So McCain went on the attack Saturday, lashing out at Romney by accusing him of having once wanted to set a deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq.”Now, one of my opponents wanted to set a date for withdrawal that would have meant disaster,” McCain said about Romney, at a stop in Fort Myers. Then McCain added, “If we surrender and wave a white flag, like Senator Clinton wants to do, and withdraw, as Governor Romney wanted to do, then there will be chaos, genocide, and the cost of American blood and treasure would be dramatically higher.”
When told of the comments, Romney got visibly testy. ”That’s dishonest, to say that I have a specific date. That’s simply wrong,” Romney said at a stop outside Tampa. “To say something that’s not accurate is simply wrong, and he knows better.”
He said you’re wrong, but didn’t say why (I said it those timetable discussions should be private and not public, for obvious reasons.That’s the refutation. Not just “you’re wrong”, and then complaining that Huck should stick to talking about his policies and let Mitt talk about his own. This is a contact sport, and he’s going to be attacked (again) on his record.
Once again, Mitt failed to explain why the charge was wrong. And McCain was emboldened:
Romney demanded an apology from McCain, which seemed to simply delight McCain, since he used it to escalate the war of words even higher. “I think the apology is owed to the young men and women serving this nation in uniform,” McCain said. Then his campaign started sending out a blizzard of emails, including comments from former CIA director James Woolsey knocking Romney’s support for the war.
This is despicable.
Here’s what Romney actually said back in April ’07:
QUESTION: Iraq. John McCain is there in Baghdad right now. You have also been very vocal in supporting the president and the troop surge. Yet, the American public has lost faith in this war. Do you believe that there should be a timetable in withdrawing the troops?
MR. ROMNEY: Well, there’s no question but that — the president and Prime Minister al-Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about. But those shouldn’t be for public pronouncement. You don’t want the enemy to understand how long they have to wait in the weeds until you’re going to be gone. You want to have a series of things you want to see accomplished in terms of the strength of the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police, and the leadership of the Iraqi government.
QUESTION: So, private. You wouldn’t do it publicly? Because the president has said flat out that he will veto anything the Congress passes about a timetable for troop withdrawals. As president, would you do the same?
MR. ROMNEY: Well, of course. Can you imagine a setting where during the Second World War we said to the Germans, gee, if we haven’t reached the Rhine by this date, why, we’ll go home, or if we haven’t gotten this accomplished we’ll pull up and leave? You don’t publish that to your enemy, or they just simply lie in wait until that time. So, of course, you have to work together to create timetables and milestones, but you don’t do that with the opposition.
McCain is lying, and he deserves a stronger rebuttal than, ‘That’s dishonest, to say that I have a specific date. That’s simply wrong,’
Come on, kick his teeth in, Mitt.