May 15th, 2008
01:07 PM ET

In the year 2013, after McCain’s first term in office...

David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer

John McCain highlighted his plans as president Thursday and predicted the war in Iraq will be over by 2013.'
John McCain highlighted his plans as president Thursday and predicted the war in Iraq will be over by 2013.'


Wanted to share another speech today that’s making headlines.

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made a speech in which he envisions the state of affairs at the end of his first term if he is elected president.

"What I want to do today is take a little time to describe what I would hope to have achieved at the end of my first term as president. I cannot guarantee I will have achieved these things,"

In this speech he lays out benchmarks during his first term in office on which he could be judged.

"By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom…”

"The Iraq War has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension…"

“[The] threat from a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan will be greatly reduced but not eliminated" ... U.S. and NATO forces will remain in the country "to help finish the job, and continue operations against the remnants of al Qaeda."

McCain envisions that Osama bin Laden, and his chief lieutenants, would be captured or killed.

He also believes that in 2013, there still will not have been a "major terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001."

Here are a list of other milestones McCain hopes to see at the end of what would be his first term:

  •  The United States will have a smaller military presence in Iraq that will not play a direct combat role, and he predicts that al Qaeda in Iraq will be defeated.
  • Witnessing Russia and China cooperating in "pressuring Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions, and North Korea to discontinue its own."
  • Significantly increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, which will be "better equipped and trained to defend us."
  • The application of "stiff diplomatic and economic pressure" by the United States - acting in concert with a newly formed League of Democracies - to cause Sudan to agree to a multinational peacekeeping force, with NATO countries providing logistical and air support, to stop the genocide in Darfur.
  • Several years of robust economic growth.
  • Taxpayers filing under a flat tax.
  • The world food crisis ending, low inflation, and a "much improved" quality of life "not only in our country, but in some of the most impoverished countries around the world."
  • More accessible health care for Americans and an easing of pressure on Medicare because of lower health care costs.
  • A United States well on its way to "independence from foreign sources of oil."
    A Social Security system that is solvent, does not reduce benefits for those nearing retirement and includes individual retirement accounts
  • The confirmation of "scores of judges" to the federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • A secure southern border for the United States after "tremendous improvements to border security infrastructure and increases in the border patrol, and vigorous prosecution of companies that employ illegal aliens."

I have included a clip of the speech here
So what do you think of the speech? Please share your thoughts

Filed under: John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Noemi in Los Angeles, CA

    *** Just asking: Speaking of McCain, will news that Cindy McCain sold off at least $2 million she held in funds with investments in Sudan businesses end up spurring new requests to see her tax records?

    May 16, 2008 at 2:12 am |
  2. Jim, Oregon

    McCain is dreaming 2013! That means the troops will be in Iraq for 10 years! This is the same sell job as being "greeted as liberators". Not! McCain is only buying time as a one term President. Flip, flop, flip, flop will he every stop!

    We need new leadership with 21 century ideas vote OBAMB!!!!!

    May 16, 2008 at 12:52 am |
  3. Tarsha

    Wow... Honestly, I believe that McCain wasted a ton of breath making this speech. I mean, c'mon... How does he think he's gonna be able to win this war in less than 5 years, when after 7 years almost, we are still over there for no good reason, and we've put in a ton of money accomplishing, from what I or any other American can see, nothing? And by the way, why is he even focusing on this war, when we have our own country to restore back to normal? We have children without healthcare in our own country, but he'd rather come out and make a big speech on how we are going to achieve democracy for another country? Start telling me what you are going to do for us McCain, not them. They didn't ask for us to come and invade their country, so we should just leave them alone.

    May 16, 2008 at 12:46 am |
  4. Jayson

    I don't understand how John McCain, feels we will be out of Iraq but the end of his 1st term in 2013 with all these crisis many americans will be in worst situations then now. When you tell americans its their fault that they are losing homes and he plans not to provide relief. I DO NOT BELIEVE FOR ONE MOMENT THAT HE WILL PULL TROOPS. He is fighting this war just as President Bush is fighting a battle his daddy started. I DON'T BELIEVE THIS ONE BIT.

    May 15, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  5. Chanel

    Wow, and where in this speech did he lay out detail on how he plans to accomplish this stuff? Oh he didn't? ... real surprised there.

    May 15, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  6. Spencer

    Sounds like 4 more years of Bush/Chaney to me..........

    May 15, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  7. Jim

    William Joseph Miller excellent post. Republicans like xtina, chicago use the "It’s Obama who wants to punish successful Americans and profitable companies by singling them out and raising their taxes."

