News Release

McCain: Consistent on Iraq War?

“I believe that success will be fairly easy.”
— John McCain (9/24/02, CNN)

“I believe that we can win an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time.”
— John McCain (9/29/02, CNN)

“The American people … were led to believe that this would be some kind of a day at the beach which many of us, uh, fully understood from the very beginning would be a very, very difficult undertaking.”
— John McCain (8/22/06, CNN)

“I knew it was probably going to be long and hard and tough. And those that voted for it and thought that somehow it was going to be some kind of an easy task, then I’m sorry they were mistaken. Maybe they didn’t know what they were voting for.”
— John McCain (1/4/07, MSNBC)

STEPHEN ZUNES
Zunes is Middle East editor for Foreign Policy in Focus, professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. He said today: “Despite claims of ‘consistency’ on Iraq and his supposed knowledge of military affairs, John McCain’s record on Iraq appears to be as problematic as that of George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton. For example, just prior to the vote to authorize the invasion in the fall of 2002, he claimed on CNN that ‘we can win an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time’ and that ‘I believe that success will be fairly easy.’

“More recently, however, as U.S. forces continue to be bogged down in a bloody counter-insurgency war that many of us had forewarned about, McCain claims that he actually did know that a U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq was ‘probably going to be long and hard and tough’ and that, for him, it was ‘fully understood from the very beginning would be a very, very difficult undertaking.'”
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ROBERT NAIMAN
Senior policy analyst and national coordinator at Just Foreign Policy, Naiman said today: “There is a frequently invoked image of Senator McCain as a ‘straight shooter’ whose credentials as a leader on foreign policy are beyond question. But this image cannot be reconciled with the history of his statements about Iraq, including his recent, repeated assertions that Iran is supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, despite the fact that this claim is unsubstantiated and highly implausible. He corrected himself after Senator Lieberman pointed out the error, but the fact that he made the same claim three times in one week suggests that this was no mere ‘slip of the tongue.'”
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For links to transcripts from McCain’s above-quoted TV appearances, go to:
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0608/22/sitroom.01.html
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0209/24/lkl.00.html
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0209/29/le.00.html
http://hardblogger.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/01/04/26496.aspx

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
David Zupan, (541) 484-9167