April 6th, 2008
02:03 PM ET
6 years ago

Sunday roundup: Debate over McCain's '100 years' comment

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(CNN) - The economy may be “Issue #1,” and the unresolved Democratic presidential race continues to dominate the headlines, but in anticipation of Tuesday’s congressional testimony by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, much of the Sunday morning talk focused on the Iraq war.

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On “Fox News Sunday,” John McCain responded to Barack Obama’s criticism of the presumptive Republican nominee’s comment about maintaining a troop presence in Iraq for 100 years.

“I said, ‘It could be 100 years, but it's a matter of U.S. casualties, and we have presence in countries like South Korea, Japan,’ et cetera, et cetera,” McCain told Chris Wallace. “So it's very clear. And Senator Obama and anyone who reads that knows that I didn't think we were in a 100-year war.”

Later on Fox, Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, disputed the Arizona senator.

“On the 100 years war issue, John McCain is being disingenuous, because what he said in that interview was as long as there is no violence - which indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of Iraq itself,” Kerry alleged.

“If he's talking about being there for 40 years, 100 years, he's talking about attracting more and more terrorists and not paying attention to the larger challenges.”

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Senators Jim Webb, D-Virginia, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, also discussed McCain’s remark on ABC’s “This Week”.

“We do not belong as an occupying power in that part of the world, with all the turmoil that has constantly existed there,” Webb told George Stephanopoulos.

Graham, who recently traveled to Iraq with McCain, said, “That's not what John is saying. John wants a winning outcome in Iraq. History won't judge us by the day we left, but by what we left behind. A winning outcome in Iraq is a stable, functioning Iraqi government that says no to Al Qaeda.”

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And on CNN’s “Late Edition,” Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, who has been critical of the Iraq war for years, said the conflict in Iraq is “bleeding” the American people’s money.

“Wolf, Petraeus is going to come over here and say it's a complex problem, where, a week ago, he would have said the Iraqis are doing all right,” Murtha told Wolf Blitzer.

“It's obscene, the money we're spending, $14 billion a month, in this war. We can't afford it. We've got other things we have to do. You folks are bleeding us.”


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