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McCain "Bombs" in S.C.

On Wednesday, The Fix highlighted a video clip of former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) making reference to the French and Adolf Hilter when queried about the future of nuclear power.

Romney aides downplayed the comments as nothing more than a reference to historical facts that the governor has cited before and will cite again.

Today, it's Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) turn in spotlight, as a video was posted on YouTube that shows McCain at an appearance in South Carolina answering a question on Iran by referencing the song "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys.

"That old Beach Boys song? Bomb Iran," McCain says. "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb."

It's clear from the clip that he was joking, and audience laughter can be heard. But in this post-"macaca" world, does it matter? We honestly don't know.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 19, 2007; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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I originally supported Mccain's initiatives until he started singing about bombing a country and killing innocent people. Im glad his poor sense of humor came out when it did, or else i may have supported him. Hopefully Fred Thompson will run so the GOP will have someone decent for the nomination.

Posted by: tantallman | April 24, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

McCain will NEVER win the GOP nomination for one reason, illegal immigration. The guy partnered with the WORST guy in the Senate on illegal immigration, Ted Kennedy. Kennedy has been pushing for increased illegal immigration for decades and has been responsible for so much social and economic strain on our country for too long. Republicans have finally said enough and will not tolerate it anymore. When McCain partnered with Teddy on the Senate Amnesty Bill last year, he decided then and there he did not want to be President.

Americans want ENFORCEMENT of our laws, not AMNESTY and massive entitlements for millions of illegal aliens and their families. To see all the facts, visit

Posted by: VA Patriot | April 22, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

It is sad that McCain's CM, Terry Nelson has to beg for donations - McCain needs to of retired like 4 years ago. He is a joke and a embarrassment, we do not need another idiot for president! 8 years of one idiot in the white house is enough. Any way haven't McCain heard that Arizona has lost it's village Idiot? This country can't take another one - we have all ready sunk farther in the sewer from the first one!
Terry - not wasting my money on this sad sack nor my vote! And, "GO MOVE ON.Org - keep up the good job you are doing!"

Posted by: boo- who | April 20, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

McCain is nothing but a complete moron! He is Bushie's shadow! Every time he opens his mouth it is like Bushie standing trying to talk but screws up before he even opens his mouth! McCain and Bushie should just ride off in to the sunset together because no one would miss either one!
Then there is Flip Floppin Romney - insert foot in mouth before brain engages! Romney's face should be put on the back end of a mule - "the ignorant- smart mouth mormon!

Posted by: espo | April 20, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Email from Terry Nelson:

Today, the ultra-liberal group launched an attack ad against John McCain, criticizing him for his resolute stance against the spread of evil in the Middle East. As we have come to expect from a group that would compare the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler, the attack against Senator McCain is nothing more than defeatist propaganda and cowardice. We need your help today to respond.

John McCain has stood strong against the liberal interest groups in support of our efforts in the Middle East. He understands that while mistakes have been made, there are reasons for cautious optimism in Iraq as our military is beginning to execute a new strategy under the command of a skilled and talented officer, General David Petraeus. John McCain understands that the United States must never back down from evil or from the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of madmen; whether it be in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world.

But, we need your help to stand up to the liberal character-assassins at Please join our team today by making a generous online contribution at Your contribution will help our campaign continue to spread the message that America must never surrender to terrorists, autocrats, or dictators around the world.

Next week, John McCain will travel to New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, Nevada and Arizona on his Presidential Announcement Tour. On that tour, he will continue to speak out in ways that I'm sure will continue to dislike. Let's not let them have the final word. Please, join us today.


Terry Nelson
Campaign Manager

PS - We need your help today to stand up to the liberal defeatists at, so please click here to join our team and make a generous contribution. Thank you for your support.

Posted by: Bloomberger | April 20, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

John D.
"The Straight Talk Express has turned into a pandering, right-wing vehicle headed directly back to 1981."
If only we had the leadership or leadership prospects today that compared to the president in 1981....

Posted by: Dave! | April 20, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"It's clear from the clip that he was joking, and audience laughter can be heard. But in this post-"macaca" world, does it matter? We honestly don't know."
Oh it matters. As long as there is a cynical, evil, extremist, extraordinarily well funded group that will take any item, legit or not, and make it into political issue/commercial, contact the usual suspects so that the "story" has legs and can control the spin and new cycle of the "event", then it matters. makes it matter, even when it shouldn't. This organization gets nowhere near enough credit for creating the acidic and polarizing environment we live in. It definitely matters unfortunately. And if you "honestly don't know", then you should not be in the politics business.

Posted by: Dave! | April 20, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse


Cretins isn't exactly wrong, but I'm more inclined to describe people who applaud the idea of "sending an airmail message" to Iran as Troglodytes. I would, however, agree that Cretin is the perfect description of the candidate who can crack a joke plunging this country into another disasterous war. And to think I sent money to that cretin in 2000.

Posted by: Larry McD | April 20, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Funny how some halfwit commenters think that freedom of speech as protected by the Constitution means that anyone can say whatever they want, whenever they want, and wherever they want to say it with no consequences. When America gets sucked down the hole of historical irrelevance, and it is heading in that direction, this sort of widespread ignorance will be the cause.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

All comedians, please turn in your brains immediately!

per order of The Thought Police

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Chris! It wasn't just any question he was responding to.

Consider the setting -a group of Veterans at a VFW hall in N.C.

- one of them asks ,partly in jest, when the United States would send an "airmail message" to Iran.

Please, I was talking to some of my old veterans friends," he told reporters.

"My response is, Lighten up and get a life."

