John McCain delivered a major speech today highlighting his views on foreign policy and the continued war on terrorism. Howard Dean, DNC Chairman, tried to paint McCain as a continuation of President Bush’s foreign policy, no surprise there.
Here is video of about 20 minutes of the speech, not sure exactly how long it was in total:
A report on it from the LA Times:
In a broad-ranging foreign policy speech, Sen. John McCain pledged today that, if elected, his administration’s foreign policy would be based on cooperation with U.S. allies and he called for a league of democracies that could build “an enduring peace.”
In remarks to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, McCain cautioned that America’s power and influence “does not mean we can do whatever we want whenever we want,” and said U.S. leaders should not “assume we have all the wisdom and knowledge necessary to succeed.”
“We need to listen to the views and respect the collective will of our democratic allies,” McCain said before an audience of several hundred people in the ballroom of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. “When we believe international action is necessary, whether military, economic or diplomatic, we will try to persuade our friends that we are right. But we, in return, must be willing to be persuaded by them.”
Billed as a major foreign policy speech outlining the way forward under a McCain administration, the presumed Republican presidential nominee distanced himself from what some have termed the cowboy diplomacy of the Bush administration while maintaining his strong support for the current course in Iraq.
McCain argued that if the United States is to achieve its goals of routing out terrorists and achieving peace in Afghanistan and Iraq, it must lead “by attracting others to our cause” and “defending the rules of international civilized society.”
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said in a statement that McCain failed to offer any meaningful new policies.
“John McCain’s empty rhetoric today can’t change the fact that he has steadfastly stood with President Bush from Day One and is now talking about keeping our troops in Iraq for 100 years,” Dean said. “His new appreciation for diplomacy has no credibility after he mimicked President Bush’s misleading case for a unilateral war of choice when it mattered most.”
Clearly, at least it seemed to me, McCain was trying to appeal to moderates and independents taking a more subdued approach to foreign policy in general. McCain spoke about, almost critically, how he feels the United States cannot “do whatever it wants”, which may be a little swipe at President Bush.
This may be an illustration of where McCain will be headed in the general to try and distance himself from Bush and present a more tempered foreign policy.