4/08 - McCain Said "No one has supported President Bush on Iraq more than I have."

John McCain was right. No one has supported Bush more than McCain has on Iraq. TPM has a great timeline. Some of the highlights:

3/18/03, Fox, "O'Reilly Factor"

O'Reilly: "All right, Senator, if you were president, what would you have done differently in the run-up to this war?"

McCain: "Nothing."

O'Reilly: "Nothing?"

McCain: "The president has handled this, in my view, skillfully."

More . . .

6/11/03, Fox News

Neil Cavuto: ...many argue the conflict isn't over.

McCain: Well, then why was there a banner that said mission accomplished on the aircraft carrier? Look, the -- I have said a long time that reconstruction of Iraq would be a long, long, difficult process, but the conflict -- the major conflict is over, the regime change has been accomplished.

3/7/04, ABC News

"I'm confident we're on the right course. . . .

10/24/04, ABC News, "This Week"

"We've got to stay the course and I believe that's what President Bush is committed to."

6/28/05, Fox News

"And what the president did tonight is the most important thing. He laid out an articulate vision for victory in Iraq and why we need to stay the course."

12/8/05, The Hill

"Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course."

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    Mission Accomplished, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:12:02 PM EST
    greeted as liberators.....

    He was peddling all the same stuff.

    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:13:37 PM EST
    The Mission Accomplished one is the most powerful, in my book.  Gosh.

    Not really.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:05:52 PM EST
    Just sub "occupation" for "reconstruction"...since that's what he really meant anyway...and it's perfectly in line with his current position.

    He'll let the con go on for as long as it takes...a hundred years even.  

    Till the credit dries up or people pick up pitchforks.


    Heh (none / 0) (#21)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:18:16 PM EST
    So his current position is that the tough part ended in June 2003?  Gosh.  I hope he repeats that position a lot.

    Ya know... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by pie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:35:23 PM EST
    that's the problem one may run into when one has a record that can be pointed to.  (Something's dangling there, but you get my drift, I trust. )

    McCain is a republican, after all.  I wouldn't expect to like it when he supports his president.  I'm not voting for him.  But republicans and some independents will.

    I am not for McCain... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by citizen53 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 05:00:07 PM EST
    but, as TPM said:

    Our timeline does support some of McCain's argument. It's true that as early as August of 2003, after he'd visited Iraq, he started saying that there weren't enough American troops in Iraq. At the time, this was consensus opinion among Democratic members of Congress and foreign policy hands. When McCain claims credit for having called for more troops early on, he's right.

    Though it was a stupid thing to get into, no one knows what may have occurred in Iraq if it had been done competently.  Would Abu Graib have occurred under McCain?

    The other side need not care about perspective and balance.  I hope we care more.  In my opinion, trying to pin Bush's mendacity on McCain reduces one's credibility on other matters.

    After all, did not Obama say this:

    In a meeting with Chicago Tribune reporters at the Democratic National Convention, Obama said,

        "On Iraq, on paper, there's not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago. [...] There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who's in a position to execute."

    -- Chicago Tribune, 07/27/04

    There's plenty to fault McCain for.  I just would prefer that we don't overreach when it comes to defining political opponents.  We saw enough of that with characterizations of Clinton and Edwards.  I did not like it then either.

    When as a presidential race... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Thanin on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:08:59 PM EST
    ever been characterization free?  This is in no way unique to 2008, so talking about changing the system is fine but at least acknowledge how unpractical it would be to do so.  

    Moreover, do you seriously think republicans are going to play nice and fair after the conventions?  As history has shown, if you don't go negative when the other side has, you lose.


    I do not belive the ends... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by citizen53 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:25:40 PM EST
    justify the means.  There are effective ways to fight without adopting the tactics used by those in the gutter.

    To each her/his own... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Thanin on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 07:01:49 PM EST
    but if I knew a dirty, sleazy tactic would keep the bushs and hitlers of the world out of office until the end of time, so be it.

    Then you would be no different. (none / 0) (#25)
    by citizen53 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:09:08 PM EST
    You speak from hindsight.  We are not Germany either.

    In any event, for the most part the Democrats went right along with Bush, and still do, as FISA makes apparent.


    Trust me... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Thanin on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 02:26:59 PM EST
    you didnt need to be from the future to know bush was going to suck as a president.  And as far as being no different from them, I'll gladly take that criticism if it means saving lives.

    Practice what you preach (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:10:29 PM EST
    when criticizing O as well.

    Maybe instead of using innuendo... (none / 0) (#24)
    by citizen53 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:00:52 PM EST
    you should be direct and support your allegations.

    I do practice what I preach.


    No One Has Supported.... (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 02:39:09 PM EST
    Barrak Obama more than I seem to be doing.

    Once again Obama has defined the center for McSame, who dutifully follows. Next Bush is going to agree with Obama's timetable.

    BLITZER: So why do you think he said that 16 months is basically a pretty good timetable?

    McCAIN: He said it's a pretty good timetable based on conditions on the ground. I think it's a pretty good timetable, as we should -- or horizons for withdrawal. But they have to be based on conditions on the ground.

    think progress

    That's Hilarious (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:54:33 PM EST
    Once again Obama is really defining the center for McSame.

    Three point shot will be next.

    Thinking back to even the Reagan Library debate, (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:56:07 PM EST
    McCain said some very stupid things that, today in the general election, I'll bet he wishes he didn't have to explain. That's especially in regards to the economy.

