June 5th, 2007
07:47 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain: Presidents don't lose wars, nations do

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Arizona Sen. John McCain received loud applause from the audience for saying that the United States needs to succeed in the war in Iraq.

He criticized Sen. Hillary Clinton for describing the conflict in Iraq as President Bush's war.

"What Sen. Clinton doesn't understand is that presidents don't lose wars," McCain said. "Political parties don't lose wars. Nations lose wars and nations have the consequences of failure. We must succeed in this conflict."

When asked what he would do if the commander of forces in Iraq said the new strategy and troop surge in Iraq weren't working, McCain said he'd be willing to look at the options.

But, he said, succeeding in Iraq is the United States best option. He said to fail would turn Iraq into a base for al Qaeda, lead to genocide in Baghdad and the destabilization of Jordan.

"All of the options I could run through with you," McCain said. "My friend, none of them are good. That's why we must succeed and give it a chance to succeed."

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: John McCain • Race to '08
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Ryan, Oak Hill WV

    So basically brave troops who have died fighting in this war are the cause of the losing the war?

    June 5, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Dave, Naples, NY

    Presidents don't lose wars, they START them! Doctor Ron Paul is the only reasonable candidate here tonight. Peace, Prosperity, Liberty. Dr. Paul has the cure!

    June 5, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. Tucson, AZ

    Perhaps the comment would hold truth had the people of the United States been able to make a decision based on factual evidence. Then and only then can the entire nation be held responsible. We had no voice!

    June 5, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. Shawn, Barstow CA

    Perhaps Ryan should read the part that stated "Nations lose wars and nations have the consequence of failure." the point is not who is responsible for losing, but instead who facing the consequences. If the US was a dictatorship then we could in fact blame one person. Since it is not we can only blame ourselves for any action or inaction. His attempt at using our servicemembers sacrifices as a week arguement dishonors their service to "our country". Please take note that I did not say to "our president".

    June 5, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Jack A Perlman

    Presidents That initiate wars with no sound reason to make war have already lost that war. A Nation that believes in a righteous war will win even if it means the sacraifice of many. Our president and his so called advisors caused this nations peoples the greatest harm. The world is turning their back on this country because of one mans blind leadership in a world that needs full sighted leadership. Our President had us cheeering when the first bombs fell in Iraq and now we realize we should have been crying.

    June 5, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |