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McCain Won't Back Down on Obama Critique

By Robert Barnes
Sen. John McCain today refused to apologize for recent comments -- now becoming a standard part of his campaign speeches -- that Sen. Barack Obama would be willing to lose the war in Iraq if it meant winning the presidential campaign.

Obama objected in an interview with NBC News, saying he was "disappointed by that language.''

"John McCain and I disagree on policy,'' Obama said in the interview. "You know, we disagreed on going into the war in Iraq. We disagreed, until recently, about the need to get more troops into Afghanistan.

"But I've never questioned that he wants to make America safer. And for him to suggest that I don't -- for him to suggest that somehow I'm less concerned about the safety of my wife and daughter than he is, I think was -- was unfortunate."

McCain was unapologetic today when asked about Obama's comments.

"I think it's very clear that I said at the most difficult times that I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war and that's very clear and a lot of people said that it might do (in) my candidacy for president of the United States or the nomination of my party,'' McCain said, referring to his support at the "surge" of troops to Iraq.

On the other hand, he said, Obama took the "far left" position that is a "graphic demonstration of his lack of understanding of national security issues, but this one in particular.''

He said it is "pretty obvious he took this position in order to secure the nomination of his party by taking the far left position and being dictated to by and others.''

He added: "The point is that Senator Obama doesn't have an understanding of what was at stake with the surge, what is at stake in the future for the security of this nation. I stand by my comments and I think the record authenticates it."

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 24, 2008; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain  
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