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McCain Says Dems Would Weaken America

Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) took on the three leading Democratic presidential candidates Saturday, accusing them of advocating policies that would lead to defeat in Iraq and that would weaken America's national security.

"Today, leading Democratic presidential candidates vote against funding for our troops engaged in war in Afghanistan and Iraq," McCain said in a speech to the California Republican Party convention. "Today, leading Democratic presidential candidates question whether there is a war on terror, offer to enter into unconditional negotiations with our worst enemies, and talk about countering the forces of radicalism by advocating surrender to them in Iraq."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) both voted against an Iraq funding bill earlier this year. Former North Carolina senator John Edwards has charged that President Bush's global war on terror amounts to a bumper sticker that has been used to enact policies detrimental to the country. Obama has said he would be prepared to meet with leaders of hostile nations without preconditions.

McCain's speech in the Palm Springs suburb of Indian Wells came on the eve of what his campaign has labeled the "no surrender" tour of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. McCain intends to go to American Legion and VFW halls to argue in behalf of Bush's Iraq strategy and to challenge both his Democratic and Republican rivals over war policy.

McCain advisers see Monday's report to Congress by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and Iraq Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker as a critically important opportunity for McCain to regain momentum. His campaign has struggled throughout the year, in part because of his staunch support for Bush's war policy.

McCain said Saturday that he is prepared to "stand athwart public opinion" to do what he thinks is necessary to protect the country.

"I will attempt to convince as many of my countrymen as I can that we must show even greater patience, though our patience is nearly exhausted, and that as long as there is a prospect for not losing this war, then we must not choose to lose it," he said. "That is how I construe my responsibility to my country."

A text of his speech was made available in Washington.

-- Dan Balz

By Post Editor  |  September 9, 2007; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , John McCain , Security  
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Comments

No wonder 'None of the Above' is the leading candidate for Republicans. He says the things Republicans want to hear.

Posted by: DCAustinite | September 11, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

McCain is being very dishonest here with his comments about who voted for what. But he is not as dishonest as Dan Balz who prints this without any correction. Why Dan?

Posted by: edlharris | September 10, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Senator McCain's comments are below the belt as well as vacuous. What is victory -- i.e. how does endless war in Iraq advance any American interest or value? What is defeat -- what will be lost by phased withdrawal designed to stablizing Iraq? The answer to both questions is nothing. The war has become a totally useless exercise, pursued for the vanity of the President and/or to make Republicans look "tough" -- all at the expense of our long term national security.

Posted by: mnjam | September 10, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is no longer a relevant presence in this presidential campaign. He is oblivious to the wishes of the American public whose votes he needs in order to beome president - and the guy doesn't care! Too amazing. Even more amazing is his bull-headed insistence on the fallacy that this war in Iraq is winnable. And then he gets boring when he bloviates about the Democrats being cowardly. That's an old line from the 2004 elections. Shows you that the ol' geezer is living in the past.
Time to go to pasture, gramps.

Posted by: lotsacats | September 10, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I used to think that McCain was one of the few honorable Republicans. That was until he backed the Administration on their use of tourture. At the timeI could not believe he had sunk so low. We discussed his payment for this at that time. We figured he sold his integrity in exchange for backing on his bid for the Presidency in 2008.

To agree to back an administration on a torture policy when you were a Prisoner of War yourself is unconscionable! That was the beginning of his long slide into the slime. Now he distorts the truth without even thinking about it. The reason the Democrats (And some Republicans) voted against the funding for the troops was because there was no oversightinto the spending actually being spent on the troops. The Democrats and the Republicans that voted against it are the ones that ARE watching out for the best interests of the troops. We obviously need oversight so the money does not end upin the pockets of the Independant Contractors and the Republican supporters companies that were given the No-Bid contracts. This way the soldiers may "actually" get the body armour the need and maybe a tank or two.

