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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

McCain: Statement on Barack Obama's Iraq Position

McCain campaign Foreign Policy Advisor Randy Scheunemann issued the following statement in response to Obama National Co-Chair Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) saying Barack Obama would not change his position on Iraq even if meant sacrificing the progress currently being made:

"During an appearance on MSNBC this afternoon Missouri Senator and Obama surrogate Claire McCaskill was read a quote from the new issue of The New Yorker in which George Packer asserts that Obama's plan for a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq would 'revive the badly wounded al Qaeda in Iraq, reenergize the Sunni insurgency, embolden Moqtada al-Sadr and return the central government to a state of collapse.' Asked whether Senator Obama might change course so as not to jeopardize the tremendous progress U.S. troops have made as a result of the surge, McCaskill responded flatly 'no, he will not.'

"No one has been a more vocal critic of the Bush administration's conduct in Iraq than John McCain, who was among the first to push the change in strategy that has led to the gains in security there and who has returned to Iraq frequently in order to assess the shifting conditions there. The American people deserve a leader who will make decisions based not on ideology but on what most serves our national interests and in consultation with our commanders on the ground. If Obama is resolved to maintain his reckless commitment to immediate withdraw from Iraq just as our troops are on the cusp of victory, then his planned trip to the front will be nothing more than a photo-op, and a distraction to the brave men and women who are fighting and winning the war there."

Obama National Co-Chair Senator Claire McCaskill Says "No" Barack Obama Will Not Change His Position On Iraq Even If That Means Sacrificing The Progress Being Made.

MSNBC'S MONICA NOVOTNY: "In this week's New Yorker, George Packer writes about Obama's original withdrawal plan in the context of what we're now seeing as a relative stabilization in parts of Iraq. He writes about Obama, 'He doubtless realizes that his original plan, if implemented now, could revive the badly wounded al Qaeda in Iraq, reenergize the Sunni insurgency, embolden Moqtada al-Sadr to recoup his militia's recent losses to the Iraqi Army, and return the central government to a state of collapse. The question is whether Obama will publicly change course before November.' Will he?"

SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL: "No. He will not. Senator Obama fundamentally disagrees with that assessment. If you can't leave Iraq when it's st able and you can't leave Iraq when it's not stable, that means we are stuck with George Bush and John McCain we can never leave Iraq. We cannot economically afford to keep borrowing $2 to $3 billion a week from China. That's why gas prices are so high. People are speculating in commodities because no one wants to go near our dollar. We cannot, it is unsustainable to continue to prop up in the middle of a civil war an Iraqi government that will not step up and do what they need to do to take over for their country. Now is the time that we need to carefully and reasonably withdraw." (MSNBC, 7/1/08)

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