Here's a transcript:
Q: If it’s working, senator, do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?
McCAIN: No, but that’s not too important. What’s important is the casualties in Iraq. Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany. That’s all fine. American casualties and the ability to withdraw. We will be able to withdraw. General Petraeus is going to tell us in July when he thinks we are. But the key to it is we don't want any more Americans in harms way. And that way they will be safe and serve our country and come home with honor in victory, not in defeat, which is what Senator Obama's proposal would have done.
And I'm proud of them and they're doing a great job and we are succeeding and it's fascinating that Senator Obama still doesn't realize that.
According to Talking Points Memo, the McCain campaign released a statement about the coverage of this quote yesterday. Here it is:
The Obama campaign is embarking on a false attack on John McCain to hide their own candidate's willingness to disregard facts on the ground in pursuit of withdrawal no matter what the costs. John McCain was asked if he had a 'better estimate' for a timeline for withdrawal. As John McCain has always said, that is not as important as conditions on the ground and the recommendations of commanders in the field. Any reasonable person who reads the full transcript would see this and reject the Obama campaign's attempt to manipulate, twist and distort the truth.Right now I'm thinking that they've got it a wee bit wrong. Look closely at the question McCain was answering and then the answer. First the question:
...do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?To which he answered:
No, but that’s not too important.So it isn't really that McCain said it's "not too important" when the troops come home. What's "not too important" is that he doesn't have a better estimate for when they can come home, even though (in his words) the surge is working. I think his latest estimate was about 100 years or something.
It's a tad different - not much different, of course, but a tad (how much is a "tad" anyway? More than an "jot" less than a "pinch" or the other way round?).
But take a look at the rest of it. That's the really confusing part. He's making the case for the troops to remain in Iraq. But then there's this:
But the key to it is we don't want any more Americans in harms way. And that way they will be safe...Huh? So keeping the troops in Iraq is a way to keep them safe? If he truly doesn't want any more Americans in harms way, then he should be looking for ways to get them out of harms way - not keep them there! But it looks like this general plan is this:
- Make things safe for US Troops in Iraq and once they are safe,
- Keep them there forever.
As the Washington Post pointed out, there are about 35,000 more troops in Iraq now than from when the surge began, uh, surging. And Mosul was hardly quiet that day. On the very day McCain stuck his foot in his mouth three suicide bombers killed 30. Where?
I can tell you that it [the Surge] is succeeding. I can look you in the eye and tell you it's succeeding. We have drawn down to pre-surge levels. Basra, Mosul and now Sadr City are quiet.--John McCain, Town Hall meeting, May 28, 2008.
Hey did you know that Vladimir Putin is the President of Germany? Senator McCain says so:
Learn something new every day.
A vote for McCain is a vote for the most solid gosh darn information around!