Democracy Has Prevailed.

June 12, 2008

"Not Too Important"

That's what the man said. That's what John McCain said.

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: 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:

  1. Make things safe for US Troops in Iraq and once they are safe,
  2. Keep them there forever.
All the more curious due to this recent quotation (one his campaign tried - and failed - to explain away as a question of "semantics" and "verb tenses"):

    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.

    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?


    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!


    Anonymous said...

    We also have this little gem that surfaced today:

    RUSSERT: The fact is you are different than George Bush.
    SEN. McCAIN: No. No. I-the fact is that I'm different but the fact is that I have agreed with President Bush far more than I have disagreed. And on the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I've been totally in agreement and support of President Bush.

    From here

    John McCain = Bush's Third question about it.

    Anonymous said...

    So, Obama camp has learned a few tricks from the Clinton's. Dirty politics from the messiah? McCain might have said "that's not the important question" and he's right. Keeping down American casualties while making a withdrawal that does.t cause the deaths of civilians. No Hanoi rerun thanks. I can't wait to hear the "real" Obama. He is going to have to explain why all tose wonderful promises cannot be kept. I guess it will all come down to the fact that he lied his way to the nominatio, Ya think?

    Anonymous said...

    Where are you Maria? We need your voice out here.

    Anonymous said...

    Give me proof that the video on Putin has not been messed with!Dirty ,Dirty politics.

    Anonymous said...

    Anonymous 4:31

    You'd be correct if, in fact, McCain said any of those things.

    He wants to keep the troops in Iraq to stabilize the government until there are no more American casualties. THEN they can stay indefintely.

    That's his plan.

    Please explain to me how that keeps the troops out of harms way.

    He should be looking to get them out of there as quickly and as safely as possible - NOT spinning his gaffes into having the troops there from now on.

    Anonymous said...

    Show me proof that the video where he calls Putin the president of Germany has been messed with...

    The man said it; deal with it.

    Anonymous said...

    .....It remains to be seen whether whoever crafted the graphic will be reprimanded or if Fox News again trot out a less-than-sincere seeming apology for its latest affront to the Democratic candidate and his family

    This said in reference to Obama's Baby Mama comment on Fox.

    I'll consider a vote for Obama if he lets this ride, the way everybody let the horrible things said about Hillary pass. If it gets pushed,without including demands for apologies to Hillary, I'll know the dems have a double standard and will vote Rep.

    Also, I would like proof that the McCane video is not a fake.

    Anonymous said...


    Am I reading that correctly? Someone thinks the "Putin is the President of Germany" video was DOCTORED?


    Now we KNOW the wingnuts are, well, NUTS.

    Anonymous said...

    Yes, in fact, it seems we have a few people who think that that's not really John McCain who said Putin was the president of Germany.

    At least he did call him the Kaiser, which would have been appropriate considering his penchant for anachronistic references.

    On another note...I must say I love the fact that Obama gets blamed for that douschebag mysognist Chris Matthew's and his reprehensible behavior.

    Both Obama and Dean have been very adamant about their disapproval of the sexist treatment Hillary got from the press, but somehow that sexist treatment from the press is Obama's fault???

    Yeah, really don't follow that logic...

    And as I've told a few people, quit threatening us w/ voting Republican and just DO IT. Enough already.

    Anonymous said...

    Also, I would like proof that the McCane video is not a fake.

    I'll do that for you, if you prove to me that you exist outside my mind.

    Actually, I think the whole Putin/Germany thing is just dumbass Rove-style gotcha. It was a slip of the tongue. There are a hundred and seventy-four REAL faux pas, meaninful ones -- e.g. Iran is arming Al Qaeda, we should stay in Iraq for 100, even 1000 years, don't know much about economics, on and on -- that would sink McCain far beneath the waves to any rational voter. Why screw around with a mal mot? It's no more meaningful than Obama talking about 54 states or whatever it was that he said.

    Anonymous said...

    BTW, if you're planning to vote for the guy you ought to be able to spell his name.

    Anonymous said...

    "On another note...I must say I love the fact that Obama gets blamed for that douschebag mysognist Chris Matthew's and his reprehensible behavior."

    I'm not blaming Obama. I just think if he can demand a "hands off" his woman, why can't he speak up for every woman? Hillary first of all, and your a lier if you say she was not treated badly. A nobel man defends all women, not just his own

    Let's see him take a stand on that. Seperate himself from a biased and crewel media as he "FINALLY" seperated from the offensive Pastors he loved for so very long.. Sincerity

    cathcatz said...

    anon: 10:21...

    "douschebag mysognist"

    "your a lier"


    "Seperate ....crewel ...seperated"

    spel cheker ees yur freund