    The present tax system is progressive with those with the greater ability to pay paying the most. The flat tax will indeed get rid of the progressive part of the tax and reduce the total income for the government by reducing the amount the wealthy pay. This will need to be compensated for by an increase in debt or increase in taxes mostly on the lower income taxpayers. Flat tax, Fair tax are terms dreamed up by Republican think tanks and focus groups to make garbage smell good. The top one percent of taxpayers benefit from the Bush tax cuts at the expense of the rest of us.

    Enough with the "let americans keep more of what they earn". Another phrase designed to fool people. Every wage earner has their pay calculated by their employer includes taxes. The IRS cleverly asks the employee to pay the tax back thinking it was money they earned causing resentment when the company could have easily paid it instead. If there were an across the board tax cut employers will reduce pay by that amount over time. The result is the employer pocketing the tax cut. Have wages kept up with anything in our economy?

    Republican = ignorant, greedy and selfish.

    It is time for change.

    May 15, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  8. Karen Geer

    Flying cars for everybody!!!

    Wait a sec . . .

    Solar powered flying cars for everybody!!!

    May 15, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  9. Angry Man

    McCain Democrats are going to make Reagan Democrats look like a small gathering. I’ll have not a second’s hesitation in selecting his name in my voting booth.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  10. Josesito, CA

    Ha I think this is impossible c'mon be realistic McCain first get to the white house then worry about when to pull out. This is a difficult task your halarious. You talk about victory when you republicans are the ones who wanted to go to war. Barack Obama is the only candidate up for change. You remind me of President Bush and his victory speech.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  11. Annie Kate

    Sounds like a plan to me – hope he included global warming in his goals – if not that food crisis might not be over by 2013. It might be just starting.

    Good for McCain for putting his goals out there – shows there is substance behind the man. I don't see the Democrats showing the same.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  12. xtina, chicago

    I think someone with military combat experience is exactly the right person to get us out of Iraq .

    May 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  13. Kent, Illinois

    Pure garbage..............all of a sudden the war is easy to end and the Iraqi government is miraculously gonna get together and their people are gonna stop running from the fight. 100 years turns to 4. What a sham. I guess the Republican liers have gotten this so called "maverick" to conform. Welcome Senator McCain to the world of total B.S.

    May 15, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  14. xtina, chicago

    Reply to Wm Joseph Miller-

    Your comments border on hyperbole, but I couldn't ignore you saying that the state government in CA is somehow responsible for college tuition. It's the unions that are making education costs rise.

    And John McCain isn't giving tax breaks to only the wealthy, but to all Americans. Please don't repeat wrong information . It's Obama who wants to punish successful Americans and profitable companies by singling them out and raising their taxes. Isn't it more fair to make the President's tax cuts permanent to give all Americans an equal break from tax withholding?

    May 15, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  15. William Joseph Miller


    That’s the most charitable word I can think of to describe all of McCain’s promises.

    First of all, presence in Iraq is the one of the major reasons for the spread of Islamic Fundamentalism. The second is the soaring unemployment rate among the young in metropolitan areas. McCain offers no hope for these young, except possible employment in a sweatshop owned by an American corporation.

    The flat tax is merely a thinly-disguised version of robbing the poor to give a tax break to the rich. In addition, millions of Americans depend on tax deductions for mortgages and for long term medical care. Will these be eliminated. I might add that Adam Smith, the god father of capitalism, strongly favored a policy in which the wealthy paid more. He in fact felt that the wealthy should proud to give back some of their wealth to the society that enabled them to prosper. Apparently John McCain has never heard of Adam Smith.

    The diplomatic clout that John McCain talks about is largely invisible. We have made enemies everywhere in the world. John McCain had 8 years to speak out against our policies. He did not. For more details, check out the artilce by Michael Hirsh on Newsweek.com

    He pledged to fill the judiciary – but what he did not tell us was that he planned to fill these positions with right-wing judges from the Federalist Society. The judiciary will become a kangaroo court which the rich use to prey upon the poor. Those earning less than $ 1,000,000 will receive no justice. (A recent decision on Indiana’s voter ID law disenfranchised retired nuns in Indiana.)

    McCain favors market based medical care which the public must pay out of their own pockets. He has no idea of whether this will be affordable. His tax cut for buying insurance will not cover the cost of insurance for most people. In addition, private health insurance companies, like private hospitals and pharmaceuticals are not in the health care business because they love Jesus. It’s all about the benjamins. Therefore, health insurance companies will rob their customers when they are well and cancel their coverage the instant they get sick. There will be nothing the customer can do about it, simply because the federal judiciary is rigged against them.

