McCain dismisses Boehner’s gaffe: ‘He misspoke.’

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"McCain dismisses Boehner’s gaffe: ‘He misspoke.’"

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a Vietnam veteran, weighed in last night on House Minority Leader John Boehner’s (R-OH) comment that the sacrifice of soldiers who have died or been wounded in Iraq “will be a small price if we’re able to stop al Qaeda.” McCain spoke to Time’s Ana Marie Cox on his campaign bus:

“He misspoke. With all due respect, every American wounded or sacrificed is the greatest possible price to pay,” and we should all be grateful, “particularly those of us who sit in relative safety while those young men and women are fighting.”

Asked if Boehner’s comments deserve the same level of condemnation as the Petraeus ad, McCain said no. “He misspoke, he didn’t take out an ad… I’m not excusing him, I just think it’s a different level.”

Boehner’s office claims he was talking “about the money spent in Iraq,” but a transcript of his comments shows he was clearly asked about “the loss in blood, the Americans who are killed every month” in Iraq.

UPDATE: Cox emailed TPM’s Greg Sargent to note that she didn’t report all of McCain’s comments. He also said that Boehner “ought to retract it.”

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