McCain Claims He Knew Iraq War Would Be ‘Long And Hard And Tough,’ Contradicting Pre-War Statements

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"McCain Claims He Knew Iraq War Would Be ‘Long And Hard And Tough,’ Contradicting Pre-War Statements"

Today on MSNBC, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) claimed that he knew the Iraq war was “probably going to be long and hard and tough,” and that he was “sorry” for those who voted for the war believing it would be “some kind of an easy task.” “Maybe they didn’t know what they were voting for,” McCain said. Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/01/mccainvote.320.240.flv]

In fact, during the run-up to war in 2002 and 2003, McCain repeatedly described the prospects of war in the rosiest terms, declaring the U.S. would “win easily”:

“Because I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women.” [CNN, 9/24/02]

We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad. We may have to take out buildings, but we’re not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies.” [CNN, 9/29/02]

“But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” [MSNBC, 1/22/03]

Full transcript:

We’ve made mistakes in Iraq, we all know that we have. The result of our withdrawal will be chaos. Do we have to do a lot better? Yes. Does the Iraqi government have to be better and the economy better? Yes. But unless you establish security, you cannot have political and economic development. That’s a lesson of history that’s — there are abundant examples. And so, I believe we need to win this. When I voted to support this war, I knew it was probably going to be long and hard and tough, and those that voted for it and thought that somehow it was going to be some kind of an easy task, then I’m sorry they were mistaken. Maybe they didn’t know what they were voting for.

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