Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee who has built his campaign around his foreign policy experience, appeared to stumble in the midst of a high-profile overseas trip.

McCain, who had visited Iraq…earlier to talk with military commanders and Iraqi officials, spoke at an event in Amman, Jordan, where he expressed concern about Iranians “taking al Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back” to Iraq. But Iran and al Qaeda are associated with different branches of Islam. Iran is a mostly Shiite country and al Qaeda is primarily a Sunni militant group; Iran has been reported to help Shiite extremists in Iraq, but not their Sunni counterparts.

McCain was flanked by the two other members of his congressional delegation: Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who are both supporters and close friends. According to a report in the Washington Post, Lieberman later whispered into McCain’s ear, prompting McCain to correct himself: “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al Qaeda.”

This is the 3rd time in the past few days this has happened. Are we learning something unexpected about John McCain?

  1. Gene says:

    Every candidate makes mistakes in speaking on the campaign. This is nothing new and neither increases or diminishes McCain or any of the other candidates for such lapses.

  2. sandwich says:

    frickin dinosaur.

  3. igor says:

    @1 yes simple mistakes. Not like al qaeda is training terrorists oh wait no its iran.
    wtf? it means he’s just reading some text and knows nothing about it.

  4. jlm says:

    sounds just as ignorant as Bush was about Iraq

  5. Hmeyers says:

    I’m trying to fit in, so …

    (insert generic negativistic comment here)

  6. Dallas says:

    Soon after this meeting, he offered to return to the African continent soon.

  7. bobbo says:

    So the obvious “real” question is was this a McCain misspeak or was this reflective of his actual understanding of the situation?

    and–how accurate can a “big picture” idea be if the details are all completely wrong? Can anyone form an insightful geo-political position on our involvement with Iraq and not know the history of islamic sectarianism? Or does the USA make history by the decisions it makes?

  8. moss says:

    How accidental a “mis-speaking” is it when it’s the 3rd time in a couple of days?

    I think the accident was that the schmuck forgot he was on camera and therefore speaking to the world instead of just his money-boys inside the Beltway.

    There’s an automatic Lie Switch they’re supposed to click on when a Republikan functionary shows up in front of the press. That’s all that McCain forgot about.

    Fortunately, his vice-schmuck candidate, Lieberman, was there to throw the switch. It just looks like he was tugging on his elbow.

  9. Sea Lawyer says:

    Well, considering that every terrorist who happens to be Muslim gets lumped in with al Qaeda these days, I’m not sure it’s necessarily a detail of importance to most Americans.

  10. jescott418 says:

    Extremest or Al Qaeda does it really make a difference??

  11. keane-o says:

    Brit or American? Does it matter historically which foreign army you shoot at?

  12. bac says:

    Considering that the republican party is trying to make a case that Iran is a bad country, I think these kinds of slips might be more important than most people think. Does anyone remember Saddam Hussein? (spelling?)

    I suppose now we know that not only is Al Queda in Iraq but also extremist. It is going to be a long battle in Iraq.

  13. jbenson2 says:

    Are we learning something unexpected about John McCain?

    I’m more concerned about what we’ve learned about Obama in the past few days. His judgmenent and unification skills seem to be severely lacking.

    If he has a difficult time standing up to his hate-filled minister, will he fold like a cheap suit in front of world leaders?

  14. jbenson2 says:

    Yes, I know
    It is spelled judgment.

  15. Ah_Yea says:

    It needs to be said. McCain allowing himself to be corrected may have been a saving face maneuver for Lieberman.

  16. bobbo says:

    #16–Ah Yea–or maybe Lieberman was reminding McCain he was leaking top secret private briefing information? As in==it doesn’t matter if its published in Time Magazine, the government should still keep its own secrets secret?

    Yep, thats monkeyboy–uniting our enemies against us, with no relief from McCain in sight.

    I keep saying McCains time in Hanoi does not qualify him in military or foreign affairs and no one has directly posted otherwise?

  17. smartalix says:

    I’m more concerned about what we’ve learned about Obama in the past few days. His judgmenent and unification skills seem to be severely lacking.

    I’m concerned that such ridicoulous statements can still be made in the wake of Obama’s most recent speech. If you can discuss the situation as it exists, using Obama’s own words to judge him, do so. Otherwise you are just another putz who spouts lies and hate and fear with no idea of the actual issues.

    Kind of like McCain. If you are fighting a war and don’t even understand the inter-tribal political situation you are an idiot.

  18. Ah_Yea says:

    At this time it looks like it is going to be a McCain-Lieberman ticket. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

  19. MikeN says:

    Ah,Yea don’t expect the posters on this board to be bothered by facts. I have posted the connections between Iraq and Al-Qaeda in the past, such as an Iraqi delegation visiting Osama, followed by speeches from him calling for support of Iraq, and all people say is that Al Qaeda and Iraq are mortal enemies. Now they say the same is true of Iran.

    How about this from an indictment brought by the Clinton Administration:

    “USAMA BIN LADEN, the defendant, and al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with representatives of the government of Iran, and its associated terrorist group Hizballah, for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.”

  20. jbenson2 says:

    #18 – Kind of a lame response. After all, we are talking about the next President of the United States.

    Obama wants to make a lot of sweeping changes (vaguely described at best). I want to know why he won’t be more specific. For instance, why has he subjected his 2 children to the hate-filled comments made by his pastor. I also want to know why he considered the pastor to be his mentor for the past 20 years. Comparing the racist pastor to his grandmother goes beyond the pale.

    Obama admitted knowing about the vile comments at the start of his campaign, but he still put Wright into Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee. Wright was not pulled until the crap hit the fan.