As to the Bumper Sticker attitude of the Bush Administration, this is a true statement and most American Citizens know it. Bush took the unity of all the American citizens and the countries around the world and turned it into a partisan attack on the Democrats. They turned the Constitution and the Bill of Rights into a dirty word in an attempt to smear ant detractors that disagreed with them or their policies.

As to Senator Obama's offer to try diplomacy, one would think that a Republican who has "Actually" fought for his country and been in a battlefield, would appreciate the return to Diplomacy. For when diplomacy fails, our soldiers must lay their lives on the line. To do so without an attempt at Diplomacy is stupid and would only be considered by a bunch of idiots who have never laid their lives on the line for their country.

McCain can keep saying that he will oppose the majority of Americans but that is why there is more of a chance of a massive blizzard in Miami in 2008 than him being elected as President. (Although with this Administrations stance on GlobalWarming, we may just have that blizzard if we do not do something to fix Global Warming!)

Posted by: poohtoo2 | September 10, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

John McCain has a nice home up in Sedona, AZ. We in AZ don't need him in the US Senate any longer than we're stuck with him as it is (although Jon Kyl is MUCH worse), and we don't need him even thinking of becoming president of the United States. McCain needs to return to Sedona as soon as possible, enjoy the good life, and SHUT UP.

Posted by: ilovebulldogs | September 10, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr. McCain, the time for partisan fear tactics has long since past. Are you channeling Karl Rove?

Instead of simplistic attacks, lay out your own strategy and compare and contrast. Speak intelligently to Americans instead of making superficial analyses and attacks designed only to garner headlines.

It is beyond obvious that the current Administration has blown it big time in both Iraq and Afghanistan. With the GOP at the helm, bin Laden still taunts us and the military adventure in Iraq has become a quagmire (due to the bungling of the post-Saddam occupation.)

At one time I respected you Sen. McCain, but your behavior in recent years has long since made me question why I had.

Posted by: peterlruden | September 10, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

John, John, John. On your watch, you've watched people actively work to weaken this country. We're fighting two of the expensive wars and paying for it so far with money borrowed from the Middle East and Asia (and by your own admission, we fought one war badly for the first three and a half years). At the same time your government has turned its back on enforcing labor laws, and welcomed undocumented workers to keep corporate payrolls low. I lay these problems at your feet, because as a sitting US senator, you have both oversight responsibility and one hell of a large megaphone when you want it. You say a little candor is needed, but then you act as if it means little more than saying "Yeah, things aren't going according to plan. Eh." Candor is a start, which leads to accountability, and until you're willing to acknowledge the failings you actively and passively enabled, please shut your hole.

Posted by: enkidu1 | September 10, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Using McCain logic McCain was against the troops before he was for them. Seems the demagogue voted against funding the troops H.R. 1591. I remember when McCain appeared to have principles, calling out Bush for the low brow slime tactics Bush used against him. Now McCain has become a disingenuous slime bag like Bush.

Posted by: russr | September 10, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

what a crock!! we have already lost in Iraq, the dems are not against the troops they are against funding Bush's failed policies that he supports. Hope more and more people see thru this propaganda effort by occupation supporters

Posted by: fixbone | September 10, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your propaganda but the facts are that the policies you have supported have made america weaker, you big j**k

Posted by: fixbone | September 10, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I see Dan Balz continues his R spin -- Hillary voted against a funding bill for an occupation which is creating more terrorism, and somehow that supports McCain's contention that Dems will 'weaken' America.

Do you call yourself a journalist?

Posted by: claudialong | September 10, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I see Dan Balz continues his R spin -- Hillary voted against a funding bill for an occupation which is creating more terrorism, and somehow that supports McCain's contention that Dems will 'weaken' America.

Do you call yourself a journalist?

Posted by: claudialong | September 10, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Senator McCain is reinforcing why many people have chosen not to support him this time around. Throwing out the simplistic, misrepresentative rhetoric may play well to the base, but it alienates the majority of the country that is looking for leadership that takes the best ideas, wherever they come from, rather than pandering to an 'us vs them' mentality. What a disappointment.

