Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

From Iraq to America, McCain Turns a Familiar Phrase

Sen. John McCain waves as he gets a tour from Buddy Pryzbocki at the General Motors car plant in Lordstown, Ohio, June 27, 2008. (Associated Press)

By Michael D. Shear
LORDSTOWN, Ohio -- As gas prices spiral upward, Sen. John McCain has been searching for a way to express his empathy about the struggling economy. He seems to have finally hit upon a concise phrase to describe America's economic future.

"It's going to be long and it's going to be hard and it's going to be tough," he told a small group of about 100 General Motors workers at a town hall meeting here this morning.

If you recognize that phrase, that's because it's a direct rip-off.

Of himself.

For months, McCain has been using the exact same phrase to describe his assessment of the situation in Iraq and the need for Americans to persevere in the face of violence there.

On April 6, for example, he told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that "I've always said, Chris, this is long and hard and tough. We're paying a huge penalty for four years of a failed strategy that I fought hard against, and I believe this strategy has succeeded and will succeed and can succeed. But it's long and hard and tough."

A couple of months later, at a town hall in Baton Rouge he talked about the struggle against violent extremism in the Middle East by saying, "so my friends its been long and its hard
and its tough."

But with the economy and gas prices taking front and center, foreign policy is so last month.

And so McCain has cribbed from himself.

After all, it worked pretty well for Iraq.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 27, 2008; 12:03 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , John McCain  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: More Energy Advertising From McCain
Next: Obama Hires New Religious Affairs Adviser


Lets not forget the VERY Large Oil Shale Deposts America has.
Lets not forget that these can provide a large part of America's needs as well.

But America needs to open ALL OFFSHORE for OIL and Gas Development now.

Posted by: Nicklan | June 30, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"It's going to be long and it's going to be hard and it's going to be tough,"

Actually, for Sen. John McCain and his Beer Baroness wife things will be quite easy. Can we see poor little Cindy's tax returns now?

Posted by: Mario | June 28, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Re: Senator McCain's Speech in OH

I watched Senator McCain's press conference held in OH, which I think most effective so far--when a politician has his/her own voice and style, voters can see his/her character and values.

Posted by: peace4world | June 28, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

It's okay Justin, I caught the sarcasm.

Obama's life has been scrutinized from birth. Let's put John McCain under the microscope too. Here's a few facts about John McCain:

- In 2007, McCain voted in agreement with Bush 95% of the time.
- Up through May 15, 2008, voted in agreement with Bush 100% of the time.
- Graduated from Annapolis Naval Academy with class rank of 894 ut of 899 cadets.
- Lost 5 military aircraft while a Navy pilot.
- Left his first wife after she was permanently injured in a horrific car accident for beer heiress Cindy McCain.
- For decades McCain has been voting against a woman's right to choose, sex education and contraceptives.
- McCain was one of the members of the Keating Five savings and loan scandal that bilked tens of thousands out of their retirement savings.
- McCain did not support the Lilly Ledbetter equal pay for women legislation.
- Even though he and Cindy's combined yearly income is over $6 million per year, McCain received tax-free military disability pension in the amount of $58,358 for the year 2007 at the rate of 100%. That would be fine if he would support the same benefits for our current troops and veterans, but he doesn't. He was against the new GI Bill and regularly votes against legislation that would help our troops and veterans. Facts are available at

There are many strong indications that the military draft is coming back. Read the facts and judge for yourself:

Under McCain's leadership our troops are much more likely to get on-the-job training for years to come.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 28, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Re: Michael and WP Editors

You are sick: Now you are changing your position to Obama only because he is dominating national discourse?

This Trail Section is supposed to inform voters so that we can decide.

All facts reported here are biased. Do not inject your opinion here.

WP, study how NYT has maintained its journalistic integrity as well as factual consistency in the Section called Caucus.

Give me a break.

Posted by: peace4world | June 28, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

What violence in our cities? McCain said not to worry about mere drug dealers. When inner city mothers have their children playing and sleeping below window height, they must be afraid of the Islamic terrorists. When south Philly workers are ecstatic about making it home safe with their cashed paychecks, it is the terrorists they fear will rob them. When our penal and corrective institutions are overwhelmed with drug offenders, blame the terrorists (some blame for cheap heroin). McCain should look at the real America, not the one he sees from his wife's mansions.

Posted by: Jimbo | June 28, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Iraqi withdrawal of our troops will be a complex coordinated effort to get the Iraqi security and service sectors to handle the the safeguarding and sharing of resources in the country. The partitioning of the country geographically into the Badr. Sadr, Sunni triangle and Kudish camps has hurt commerce and resource sharing. Petraeus plan for reinforcing local forces to maintain the peace with our added presence has made many of these areas significantly safer for its inhabitants. It is gaining more American influence in the Sunni areas where the terrorists reside and have what little support left in Iraq. The Badr, Sadr areas while in the past have attacked coalition forces, do not have any Sunni terrorists. The areas are ready to resume commerce but unreliable electric, water, and waste disposal hurt not only commerce but people with diseases attributed to these shortages. As Iraqi security forces are vetted, trained, equipped to take over areas, we can ask our ground commanders about the withdrawal of troops from Iraqi controlled areas. Presently only half of Iraqi security forces come close to having the requirements. It will be a year before we have enough vetted, trained, equipped Iraqi's. Our first priority with the people is to insure they have clean drinking water and proper waste disposal. Rebuilding conventional electric supply and grids will take years and we should consider sending them generators to fill the void till then. Our military certainly has the ability to purify water and should disperse it back to the population through cleric supplied volunteers to lessen theft and hording. As we eliminate Al Qaeda elements in our growing influence Sunni areas, we can hopefully turn those areas too to Iraqi vetted security forces. The Kurds are our best friends and a forward airbase and fortified area with 1 division in it in Kurdistan, would be a strategic asset against Russia and Iran if it continues to develop the missile and nuclear technology needed to be a threat. Our forces should withdraw south with a presence in Kuwait to guard the border and if need be go back into Iraq. Obama is right in thinking Al Qaeda elements from Syria won't go to newly helped Sunni areas. Our presence in the Sunni triangle is necessary until we are sure of no civil war. The Shia will not attack the Sunni if we are there, and a strong commitment to Sunni safety will get concessions from the Shia dominated government. Withdrawing these troops will help bolster the success of our Afghan campaign and if our armed forces meeting their recruiting goals, we may have some left over for humanitarian relief in Africa.

