DNC - Shifting Sands: New Web Ad Raises Questions About McCain's Judgment, Consistency on Iraq

When Does John McCain Think We Can Bring our Troops Home?
Depends on When You Ask Him

Washington, DC - The Democratic National Committee today released a new web ad called "When?" that calls into question John McCain's judgment on Iraq. While McCain's allies have been working overtime trying to distort Senator Obama's record on Iraq, today's video shows a disturbing pattern of inconsistent positions and wildly off the mark assessments on the war.  While the war has stretched our armed forces to a breaking point, emboldened our enemies and drained resources from Afghanistan--allowing the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan to grow stronger than at any time since September 11th--McCain has refused to offer a clear plan for bringing it to a responsible end.  Instead, McCain has been all over the map on when he thinks our troops will be able to come home.  

In the last six months alone, McCain has taken at least three different positions.  After saying in January that he would be fine with our troops staying in Iraq for 100 years, McCain said most of them would be home by 2013 before flipping again less than a month later when he said the question itself is "not too important."  Now, even though the Iraqi leadership is calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, McCain still refuses to give a clear answer on what it will take to bring our troops home.

"As voters try to decide who has the judgment to handle Iraq, Afghanistan, the other challenges America faces, they should look at John McCain's record of poor judgment and inconsistencies on Iraq," said DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney.  "From Day One, Senator McCain was wrong on Iraq.  First he was part of the Bush propaganda machine that misled us into a war that has made us less safe and emboldened our enemies. Now he still cannot say when he would bring our brave troops home.   In just the last six months, McCain has said he'd be fine keeping our troops there for 100 years, said he'd bring them home by 2013, and claimed the question itself 'not too important.' With all due respect to Senator McCain and his service to our country, his poor judgment on Iraq shows why he is the wrong choice for America's future."

To view the DNC's new web ad "When?" click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eejYoz3Nl0

DNC Web Video:
"When?"

When Will John McCain Bring Our Troops Home?  Depends on When You Ask.

QUESTIONS: "Over a course of how many years?"

MCCAIN: "Four or five years." [ABC, "Nightline," 10/1/03]

[2007]

MCCAIN: "Listen, my friend, we're going to be there for five or six years." [MSNBC, "Hardball," 2/25/04]

[2010]

MCCAIN: "If I had to guess, I would think that it's going to be at least another year to a year and a half..." [CBS, "The Early Show," 2/3/05]

[2006]

MCCAIN: "I'd rather say two or three years, and be surprised a year from now." [NBC, "Meet the Press," 6/19/05]

[2008]

QUESTION: President Bush is talking about our staying in Iraq for 50 year…"

MCCAIN: "Maybe a hundred." [Town Hall Meeting in Concord, NH, 1/3/08]

[2108]

MCCAIN: "By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly"" [Reuters, 5/15/08]

[2013]

QUESTION: "Do you know have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?"

MCCAIN: "No, but that's not too important."  [NBC, "Today Show," 6/11/08]

[?]
 
Not Important?

Senator McCain, It's Important to the American People.
 
John McCain: More of the Same on Iraq

DNC Video Back Up:
"When?"

October 2003: McCain Said Iraq War Would Take "Four Or Five Years."  During an appearance on ABC's Nightline, McCain was asked how much more money the war would cost.  He replied, "Estimates I hear as much as 50 to $55 billion more."  When asked, "Over a course of how many years?" McCain answered, "Four or five years." [ABC, "Nightline," 10/1/03]

February 2004: McCain Said War Would Take Five or Six Years. MCCAIN: "Listen, my friend, we're going to be there for five or six years. A little straight talk." [MSNBC, "Hardball," 2/25/04]

February 2005: McCain Said War Would Take A Year to a Year and a Half. [2006] MCCAIN: "If I had to guess, I would think that it's going to be at least another year to a year and a half, but, hopefully before then we could have our troops out of a lot of the areas where they're vulnerable to casualties." [CBS, "The Early Show," 2/3/05]

June 2005: McCain Would Be Surprised if it Took Two or Three More Years: "And, again, I think we should tell people it's not going to be a short--I'd rather say two or three years, and be surprised a year from now, than say, 'Everything's fine,' and then be disappointed a year or two from now." [NBC, "Meet the Press," 6/19/05]

January 2008: McCain Would Be "Fine" With Our Troops Staying in Iraq 100 Years. MCCAIN: "QUESTION: President Bush is talking about our staying in Iraq for 50 year…" MCCAIN: "Make it a hundred.  We've been in South Korea, we've been in Japan for 60 years, we've been in South Korea for 50 years or so." [Town Hall Meeting in Concord, NH, 1/3/08]

May 2008: Most of Our Troops Will Be Home by 2013: "By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom.  The Iraq war has been won." [Reuters, 5/15/08]

June 2008: When Troops Can Come Home is "Not Too Important." QUESTION: "Do you know have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?" MCCAIN: "No, but that's not too important."  [NBC, "Today Show," 6/11/08]