October 8th, 2008
07:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Fact Check: Did McCain say the Iraq war would be easy, popular?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/08/art.mccain.obama.shake.jpg caption="Sen. Obama suggested Sen. McCain was 'cheerleading the president to go into Iraq.'"]
The Statement
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama said at the Oct. 7 presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee, that when Republican opponent Sen. John McCain "was cheerleading the president to go into Iraq, he suggested it was going to be quick and easy, we'd be greeted as liberators."

Get the facts!

The Facts
McCain repeatedly made comments like the ones Obama describes during the run-up to the March 20, 2003, invasion and in the days after.

On CNN's Larry King Live on Sept. 24, 2002, McCain said "I believe the success will be fairly easy." He said on CNN's Late Edition on Sept. 29, 2002 that "I believe that we can win an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time." He made the comments more than two weeks before the Senate voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refused to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions.

McCain also said, on MSNBC's Hardball on March 24, 2003, that "there's no doubt in my mind that once these people (the Saddam Hussein regime) are gone that we will be welcomed as liberators."

The Verdict: True.

Filed under: Fact Check • John McCain
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