Posted by: bsimon | September 10, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Ah, John, was your comment meant to suggest that the Republican regeime has somehow strengthened the United States? that violence for no true purpose pretends insight, or wisdom? How weak is nine trillion in debt, and to the Chinese? How weak is it that we continue to crush hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's, whom I might remind you were living like us here in the west, to the tune off 700,000, while you claim ony 78,000? and so many more that the repubs look like the wrecking crew with moral problems. I suggest to bcd_2001 that he learn the ins and outs of reality, logic and FREE speech, and cease to sling the hash as if he were Bobby Flay. If someone doesnt agree with you doesnt make them America haters, but it does make you an idiot communicator, that's the sad part. John McCain is one of the few true voices who could call bush and his cronies what they are : frauds and phonies, grifters and thieves, liars and cheaters. But it would end his political life and
might not solve the problem, since the likes of immoral repubs would tear him to schreds with lies and attacks in an instant. McCain is the epitomy of 'old school', and new school is just kill them all and deny it. We need something entirely real to replace those old saws and create real government.None of the empty suits on the horizen fill the bill

Posted by: bebeyond49 | September 10, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Ah, John, was your comment meant to suggest that the Republican regeime has somehow strengthened the United States? that violence for no true purpose pretends insight, or wisdom? How weak is nine trillion in debt, and to the Chinese? How weak is it that we continue to crush hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's, whom I might remind you were living like us here in the west, to the tune off 700,000, while you claim ony 78,000? and so many more that the repubs look like the wrecking crew with moral problems. I suggest to bcd_2001 that he learn the ins and outs of reality, logic and FREE speech, and cease to sling the hash as if he were Bobby Flay. If someone doesnt agree with you doesnt make them America haters, but it does make you an idiot communicator, that's the sad part. John McCain is one of the few true voices who could call bush and his cronies what they are : frauds and phonies, grifters and thieves, liars and cheaters. But it would end his political life and
might not solve the problem, since the likes of immoral repubs would tear him to schreds with lies and attacks in an instant. McCain is the epitomy of 'old school', and new school is just kill them all and deny it. We need something entirely real to replace those old saws and create real government.None of the empty suits on the horizen fill the bill

Posted by: bebeyond49 | September 10, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Ah, John, was your comment meant to suggest that the Republican regeime has somehow strengthened the United States? that violence for no true purpose pretends insight, or wisdom? How weak is nine trillion in debt, and to the Chinese? How weak is it that we continue to crush hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's, whom I might remind you were living like us here in the west, to the tune off 700,000, while you claim ony 78,000? and so many more that the repubs look like the wrecking crew with moral problems. I suggest to Bellamia that he learn the ins and outs of reality, logic and FREE speach, and cease to sling the hash as if he were Bobby Flay. If someone doesnt agree with you doesnt make tham America haters, but it does make you an idiot communicator, that's the sad part. John McCain is one of the few true voices who could call bush and his cronies what they are : frauds and phonies, grifters and thieves, liars and cheaters. But it would end his political life and
might not solve the problem, since the likes of imoral repubs would tear him to schreds with lies and attacks in an instant. McCain is the epitomy of 'old school', and new school is just kill them all and deny it. We need something entirely real to replace those old saws and create real government.None of the empty suits on the horizen fill the bill

Posted by: bebeyond49 | September 10, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

The far left liberal hate in some of these posts is pathetic. If John McCain is not a patriot then no one is. These posters are fools and there appears to be many here. Obviously they hate America and more than likely hate themselves. It's really sad. They must be dismissed out of hand.

Posted by: bcd_2001 | September 9, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

It is hard to figure out at first, why Democrats would cringe, cover their crotches and say, "We'll do anything...." when dealing with the enemy.

A fanatical enemy is not open to reason and genuine negotiation. They have an ultimate goal of total world Islamic domination. Why are the Democrats so delluded to think they will be reasonable.

