Following President Bush’s comments yesterday concerning appeasement of terrorists, etc.., Barack Obama took the opportunity to engage in the debate firing some shots at McCain, attempting to link his policies to those of the Bush administration.
First, video of Obama making his statements concerning McCain and Bush:
In response, McCain responded addressing Obama’s accusations.
First, he mentioned Obama during an address to the National Rifle Assoaiction where he called his policy toward Iran “reckless.”:
McCain also made some more statements on the topic:
Finally, a report on it from the New York Times:
WATERTOWN, S.D. â€” Senator Barack Obama responded sharply on Friday to attacks on his foreign policy, linking President Bush and Senator John McCain as partners in â€œthe failed policiesâ€ of the past seven years and criticizing them for â€œhypocrisy, fear peddling, fear mongering.â€
Confronting a major challenge to his world view, Mr. Obama tried to turn the tables on his critics, saying they were guilty of â€œblusterâ€ and â€œdishonest, divisiveâ€ tactics. He cited a litany of what he called foreign policy blunders by the Bush administration and accused Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, of â€œdoubling downâ€ on them.
â€œGeorge Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for,â€ Mr. Obama said at a midday forum here, listing the Iraq war, the strengthening of Iran and groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, Osama bin Ladenâ€™s being still at large and stalled diplomacy in other parts of the Middle East among their chief failings.
â€œIf George Bush and John McCain want to have a debate about protecting the United States of America,â€ Mr. Obama said, â€œthat is a debate I am happy to have any time, any place.â€
His defiance and disdain for Mr. Bushâ€™s record appeared to be a signal that he will push back against efforts to define him or his record as weak on terror or accommodating to foreign foes, a strategy Republicans used successfully against Senator John Kerry in 2004.
To me this seems like Obama attempting to portray himself as the nominee taking a stand on the issue. Clearly he has to show votes he’s willing to engage and fight McCain until November. I think it was a good move to start the foreign policy discussion now since that is the area where Obama’s credentials are far weaker than McCain. Obama needs to build a stronger position in that area and the only way he can do it is make McCain defend his positions. Likewise, McCain will be attempting to let Obama show his inexperience in this area.