McCain Comes Out Swinging for Whalen
John McCain stepped right into the middle of the 1st CD race here in Iowa and came out swinging for Mike Whalen. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette Online John McCain took serious issue with Bruce Braley's plan to cut off financial support for our troops in the field:
"Defunding" the war in Iraq to force the president to bring troops home "is not a sensible or reasonable option" and likely would result in the loss of more American lives, Sen. John McCain said today.
McCain joined 1st District Republican candidate Mike Whalen, who called Democrat Bruce Braley's call for Congress to cut off funds for the war "a pretty radical position."
McCain, a former Navy pilot who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, agreed.A likely candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, McCain said he understands the frustration of Braley and others who oppose the war. However, the reality is that American troops are in Iraq and "if we cut off the funds we would see the loss of more brave young Americans and we have an obligation to do whatever we can to prevent that."
Democratic Congressional Candidate Bruce Braley is the same guy who on Iowa Press repeated the often cited DNC talking point that we need to support our troops by providing them with body armor and other tools, then goes on to say that we should cut off that same funding stream. (BTW every soldier in Iraq has body armor today and has since at least late 2003. Many soldiers are complaining that they have to wear too much body armor, i.e. shoulder and groin protectors, which unduly inhibit range of motion and agility during the close in fight).
In typical Democratic fashion Braley waffled on the issue when he saw the handwritting on the wall (James Q. Lynch staff writer for the Dem Gaz couches it as "modify"):
Braley has sought to modify his position, most recently saying it's time to turn the fighting over to the Iraqis."I believe that it is time for a change in Iraq," he said at a rally with veterans earlier this week. "We need to turn the fighting over to the Iraqis and form an exit strategy to bring our troops home."
McCain rejected that, too, saying it would be wrong to leave "without having some function government and functioning military in Iraq so they can eventually have a free and democratic society."It's obvious to "almost all observers," McCain said, that pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq now would result in chaos there and throughout the Middle East."And I also want to point out, if we leave chaos in the region it won't be the end of the conflict," McCain continued. "
When we left Vietnam, they didn't want to come after us. I think if we leave Iraq it will become a greater haven and training ground for terrorists and we will be fighting them someplace else."So I reject the idea that we should cut off funding," the Arizona senator said.
John McCain understands that this is the biggest issue of our time and that this election cylce will be perhaps the most important of the Bush Administration if not the next decade. Big Shout Out to McCain for driving the Straight Talk Express up Braley's backside.
Have a great weekend and send a check to Mike Whalen at: