Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Video: Countdown Exposes McCain Record on Not Supporting Troops

This segment on Keith Olbermann's Countdown finally puts to rest the notion that McCain is a champion of American troops. The report also debunks the myth that the media is more sympathetic to Obama than McCain.

McCain on Larry King Live (7-28-08): Transcript

Read the entire transcript of John McCain's appearance on Larry King.

KING: Senator, you criticized him for the trip, a trip that you told him to make. MCCAIN: Actually, I was glad that he went to Iraq. I was puzzled and befuddled by the fact that he announced his policy towards Iraq and Afghanistan before he went. I had hoped that he would go, and for the first time, sit down and get a briefing from General Petraeus. You know he never had before?

I had wished, in a way, that he had a hearing in the subcommittee that he chairs on Afghanistan since he has the responsibility oversight of NATO. But incredibly to me, still, is that he does not acknowledge that the surge succeeded. No rational person could go to Iraq in the last few days and compare it to two years ago and not acknowledge that the surge has succeeded. And that's why I question very much why he would continue to fail to acknowledge that a strategy -- admittedly -- he condemned it, he said it wouldn't work, he said that it would make things worse, et cetera.

But at least he ought to acknowledge -- after getting briefed by General Petraeus and meeting these brave young Americans who have sacrificed so much in making sure that this strategy succeeded -- that he should acknowledge their success. How do you welcome this last brigade home that's coming home and say, hey, great job, but by the way, you didn't succeed? I don't know how you do that.

KING: But was he right in saying that a lot more emphasis should have been put on Afghanistan?

MCCAIN: Well, listen, this is -- if we had failed in Iraq, our complications in Afghanistan would have been far, far more complicated.

What Senator Obama doesn't understand is that they are all connected. If we had lost the war in Iraq, we would have had much greater problems in Afghanistan. And also, the strategy that he said wouldn't work in Iraq is the same strategy we have to employ in Afghanistan. It's not just to increase the number of troops; it's secure and hold, it's a government that functions more effectively, it's taking on the narco-traffickers, it's the issue of Pakistan, which is of course the border area -- it's uncontrolled. So it's got to be an overall strategy. And Senator Obama does not understand that, just like he didn't understand the situation in Iraq.

KING: So you're not criticizing him for the trip, which you told him to make, you're criticizing him for what you say is a lack of awareness?

MCCAIN: Lack of understanding -- complete lack of understanding of what America's national security threats are.

But the other thing is that, of course -- the fact that in Germany he did not go to Landstuhl. And I can assure you that the troops welcome, especially those who are the gravely wounded ones, welcome American senators. And if he had wanted to go with just a staffer, I am confident that he could have gone, rather than cancel his trip to see those brave young Americans.

But it's also about bringing back prosperity. KING: He must have understood that. Why do you think he didn't go?

MCCAIN: I have no idea except that I know that according to reports that he wanted to bring media people and cameras and his campaign staffers and I want to guarantee you, if I had gone to Landstuhl, which I have and met with the troops there and met with the wounded but if I had gone there and the military had said, you can't see these wounded people. I guarantee I'd have been on the phone with the secretary of defense immediately. I'd have seen them.