McCain slams Obama on leaks, defense cuts, leading from behind

posted at 9:31 pm on August 29, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

The atmosphere was decidedly more low-key than the packed RNC opening night when the party’s 2008 nominee took the stage early Wednesday to take on the President’s foreign policy.

McCain opened with a characteristically self-deprecating nod to his ’08 loss:

It’s an honor, as always, my fellow Republicans, to join you at our national convention, and add my voice to yours as we nominate the next president of the United States, my friend, Governor Mitt Romney.

I had hopes once of addressing you under different circumstances. But our fellow Americans had another plan four years ago, and I accept their decision.

I’ve been blessed for so long to play a role in our nation’s affairs that I’m conscious only of the debt I owe America, and I thank you for the honor.

He proceeded to give a vigorous defense of American influence and take on Obama in the most specific terms we’ve seen from a podium speaker, hitting him on national security leaks, defense cuts, and “leading from behind” all over the world.

Unfortunately, for four years, we’ve drifted away from our proudest traditions of global leadership – traditions that are truly bipartisan. We’ve let the challenges we face, both at home and abroad, become harder to solve.

We can’t afford to stay on that course any longer.

We can’t afford to cause our friends and allies – from Latin America to Asia, Europe to the Middle East, and especially in Israel, a nation under existential threat – to doubt America’s leadership.

We can’t afford to give governments in Russia and China a veto over how we defend our interests and the progress of our values in the world.

We can’t afford to have the security of our nation and those who bravely defend it endangered because their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media.

I believe we can’t afford to substitute a political timetable for a military strategy.

By committing to withdraw from Afghanistan before peace can be achieved and sustained, the president has discouraged our friends and emboldened our enemies, which is why our commanders did not recommend that decision and why they have said it puts our mission at greater risk.

We can’t afford another $500 billion in cuts to our defense budget – on top of the nearly $500 billion in cuts that the president is already making. His own secretary of defense has said that cutting our military by nearly $1 trillion would be “devastating.”

And yet, the president is playing no leadership role in preventing this crippling blow to our military.

A wise congressman from Wisconsin has said, “Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course.” And that man is our next vice president, Paul Ryan.

But most of all, we can’t afford to abandon the cause of human freedom. When long-suffering peoples demand liberation from their jailers and torturers and tyrants, the leader of the free world must stand with them.

The line about national security leaks was his biggest applause line.

McCain also criticized Obama for inaction during uprisings in Iran and Syria, saying “the demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don’t want less of America. They want more. Everywhere I go in the world, people tell me they still have faith in America.”

An op-ed in Foreign Policy today echoes his speech.

From the Free Beacon, here’s the leaks segment:


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Watching the convention now, there really doesn’t seem to be that much of a spark in the audience. I don’t feel any energy or enthusiasm coming through the tv. Is that just Pawlenty is lousy at delivering some almost funny lines about Obama?

Sorry this is in the McCain thread, but we don’t have an open thread here.

karenhasfreedom on August 29, 2012 at 9:34 PM

McCain calling for more Middle East wars is not exactly what I am looking for. It would be nice if he focused on the bad economy entirely.

ModerateMan on August 29, 2012 at 9:34 PM

OT: Pawlenty just NAILED IT!

” Obama has failed at his job, but its understandable… A LOT OF PEOPLE FAIL AT THEIR FIRST JOB!”

thatsafactjack on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

That speech was terrible. The propaganda films the N Vietnamese released of him were more convincing.

Although O’Reilly promises a blockbuster interview with Johnny Mac tomorrow.

JohnGalt23 on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Party’s over here, now…I guess. /

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

All those people milling around are A) rude and B) distracting. The should have to mill around in the back, not around the podium.

SouthernGent on August 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

The line about national security leaks was his biggest applause line.

yup

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

:)

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:38 PM

ModerateMan on August 29, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Exactly. Ol’ blood-n-guts neocon John was in the wrong room.

MJBrutus on August 29, 2012 at 9:38 PM

SouthernGent on August 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

mr cmsinaz was saying the exact same thing

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:38 PM

I didn’t think McCain’s speech was bad at all. I was VERY happy with it. I’m from a military family…and served time myself in the Army after high school. I think McCain made some VERY good points…and drove them home. Especially his “leading from behind” stuff…excellent!!

OT: Pawlenty did a GREAT job!!

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Hooray for neocons!!!

Dante on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Huckabee = I’m going to take a bathroom break

Mark1971 on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

T-Paw was on Fy-AH!

MJBrutus on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

the huckster

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Yep. So true. Too bad you went back to Washington, in 2008, to vote FOR the bailout; and too bad you threw Sarah Palin to your advisors rather than fully unleashing her to relate to the conservative Republican base. But, anyway … you wanted to say something important, and I’m sure that your timing on the matter is as impeccable as ever.

minnesoter on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Huck time..*time to go get a new refreshment.

bazil9 on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Hooray for neocons!!!

Dante on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Paul lost go away.

wargamer6 on August 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Debbie Dunce slammed!

