Tags: Afghanistan | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | John McCain | John McCain | Iraq | Afghanistan

John McCain: US May Have Stayed Out Iraq If I Had Been President

Image: John McCain: US May Have Stayed Out Iraq If I Had Been President

Friday, 18 Jul 2014 08:14 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Sen. John McCain, one of the most vocal defenders of the war in Iraq, says if he had been elected president in 2000 the United States might never have gotten involved.

"You’ll find this surprising, but I think I would have been more reluctant to commit American troops," the Arizona Republican said at a Washington event hosted by CNN and the National Journal on Thursday. The Journal carried a video of McCain's remarks on its website.

McCain said he still believes troops had to be sent to Afghanistan.

"Anybody who believed after 9/11, and we knew the Taliban sheltered al-Qaida ... we had to go to Afghanistan," McCain said at the event.

McCain said that his military background, along with his experience in Washington would have allowed him to see through the "flimsy" evidence on Iraq, had he defeated former President George W. Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000 and then had become president.

"I would have challenged the evidence with more scrutiny," McCain said. "I hope that I would have been able to see through the evidence that was presented at the time."

McCain said he is not blaming Bush for how he handled the run-up to the war, which cost more than 4,400 American lives. Further, he's not sure he would vote differently as a senator if he were presented with the same evidence today.

The 2008 GOP presidential nominee told reporters that he voted for the war because he relied on and trusted the credibility of former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Iraq.

"In Iraq in 2003, the secretary of state, one of the most respected men in America, went to the United Nations Security Council and alleged that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," McCain said. "If presented with that same evidence today, I would vote the same way. I respected and trusted the Secretary of State Colin Powell."

However, he said, "it’s obvious now, in retrospect, that Saddam Hussein, though he had used weapons of mass destruction, did not have the inventory that we seemed to have evidence, which now looking back on it with benefit of some hindsight was very flimsy."

McCain has opposed President Barack Obama's removal of troops from the war-torn country, and advocates airstrikes against the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, which has overrun most of Iraq's major cities.

Related Stories:

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Dow Rebounds After Early 400-Point Plunge

Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 09:52 AM

U.S. stocks tumbled, weighed down by disappointing business forecasts from big-name companies and an unexpected drop in  . . .

Bobby Jindal Warns of Muslim 'No-Go Zones' In US

Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 15:30 PM

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal warned that Muslims coming to the United States and not assimilating could create "no-go zon . . .

ISIS Attacks Luxury Tripoli Hotel, American May Be Among Dead

Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 14:33 PM

Gunmen stormed a hotel in Tripoli popular with diplomats and officials Tuesday in an attack claimed by the Islamic State . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved