Wallace Refuses To Believe McCain Ever Questioned Whether Surge Would Succeed

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"Wallace Refuses To Believe McCain Ever Questioned Whether Surge Would Succeed"

This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace challenged Obama campaign manager David Axelrod’s assertion that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) did not expect the surge to reduce violence in Iraq so significantly. Wallace asked, ‘Where did John McCain ever say the troop surge — “I’m going to support it but I don’t know that it’s going to really work?'”

WALLACE: How can you say that it reduced violence beyond what anybody expected? It reduced violence beyond what John McCain expected?

AXELROD: I believe it did. I think if you ask any of the military people involved and they answered honestly they would say, “We did not know.”

WALLACE: Where did John McCain ever say the troop surge — “I’m going to support it but I don’t know that it’s going to really work?”

Watch it:

In fact, on several occasions, McCain expressed his support for the surge while suggesting that he didn’t know if it was “going to really work.” McCain doubted the surge was large enough to significantly alter the status quo in Iraq. As the surge got underway, he argued:

The surge is not large enough to make a difference. In January 2007, McCain said on NBC’s Meet the Press, “I am concerned about it, whether it is sufficient numbers or not. I would have liked to have seen more. … But do I believe that if it had been up to me would there have been more? Yes.”

Maliki is not strong enough to bring about political reconciliation. In February 2007, McCain said on the floor of the U.S. Senate, “I am very nervous about this new strategy. I am very doubtful that we have enough troops. I don’t know if the Maliki government will be strong enough.”

Transcript:

AXELROD: Well first of all, you want to talk about a matter of being profoundly wrong in judgment, it was the judgment to go into Iraq in the first place instead of going after Osama Bin Laden who is resurgent today, but lets leave that aside for a second. What Sen. Obama has said is that he believes that the surge reduced violence beyond what he and anybody expected. What it hasn’t done is created the political reconciliation between the parties in Iraq that you need for a stable — it hasn’t forced — hold on Chris —

WALLACE: Let me just pick up on that — How can you say that it reduced violence beyond what anybody expected? It reduced violence beyond what John McCain expected?

AXELROD: I believe it did. I think if you ask any of the military people involved and they answered honestly they would say, “we did not know.” And they got — the troops did a magnificent job and Gen. Petraeus deserved credit, but there was serendipity involved as well in the Sunni awakening and the decisions of the Mahdi Army to lay down their arms.

WALLACE: Where did John McCain ever say the troop surge — “I’m going to support it but I don’t know that it’s going to really work?”

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