Re: McCain - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Re: McCain
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Quin, I have no insider knowledge as to whether this happened, but I think there are a few reasons to view this story with a grain of salt. Whether or not conservatives agree, it’s no secret that Democrats generally view John McCain as their most formidable GOP opponent, and they see Mitt Romney as quite beatable. So clearly, there is an incentive for Tom Daschle and the other Democrats quoted to want to weaken McCain before Super Tuesday. And the fact that this story that happened seven years ago is coming out just days before the big day should give us pause. Furthermore, like with the Kerry VP talk, the proof is in the pudding. It never happened, McCain stayed a Republican.

Meanwhile, as for the other lie that you pin on McCain–with regard to his comments about Mitt Romney on Iraq–Charles Krauthammer had a take on FoxNews last night that I think is worth considering. It’s generally my view, although characteristically better stated by Krauthammer. The short version is that McCain was right to say that Romney favored a secret timetable, but McCain went overboard when he tried to put him in the same category as Hillary Clinton.

Anyway, here is his full take:

CHARES KRAUTHAMMER: “On this particular exchange, I’ve looked at this quotation every which way, and even though McCain exaggerated, this is not exactly the equivalent of waving the flag the way Hillary did in her response to a question about withdrawal in a debate, Romney protests too much. He pretends that what he is talking about was discussions with Maliki about timetables and benchmarks, is about everything except withdrawal. It’s about troop training and rotation, et cetera. However, the sentence after he talks about timetables he says, you want this in private, you don’t want it in public, because otherwise the enemy will know what you are leaving.”

FOX NEWS’ BRIT HUME: “Which is one of the big arguments against a timetable.”

KRAUTHAMMER: “That’s the argument against, he says, against the public declaration of it. But he’s implying that you don’t want to say it publicly, but if you are saying that a public announcement will alert Al-Qaeda about your leaving, it means that the private discussion was about your leaving. So in fact, McCain is right. And look, this was in response to a question about withdrawal. It’s not to say that somehow Romney is a traitor or he’s calling for an immediate exit. He was hedging. He hedged in April, and it was not unreasonable. Nobody had any idea that the success — that the surge would be such a success. A policymaker would actually have to think, what do you do if it doesn’t succeed? And we’re now having discussions with Maliki about a long-term agreement in which we will have timetables of withdrawal ultimately. But in April of last year, and then in December of the year before, obviously Romney hedged on support of the surge and McCain is right, that he staked everything on the surge, because he believed that it’s better to lose an election than to lose a war.

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