DNC: McCain Consistently Wrong on Iraq

WASHINGTON , April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testifying before Congress today and tomorrow, John McCain and his campaign continue to put politics ahead of a responsible way forward...


WASHINGTON , April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testifying before Congress today and tomorrow, John McCain and his campaign continue to put politics ahead of a responsible way forward in Iraq . Instead of outlining his plan for the future, explaining whether his vision of a 100 year troop presence in Iraq includes permanent bases there, or saying how he plans to pay for a war that now costs $12 billion a month while making Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy permanent, McCain continues to advocate a stay the course strategy.

In addition to offering the wrong course for the future in Iraq , McCain has consistently gotten the basic facts on the ground wrong throughout this campaign.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement:

"As John McCain continues to get the basic facts on the ground in Iraq wrong, he makes it clear to the American people that he will continue the open-ended commitment to fighting President Bush's war in Iraq . One hundred years in Iraq is not a plan. We all honor the service and sacrifices of our brave troops and their families, who have done everything that has been asked of them every step of the way. Honoring their service means bringing this war to a responsible end, and the only way to do that is to elect a Democratic president in November."

The following is a fact sheet prepared by the DNC Research Department on McCain's failed leadership on Iraq :

McCain Repeatedly Gets Facts Wrong On Iraq

IRAQ / IRAN , SUNNI/SHIA: WHO'S WHO?

At least five times as a candidate, three times in March 2008 alone, McCain said publicly that Iran (a Shiite nation) was supporting Al-Qaeda (a Sunni group) in Iraq . Despite being corrected by the press and his colleagues, McCain continued to repeat the assertion.

March 17, 2008 : McCain said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show "As you know, there are al-Qaeda operatives that are taken back into Iran , given training as leaders, and they're moving back into Iraq ." [New York Times, 3/19/08; Entire Transcript at http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/talkradio/transcripts/Transcript.aspx?ContentGuid=ae522a49-6c82-4791-a76e-44ebb718bf32]

March 18, 2008 : In Jordan after a trip to Iraq , McCain said at a press conference that "'We continue to be concerned about Iranian [operatives] taking al-Qaeda into Iran , training them and sending them back,' he said in comments after meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday afternoon. Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it is 'common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran ; that's well known. And it's unfortunate.' A few moments later, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in his ear. McCain then said, 'I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda.'" [Washington Post, 3/19/08]

March 19, 2008 : The next day however, in a press release on the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq , McCain said "Al Qaeda and Shia extremists -- with support from external powers such as Iran -- are on the run but not defeated." [McCain Presidential Campaign Press Release via Targeted News Service, 3/19/08]

November 2007 : McCain Said that Al Qaeda is Getting "Supplies and Equipment" from Iran . "Al Qaeda is not defeated," McCain told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week. "They're on the run, but they are not defeated, and they continue to get supplies and equipment through Iran , and they continue to get suicide bombers through Syria ." [ABC, This Week with George Stephanopoulos , 11/25/07]

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