    After watching him make conflicting statements on Friday, then try to side-step the specific issue with a sweeping race speech on Tuesday, a lot of people question his association and decision making. Look at the pole results. Add in the Rezko land deal mess to get a better understanding of his ethics.

    Take a look at #14’s comments and you will see that McCain does understand the inter-tribal political situation.

  21. Ah_Yea says:

    #21, MikeN, I’m afraid you may be right. It is apparent that McCain knew what he was saying. It’s also apparent that he can allow himself to be corrected. It is also apparent that he can take the middle road politically.

    So many on this board loudly cry for such a candidate. What an ironic twist that it happened to be a Republican!

  22. Ah_Yea says:

    And if anyone else is interested in enlightenment, here are the actual reports.

    Not that anyone really wants enlightenment. It saddens me to think some Liberal Thinkers can be just as closed minded as Conservatives.

  23. bobbo says:

    #22–jb==who are you flacking for? What speeches were Obama’s kids present for? You don’t know and neither does anyone else. Idiot.

    200 years of slavery–who knew it would leave a scar?

    So the preacher man is wrong about the white man creating the aides virus to infect the black man, but not so wrong if the subject was syphillus==but yes, more than splitting hairs.

    God damn America?==white preacher idiots say that all the time, not just so forcefully or emphatically.

    I think Obama knew what his preacher man preached and took it all with a grain of salt===good to keep touch with the religious community, but not tied to its more extreme inanities.

    You know, if you vote for change—things change. Or leave basic relationships the way they are? I’m for change even when I don’t agree with “everything.”

  24. smartalix says:

    After watching him make conflicting statements on Friday, then try to side-step the specific issue with a sweeping race speech on Tuesday, a lot of people question his association and decision making.

    Specifics would be useful. WHich conflicting statements? In what way was the speech “sweeping” (I assume you mean in the negative sense of “indiscriminate and wholesale”)? What aspects of his decision-making do you feel are questionable?

    I even agree that the Rezko deal smelled, but if you can point to a pattern of behavior you might have something. wave your hands and shout all you like, you still have to make a point sometime based on facts or you are just pushing air.

  25. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    #14 Ah_Yea, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” sounds a lot like the philosophy that the Reagan administration used as it armed Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in its war against Iran, which included Iraq’s use of chemical weapons. I’m sure there’s no lingering resentment in Iran over that, eh? And the hypocrisy of the U.S. turning a blind eye to Saddam’s use of WMD on Iran probably doesn’t piss ’em off either.

    If there does turn out to be evidence of Iranian support of Al Qaeda, would it really be a stunning surprise? At the time the alleged ties took root, our leader had already sent strong signals that after Iraq, Iran was our likely next target as we attempted to remake the Middle East into a western friendly region. And one of the less than subtle signals that we were setting the stage for a future war with Iran….. we repeatedly called Ahmadinejad a madman, just as we had done with Saddam.

    I truly believe we’d be at war with Iran right now if Iraq hadn’t turned out to be such a quagmire. That view is certainly in line with the signals that our administration was sending.

  26. JimD says:

    Isn’t he the one who wants to “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb; Bomb, Bomb, Iran” ??? (sung to the Beach Boys tune) I guess the old fighter pilot sees only in terms of TARGETS and NON-TARGETS, and at his advanced age, may not know the difference !!! Plus, he is in need of an INFUSION OF DIPLOMACY !!! We have an ENTIRE STATE DEPARTMENT for that kind of work, but he might not have noticed it !!!

  27. Ah_Yea says:

    #27, I believe you are exactly right. Iran is a whole lot worse than Iraq ever was, and if Iraq had gone as well as had been anticipated, we very well could have been in Iran by now.

  28. gregallen says:

    Rachel Maddow pointed this out in her show last night — John McCain is incoherent on Iraq.

    He tries to be perceived as “strong” but he talking nonsense if you listen critically.

    Maddow says the press and most people haven’t been really listening to him. I have to say, that’s been me. I’m just so against the war, I’ve “tuned out” the sunny cheerleaders like McCain who have been telling us this war is a success all along the way, even when it so clearly is not.

    But I’m going to start actually listening to what McCain says from now on.

  29. Ah_Yea says:

    #25, bobbo, you know Obama’s big problem coming up is guilt by association. Whether or not he took it all with a grain of salt (I hope so), it will still come down to his enemies projecting the beliefs of his pastor onto his own person.

    His bigger problem, right or wrong, was not having sufficiently distanced himself from the teachings of his pastor, thereby effectively painting on himself a huge red bullseye.

    Personally, I think it OK to attack these issues of race relations head on and forget the “Politically Correct” euphemisms. I find most PC stuff quells debate and resolution rather than expediting it.

    By the way, Bobbo, do you ever sleep?

  30. gregallen says:

    As for this issue specifically…

    No kidding! The average illiterate street sweeper in the Muslim world is smarter about Iraq than are the US conservatives.

    For starters, they all knew that Saddam Hussain would NO WAY IN HELL give Osama bin Laden a toe-hold in Iraq. EVERYBODY BUT THE CONSERVATIVES knew that Saddam was a power-greedy dictator who would not ever ever ever ever ever allow a wannabe “sheik” like Osama in his country. The first thing Osama would have done is start sewing the seeds of Saddam’s overthrow!

    Secondly, even the most illiterate, completely uneducated sweeper living in a garbage dump knows that Al Queda IS BLOWING UP SUNNIS.

    What would the home of SUNNI ISLAM train them for that?

    Honest to goodness, it makes me think that either McCain has not bothered to read a book on the subject or senile dementia is kicking in. (The latter is not a snipe — I seriously wonder.)


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