Thursday, September 13, 2007

Race42008's Kavon W. Nikrad on Senator McCain's Wed Sept 12 blogger/new media conference call

Campaignia's publisher was on Senator McCain's blogger/new media conference call yesterday, Wednesday, September 12. Starting at 3:45 PM EDT, it lasted about half an hour. It had been announced as focusing on Iraq and the report of General David Petraeus on that subject. Kavon W. Nikrad's summary, posted on, is a good summary of the proceedings, and here it is, in its entirety:

I sat in on Sen. McCain’s blogger conference call this afternoon hosted by Ankle Bitings Pundit’s Patrick Hynes.

Sen. McCain was in Iowa this afternoon on his multi-stop “No Surrender” tour. He will head out to New Hampshire later this evening.
Here are the highlights:

Sen. McCain began by calling out Sen. Hillary Clinton over her statements regarding Gen. Petraeus report to Congress and the “suspension of disbelief” and called on her to repudiate’s attacks on the general. McCain believes that if you are not tough even to take on, then you are not tough enough to be President of the United States.

The first question came from’s Matt Lewis, who asked in light of his skirmish with Gov. Mitt Romney during [the debate], does he feel that some of the GOP candidates are hedging their bets regarding the outcome of The Surge. McCain responded that the reason he reacted in that manner with Gov. Romney was due to his use of the words/phrases “apparently” and “seems to be” when talking about the success of The Surge so far. McCain wished to remind us that he was the only candidate to repudiate the failed Rumsfeld Doctrine. He also stated that he would like to see his fellow candidates become more active in raising support among the America People for The Surge.

Jennifer Rubin asked if he sensed any “stiffening of the spine” among his Congressional peers after the general’s report this week. McCain stated that some of the success on the ground that is due to Gen. Petraeus and the hard work and sacrifice of the troops under his command has made it through the media filter and has served to strength some members’ resolve. President Bush’s attention to raising awareness of the success of the new strategy has helped as well.

Paul Mirengoff of Powerline asked if a commitment to withdraw some troops is wise in light of Petraeus’s admission that parts of Baghdad have yet to be secured. The Senator responded that he is confident in Petraeus’s judgment and is certain that he would not withdraw troops if it would affect our success in this conflict. McCain believes that a limited withdrawal of troops is likely indicative of Iraqi forces being able to fulfill their responsibilities.

Betsy Newmark asked a question, posed by her students, which asked what he would do specifically as President to drum up support for the war. McCain stated that success on the ground is what is essential in this regard and candidly remarked that the next six-months are going to be critical. Restoring trust and confidence in the Presidency among the American People, Congress, and the Government in Washington is key. In a follow-up question, McCain stated that history will likely base its judgement on George W. Bush’s presidency on Iraq, but reminded us that President Truman left office with very low support among the American People, yet history has been kinder to him in hindsight.

Rob Bluey of Redstate asked if he was addressing the American People, as President Bush is tomorrow, what would he tell them? McCain stated he would base his address on the Petreaus report and in as much detail as possible. He also stated that if he were President, he would be addressing the American Public on a weekly basis. Secondly, he would be much more open to admitting the military mistakes that have been made so far in the conflict. Clear in this call is that fact Sen. McCain intends to make the case that he is the most qualified Republican in the field to be Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Military during this time of global conflict. He does have quite a stake to that claim in his past repudiation of Rumsfeld Doctrine, as well calling for the what has come to be called “The Surge” as early as 2003.

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