The Five Sharpest Turns of the Double Talk Express: McCain Wants to 'Make it a Hundred Years' in Iraq, Says DNC

It has been a bumpy ride , to say the least , for John McCain's Double Talk Express this year. The one-time maverick turned his back on straight talk, putting his principles aside to do whatever it took to propel his struggling presidential campaign...

2003: McCain Said The End Is "Very Much In Sight." Senator McCain was asked "At what point will America be able to say the war was won?" McCain said there were oil fields to secure and "die-hards" to take care of but "it's clear that the end is very much in sight, and today I think Americans should be very proud of their leadership, their technology. There are still some foreigners, Syrians and others hanging around. But it won't be long. It will be a fairly short period of time, but this happens in wars. I'm confident that once they are confident the area is no longer a threat to the Marines and to our army troops that they'll start imposing discipline. In the meantime, we'll have a short period of chaos." [ABC News, Good Morning America, 4/9/03]

2005: McCain Said That Another Year Will Prove "Stay the Course" Is Working. "McCain believes that the U.S., and the cause of Iraqi independence, are moving forward in Iraq , a little bit at a time. 'I think the situation on the ground is going to improve,' he says. 'Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.'" [The Hill, 12/8/05]

2006: McCain's Top Political Advisor Says McCain's Support for the War is "Stay the Course, No Matter What." John McCain's top advisor explained McCain's support for the war and the impact it would have on McCain's future aspirations saying, "It is stay-the-course, no matter what. And if it dooms McCain, so be it." [Bloomberg News, 4/20/06]

2006: McCain Said That Iraq Was "On The Right Track" As The Country Moved Closer To Civil War. Speaking on the "Imus In The Morning" radio show on March 1, 2006 , McCain played down the increasing civil violence in Iraq . When Imus remarked that Iraq "already looks like a civil war," McCain responded, saying, "I keep trying to look at the bright side of this because we have to because the consequences of failure are catastrophic. But the gathering of the seven most respected religious leaders the day before yesterday, calling for calm and calling for some kind of reconciliation, I think, was important. I think, at least we're on the right track here." [MSNBC, Imus in the Morning, 3/1/06]

2007: McCain Claimed There Were Neighborhoods Safe Enough for Him to Walk Through. McCain claimed there were neighborhoods safe enough for him to walk through in Baghdad , but then toured a Baghdad market wearing a bulletproof vest while accompanied by "100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead." [NBC Nightly News, 4/1/2007]

2007: McCain Called Iraq the "Premier Issue" of Our Time, But Missed Iraq War Votes to Campaign for President. According to accounts in The Washington Post, Senator McCain said, "Look, this is the issue. This is the premier issue of my time and the next generation." [Washington Post, 4/7/07] But when it came to voting on the premier issue, Senator McCain was too busy campaigning, missing each of the first three most crucial votes on the Iraq war this year. The first time, on February 5 , "McCain admitted he was mending fences with conservatives in Texas when the Republicans in the Senate blocked a debate on the war." The second time, on February 17 , McCain chose "to spend the day courting conservative voters for his presidential campaign in Iowa." And finally, McCain missed the third Iraq war vote on March 15 , because he was "campaigning in Iowa." [ Dallas Morning News, 2/5/07; AP, 2/16/07;, 2/14/07; Los Angeles Times , 3/16/07]

2007: McCain Claims Political Success, Pleads for More Time for Surge. McCain told MSNBC that "the security situation is such on the ground that we can have the Iraqi military take over more of those responsibilities. There is great local political progress being made." McCain argued for more time for the surge despite lack of progress on key benchmarks telling CBS that, "this new strategy's only had a few months." [MSNBC, 9/11/07; CBS Early Show, 9/11/07]

2008: McCain Would Spend "a Hundred Years" or a "Million Years" in Iraq . McCain interrupted a voter during a town hall meeting in New Hampshire telling him we should "make it a hundred" years in Iraq and "that would be fine with me." After the town hall meeting, he told a reporter "that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for 'a thousand years' or 'a million years,' as far as he was concerned." [McCain Derry, NH town hall meeting (, 1/3/08; (, 1/3/08]

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