McCain seriously misstated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it.
I’m not even really sure why McCain felt the need to lie about this. It is, however, interesting that he brought it up at all. Back in the 1980s, McCain hewed more or less to a realist line that’s very different from the neoconservative foreign policy he’s adhered to for the past 10 years.