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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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

Huck’s always been a good orator. I’m going out on limb here but since he isn’t going into specific issues he is killing it with his big vision commentary.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Bono? Meh.

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 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

Yeah, the SOB has a real knack for making you like him. He could stand up there and set kittens on fire for ten minutes and I’d still probably like him by the end of the speech.

Lawdawg86 on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 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

M-me Tussauds museum :)

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Huck’s actually on fire.

steebo77 on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Yeah, he is. I didn’t expect much, but I’m impressed.

Lightswitch on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Where’s the live thread I have to go to free republic or rightscoop

Conservative4ev on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Good job Huck.

predator on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

a “pile” of excuses

John the Libertarian on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Preacher man doing good! We will do better!

texgal on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

good point…

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

indeed :)

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Go Huckabee! Great speech! Really got the crowd fired up and on their feet and ready for more red meat. :D Question is…can Condi deliver after a speech like that??

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Crowd’s in it now. Well done, Huck.

M240H on August 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Barack only deserves an attendance trophy. Huckabee.

He is giving a great talk.

Though as much golf, vacations and campaigning Barack does doubt he even deserves that.

Steveangell on August 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Very good speech by Huckabee..:)

Dire Straits on August 29, 2012 at 9:54 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

Maybe that Obama is just not the great guy Mac thought he was.

arnold ziffel on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

I agree, the crowd seems subdued for some reason.

Hope they didn’t spend too much time in the strip bars last night…

ccrosby on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 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

Yeah, the SOB has a real knack for making you like him. He could stand up there and set kittens on fire for ten minutes and I’d still probably like him by the end of the speech.

Lawdawg86 on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Anybody watched msndc? How many times did they make the akin connection…or coming next…

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Bono? Meh.

changer1701 on August 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Bono reminding Huckabee that the US is extraordinary? WTF
Huckabee was name-dropping, plain and simple, but to the wrong crowd.

bettycooper on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Not a huge Huck fan, but he made some points that needed to be made. He did a good job.

supernova on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

:)

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

C O N D I

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Condi…she looks amazing…

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Condi looks radiant.

GOPRanknFile on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Quick, MSNBC — cut to commercial! It’s Condi!

John the Libertarian on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Condi!!!!!..I looking foward to this..:)

Dire Straits on August 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

We WILL do better. And thank you for replacing the green background of yesteryear-convention, with a nice swirling blue one.

minnesoter on August 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

crowd going wild now…

she looks great

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Will MSNBC experience technical difficulties during Condi’s speech?

midgeorgian on August 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Crowd just woke up!!

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

buckeye, what is msdnc doing now?

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

John the Libertarian on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

rofl..:)

Dire Straits on August 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Ha, only The Admiral, my wife.

SailorMark on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

How disappointing. I was expecting hot pics, not classified information.

Oh well.

predator on August 29, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Condi!

MSNBC GPS!

22044 on August 29, 2012 at 9:57 PM

She’s so emotional…never seen her like this….

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Opening with memories of 9-11…good call for Condi.

Highlar on August 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

After McCain’s speech I put on MSDNC and they were ‘freaking out.’ They are blathering on about never ending war, Muslims, Neo-Cons, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, I love it when liberals say they are for ‘human rights.’ Obviously they are full of sh!t since they could are less about Syrians being massacred right now. So there you go, libtards outed themselves again for their totalitarian tendencies.

Lance Murdock on August 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Finally! Open thread!

GOPRanknFile on August 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

open thread available now…please put your tray tables up and your seats in their upright position

cmsinaz on August 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Is msndc showing this?

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Anybody watched msndc? How many times did they make the akin connection…or coming next…

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

I only watch MSNBC when the Republicans have a huge victory. The last time was Walker’s victory in Wisconsin, and it was hilarious. If we win in November, that’s the only other time I’ll consider flipping over the BSNBC.

Lawdawg86 on August 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Did Condi vote for Obama?

Not a slam..

Just curious…

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I do not always agree with Dr. Rice, but I cherish her existence because I always feel a little smarter for having listened to her.

M240H on August 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Sec. Rice sure got a nice hand.

