POLITICS
06/07/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Obama On McCain's Iraq Gaffe: "Anyone Running For Commander-In-Chief Should Know Better"


The last 24 hours have not been good for John McCain when it comes to talking about Iraq. He not only made a factually incorrect statement about Iraq in which he said American troops were down to pre-surge levels, but then refused to acknowledge he misspoke.

Seizing on McCain's gaffes, Obama is now forcefully questioning the Republican nominee's grasp of the situation in Iraq. Mark Halperin has his remarks, to be delivered in Montana at a rally tonight:

"But that's not what John McCain's been talking about the last few days. He's been proposing a joint trip to Iraq that's nothing more than a political stunt. He's even been using it to raise a few dollars for his campaign. But it seems like Senator McCain's a lot more interested in my travel plans than the facts, because yesterday - in his continued effort to put the best light on a failed policy - he stood up in Wisconsin and said, "We have drawn down to pre-surge levels" in Iraq.

"That's not true, and anyone running for Commander-in-Chief should know better. As the saying goes, you're entitled to your own view, but not your own facts. We've got around 150,000 troops in Iraq - 20,000 more than we had before the surge. We have plans to get down to around 140,000 later this summer - that's still more troops than we had in Iraq before the surge. And today, Senator McCain refused to correct his mistake. Just like George Bush, when he was presented with the truth, he just dug in and refused to admit his mistake. His campaign said it amounts to "nitpicking."