Ruh-Roh… McCain Supported Benchmarks for Iraq (Not Romney)

After a week of bogus attacks on Romney for “setting timetables” on Iraq–
It looks like Senator McCain was the one who proposed timetables- not Governor Romney.

“McCain considers setting benchmarks for Iraqis”
The Arizona Star– January 26, 2007

Last night during the CNN Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the Reagan Library Senator John McCain attacked Governor Mitt Romney for the false claims that Governor Romney proposed timetables to leave Iraq.
Here is the transcript part of that rehashed bogus attack by Senator McCain:

SENATOR MCCAIN: Well, of course, he said he wanted a timetable. Before that, we have to understand that we lost the 2006 election and the Democrats thought that they had a mandate. They thought they had a mandate to get us out of Iraq.

And I was prepared to sacrifice whatever was necessary in order to stand up for what I believed in…

Then in April, April was a very interesting year (sic) in 2007. That’s when Harry Reid said the war is lost and we’ve got to get out. And the buzzword was “timetables, timetables.”

Governor, the right answer to that question was “no,” not what you said, and that was we don’t want to have them lay in the weeds until we leave and Maliki and the president should enter into some kind of agreement for, quote, “timetables.”

“Timetables” was the buzzword for the…

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: … not using the actual quote? That’s not what I said.

MCCAIN: The actual quote is, “We don’t want them to lay in the weeds until we leave.” That is the actual quote and I’m sure…

ROMNEY: What does that mean?

MCCAIN: … fact-checkers —

ROMNEY: What is the meaning?

MCCAIN: It means a timetable until we leave.

Anderson Cooper read off the actual quote by Governor Romney from last year on “setting timetables”:

“Well, there’s no question that the president and Prime Minister al-Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about, but those shouldn’t be for public pronouncement. You don’t want the enemy to understand how long they have to wait in the weeds until you’re going to be gone.”

John Stephenson has the video clip of this interview by Romney last year.

Obviously… Senator McCain was off the mark on this attack on Romney. The governor said nothing about setting timetables.

But… John McCain talked about setting benchmarks for Iraq!
Bryan at HotAir has the report from the the Arizona Star on January 26, 2007, where Senator McCain talked about setting benchmarks for progress in Iraq:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the most stalwart supporters of the war in Iraq, said Thursday that he might propose that the Iraqi government meet certain benchmarks for the United States to continue its engagement.

…McCain said Thursday that he hadn’t yet decided on precise benchmarks. “They’d have to be specific, and they (Iraqi government officials) would have to meet them,” he said.

Asked what penalty would be imposed if Iraq failed to meet his benchmarks, he said: “I think everybody knows the consequences. Haven’t met the benchmarks? Obviously, then, we’re not able to complete the mission. Then you have to examine your options.”

Amazing!
This won’t help shore up the conservative base any- no matter what Arnold says.

The Politico said that Romney fell into a McCain trap last night- They would be wrong.

Related… Michelle Malkin and Mark Steyn are concerned about McCain’s not so Reaganesque attacks on business.

UPDATE: Joe Scarborough ripped McCain on “The Morning Joe” today on his “not so conservative” past.

UPDATE 2: Mark Levin has seen enough– It’s time to rally around Romney.

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