    Finally, McCain’s attempt to combat global warming involve massive subsidies for nuclear energy, coal and oil companies. These corporations will squander their subsidies on advertising (See the commercials on CNN), while actually making the globe warmer. For more details read the latest issue of Mother Jones

    By 2013, we will be a poorer and more polluted country. We will also face catastrophic disasters brought about by the melting of both polar ice caps. Islamic Fundamentlaism will make a tremendous come-back fueled by the disruptions caused by global warming. In short, by 2013, after McCain’s first term we will face the end of civilization as we know it. If you don’t believe me, check out the reports of James Hansen, the chief climatologist of NASA. If we want to save our country and the planet, we must have a complete regime change. We must sweep the entire GOP out of office.

    May 15, 2008 at 8:12 pm |
  16. Al

    Every old person will have fantasy of life, and at his age he has the right to dream, to sit in the shade under an old oak tree with his walker in hand and dream. I'm all for you to dream and watch the birds, but dreaming about a smaller Government and tax cuts is a pipe dream that is tearing down what has taken years to make this a great Country. So McBush dream on but not in the Oval office, we have one in there right now and we can not take another fantasy dreamer!

    [We now have a chance to see if Obama can stand-up to "McBush" and his attacks!] We will see if he can fire back quickly and with teeth or will it take a month to response? This is a big question for Obama!

    May 15, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  17. spencer

    He will still lose..........................

    May 15, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  18. William Joseph Miller

    Today I got news that the state of California is raising tuition again. It now costs about $24,000 to attend a UC, about $ 16,000 to a Cal-State. Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed his administration involved California dreaming. Now he is destroying the dreams for a whole generation of young people.

    California is not the only place where the dreams of the young are destroyed. The young find it impossible to finance a college education. Once there are educated, they find their jobs out-sourced. They are priced out of the housing market. They cannot afford any sort of health insurance – even under McCain’s private insurance plan. They must pay off the national debt. They face the costs and horrors of global warming and environmental destruction. McCain’s idea of solving the energy crises all involve costly long-term or permanent tax bills. And the only thing McCain can think about is giving another tax break to the rich.

    McCain is our answer to Leonid Brezhnev. Brezhnev worshiped Lenin. McCain worships Reagan. McCain got us into an endless and costly war in Iraq because he wanted to refight the war in Vietnam. He cannot distinguish the Middle East from the show down in the OK Corral. However, if you were to look at contemporary accounts of that shoot-out, Wyatt Earp does not come off very well.

    That illustrates McCain’s problem. Everything he says and does reflects a desire to go back to the Good Old Days – He conveniently forgets that the “good old days” were really horrible. (Check out the book by the Bettman Archives with that same title.

    Granted Michelangelo designed the dome of St. Peters in his 80's. Some of Robert Frost’s best poems were written on Frost’s old age. But McCain is neither Michelangelo nor Robert Frost. He’s an senile white guy with fixation on corpse worship. He is totally unfit to serve as president

    May 15, 2008 at 7:29 pm |
  19. munin choudrey

    Thanks! I read all. May need corrections. All I am saying treat Hillary as a viable candidate as you do with BO. Thanks

    CNN is the best. I have been supporting when they called it Chicken Noodle Network. It is getting better and better , good for my stock

    May 15, 2008 at 7:28 pm |
  20. Michael D

    Anderson senator McCain clearly has clearly lost his bearings. I wonder if his arms are killing him from all the flip flopping on every single issue. Will the real John McCain please stand up?

    Michael, Media, PA

    May 15, 2008 at 7:23 pm |
  21. Jolene

    Cut McCain some slack. All good leaders need to have a "vision". At least he is communicating his direction for the U.S. and showing some leadership and confidence in addressing the major issues. It definitely would provide some great discussion in a presidential debate!

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    May 15, 2008 at 6:55 pm |
  22. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    This is the most concrete any candidate has been about anything yet. It sounds a lot better than vague "hope" and "change" or a throw back to what Bill Clinton did (or did not do). Let McCain have at it. I'm game for anything that helps this country move forward realistically. I think the fact that the man feels confident enough to make such bold statements and put his candidacy on the line indicates that he just might know something the rest of us don't. THIS is concrete "hope I can believe in".

