McCain Team Responds To Iran/Qaeda Error

Brain Rogers, a communications deputy over at the McCain HQ in Arlington, sends over a statement about his boss's momentary confusion in Amman, Jordan today:

“In a press conference today, John McCain misspoke and immediately corrected himself by stating that Iran is in fact supporting radical Islamic extremists in Iraq, not Al Qaeda -- as the transcript shows. Democrats have launched political attacks today because they know the American people have deep concerns about their candidates’ judgment and readiness to lead as commander in chief.”

Here's the transcript:

McCain In Amman, Jordan Today:

McCain: Well, it’s common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and is receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran. That’s well known and it’s unfortunate. So I believe that we are succeeding in Iraq - the situation has dramatically improved, but I also want to emphasize time and again Al Qaeda is on the run, but they are not defeated. We are seeing a major battle take place in Mosul as we speak. The southern part of Iraq has other difficulties as we well know. So I am pleased with the progress, we have a long way to go, and I am deeply concerned about Iranian influence, not only in Iraq, but on nuclear weapons; on sponsorship of Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations, and if we leave Iraq it will enhance Iranian influence in the region to the detriment, I think, of every nation in the region.

McCain: I’m sorry; the Iranians are training the extremists, not Al Qaeda. Not Al Qaeda. I’m sorry.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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