The rant by Osama reminded me of the Cho rant we saw after Virginia Tech. Can you people really not see the similarities? It is how they express their masculinity. They are unhinged, like Alqueda terrorists.

McCain is absolutely right and understands the forces of human nature that press on us here in the US - relentlessly. I'm glad that the violence in the war front is in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not here in Philly, New York, or LA.

McCain sees the pattern, and his wisdom is precient.

Posted by: Bellamia | September 9, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the first few posts. Unbelievable. These gutless Quisling cowards. Just like MoveOn.org taking out a NY Times ad calling Gen. Petraeus a traitor to his country, saying he would ``betray'' America. How dare you cowards dump on John McCain, a real Amrican hero. Since you want bin Laden to establish a new caliph in Iraq, who don't you convert to Islam, like he says. I'd do a little research, however, into how Muslims treat gays, lesbians and those who commit adultery. Stoning. Beheading. It would be the end of you.

Posted by: hedgehog1 | September 9, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't he just go spend some time with his family, while he still can. Use your energy for something constructive, alas. This addiction to power is just so nauseating.

Posted by: shag11 | September 9, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans have weakened America more in the last eight years than at any other time in history. Our military is stretched to the breaking point, we are more vulnerable to terrorism, Our health care and educational systems are failing. The Republicans have become a party of self hating gay bashing reactionaries. Their time has come and gone.

Posted by: mary.redmond | September 9, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

McCain is desperate. The old "soft on..." charge has worked for decades. While the Democrats have hardly distinguished themselves, that lack of distinction has not been a matter of "softness" on terrorism but softness on the current criminal administration. McCain stands for Bush's disastrous war in Iraq. That dooms him. Whether it helps the craven Democrats is another question.

Posted by: hcoursen1 | September 9, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I see your liberal readership has launched into vitriolic outbursts against the only candidate who tells the truth, on either the Republican or Democratic side.
It is a depressing sign of the times we have evolved into where truth no longer has weight and only cults of personality and bags of cash count in the presidential race.
I dare anyone to quote anything that John McCain has said that is not true, and I don't want to hear from defeatists who want to cut and run from the middle east.

Posted by: jfregus | September 9, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha the IRONY of this pathetic old scoutmaster reciting military merit badges ... come on, John, you're a joke.

It'll be a long time before Republicans are in any position to lecture anyone about "security"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | September 9, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

John McCain...surrender? Surely you know the difference between surrender -when you lay down your arms and are captured by the enemy, and defeat -when you take your arms and go home to your wife and kids. Surrender, McCain, is what you did for a few years in Hanoi. Defeat, is what the US troops experienced when they left Vietnam.

Being as you've experienced both surrender and defeat, it is incomprehensible that you could put on such a public display of ignorance and expect anyone but the brainwashed few to actually find you credible.

To think I used to associate you with words like "integrity" and "honor"! You've sacrificed all the good will your family's service to our Country had earned you, because its more important for you to become President then it is for you to be able to look into the eyes of the American public and speak honestly about what makes you better for our country than your opponents. Surrender? Thats a good word for what has happened to your moral compass, but, you and I both know, thats never going to happen in Iraq.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 9, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse


Can the country really take four more years of the same old fear mongering?

Posted by: JackGallagher | September 9, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Senator McCain has no vested interest in America's future. McCain senile brian is just programmed to attack democracts and not to win the GOP primary a true sign of a NEOCON in free fall. Sen McCain youre 72 and in failing mental health accept the fact youre best years are behind you go care for your grandkids as most edlerly people do, you had your shot and you failed.

Posted by: Neocon | September 9, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I second that!

Posted by: jimh2 | September 9, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Ah John, still thinking you have a chance in &^)) of getting the nomination. Of course, you fall back on the gop standard campaign strategy, fear. Well, it wont work. Americans have wised up and you and your party are outta here come november 08. Take your old senile butt back to viet nam.

Posted by: pgiaquinto | September 9, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

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