    I can see many negative ads on the topic, if Obama would actually start fighting on the air.

    Wow! (none / 0) (#5)
    by cmugirl on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:28:42 PM EST
    Is Axelrod working for McCain now too?  He's now channeling Obama (who channels Deval Patrick).


    alas and a woe (none / 0) (#12)
    by Nettle on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 05:57:51 PM EST
    Some of Obama's team at Hildebrand Tewes now gainfully employed at the DNC and secret lords of us all were channeling Bush before Bush even knew what Cheney was thinking for him.

    Anyone bothering to look -- and clearly the Post and the Times did not before penning their ardent bios of [Bob] Woodhouse -- would have found the youthful idealist bragging to newspapers before the Iraq invasion about the pro-war credentials of North Carolina candidate Erskine Bowles. "No one has been stronger in this race in supporting President Bush in the War on Terror and his efforts to effect a regime change in Iraq," boasted the future "anti-war" activist Woodhouse.

    So Obama's guys were way out in front of McCain.


    you make the rash assumption (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 05:07:01 PM EST
    that he even remembers having said them.

    McCain said some very stupid things that, today in the general election, I'll bet he wishes he didn't have to explain.

    since the end of wwII, it has been something of an article of faith that one who has himself seen the horrors of war, up close and personal, would be far less likely to lightly take the country into it.

    sen. mccain seems determined to destroy that myth.

    As BTD has tirelessly said (none / 0) (#9)
    by pie on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 05:14:35 PM EST
    (or is it tiresomely  :) )

    pols are pols.


    mccain's iraq policy is a major disappointment. (none / 0) (#10)
    by hellothere on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 05:36:25 PM EST
    so what have the democrats done? the answer, not much! i hope that with additional democrats that after the elections they start taking care of the people's business and not themselves. i have reservations that they will however.

    Obama's got the same sh*t on his shoes (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarahfdavis on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 05:49:03 PM EST
    July of '04.
     "There's not much of a difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush's position at this stage."  
    -- Barack Obama

    Yes, and this is one of the major things (none / 0) (#22)
    by weltec2 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:17:11 PM EST
    that bothers me about Obama, his desire to straddle both isles... also his ability to give inspiring speeches without really exposing which side of the isle he is on. He does not give controversial speeches. His acts have been controversial, but his speeches have not. They have been soothing like ice on a bee sting. It doesn't take away the poison or remove the stinger but it makes the victim feel better for a while.

    Welcome to American politics. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Thanin on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 09:28:26 PM EST
    Question (none / 0) (#16)
    by cmugirl on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:35:24 PM EST
    I won't go over to TPM, but does this timeline go past 2005? I would be interested in recent comments.

    The "surge" was so successful . . . (none / 0) (#17)
    by wurman on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:50:57 PM EST
    that it had miraculous positive effects even before it began.  From CNN's Alexander Marquardt, CNN's Tasha Diakides (link):
    . . . McCain defended comments he made in an interview on Tuesday when he incorrectly argued that the surge in Iraq gave way to the so-called "Anbar Awakening" - when Sunni leaders joined forces with U.S. troops to fight Al Qaeda in the fall of 2006.

    He's defending this:
    In an interview with CBS's Katie Couric on Tuesday, McCain said that the surge led U.S. forces to ally with Sunnis, "And it began the Anbar Awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history."

    Thus, the Deciderator's decisions are effective before they begin in this new form of history.  And the Commanding Generalship of David Petraeus takes effect before the troop movements begin.

    Just in case some reader does not have a timeline on the surging of the surge: Reuters Apr 8, 2008 (link):

    President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to increase troop levels in Iraq in January 2007 under a strategy known commonly as the "surge" that included security, political, economic and regional components.

    The Anbar events ended more than 3 months earlier & Think Progress describes it here (link):

    Spencer Ackerman notes that the colonel McCain cited is "now a one-star general" and had explained the "Awakening" to a reporter in September 2006 "before it even had a name." "For McCain to say that the Anbar Awakening is the product of the surge is either a lie or professional malpractice," added Ackerman.

    Sen. McCain just cannot do enough, or too much, to support Pres. Bush.

    Of course... (none / 0) (#19)
    by pmj6 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 07:25:27 PM EST
    ...one must keep in mind that Josh Marshall supported the invasion of Iraq too.

    Really? (none / 0) (#27)
    by rottenart on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09:55:13 AM EST
    N/M (none / 0) (#28)
    by rottenart on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 10:01:32 AM EST
    Just read back through the archives at TPM. He was, but dialed back his (tepid) support pretty quickly.

    Poor McCain... (none / 0) (#26)
    by weltec2 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:12:51 PM EST
    And now BO is doing the same thing to McCain that he did to Hillary after Pennsylvania. After Pennsylvania he began acting like he had won the Democratic nomination. He was dismissive of HRC as though it was all over and began directing his focus and attention toward McCain. Now he is acting like he has already won the Presidency. It's almost as though he has forgotten McCain exists.

    McCain can feel it. It has gotten away from him and it's driving him mad.

    BO travels to the Middle-East and wins everyone's approval. Then he goes to Europe and delivers a major speech. Essentially he speaks his Presidency into existence and we haven't even had the Dem Convention yet. For him, everything is a foregone conclusion. Nicely done, really. Let's just hope he doesn't forget to show up to at least acknowledge which party he belongs to.