Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) broke “with recent campaign tradition” and held “a partisan political rally” on the sixth anniversary of 9/11. Instead of staying off the campaign trail like most other candidates, McCain “launched a seven-day ‘No Surrender’ tour at an aircraft hangar in Sioux City, Iowa, hoping to build support for the war in Iraq.” He was “unapologetic” about breaking with the tradition of de-politicizing 9/11:
But McCain, whose morning included a moment of silence in the U.S. Senate and prayers at a church, said a rally supporting the war effort was the best way to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks.
“The important thing about Sept. 11 is that it not be repeated,” McCain told reporters after the event. “And if we leave Iraq, then it will be repeated.”
“I can’t think of a better way to remember and revere their memories and prevent further tragedies and attacks on the United States than to rally support for what Gen. Petraeus in his testimony today (said) was now the central battlefield in the war against terror, Iraq,” McCain said.
A McCain supporter named Al Tobin said it was the candidates that didn’t campaign who made the anniversary political. “It’s a political gimmick,” he said. “It makes headlines, really.”