The two presidential candidates addressed the same audience of veterans - and both received applause.
“I think that it’s unacceptable for our troops to be caught in the crossfire of a sectarian civil war while the Iraqi government is on vacation,” said Clinton, a New York Democrat. She said that the best way to honor the service of U.S. troops would be to bring them home.
McCain, whom Clinton honored for his service in Vietnam and noted their travels in Iraq and Afghanistan, cautioned against such a withdrawal. (Watch McCain address the VFW forum)
“To concede defeat now would strengthen al Qaeda, empower Iran and other hostile powers in the Middle East, and unleash a full-scaled civil war in Iraq,” said McCain, an Arizona Republican. “Our defeat in Iraq would be catastrophic, not for Iraq, but for us. And I can not be complicit in it…We need to show greater patience.”
- CNN Political Desk Editor Mark Norman