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McCain says Obama still wrong on Iraq, Afghanistan

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Posted: July 21, 2008 3:54 p.m.
Updated: August 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.
    KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Republican Sen. John McCain insisted on Monday that he has been consistently right on both Iraq and Afghanistan while Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama ‘‘has been completely wrong.’’
    As Obama toured the war zones, McCain ridiculed him from afar during a visit with the first President Bush at his summer home on the Atlantic.
    ‘‘My respect for him knows no bounds,’’ the elder Bush said of McCain. Still, Bush said he wished Obama well on his overseas trip, and said he hoped the Democrat would get an especially warm welcome in Berlin.
    McCain told reporters he didn’t care if Obama’s trip was stealing attention and ‘‘doesn’t in the slightest undercut’’ his own message. ‘‘It is what it is,’’ he told reporters..
    Any withdrawal of troops from Iraq ‘‘must be based on conditions on the ground,’’ McCain said.
    He disparaged Obama as ‘‘someone who has no military experience whatsoever.’’
    ‘‘When you win wars, troops come home,’’ McCain said. ‘‘He’s been completely wrong on the issue. ... I have been steadfast in my position.’’
    On Afghanistan, McCain said, ‘‘I’ve always said it’s long and tough and hard.’’
    As to Iraq, ‘‘We’ve succeeded. We’re not succeeding, we’ve succeeded,’’ McCain said later at a fundraiser.
    Bush declined to comment on his views on the two wars, saying he would defer to McCain.
    ‘‘No advice,’’ he said. ‘‘I think he’s doing great.’’
    Bush said he would not criticize either McCain for advocating drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf nor his son for rescinding his own 1992 presidential order banning such offshore drilling, saying increasing domestic production was important.
    Chatting alone with reporters, Bush later said he’s looking forward to a final parachute jump from a plane next June 12 when he turns 85.
    He said his wife Barbara told him, ‘‘One way or the other, this is your final jump.’’

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