A+ A-

McCain says he is astonished that Hillary Clinton wants to surrender in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (KUNA) -- Arizona Senator John McCain, who is trying to become the front runner in the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. president, on Thursday turned his attention to the Democrats, saying he was "absolutely astonished" that Senator Hillary Clinton "says she wants to surrender in Iraq -- she wants to wave the white flag." "After all the sacrifice we have made in this (U.S. troop) surge, which everybody knows is succeeding, she wants to surrender and bring the troops home and set a date for withdrawal," McCain said in a "Fox and Friends" interview.
McCain, interviewed from Florida, said the topic of the Iraq war will be a "big subject" during the Republican presidential candidates debate on Thursday night in Boca Raton, Florida. The Florida Republican primary takes place on Tuesday.
McCain said if the United States does what Clinton proposes in Iraq, "al Qaeda will defeat us, and al Qaeda will tell the world that they have defeated the United States of America. I have never, never in American history, heard of a leading candidate for president of the United States that wants to surrender to the enemy." McCain said Americans can believe Clinton or General David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, who says "Iraq is the central battleground in the struggle against radical Islamic extremism, and if you are going to declare surrender, declare a date for withdrawal, my friends, all that sacrifice of those brave young Americans -- I cannot tell you how incredible to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory that Senator Clinton wants to do." McCain, the 71-year-old former prisoner of war in Vietnam, is the only Republican who beats Clinton in national polls.
In Florida, the economy and taxes have emerged as the central focus of the Republican contest, overtaking such former top concerns as illegal immigration, social issues and the Iraq war.
A new poll for the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times newspaper shows McCain and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leading the contest in Florida, with former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee fading. The poll put McCain at 25 percent, Romney at 23 percent, and Giuliani and Huckabee tied at 15 percent each, with 13 percent undecided.
Asked on "Fox News and Friends" how he can counter Republicans who believe Romney, a longtime businessman, would be better on the issue of the U.S. economy, McCain said, "Well, maybe look at his record as to how the state (of Massachusetts) did when he was governor." McCain said he knows hot to stop "irresponsible spending" in Washington, and called for reducing the corporate income tax.
"We are paying the highest corporate taxes in the world," he said. "We will have to give people a chance to write off their investments, particularly in infrastructure." He also called for eliminating the alternate minimum tax, "which is about to affect 25 million American families, and we have got to stop and reign in the out-of-control spending that I have been fighting against for a long time." Asked about the prospects for Giuliani, who for much of last year led in national polls among Republicans as their front runner for president, but who is now slumping nationally and in Florida, McCain said, "Rudy is still a very viable candidate, and I think there are a lot of undecided voters down here in Florida, so we have got a lot of hard campaigning to go." (end) rm.ajs KUNA 242019 Jan 08NNNN