The Spectacle Blog

McCain Ribs Bill Clinton on Iraq Comment

By on 11.28.07 | 11:39AM

John McCain implied this morning that Bill Clinton's statement that he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning was motivated by Barack Obama catching Hillary Clinton in Iowa/>/>, and suggested it would lead to increased scrutiny of the former president's foreign policy record.

"It's hard for me to gauge what the former president does, I just don't understand this revelation at this particular point in time, I'm sure it's all coincidental,"  McCain said sarcastically during a blogger call this morning, in response to a question by Townhall's Matt Lewis. "What this is going to lead to is a full examination of his handling of Osama bin Laden, other threats, the North Korean situation—his much trumpeted agreement—and others. I sure it's all just pure coincidence that he should have to mention that at this particular moment as Senator Obama closes on Sen. Clinton in Iowa."

McCain also spoke about his recent trip in Iraq/>/>, which he said was "encouraging." He said the troops are happy with the success of the surge. Things are quiet in Anbar, and improving in Baghdad/>/>, with some areas still remaining trouble spots. Gen. Petraeus told him he expects "a bit of an uptick in Al Qaeda activity" as the terrorists are pushed away from Baghdad/>/>.

Asked about his past opposition to the Bush tax cuts, he argued that when he opposed them in 2001 he was concerned that they wouldn't be accompanied by spending reductions, and in 2003 he had reservations about cutting taxes while going to war in Iraq/>/>. He said it was undeniable now that the Bush tax cuts "resulted in dramatically increased revenues," and said he would support more tax cuts, though he'd favor ones that gave more relief to the middle class.

I asked McCain for his take on the Annapolis Conference, but he said he hasn't followed it as closely as he should have, so he doesn't have a comment. He said it is good to emphasize that America/> is committed to the peace process, but acknowledged that with Hamas in control of Gaza/> and Hezbollah in control of Southern Lebanon/>, peace will be difficult to achieve.

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