Doesn't Understand Economics, Either

John McCain speaking in Jordan reveals that he has no idea what's happening in Iraq:

Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives “taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back.”

Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.” A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate’s ear. McCain then said: “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda.”

The mistake threatened to undermine McCain's argument that his decades of foreign policy experience make him the natural choice to lead a country at war with terrorists. In recent days, McCain has repeatedly said his intimate knowledge of foreign policy make him the best equipped to answer a phone ringing in the White House late at night.

Of course this isn't just an issue of McCain blowing some trivia answer, it seems to call into question whether he's really been paying attention to the Iraq issue over the past couple of years. He's very sure that the surge is working, but doesn't understand the basic contours of the ongoing conflicts in Iraq? Seems strange.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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