    May 15, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  23. Spider

    Hey people, this is what we all want. Let's see....hope and change. Can it be done? Who knows. Who's got a better chance at making it happen? It takes experience with the political system, as it exists, to see the changes needed and change it.
    Obama wants us to walk out of Iraq. Talk nice to the terrorists and then shake hands and walk away. If that's what we do, can you envision the world in 2013?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  24. Surafel

    What a plan! He will kill or capture Bin Laden by 2013. I’m amazed, but one thing i want to know is that, Is he going to use his milliary expreince in Afghanistan/Pakistan and if so who will be our president? Please, God help us.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  25. Rob

    wow after reading some of the previous posts – it amazes me that people actually believe him !
    this is just desperate political posturing since they see themselves being trounced in Nov.
    how can anyone possibly believe the repugs have an answer when they are RESPONSIBLE for all the problems?

    May 15, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  26. Randy Stribling

    To give his predictions the credence they deserve, Sen. McCain should have prefaced his remarks by quoting GHW Bush, "Read My Lips". And while strolling down fantasy lane he could have promised "a chicken in every pot" or the equivalent of "40 acres and a mule" for disabled vets. Or why not raise the minimum wage to 20 dollars an hour and provide free health care for everybody.? Yeah, that's the ticket! How stupid does he think we are? I'd rather hear specifically how he intends to accomplish these goals rather than attempt to take credit for something he hasn't even begun. Bellingham, WA

    May 15, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  27. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    What happened to all the open-mindedness so many claim they have on this blog day in and day out. I want to hear every word that ALL the candidates have to say. John McCain included.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  28. Susan

    Senator McCain is a man of principal. A man of his word. He has looked into the face of adversity and with deep confictions came out a
    survivor. His goals for his first term are indeed lofty, but he is not afraid to make the tough decisions in order to achieve them. He has a proven track record of not going along with the establishment mentality.

    Let the debates begin.!!!!


    May 15, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  29. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    McCain has sat in Congress for 30 years and done nothing but make enemies. He hasn't championed nothing, nothing in Arizona, nothing in the Senate and nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  30. Tammy From New York

    Nice dream but he didn't say how he was going to pay for this America while continuing a war in Iraq for 4 years, (2013). He also stated that the military will increase so I guess you Mccain supporters should enlist now before he drafts you to create this dream of America. Nice dream but for which class of America is it for because I didn't hear any resolutions of the real problems were facing today like the homeforeclosure crisis, jobs,universial healthcare, and increasing gas prices. so who's America is he refering too. The rich America because it sure isn't the middle class.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  31. Beverly

    I need a few details for these plans"

    How is he planning on doing this without a draft?
    The United States will have a smaller military presence in Iraq
    Significantly increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps

    Whose flat tax plan is he planning on using, Dick Armey or Steve Forbes? Either one is great if you're rich like Cindy, not so much if you're a blue collar worker.

    ( Big plan when we can't evacuate New Orleans tin a timely manner)
    The world food crisis ending, low inflation, and a “much improved” quality of life “not only in our country, but in some of the most impoverished countries around the world.”

    May 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  32. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Just because he was a military hero...doesn't mean he's the best choice to eventually become the leader of our nation.

    Frankly...his agenda is incoherent...and just as wishy-washy as Obama's..

    We need a third choice, Bob Barr, LP, for President 2008.
    Let's make some REAL change in Washington!!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  33. rgbonk

    WELL regarding McCains' speech this morning, I finally heard a candidate come out and speak about making things happen in the Capitol instead of helping to advance constant bickering! McCains' words make perfect sense to me. Can he make any of his "dreams" happen? I can only answer that with several other questions: Is John McCain an honest person? Are John McCains' words consistent with his past actions? You all think about that. I needed to hear from a candidate expressing these concerns about making things happen instead of advancing a perceived political plan for either party. How refreshing this speech was. Now I see a QUALIFIED candidate that will sincerely strive to make change happen. I just moved my vote from the Obama or Hillary side to McCain. I am a Senior citizen. Finally I believe that my wife and myself agree on something!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  34. EJ

    He picked the year 2013? Well that's convenient.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  35. Renee

    In Thomas Moore's Utopia ... it all sounded good but it didnt work ... so i guess mccain in the new moore ... I guess the only people believing him are the same ones that believe the world is 5000 years old.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  36. Rachel, LV, NV

    Was Mccain one of those crappy telephone psychics in a previous life?

    May 15, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  37. Sangeeta

    Why not? Here is a man who has fought for the country and will be better prepared to chart a route to seccess in the war in Iraq. better than President Bush or Obama who have no military experience.

    Mccain's wishful thinking is better than dillusional thinking of Obama, who would meet with rogue nations "without conditions" to achieve world peace.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  38. Julie

    McCain should be a car salesman. He's pulling all the right marketing tactics to get the sale - spin the tale so the consumer can see him/herself driving away in the car of their dreams.