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

bazil9 on August 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Did you see my answer to you on the Rand Paul thread @ 9:40 pm?

Just wondering.

GrannyDee on August 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Crowd just woke up!!

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Finally. It’s a good, slow build up to Ryan. Good order of speakers.

SailorMark on August 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Wow. As someone who’s never been much of a Huckabee fan, I thought that was a damn fine speech.

(Though, I probably would have picked a different metaphor than the candy-cavity one. :) )

RedCrow on August 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Crowd just woke up!!

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

I think that was the loudest of the whole convention.

RedCrow on August 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM

She’s so emotional…never seen her like this….

jimver on August 29, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Yep

bettycooper on August 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM

I was expecting hot pics, not classified information.

Oh well.

predator on August 29, 2012 at 9:57 PM

There was a Pam Bondi thread somewhere………

SailorMark on August 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

You cannot lead from behind.

John the Libertarian on August 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

The Left is going to go nuts over this speech.

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM

You cannot lead from behind.

John the Libertarian on August 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Raaaaaacist!
oh/

bettycooper on August 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

“Peace really does come through strength…..”

Not from bowing…[my addition]

Good for Condi…

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Condi rules. She is doing great. I don’t have the stomach to see if MSLSD is showing her speech. Anyone?

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM

The Left is going to go nuts over this speech.

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Who is this Todd Akin?

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Condi is a rock star. GREAT SPEECH.

John the Libertarian on August 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM

I could not watch McCain…he let us down……….

crosshugger on August 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM

“Peace really does come through strength…..”

Shades of Reagan?

SailorMark on August 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Not a society of grievance and entitlement. Awesome.

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Condi rules. She is doing great. I don’t have the stomach to see if MSLSD is showing her speech. Anyone?

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Who cares? I think they were down to just under a dozen viewers this morning…

…aren’t ratings wunnerful?

Turtle317 on August 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Condi…We have never been jealous of others successes..

Obama…. You didn’t build it.

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Great job tying the debt to national security.

supernova on August 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Condi Rice gives good speech.

Rocking it.

BigWyo on August 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM

I have this theory that the campaign had to pick Huckabee or Palin to pander to that certain part of the the constituents and decided that Huckabee was the better choice. Until Todd Akin. I’m making this up but it’s still funny to think about.

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Condi: Too bad we don’t have the resources to intervene in Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Southeast Asia too. I bet those weren’t even on your radar!

… is it really wise to go at Obama on foreign policy, especially with a person whose name is virtually synonymous with W’s foreign policy? Yes, Obama has made a mess of Egypt, dithered on Iran, and cowered before Putin. But he is also sitting on a pile of al-Qaeda scalps, not least of all bin Laden’s, so I’m not sure how wise it is to engage him this issue. And its doubly unwise to have Rice deliver this criticism. If you asked Americans whose foreign policy they preferred, W or Obama, Obama would win in a landslide. So perhaps we should get a different messenger besides Rice (or McCain for that matter) if we’re going to attack O’s foreign policy.

Lawdawg86 on August 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Maybe all of their heads have exploded by now.

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

:)

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Good gracious, Condi is hitting on all cylinders.

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 10:09 PM

(Though, I probably would have picked a different metaphor than the candy-cavity one. :) )

RedCrow on August 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Agreed.

America, its time for a root canal! Vote Romney!

Lawdawg86 on August 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM

It has got to be tough on her. She loves this country and she knows what the left will say about her. She nor any other minority that has risen to there status above being lap dogs for democrats deserve the treatment from the left. They should not hold their heads low but be proud of what they have done in theirelives. The left envies their success and fears the example.

crosshugger on August 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM

And its doubly unwise to have Rice deliver this criticism. If you asked Americans whose foreign policy they preferred, W or Obama, Obama would win in a landslide. So perhaps we should get a different messenger besides Rice (or McCain for that matter) if we’re going to attack O’s foreign policy.

Lawdawg86 on August 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

*laughs butt off* Which crack pipe are you smoking? I think I lost count of the number of people who have told me “If I only knew now what I should have known four years ago….”