When reporters asked if the joke was insensitive, McCain said: "Insensitive to what? The Iranians?"

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 20, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

He may have attempted to make a joke out of the question, but is that what we need in the White House? We already have one "joker" there. We need serious people.

Couple this gaffe with his Baghdad market comment and it becomes obvious that the "Straight-Talk Express" continues to make u-turns.

Posted by: pacman | April 20, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Actually, radio stations came up with "Bomb Iran" way back in 1980, during the hostage crisis. It's not new at all.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Simplest and still unfortunate insight: The comment/joke by McCain was stolen from the Capitol Steps comedy/musical troupe's song, "Bomb Iraq", which they released in 2006. You can see the lyrics here:
and listen to the song here:

Posted by: nddaveman | April 20, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

come on chris this is irresponsible journalism, dont be an ass big guy cause i love reading you work but this is just plan dick

Posted by: andy | April 20, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

McCain is looking more like a sad, comb-overed old man every time I see him on TV. What will he be like in a few years if he's sitting in the White House? Time to retire with dignity, maybe come back to serve on a future presidential commission on Veterans Health or something.

Posted by: Green Rich | April 20, 2007 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was funny and laughed when I read this. It was obviously a joke. Besides, it's funny how the left loves freedom of speech until a conservative facist is speaking...then it's time to shut them up! Besides, what's the difference between making fun of a gay person and burning a flag? I can't wait to hear the liberal position on this one! Let's be honest, a wounded veteran takes just as offensively flag burning as does a gay person a gay joke.

Posted by: reason | April 20, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

The joke was not funny. Imagine the reaction in the U.S. if a public figure from any other country sang * bomb, bomb, bomb, the USA?* I doubt we would be rolling on the floor laughing. McCain*s behavior was irresponsible, stupid, and once again, cast doubt on his mental stability. He is not presidential material.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Is the standard for a presidential candidate, the ability to tell a joke? I went to school with many Iranians, and found them to be sensible, earnest students with little understanding of American culture. What are they to make of this kind of cultural stereotyping by a presidential candidate? When you are interviewing for the CINC job, you ought to be serious about the awesome life and death consequences of bombs. These kinds of jokes don't translate well into Persian, where we are perceived as invaders, crusaders, infidels, etc. This kind of humor doesn't go unnoticed around the world. The world is afraid of the US these days.

Posted by: rick | April 20, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

He should have slapped that idiot down as a matter of good governance. What he did was not straight-talk... it was pandering.

Posted by: Terry Green | April 19, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm just one of the moronic "cretins" that Krunj wrote so eloquently about - I thought it was a pretty funny joke...

McCain has got my vote.

And, Krunj, for a REALLY funny joke, check out the people he's running against... in both parties...

Posted by: ED | April 19, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

McCain only got it half-wrong: "Barbara Ann was originally Top 40 hit for The Regents in 1961. The Beach Boys version was a capella. The Straight Talk Express has turned into a pandering, right-wing vehicle headed directly back to 1981.

Posted by: John D. | April 19, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Mike B:

How is Al Sharpton any different than Pat (God killed people in Massachusetts because I prayed for him to save my house)Robertson, Rush (I make fun of people with awful diseases and am addicted to control substances) Limbaugh, or Bill (I sexually harass my employees and lie about winning prestigious awards) O'Reilly?

Because they all seem the same to me.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I guess this is the end of mccain, maybe he can retire and go live in the desert somewhere ...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

McCain is doing what I have been saying for a long time. He must run his poll numbers down so he can withdraw with some sense of honor/respect. Rudy keeps climbing in the polls mainly from previous McCain supporters. How it will turn out is something none of us knows, but we can state an opinion based on what we think. Many can and will be found that will agree/disagree on this as well as everything else.

Posted by: lylepink | April 19, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | April 19, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

The comment was foolish, but look at the room of redneck morons looking to lap up some knee-jerk vitriol instead of hear a considered response. No wonder we are viewed by the rest of the world as the greatest threat to world peace.

The problem is not with McCain's spluttering campaign, but with the cretins who love the sort of warmongering he's joking about - and vote accordingly.

Posted by: Krunj | April 19, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Travel over to MSNBC and look at the Democratic cndidates courting Al Sharpton. MSNBC and every other site references Sharpton's use of the Brawley mess to stir up racial hatred, which is where he got his start. Couple this with his public lynching of the Duke LaCrosse players and his calls for the ouster of Don Imus and anyone associated with him looks like they have taken a shower in excrement... I mean Edwards even is picured with him. Do these people completely lack dignity and self respect and common sense, much less any respect for the sensibilities of voters? Mark my words, all of this is going to come back in the general election and do whoever the Democratic nominee is, great and grave harm. What a mess. Just when it looks like we can clean up politics and do someting for this country, my Democrats go and squander it all away.

Posted by: MikeB | April 19, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

In response to your question, does it matter?
Yes I think McCain's tasteless response merely complements his record of flip-flopping and inconsistency. Further, does anyone realize that there's a very substantial population of Iranians in the U.S.?-- emigrants and refugees who simply should not be faced with such vitriolic slime. It appears from the video that his audience was very receptive to bombing Iran. I find this American obsession with violence, from Blacksburg to Badhdad is misguided, hypocritical and disgusting especially becaue many of the same people call themselves "Christians". No one can tell me this is a Christian country.

Posted by: cjburke | April 19, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

McCain is always in trouble anymore. There's the Iran joke, the voter hostility, and then his Romneyesque flip-flop on gun control.

It's bad.

Posted by: matt | April 19, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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