Democratic National Committee: John McCain's 'Missed Opportunity'

Another No Good Very Bad Week for John McCain WASHINGTON, March 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Democratic National Committee: In an effort to burnish his foreign policy credentials, John McCain...


Another No Good Very Bad Week for John McCain

WASHINGTON, March 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Democratic National Committee:

In an effort to burnish his foreign policy credentials, John McCain made a taxpayer-funded campaign swing through Europe and the Middle East this week. But the trip was not the success the McCain campaign had hoped for.

Instead, McCain made a series of missteps, making false and misleading statements about al-Qaeda, Iran , and Iraq . It's no wonder then that one foreign policy expert is asking, "Who is the real John McCain?" On Iraq , McCain missed an opportunity to offer a change in course, choosing once again to side with President Bush 's failed policies instead of General Petraeus who said that there has not been "sufficient" political progress in Iraq . [AFP, 3/14/08]

It didn't help that McCain also equated Purim with Halloween while in Israel , said Baghdad's neighborhoods are safe as a suicide attack occurred, and held a fundraiser whose host made his fortune advising a shady Russian oligarch -- all on the taxpayers' dime.

Below is a selection of articles chronicling McCain's no good very bad week abroad.

Oh, those pesky little FACTS about Iraq...

On Monday:

McCain Gets Al-Qaeda Iran Facts Wrong. "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 ." [ Hugh Hewitt Radio Show, 3/17/08]

Things Get Worse on Tuesday:

And He Does It Again. "'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]

No One's Impressed...

McCain Misspeaks on Iran , al-Qaeda. " Mr. McCain said several times during his visit to Jordan - during a news conference and a radio interview -- that he was concerned that Iran was training members of al-Qaeda in Iraq . The United States believes that Iran , a Shiite country, has been training and financing Shiite extremists in Iraq , but not al-Qaeda , which is a Sunni insurgent group...Mr. McCain has based his campaign in large part on his assertion that he is the best prepared candidate to deal with Iraq , and the Democrats wasted little time in jumping on his misstatement to question his knowledge and judgment. 'After eight years of the Bush Administration's incompetence in Iraq , McCain's comments don't give the American people a reason to believe that he can be trusted to offer a clear way forward,' Karen Finney , a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement. 'Not only is Senator McCain wrong on Iraq once again, but he showed he either doesn't understand the challenges facing Iraq and the region or is willing to ignore the facts on the ground.'" [New York Times, 3/18/08]

Dems seize on McCain's Iran gaffe. "The Democratic National Committee seized on John McCain's apparent gaffe while discussing Iran Tuesday, saying it raises questions whether the Arizona senator 'can be trusted to offer a clear way forward...' DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney quickly pounced on the misstep. 'After eight years of the Bush Administration's incompetence in Iraq , McCain's comments don't give the American people a reason to believe that he can be trusted to offer a clear way forward,' she said. 'Not only is Senator McCain wrong on Iraq once again, but he showed he either doesn't understand the challenges facing Iraq and the region or is willing to ignore the facts on the ground.'" [CNN Political Ticker, 3/18/08]

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