On the blogger conference call McCain responded to Barack Obama's comment about pursuing Al Qaeda in Pakistan if "Musharraf won't act." McCain basically said that he would favor covert actions if we had actionable intellegence, but wouldn't announce a large military operation and risk destabalizing the country. Specifically:
"We ought to understand that there are a lot of ways of achieving military/political goals without declaring we're gonna to bomb a sovereign country. There are ways to achieve those goals which can be employed and which have been employed in the past. That's why we have a CIA. That's why we have predators. That's why we have special operations forces, etc….There are plenty of things you can do without the possibility of destabilizing Musharraf, which I think would be catastrophic."
"We will follow Osama bin Laden and people who are bent on our destruction to the ends of the earth. We will do whatever is necessary, but we will employ those methods that are the least damaging in the long run to the
national security interests. United States
He also responded to Obama's statement that he would never use nuclear weapons. McCain said "I'm a bit taken aback from it" and "I don't get it." He said we should "never preclude" the use of nuclear weapons, or else we may as well get rid of ours.
Some other interesting notes on the call:
–McCain said that in several months we may be able to withdraw U.S. troops at least back to bases as Iraqis take over more responsibility. Mitt Romney seemed to be making a similar point on the radio this morning, but was criticized by pro-McCain bloggers.
— He said "The immigration issue was probably as damaging to me as any issue that I have ever encountered." He said it was "a result of my failure to convince the American people that we were truly serious about securing the borders."
–He called the the Senate ethics bil "a sham and a joke" that is too "watered down."