WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Republican John McCain told reporters that new unrest in Pakistan might serve to help his presidential campaign, given the national security credentials that have been a central theme of his White House run.
In response to a question from CNN's Dana Bash on whether the current situation helps his campaign, McCain responded: “I’m the one with the experience, the knowledge and the judgment, so perhaps it may serve to enhance those credentials, or make people understand that I’ve been to Waziristan, I know Musharraf, I can pick up the phone and call him. I knew Benazir Bhutto, I know the area. But I hate for anything like this to be the cause of any political gain for anyone.”
In response to another question, the Arizona senator also suggested that Rudy Giuliani’s post-9/11 experience would not necessarily help him deal with the Pakistan crisis, if he were president. “I don’t know. I know he doesn’t have any experience there. I don’t know how he would handle it to tell you the truth,” said McCain. “He did a great job post-9/11 in handling a post-crisis situation, but I don’t know how that provides one the credentials to address national security issues. I think, as I say, he did a fine job. …
“But as far as I know Mayor Giuliani has never been to Iraq. I mean I don’t … I’m not saying he is without credentials. I’m just saying I’m the one with the most credentials, and experience, and the most judgment.”
–CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report