    The problem is, McCain only has lemons on his lot.

    My money is on Obama.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  39. Larry

    At least he is forthcoming and not a 'reactionary' politician who sits & waits for his opponent to say something and then responds.

    May 15, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  40. Maritza

    Specific examples of action can only be laid out with insight experience and full understanding. This former POW knows what it takes to solve and deal with the complex issues in Iraq, the economy and our enemies abroad. At best Obama has a broken record speech someone elso wrote, his wife and he have such a negative opinion of America and it's people of all shapes and colors, McCain's real Hope and real Change in a well thought out plan. to all of the young voters out there don't be fooled by Obama , it takes real courage , leadership, and integrity to run the White House all attributes , skills qualifications demonstrated by McCain.



    May 15, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  41. Kathy, Texas

    Wow....this is just as good a speech as Obama would give. BUT I believe that McCain can do it...with Obama it's just a bunch of fantasy words. McCain has the experience to follow his plans through to fruition.

    And to say that McCain will get dementia while in office is the same as saying that Obama is Muslim and wants to kill us all and how Hillary would get all weepy and go on a PMS rage. Ignorant talk from ignorant people.

    May 15, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  42. Jo

    To predict that the war in Iraq will be won by 2013 is not what I would expect from someone who claims to be a "straight shooter." The situation there is so complex and fragile, it could turn on a dime. I also find it hard to believe that a functioning democracy will exist in five years. It will take MANY MANY years to turn around a country that has be utterly destroyed.

    May 15, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  43. Chantel

    McCain is a balloon, full of hot air. Bush said that he needed another term to get the war together, and that is What MCcain will push for as well. If we vote for McCain, we will be stuck, like we are with Bush. Using scare tactics and calling people unpatriotic was the only way he won the second term. Find Osama Bin Laden your first term…You must have resources that the military don’t even have. We must rise above the war and focus more closely on the economy. Bring our troop home and improve our home security, here at home. We need to let the Iraq government become self sufficient. We kick women off welfare here in America, and tell them to make it on their own with little children, why not do that to the Iraqis?

    May 15, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  44. JC- Los Angeles

    It's hilarious to hear John McCain speak about his goals for our country and resolutions in the Middle East; as his recent comments suggest, almost seven years after 911, he still doesn't understand the Sunni and Shiite conflict; it's like Bush sending (Rice), a woman of color, to the Middle East to broker peace; ridiculous; his focus needs to be on the people here at home; how about fixing education? no mention of this; oh, I guess we'll fall even farther behind China and Asia; we need to focus less on nation building overseas and focus on rebuilding our own nation; period; children are our future and unless our leaders fix the public school systems, remove gang violence and address health care, the US will become a country that led in the 20th century but followed India, Asia and the Middle East in the 21st century.

    May 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  45. Miguel

    Who said that McCain can not win?
    here is the perfect match Obama and Edward.

    I can see Hillary and Al Core. that is a real ticket for the white house. both have been there and know the real issue that we have in this country. McCain will never get close to these two people.

    May 15, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  46. Paris

    At last a man with a vision and not just a show.
    John McCain is exactly what we need, someone who has lived through the reality of war and what it can do to you.
    I have a lot of respect for this man and I admire his integrity, his service to this nation and his strong character.

    John McCain is the only man for the job.

    May 15, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  47. Cindy

    Well all of the things that he brings up in his vision of the future are all well and good but what are his plans to bring these things to fruition? Love to hear them!

    I think that he is a straight shooting man and if he thinks that he can do these things then he will try his best to do it. That it isn't all just talk to get elected. He seems too honest to lie about these things. Hopefully he'll start laying out more ideas for us soon.

    May 15, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  48. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    This is pure blarney.
    Nothing in his agenda or comments suggests this kind of outcome.

    Clearly...the federal will continue to grow, no new sources of domestic energy will be created...and he will NEVER reduce the size of the armed services.

    We need option 3.

    Bob Barr for President, Libertarians (conservatives, independents) 2008.

    May 15, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  49. TESAP

    If McCain becomes president none of this will happen, there would be more attacks on the US, mainly because our militar would be stretched too thin, and we would still be fighting an un-winable war, Poverty would be extremely high, gas would cost 17$ a gallon, More jobs would go overseas, crime would go up, and McCain would have Dementia and not remember that he was president, the country would go to hell in a hand basket, and the public would not know that McCain ahd dementia just like we did not know that Reagan was serving as president with dementia...................McCain is out of touch and tooo old......

    May 15, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  50. marcy

    wow talk about wishful thinking.

    May 15, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
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