Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

McCain refuses to say whether he would support Iraq security agreement.

By Satyam Khanna on October 22, 2008 at 6:35 pm

"McCain refuses to say whether he would support Iraq security agreement."

Share:

google plus icon

The Bush administration and Iraq are in contentious talks over a security agreement calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. In an interview with CNN today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) refused to directly answer whether he would support the agreement and its timeline, quickly changing the subject:

BLITZER: So you would accept this if it’s on the table right now?

McCAIN: I’ve always said we would be out based on conditions, and honor and victory, and not defeat. And it’s very clear to any observer now that if we had done what Senator Biden wanted to do, break Iraq up into three countries, if we had done what Senator Obama wanted to do, which was immediate withdrawal and setting firm dates for it, we would have probably been defeated in Iraq.

Watch it:

Transcript:

BLITZER: We still have 140,000, 150,000 troops in Iraq. The Bush administration seems to be close to what’s called a status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
It calls, the draft agreement, at least, for a complete withdrawal of combat forces from villages and cities by July 30th of 2009, and out of the country by December 31, 2011.

If you’re elected president, would you as commander in chief honor this agreement if, in fact, it formalizes?

MCCAIN: With respect, Wolf — and you know better, my friend. You know better. It’s condition-based. It’s conditions-based.

And Ryan Crocker, our ambassador in Baghdad, said if you want to know what victory looks like, look at this agreement. So you know better than that, Wolf. You know it’s conditions-based, and that’s what the big fight was all about.

BLITZER: So you would accept this if it’s on the table right now?

MCCAIN: I’ve always said we would be out based on conditions, and honor and victory, and not defeat. And it’s very clear to any observer now that if we had done what Senator Biden wanted to do, break Iraq up into three countries, if we had done what Senator Obama wanted to do, which was immediate withdrawal and setting firm dates for it, we would have probably been defeated in Iraq. And the problem there is we would have had increased Iranian influence, we would have had sectarian violence on the increase. And probably, we would have had to go back.

So a big issue. A big issue for the American people. And I understand why it’s not on the front pages or the lead on CNN, because we have a relatively secure environment that’s getting more secure.

‹ PREVIOUS
Matthews Rips Palin: Somebody Needs To ‘Give Her A Copy Of The Constitution To Read’

NEXT ›
Rep. Hayes denies denying that he said ‘liberals hate real Americans.’

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.