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McCain: Obama 'Completely Wrong' on Iraq

Sen. John McCain (R) and former president George H. W. Bush answer questions from reporters at Bush's residence on Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Maine, July 21, 2008. (Associated Press)

By Michael D. Shear
Sen. John McCain paid a visit to former President George H. W. Bush Monday, using the visit to continue hammering his Democratic rival's foreign policy judgment.

At a news conference with the first President Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine, McCain said Sen. Barack Obama's plan for withdrawal from Iraq is guided by political considerations, not the
advice of U.S. military commanders.

"When you win wars, troops come home," McCain said, emphasizing his demand that a troop withdrawal begin only when "conditions on the ground" make it possible. "He's been completely wrong on the issue," he said of Iraq.

McCain's campaign pushed back hard Monday against reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had essentially endorsed Obama's plan for a 16-month withdrawal in an interview over the weekend.

In a conference call Monday morning, McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann said Obama was calling for a "date-driven" withdrawal that would be "dangerous" for U.S. troops.

"Sen. Obama had said this is going to be a listening tour. We certainly hope very sincerely that he listens to the advice of our military commanders," Scheunemann said.

The McCain comments came as Obama spent the day in Iraq, meeting with military officials and Iraqi political leaders. The Obama trip threatened to command the attention of the media for the entire week, overshadowing McCain's message.

If so, McCain has only himself to blame. He spent weeks goading Obama into making a trip to the war zones, mocking him for having not been in more than two years.

But McCain insisted at Monday's press conference that Obama's trip would not undercut his own campaigning this week. Former president Bush, the current president's father, praised McCain saying his respect for the nominee "has no bounds."

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 21, 2008; 6:13 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , John McCain  
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