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Debate Leads Off With Iraq

The debate begins with Iraq. And, specifically, Sen. John McCain on Iraq.

McCain, left, and Giuliani chat before the start of the GOP debate. (Getty Images)

McCain essentially reiterated his stated position -- the war is "long," "hard," "tough" and "difficult" -- but necessary.

"We have to continue because it's not just the Iraqis' vital national security interests, it's America's national security interests," McCain said.

McCain got a nice -- and somewhat unexpected -- boost moments later from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who agreed with the Arizona senator's insistence that the terrorists will follow America inside its border no matter what our country's commitment is in Iraq. Giuliani also made reference to the arrests at Fort Dix -- the first candidate to do so in the debate.

Mitt Romney stuck to his talking points on Iraq, painting it as part of a "global jihadist effort" to build a "caliphate."

-- Chris Cillizza

By Editors  |  May 15, 2007; 9:16 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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