McCain considered benchmarks in January 2007

posted at 10:55 pm on January 30, 2008 by Bryan

During the Reagan Library debate, Sen. John McCain spent several minutes attacking Gov. Mitt Romney for allegedly supporting timetables and benchmarks on progress in Iraq. I’ve already taken that attack apart here and Jay has the original GMA clip here. But the facts are not only inconvenient to McCain on what Romney said. They’re inconvenient on what McCain himself said. He considered supporting timetables himself in January 2007. The Arizona Star has the story.

Read it and weep, John McCain.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the most stalwart supporters of the war in Iraq, said Thursday that he might propose that the Iraqi government meet certain benchmarks for the United States to continue its engagement.

Fellow senators and independent political scientists said McCain’s thinking reflected growing concerns within the Republican Party about the course of the war, and also might mark a turning point for the likely 2008 presidential contender, whose previous unconditional backing of the war may have hurt his prospects.

McCain said Thursday that he hadn’t yet decided on precise benchmarks. “They’d have to be specific, and they (Iraqi government officials) would have to meet them,” he said.

Asked what penalty would be imposed if Iraq failed to meet his benchmarks, he said: “I think everybody knows the consequences. Haven’t met the benchmarks? Obviously, then, we’re not able to complete the mission. Then you have to examine your options.”

That suggests withdrawal. The story goes on to say:

McCain in no way is withdrawing his backing for the war or President Bush’s plan to add 21,500 troops. It was unclear what consequences or timetables McCain would spell out, or whether he believes that Congress has the authority to enforce them.

Still, several Senate Democrats who oppose the troop buildup and also may seek the presidency said they were struck by McCain’s comments.

“We Catholics call that an epiphany,” said Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del., who is sponsoring the main Democratic resolution opposing the troop buildup.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said: “I called for that . . . several weeks ago. I’m glad that John McCain agrees with me.”

So other than being for the surge earlier than Romney, who supported it himself the day it was announced, McCain’s position on timetables is less clear but certainly not obviously stronger than Romney’s. How will Mr. Straight Talk spin his way out of this one?

(h/t Ace)


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Comments

Bryan on January 31, 2008 at 12:20 AM

Agreed. The people who are voting for him because they think he’s the most electable will be in for a rude awakening in the general.

Spolitics on January 31, 2008 at 12:33 AM

antidotal story” = “anecdotal“?

Either way, it works. ;)

profitsbeard on January 31, 2008 at 12:51 AM

Every time I take a second look at McCain I want to vomit.

I’m not voting for that schmuck.

msipes on January 31, 2008 at 1:11 AM

Every time I take a second look at McCain I want to vomit.

msipes on January 31, 2008 at 1:11 AM

SECOND LOOK AT PEPTO!

(Sorry, hadn’t done one of those for a while.)

ReubenJCogburn on January 31, 2008 at 1:21 AM

If McShamnesty is the best the republican party can offer I am staying home in november and changing my party to Independent. Conservatism First

Come on Mitt!

HotAirExpert on January 31, 2008 at 1:50 AM

Just got my brand new Voter Notification card from the state of AZ in the mail today indicating that I have finally made the switch from(NOP)to(REP)so that I can vote for Romney in the primary.

Hope I have a reason to hang onto it after Feb. 5th.

Deety on January 31, 2008 at 2:00 AM

The real question isn’t how he will spin his way out of it, it is who will hit him with it when it counts?

I think Mitt is not playing like he means it. He only gets so many chances and he has really failed to capitalize on all the material that exists in re McClinton

America1st on January 31, 2008 at 2:41 AM

How will Mr. Straight Talk spin his way out of this one?

You really think the media will force him too? Really?

Mark V. on January 31, 2008 at 2:42 AM

SECOND LOOK AT RANK HYPOCHRISY!

SuperCool on January 31, 2008 at 4:55 AM

You really think the media will force him too? Really?
Mark V. on January 31, 2008 at 2:42 AM

Yes they will. The day after he gets the nomination when it will be too late for GOP primary voters to pick the better choice in Mitt Romney.

csdeven on January 31, 2008 at 7:01 AM

I shudder to think of my choice for president being whittled down to two domestic enemies of the constitution, but, honestly if it comes down to McCain, I might vote Democratic. Here’s the reasoning.

If by some sick twisted sense of God’s humor, McAmnesty gets elected, he’ll put forward the same crappy initiatives any Dem would, he’ll be just as soft on the borders, just as forgiving of criminal aliens, just as cushy on terrorists and our taxes will rise just as fast.

The only difference is the GOP congressman and Senators would almost HAVE to back him for a little while, thus making the destruction of America that much more bitter. At least with a Dem in office we’d see a little backbone and fight while the ship sinks. And we’d have one person clearly responsible when it comes down to placing blame. Who knows we may have the next Jimmuh being sired here.

Alden Pyle on January 31, 2008 at 7:44 AM

I think Mitt is not playing like he means it. He only gets so many chances and he has really failed to capitalize on all the material that exists in re McClinton

America1st on January 31, 2008 at 2:41 AM

Read this

In the business world, Mitt Romney is as successful as anyone can be. No one attains his level of achievement without enormous talents and an oversized ego. Yet, compared to John McCain, Romney is modest and self-effacing. As a businessman among politicians, he is a boy among men.

JiangxiDad on January 31, 2008 at 8:14 AM