Posted by: Jimbo | June 28, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

It's going to be long and hard because he has to find a way to sucker the Iraqis out of their oil. Then he's going to have to set up bases for our troops so they can keep the oil flowing. You can bet your life the killing will go on for as long as there's oil in the ground. Why do you think McCain's trying to sell Obama on the idea that Iraqs in wonderful shape. That oil has the blood of 4100 + soldiers on it and McCain could care less. Iraqi freedom, Yeah ok.

Posted by: HemiHead | June 28, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

The republican way to a strong economy. War, Massive debt, All regulation goes out the window. The democratic economy always blows because we have to clean up the mess. It's not going to be easy this time with a quarter of the population living in their cars. Wall Street comes out with a new scam every year. ETF's, the new way to rob everyone blind. Maybe we will get luckey and Goldman, Merill JP, Citi, will go out of business next.

Posted by: HemiHead | June 28, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

"I believe this strategy has succeeded and will succeed and can succeed. But it's long and hard and tough."

I got 2 questions. First, Huh? Second, if the "strategy has succeeded", why is it still going to be long and hard and tough?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 28, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

It's going to be LONG!

It's going to be HARD!

It's going to be TOUGH!

LOL! Sounds just like a Polish Dude explaining to his Future Wife what she'll get!


THOSE, Last Names are something else! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | June 27, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse


You sound like Mc Cain's top advisors...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

McCain - stop wasting time on lazy workers!

We are at WAR!!

We need to strike Iran, Iraq, Afgan, North Korea, and China ASAP!

Please use all those nukes you are planning to build to kill these evil nations! We must strike before they strike us first!!!!!!!

...and stop putting more criminals in our military! Why not draft some of our "highly skilled" workers to improve the military and get our war machine back on track! GLORY & VICTORY!

Posted by: Justin | June 27, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, I know this; the next president will have to set a new base for our economy to improve on. No matter whom the next president is, neither he nor his advisors are going to be able to turn this economy around in 4 years. But they can get us out of Iraq and stop selling bonds to China and other nations to help heal this self inflicting wound to our economy. Mc Cain's words, "it's going to be tough," is not good enough, especially when it refers to staying in Iraq while trying to figure out a way to fix the economy.

I have no faith in the Republicans this time around, none at all. Obama's way of thinking would benefit this country so much at the moment. Raising taxes for the upper class is a must. The middle class and the poor are the spenders, and they are the key to fixing this economy. #1 Raise the taxes for the upper class and lower the taxes for everyone else. #2, Obama will pull our troops out of Iraq so we can stop throwing billions of dollars a month down the drain. #3 let Medicare and Medicade negotiate, that would allow cheaper health care, and maybe the 12 trillion dollars in Medicare debt will start to subside. (our country's net worth is 12 trillion dollars)

Oh, and Mc Cain, what sense does it make to offer 300 million dollars to anyone for developing a longer lasting battery cell for vehicles? You know that's very unlikely to happen; who could afford to do the research?

If you really cared, you would help fund universities to do the research, so maybe someday, it would actually happen. Universities have more resources and the upper most desire to succeed; their students count on new opportunities to gain more knowledge.

Oh and people, higher taxes are going to be a must!

We have to pay for the war, better the education system, pay for the housing crisis, pay for alternative fuel research, etc...

There's no way around paying higher taxes, and you can thank our past and present government for that. Now there's not an easy way out.

Posted by: Figures... | June 27, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone remember that back in 2003 McCain said winning in Iraq would be easy. Now he says it will be tough. So much for the value of all his years of experience.

Posted by: bgjd1979 | June 27, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean McCain's phrase with regard to the "psychological benefits" of a gas holiday has been market tested and found wanting?

Posted by: FirstMouse | June 27, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

So electing McCain is 100 years in Iraq combined with 100 years of recession. Confidence inspiring huh!

Posted by: Julian | June 27, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't even care as long as we get out. Hell, does anyone care about the violence in our own inner cities? We can go a long way to just fixing things in our own country, the hell with Iraq.

Violence will go up again Iraq and already has in Afghanistan. The violence may not hit the annual deaths of 2006 and 2007, but did anyone truly believe violence in Iraq would continue constantly at the intolerable levels it did in 2004 to 2007.

Iraq provincial elections take place on October 1, 2008! The grab for power will heighten in July and August and so will the levels of violence.

Mark my words.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 27, 2008 12:22 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: eliana | June 27, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Violence will go up again Iraq and already has in Afghanistan. The violence may not hit the annual deaths of 2006 and 2007, but did anyone truly believe violence in Iraq would continue constantly at the intolerable levels it did in 2004 to 2007.

Iraq provincial elections take place on October 1, 2008! The grab for power will heighten in July and August and so will the levels of violence.

Mark my words.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 27, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company