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

bless her heart…DWS

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Gotta say it. Huck is pretty good.

GOPRanknFile on August 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

McCain calling for more Middle East wars is not exactly what I am looking for. It would be nice if he focused on the bad economy entirely.

ModerateMan on August 29, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Not a winner, fer sure. He still wants us fighting in every country in the world, I guess.

a capella on August 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Huckabee: Give it up for Todd Akin!! Woo hoo!!

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

GOPRanknFile on August 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

I’m no fan, but he does have the gift of gab.

MJBrutus on August 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Why is Huck even here? Thought he was forming his own party.

M240H on August 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

LOL! Bless her heart…

Turtle317 on August 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

” Obama has failed at his job, but its understandable… A LOT OF PEOPLE FAIL AT THEIR FIRST JOB!”

thatsafactjack on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Yes. He did a good job. More hits on Obama tonight, for sure.

esr1951 on August 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

These last few speakers are giving much more fired up speeches. This is great. Building full steam ahead to Condi and Ryan! :D

lol… How are enemies together now? Simple: We have Obama to thank! :D

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

I’m no fan, but he does have the gift of gab.

MJBrutus on August 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Indeed.

GOPRanknFile on August 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

MJBrutus on August 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Yes, he certainly was, too bad he was talking to a room full of manikins.

thatsafactjack on August 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

He should bring out the Chick fil A guy as a surprise…that’ll wake these people up.

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Although O’Reilly promises a blockbuster interview with Johnny Mac tomorrow.

JohnGalt23 on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Oh I just can’t wait.

arnold ziffel on August 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Huckabee has had plenty of time practice on his show on FOX how to give a good monologue.

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM

JOBs. Not food stamps.

minnesoter on August 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM

going after dear leader tonight…ABOUT DANG TIME

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Huckster going strong too. :) Crowd getting fired up a bit more.

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM

What is wrong with the crowd at this convention? Have they been given sleeping pills? Someone needs to go in with a cattle prod and wake these people up. Ok, I am old, but I remember watching the conventions with my parents and the crowds were wild and noisy and seemed happy to be there. These people seem like this is forced labor for them. Maybe they need to pump more oxygen into the place.

megthered on August 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM

CNN immediately went to the Huckster when he took the stage. First time they have done that for any speaker. Get ready for the Akin rape commentary in a few minutes.

Wigglesworth on August 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Huck is a natural. It must be an Arkansas Governor thing.

GOPRanknFile on August 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Props to Ann Romney.

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

McCain slams Obama on leaks, defense cuts, leading from behind

Depends?

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

The future of the GOP on display.

Valiant on August 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

” Obama has failed at his job, but its understandable… A LOT OF PEOPLE FAIL AT THEIR FIRST JOB!”

thatsafactjack on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

msdnc crew to call tpaw a racist in 5…4….3

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

LOL… We’ve tried the one the press thought was perfect, and that hasn’t worked out for us! Good line, Huck. :)

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Watching the convention now, there really doesn’t seem to be that much of a spark in the audience. I don’t feel any energy or enthusiasm coming through the tv.

karenhasfreedom on August 29, 2012 at 9:34 PM

I would suggest that it is engineered this way. There are people who are experts on this kind of stuff but I think the dull and mundane on day two is intentional.

Not only do you get the opportunity to pay debts to the losers (Ron Paul) who demand attention. You process through enthusiasm sinkholes like Mitch McConnell. This is essentially a night of obligatory speeches sandwiched between the opening night and the closing ceremonies. It is intentionally dull.

Figure it this way. Will all the enthusiasm that will be on display tommorrow strike a chord with viewers if today was a barn-burning event? In short, the enthusiasm will come tonight for Paul Ryan and throughout the program tomorrow. This is an intentional lull.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Huck’s doing well.

Bob's Kid on August 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Sorry this is in the McCain thread, but we don’t have an open thread here.

karenhasfreedom on August 29, 2012 at 9:34 PM

I’m with you..We need an Open Thread!..:)

Dire Straits on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Nice line…we tried the one the press thought was perfect (and still do, natch)…

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

The speeches have all been really good, these delegates are weird. Someone please give them a margarita or two! (and that’s coming from a Southern Baptist!) ;)

texgal on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

megthered on August 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Me thinks the media put some tranquilizers in the water coolers..or something in the air ducts.

bazil9 on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

What? Tim Pawlenty is no comedian?

I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you!

predator on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Fred Savage, er Rachel Maddow, was very upset that McCain omitted any mention of BO killing OBL.

BuckeyeSam on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

I’m glad Huck didn’t throw his hat in the ring. He would have been skeery dangerous. You just know he’s going to go social issues shortly.

a capella on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Gotta say it. Huck is pretty good.

GOPRanknFile on August 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Yeah, he’s a good politician, but somethong about him always bothered me and I can’t put my finger on it. Just seems phony to me.

SailorMark on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

sure hope so buddy

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Huck is a natural. It must be an Arkansas Governor thing.

