This has been an issue for a day or two now but it’s still worth noting. Stemming from the MSNBC Democratic debate from Ohio in which Clinton and Obama were asked about Iraq. McCain took issue with Obama’s answer and this is what’s happened since.
Here’s a report on it from the Associated Press:
TYLER, Texas (AP) â€” Republican presidential hopeful John McCain mocked Barack Obama’s view of al-Qaida in Iraq, and the Democratic contender responded that GOP policies brought the terrorist group there.
The rapid-fire, long-distance exchange Wednesday underscored that the two consider each other likely general election rivals, even though the Democratic contest remains unresolved.
McCain criticized Obama for saying in Tuesday night’s Democratic debate that, after U.S. troops were withdrawn, as president he would act “if al-Qaida is forming a base in Iraq.”
“I have some news. Al-Qaida is in Iraq. It’s called `al-Qaida in Iraq,'” McCain told a crowd in Tyler, Texas, drawing laughter at Obama’s expense. He said Obama’s statement was “pretty remarkable,”
Obama quickly answered back while campaigning in Ohio. “I do know that al-Qaida is in Iraq and that’s why I have said we should continue to strike al-Qaida targets,” he told a rally at Ohio State University in Columbus.
“But I have some news for John McCain,” Obama added. “There was no such thing as al-Qaida in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq. … They took their eye off the people who were responsible for 9/11 and that would be al-Qaida in Afghanistan, that is stronger now than at any time since 2001.”
Also, here’s a video report from CBS News:
The bottom line in all this, since what McCain and Obama have said is debatable, is that this is a preview of the back and forth over the Iraq war which will ensue during this election. In fact, as we discussed somewhat on the You Decide Politics Radio earlier, this is almost a textbook debate between Obama and McCain.
First, McCain paints Obama with the “inexperience” brush over the Iraq war. In response, Obama paints McCain with the “Bush Administration” brush over the war. Obama’s major argument here may be that McCain is too connected with what Democrats see as a failed policy. McCain will counter that he has the experience and the United States needs to see it through to victory.
It’s interesting that Hillary has been largely left out of this discussion.