Hey Congress! Georgia Attacked South Ossetia First! | ClipmarksThe US helps secession from the Soviet Union but not secession from Georgia to Russia (by the Ossetians, since 1991). The US "invaded its neighbor, ... - 44k - Cached - Similar pages
Why exactly did Russia invade Georgia/S. Ossetia? - Yahoo! AnswersGEORGIA INVADED SOUTH

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

“McCain is like a Grumpy Elephant with no vision and a flip flopping memory! There is a reason this Elephant is always attacking without a postive message. His trainers are Rove & Schmidt at the circus! We know what to expect at the McCain’s convention a Grumpy Elephant entwining his trunk with 2 Rogue elephants in Bush/Cheney with two cheering trainers in Rove & Schmidt who are trying to sell the American People a 3 rd George Bush Term.” RFK

Posted by: Yeil Raven | August 27, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

By comparison, a country with 0 nuclear weapons IS tiny and not a serious threat when compared to a country with a stockpile of, what, 30,000 nuclear warheads? McCain not only lacks the ability to tell the truth, If you can't tell the difference between tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and NONE, you obviously need some help. Perhaps this explains why he's getting so excited about going to war with Russia over Georgia, though. He obviously doesn't realize that going to war with Russia, one of the largest and most powerful countries in the world and certainly the only country in the world with a nuclear arsenal that rivals our own, over Georgia, a small and relatively insignificant country that most Americans have only recently begun to realize isn't just a state with great peaches, is a stupid idea.

I'm not arguing we don't have an investment in limiting the strength of Iran or in offering a degree of protection to Georgia. All the same, I think John McCain has a serious judgment problem when it comes to deciding which situations warrant American soldiers, guns and bombs and which situations warrant diplomacy. In John McCain's world, EVERY situation warrants war. Diplomacy is for "pointy-headed professor types," not for former POWs and certainly not for Presidents.

Posted by: Katie | August 27, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

More bile from the Double Talk Express. McCain may know the truth, but he sure doesn't tell it to the voters.

Posted by: 66kicks | August 27, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a dumb old war mongerer who disguises nationalism as patriotism, for those that still support Bush/McCain I'll translate it into American for you:


There, now your brain cell can carry on pretending America is great and wonderful

Posted by: Chester | August 27, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"The ad clearly takes what Obama was saying out of context, since the Democrat was not addressing Iran's policy on Israel or nuclear weapons when he made the comments."

That this is a passing remark in the middle of the post is an interesting comment on the times in which we live.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't it Mccain that thought that Iraq and Pakistan share a border? Wasn't it Mccain that thought that the Czech Republic was Czechoslovakia? Wasn't it Mccain that couldn't tell the different warring factions in Iraq's civil war? How the heck is Mccain going to conduct foreign policy when he doesn't know anything about foreign relations? Isn't it Mccain that is proposing an increase in Social Security taxes (already the biggest chunk taken out of my check) That proves he knows nothing about economic policy either. He should just go back to helping his S&L buddies, and promoting the fact that he was a POW. If the American people are fooled into voting this idiot into office, then God help us, b/c we will deserve what we get under his presidency.

Posted by: Joe Banna | August 27, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats should make an ad with some of the POW'S that are disgusted with Mcain for using his POW status as a crutch during this campaign. POW'S should be honored and even reveered but they should not be given the keys to the whitehouse because of it. I honestly dont think mcain likes these tactics either but he obviouslly was asked do you want to be president or not. we are now witnessing his answer.

Posted by: swift boated | August 27, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

'Bizarre' is one word for McCain's hyper-nationalistic chest-thumping. He is insisting that oppressed people around the world "do not resent or resist America's democratic influence in the world".

Nope, no resentment at all - especially not in the insane neocon proving ground for exporting democracy...IRAQ!¤t=poster82119012.jpg

Posted by: McBush | August 27, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Good Bye World sponsored by McBud.

Posted by: HumbleBee | August 27, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Coming out of the Demnocratic Convention, Obama has to hit McCain hard as "reckless and dangerous" to both the US economy and national security. Commercials about McCain's gaffes on national security and the economy should starting comprising 40 to 50% of Obama's new ads. Obama should be targeting McCain's gaffes like his referring to two seperates countries Czech Republic and Slovakia as one country, Czechoslovokia; or like his saying the US economy is in good shape; or his "bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran" chant; or showing Lieberman whispering corrections in McCain's ear during his last foreign trip.

This new ad by McCain's campaign may appeal to older Jewish voters and some younger conservative jewish voters, but the rest of the 98% of the US population is very weary of more unnecessary wars.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | August 27, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Technically, more wars will mean more young men killed, which will also mean less jobs will be needed. Civilian causalties will reduce the need for new jobs even further. BRILLIANT!

You see, McCain's platform makes perfect sense!

McCain 08:
Let us make America better! (for those who will remain alive, that is)

Posted by: ZappoDave | August 27, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Senator McCain attempts to divert our attention away from our national problems by creating imaginary threats such as Iran. He forgets that we have seen these puppet masters works and we have learned about their tricks.