GOPRanknFile on August 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

A preacher thing.

bazil9 on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I’m still p*ssed at Huck about Akin, but this is the best speech of the night so far. The guy is a great speaker; no matter how many times he does things that make me angry, I still can’t help but like him again when he talks. I’m glad he didn’t run, he would have sweeped the primaries.

Lawdawg86 on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Ooohhh… “good ol’ uncle sugar to feed me and bleed me” SMACK to Obama and his govt.

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Ha, something, not some thong.

SailorMark on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

The future of the GOP on display.

Valiant on August 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Surely, you’re not talking about Huck.

M240H on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Although O’Reilly promises a blockbuster interview with Johnny Mac tomorrow.

JohnGalt23 on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Oh I just can’t wait.

arnold ziffel on August 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Yes, BOR was uber excited about it, wonder what super revelation mclame made that got BOR that animated…

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Dire Straits on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Hey there-
Jazz indicated the Paul Ryan thread will be the ‘Open Thread’ or QOTD

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Huck is knocking it out here. He can be a good speaker.

faraway on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Gotta say, Huck’s not my favorite…. but his speech is one of the best so far.

Braveheart on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

He should bring out the Chick fil A guy as a surprise…that’ll wake these people up.

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

And necessitate a 911 call from the MSNBC studio.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

CNN immediately went to the Huckster when he took the stage

Bad mistake on their part.

minnesoter on August 29, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Fred Savage, er Rachel Maddow, was very upset that McCain omitted any mention of BO killing OBL.

BuckeyeSam on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Oh yeah. I saw Bambi with his 5.56 shoot OBL in the head… (rolls eyes) … oh puh-leez Madcow…..

Turtle317 on August 29, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Wow…not a Huck fan, but he just killed it!

texgal on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

How low can they go…lol

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Huckster goes nuclear on social issues. Getting better.

We need a law-and-order type to dump on Obama’s DOJ.

BuckeyeSam on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Very nice, Huck. “An attack on my fellow Catholics is an attack on me.”

He’s bringing the evangelicals in.

faraway on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

CNN immediately went to the Huckster when he took the stage

Bad mistake on their part.

minnesoter on August 29, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Completely bad mistake. This is a GREAT speech so far!

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Ha, something, not some thong.

SailorMark on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

You’re thinking about somebody. Who is she? C’mon, share.

predator on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Cool..Thanks for the info!..:)

PS..I guess we will have to improvise until!!??!!..:):)

Dire Straits on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Huck defending Romney and Ryan’s faith very well. I’m still mad about the Akin thing, but he’s redeemed himself with me.

GOPRanknFile on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

That was a nice jab at DWS.

BallisticBob on August 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Fred Savage, er Rachel Maddow, was very upset that McCain omitted any mention of BO killing OBL.

BuckeyeSam on August 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Fred Savage…heh. That’s so true.

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

He should bring out the Chick fil A guy as a surprise…that’ll wake these people up.

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:42 PM

He should get one of those cannons they have at NFL games to shoot t-shirts into the crowd, and load that baby up with chicken biscuits instead.

Lawdawg86 on August 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Huckater’s a tad angry there…

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

OOOhhh…HARD slam to Obama on charity givings compared to Romney!

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

OK. No Huck fan here, but I’m impressed.

I knew he could do it, but I wasn’t sure he would.

He’s hitting the targets tonight.

Cody1991 on August 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Nod to Mitt’s charitable ways. Nice.

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Dire Straits on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

The HA crew is good at adapt/improvise

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

We’ll see if the hall really is full of stuffed animals when Ryan takes the podium. If that doesn’t bring the house down we can officially declare it an audience of wax figures.

MJBrutus on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Huckster …

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Damn…attacking on charitable giving.

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

CNN will be cutting away now, right?

minnesoter on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

he kept saying joe biden, did he mean to say obama?

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Huck’s actually on fire.

steebo77 on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Yeah, BO give away your own damn money! Not mine!

texgal on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

You’re thinking about somebody. Who is she? C’mon, share.

predator on August 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Ha, only The Admiral, my wife.

SailorMark on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Huckabee doing a lap of contrition, with a barnburner of a speech…

JohnGalt23 on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

lol… Knock on the Nobel prize too. :D Huck is surely on fire tonight!

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

This is like another keynote address. :)

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Nice shot about everyone getting a trophy, but a few minutes before that did Huckabee take a backhanded swipe at Romney’s Mormonism?

BuckeyeSam on August 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I’m not a huge fan of Huckabee, but I have to say this is a great speech.

midgeorgian on August 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Bono is a hypocrite.

minnesoter on August 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Huck’s a good speaker.
Making great points, and clarifying some rumored viewpoints.
Glad he’s on our side.

pambi on August 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

he kept saying joe biden, did he mean to say obama?

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Any difference?

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

It’s too bad that he doesn’t mean a word of it.

faraway on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

The HA crew is good at adapt/improvise

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Simply the best..:):)

Dire Straits on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

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