July 17th, 2008
06:11 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain, Obama camps trade flip-flopping charges


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/17/art.mccain.obama.iraq.docum.jpg
caption="McCain and Obama have been trading flip-flopping charges."]
(CNN) - The McCain and Obama campaigns traded flip-flopping charges Thursday, as the McCain team continued its assault on Barack Obama’s Iraq policy ahead of his upcoming trip to that nation Thursday with a hard-hitting Web video that painted Obama as an opportunist on the issue - and a tough Democratic response accused the Arizona senator of dramatically shifting his own positions on the war.

“The Obama Iraq Documentary: Whatever the Politics Demand” had a Capitol Hill debut, flanked by several GOP senators including McCain’s fellow Arizona senator, John Kyl, and South Dakota Sen. John Thune. The eight-minute video uses footage of Obama expressing seemingly contradictory positions, and “explores Senator Obama's record of shifting political positions” on Iraq, Campaign Manager Rick Davis said in a message to supporters.

The film opens with 2007 footage of Obama saying "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Obama is next shown earlier this year saying he had known the surge would be effective. "I said at the time, when I opposed the surge, that given how wonderfully our troops perform, if we place 30,000 more troops in there, then we would see an improvement in the security situation and we would see a reduction in the violence."

The screen then reads, "Translation: You're Never Wrong If You Pretend You Gave The Right Answer All Along."

The McCain team also released a memo that repeated a charge made by foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann earlier this week: that “Barack Obama has determined that he would rather lose a war that we are winning than lose an election by alienating his base.”

The Obama campaign hit back, releasing a memo laying out what it said was changing language from the presumptive Republican nominee on Iraq.

“All John McCain has ever looked for in Iraq are reasons to stay there indefinitely. He has stubbornly championed a strategy of fighting an unnecessary war in Iraq regardless of the shifting facts offered to justify it…” said spokesman Hari Sevugan.

And the Democratic National Committee used the occasion to highlight its own ongoing Web video series, "McCain on Iraq, Wrong from the Start."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Miguel Rivera

    The Flip Flop charge means nothing in this election, since both McCain and Obama are guilty of doing it over and over again.

    July 17, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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