McCain Does Believe What Charlie Black Said?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Foreign Policy, History, McCain, Pakistan, Terrorism

Yesterday, McCain denounced Black’s assertions that a terrorist attack would help his campaign, but here’s what he said right after the Bhutto assassination last year…

McCain called Bhutto’s death “a great tragedy. When something like this happens, you try to figure out who are the winners and the losers. It seems to me that the winners are radical Islamic extremists.” [...]

In an interview with reporters after the event, McCain said, “I would hate for this tragedy to affect anyone’s campaign.” But he was quick to add that “my theme throughout this campaign has been that I’m the one with the experience, the knowledge, and the judgment. Perhaps it may serve to enhance those credentials.”

So what to make of this? I’m not sure there’s any context where it can be read any other way. McCain very clearly stated that Bhutto’s death could enhance his foreign policy credentials.

Personally, I think he’s probably right in the long run since voters trust him more when it comes to handling terrorism, but that still doesn’t make it a politically smart thing to say. Also, for McCain to now denounce very similar statements from his top advisor appears disingenuous at best, and only serves to make it harder for him to get away from the flip-flop meme.

(h/t: TPM)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 and is filed under Foreign Policy, History, McCain, Pakistan, Terrorism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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