But hey, it’s your pipe, maaaan.

Turtle317 on August 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Outstanding. School choice is the civil rights movement of our era.

John the Libertarian on August 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Condi…We have never been jealous of others successes..

Obama…. You didn’t build it.

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Yeah, that line should have been ‘We should never be jealous of others…’

There’s a whole cottage industry out there (Democrat/progressive/liberal) who make just that thing their bread and butter..

BigWyo on August 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I have this theory that the campaign had to pick Huckabee or Palin to pander to that certain part of the the constituents and decided that Huckabee was the better choice. Until Todd Akin. I’m making this up but it’s still funny to think about.

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I never saw anything here on it, but I found a clip from Levin’s radio show where he was talking to Priebus.

Levin asked him three times whether Palin was offered a speaking slot. Three times Priebus answered in the affirmative.

(I researched it no further, because I didn’t care that much one way or the other. I would have offered her a speech. I’ve mentioned this Levin thing here several times, though I’m not sure if anyone ever replied.)

RedCrow on August 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Go Condi…speak the truth…..preach it sister

crosshugger on August 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Dang Condi…….

She is slamming all….

I would love to how Tingles call her a racists..

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

We heart Condi.

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM

America, its time for a root canal! Vote Romney!

Lawdawg86 on August 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Lol.
Liberalism rots your teeth, look at the UK!

RedCrow on August 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Awesome! Show those race-baiting liberals what real racism and oppression is, Condi. Not the faux crap they spew.

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

BOOM!

John the Libertarian on August 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

I would love to how Tingles call her a racists..

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Insert “See” in the appropriate place.

Dang..

Condi just closed..

What a Party we have!!

How can there be disbelievers?

Whoa..she is talking again….

DANG!!!

Good for her!

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:14 PM

*placing bets Liberal Trolls hack Condi’s wiki page and calls her something unrepeatable*

Turtle317 on August 29, 2012 at 10:14 PM

RedCrow on August 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I bet she was.

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 10:14 PM

BOOM!

John the Libertarian on August 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

KAPOW!

GrannyDee on August 29, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Best speech of the night and perhaps the convention. That’s a hard act to follow.

Philly on August 29, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Turtle317 on August 29, 2012 at 10:14 PM

She’s the wrong kind of woman.

BobMbx on August 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Did she say Hurricane Obama??

I could be wrong….

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM

God Bless you Condi. Beautiful, stirring speech!

Turtle317 on August 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM

An OK speech by Condi, IMHO. Big on foreign policy which just isn’t high up there on my priority list this go around. She delivered it well, though, and the crowd ate it up, so I guess you could call it a success.

MJBrutus on August 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Sec. Rice warming up the crowd to a boil for Rep. Ryan.

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM

This is my first look at Martinez. I’ve heard a lot of great things about her, so I’m psyched for this.

MJBrutus on August 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Racists at MSNBC must be so unhappy.

Governor Martinez is on.

22044 on August 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM

MJBrutus on August 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM

LOL! I am sure she will be thrilled at your approval, tepid as it was.

Cindy Munford on August 29, 2012 at 10:17 PM

John, Commander McCain, take the paraphrased and edited advice from Douglas McArthur and realize “Old Soldiers Never Die They Just Move On; that also applies to a Flag Ship commander, who goes down with the sea. Please really really retire. You beclown yourself Sir.

kenny on August 29, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Frikin’ great speech from Condi…

Did the MSM show some Infomercial?

What????

She Carries????

357Mag???

Dang!!!!!

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum.

OMG, the lefties are probably going into cardiac arrest by now.

GrannyDee on August 29, 2012 at 10:19 PM

That was a damn good speech from Condi.

supernova on August 29, 2012 at 10:19 PM

My thoughts on Condi: .. Meh.

minnesoter on August 29, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I would love to how Tingles call her a racists..

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

This is the speaker after Condi…

Electrongod on August 29, 2012 at 10:19 PM

.357? I think I fell in love… I have a thing for girls that carry big guns.

Thank God for women and the 2nd amendment….

Turtle317 on August 29, 2012 at 10:20 PM

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