Senator McCain is out of touch with my generation. My generation demanded we should give all children in America the same opportunity irrespective of the gender, color of skin, religion of the parents, and the national origin of the parents, or where they live in America. My generation supported the American workers, farmers, and the middle class.

The Republican Party represents the "me-generation". The life objectives of the “me-generation” are to get money as much as you can and where ever you can. Then, use the money to buy more power and self-gratification.

The Republican Party is responsible for the mass migration of the American industry and technical jobs to other countries; they had one objective to maximize their profits using the cheapest labors at the expense of the environment. The Republican Party is responsible for withdrawing investment in our country’s infrastructures and industries so that they can invest the capital in the other nations; they had one objective to maximize their returns at the expense of the American future.

The Republican Party and their flag bearer Senator McCain supports multi-national corporations whose sole allegiance is to the profits at the expense of my children and grand children? The Democratic Party supports the workers, the farmers and the middle class Americans.

Posted by: Saint Michael Traveler | August 27, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Does McCain have an answer to ANYTHING that doesn't require military force?

The guy is a mental midget!

Posted by: astral99 | August 27, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

McCain has a new Ad out in which he quotes Obama saying Iran is “tiny” and “doesn’t pose a serious threat”. What the Ad does not say is that Obama was comparing Iran to the much larger and more dangerous Cold War era Soviet Union and he was arguing that we should communicate now with Iran like we did then with the Soviet Union. By not telling the whole truth, McCain’s Ad is a lie. We have a President who lies to the American people, we don’t need another.

Posted by: Al in Houston | August 27, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

You're a financial planner and you want to invest my retirement savings in scratch tickets?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a plumber and you're going to fix my clog with a stick of dynamite?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a firefighter and you're going to put out the flames with gasoline?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a jeweler and you're going to fix my Rolex with a hammer?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You’re a nuclear physicist and you're giving out 'free samples' of enriched uranium to children?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a surgeon and you're using a rusty hacksaw?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You’re John McCain, the Republican candidate for president and you want to fix the country's problems even though you don’t know much about the economy,

-You McCain, don’t know how to use the internet,

-You McCain, don’t know how many houses you own or what kind of car you drive,

-You McCain, admit you don’t think clearly when you’re tired,

-You McCain, make frequent gaffes on foreign policy,

-You McCain, think offshore drilling is a short-term solution to high gas prices,

-You McCain, support torture and keeping the Guantanamo prison open,

-You McCain, make rash decisions and statements from which you have to quickly backtrack,

-You McCain, have an explosive temper on a hair trigger,

-Your idea of health care reform McCain, is 'wear more sunscreen,

-You're for stem cell research McCain, except when it's done on stem cells because you consider them all American citizens,

and you McCain, voted to support the policies of the worst president ever (Bush) 100 percent of the time this year?"

"Trust me, my friends. I was a POW."

Only in rightwing lunitic fringe Republicanland....

Posted by: McCain = Bush/Cheney | August 27, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

John McCain lies in an ad, but the WaPo is happy to give it free media coverage. Anything for the beltway establishments chosen candidate.

Juliet takes a ride in the tire swing.

Posted by: TexDem | August 27, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

They've lost all credibility on the economy, foreign policy, health car, education, the environment. What have they got left? More fear, hatred and distortion. Time for a change.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 27, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

And what exactly did John McCain say his views were?

Posted by: Joe | August 27, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This just goes to show that the person falling behind is the one attacking the other candidate.

See what America thinks.

Posted by: Brandon | August 27, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

“It makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days they’re awfully hard to tell apart,”

I couldn't agree any less

Posted by: fa | August 27, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Okay will someone please tell me how we (Americans who see the reality we are circling the bowl as a country) are going to put a new administration in the WH that is not an extension of Bush/Rove/Cheney when ads like this etc. are what America believes. Do we get what we deserve for some unknown Karma? I have to tell everyone it is depressing that we know what is wrong and we can't fix it.

Posted by: NYC | August 27, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm John McCain and I'll have my people get back to you.

Posted by: Goombay | August 27, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

McCain is such a tool. Why doesn't he blast Reagan for the illegal Iran/Contra/Crack Cocaine scandal?

McCain likes to talk about women in their fifties who are "trying to dine out on their looks when they don't have the face for it." Well, since he was a POW, 35 years ago, what has he done: He's been a liar (Iraq), a cheat (first wife), and a thief (Keating).

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 27, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I am an independent voter who supported both McCain and Obama from last year. But McCain's comments over the last few months have convinced me now. I typically do not like negative campaigning, but the Obama people (and Joe Biden) need to make this clear:
McCain escalates every world crisis. He will trigger an international confrontation. It is sad to say but he is a warmonger. I say it with great sadness because I was expecting much more and have been greatly disappointed with his rhetoric. America needs to use its power wisely to be effective. It cannot seek to intervene everywhere. It must reserve its strength for intervention in situations that are important to the US. I do not want America's power to be thinly spread across the world and squandered.

Posted by: Independent | August 27, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company