Tuesday, January 1, 2008


U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today launched a new web ad, entitled "Experience," contrasting Governor Mitt Romney and John McCain's experience on the issues of foreign policy and national security. The web ad will appear on targeted news and information websites in key states.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and former CIA Director R. James Woolsey issued the following statement:

"We couldn't disagree more with Governor Romney's recent suggestion that foreign policy experience really doesn't matter when it comes to evaluating who should be our next president and commander in chief. America is at war. Our military forces are engaged in Iraq, in Afghanistan and elsewhere against a determined, vicious enemy. We are facing serious challenges, in a nuclear-armed Pakistan, in Latin America with the rise of Hugo Chavez, and in other corners of the globe. In such dangerous times, John McCain has the necessary experience and judgment to strengthen our national security and lead our nation and allies. He has had extensive contact with foreign leaders and military officials. John McCain has been on the ground in many of the world's hot spots, including several trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, and also the tribal areas of Waziristan. As an ex-Navy pilot and POW, he understands first-hand how political decisions in Washington impact those serving in our Armed Forces. On Iraq, John McCain's experience and judgment served him well. For years, despite public opinion, he called for a surge of forces and a new strategy in Iraq to prevail against our enemies -- a strategy that is now succeeding. In contrast, Governor Romney, with no national security experience, was a follower on Iraq, while John McCain showed strong leadership and vision."

VIEW THE NEW WEB AD HERE: http://www.johnmccain.com/tvads/
Script for "Experience" (:30-Web)
ANNCR: "Mitt Romney says the next president doesn't need foreign policy experience."
John McCain for president."
JOHN MCCAIN: "I'm John McCain and I approve this message."


New York Post Today Compares Romney And McCain's Responses To Pakistan CrisisNew York Post Today Mocks Romney's Response To Pakistan Crisis, While Calling McCain "The One Candidate Who Seems To Understand That A Sound Pakistan Policy Requires Something More Than Glib Slogans." "The Pakistani political crisis has presented Americans with a real test of which of the nation's would-be presidents are fit for the Oval Office. Most fail. Certainly, few seemed to appreciate the depth of the crisis. ... Mitt Romney said the 'terrible devastating handiwork' of Benazir Bhutto's assassination demonstrated the continuing threat that terrorism presents. You think? ... That left John McCain as the one candidate who seems to understand that a sound Pakistan policy requires something more than glib slogans." (Editorial, "Candidates & Crisis," New York Post, 1/1/08)

Romney Has Recently Said That The Next President Doesn't Need Foreign Policy ExperienceRomney: "If We Want Somebody Who Has A Lot Of Experience In Foreign Policy, We Can Simply Go To The State Department." "Well, if we want somebody who has a lot of experience in foreign policy, we can simply go to the State Department and pluck out one of the tens of thousands of people who work there. They, of course, have been doing foreign policy all their careers. But that's not how we choose a president. A president is not a foreign policy expert." (Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes," 12/29/07)

Romney: "If Foreign Policy Experience Were The Measure For Selecting A President, We'd Just Go To The State Department." CNN'S ANDERSON COOPER: "So foreign policy experience, per se, is not essential, just experience?" ROMNEY: "Well, if -- if foreign policy experience were the measure for selecting a president, we'd just go to the State Department and pick up one of the thousands and thousands of people who've spent their whole life in foreign policy, and frankly, becoming a United States senator does not make one a foreign policy expert, either." (CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," 12/27/07)

Romney: "That's Not What The Nation Needs In A President." "If the answer for leading this country is someone that has a lot of foreign policy experience, we can just go down to the State Department and pick up any one of the tens of thousands of people who've spent all their life in foreign policy ... That's not what the nation needs in a president. The person that is president of the United States, we look to have leadership skills." (Dave Wedge, "Mitt Still Sees Foreign Expertise As Overrated," Boston Herald, 12/28/07)

· Watch Romney Say That The Next President Doesn't Need Foreign Policy ExperienceJohn McCain's "Experience In Foreign Affairs And In Military Issues Is Unmatched In The Field"

Salmon Press (NH): "[McCain's] Military Record Is Truly Heroic -- In Stark Contrast To Those Of His Opponents ... His Experience In Foreign Affairs And In Military Issues Is Unmatched In The Field." "[John McCain's] military record is truly heroic -- in stark contrast to those of his opponents. As a congressman and senator from Arizona he has exhibited the ability to attract both sides of the political aisle. And yet he is a conservative in the best sense of the word: principled, unwilling to cave for political gain and an unbowed enemy of wasteful spending. His experience in foreign affairs and in military issues is unmatched in the field." (Editorial, "New Hampshire's Salmon Press Endorses Sen. John McCain," Salmon Press, 12/13/07)

New Hampshire Union Leader: "McCain Is By Far The Most Informed Candidate On Military And Foreign Affairs." "McCain is by far the most informed candidate on military and foreign affairs. In our interviews with nearly all of the presidential candidates, only McCain offered a comprehensive and detailed strategic vision for maintaining America's position as the world's lone superpower." (Editorial, "Commander In Chief: McCain Is The Best Choice," New Hampshire Union Leader, 12/25/07)

· Union Leader: "Of All The Candidates For President, It Was John McCain And Only John McCain Who Not Only Opposed Donald Rumsfeld's Iraq Strategy From The Start But Offered A Viable Alternative For Winning ..." "Of all the candidates for President, it was John McCain and only John McCain who not only opposed Donald Rumsfeld's Iraq strategy from the start but offered a viable alternative for winning that ill-fated war. When the Democrats cried 'Retreat!' and other Republicans shouted 'Stay the course!' McCain listened to the commanders on the ground. He discerned the path to victory early, and only after the President finally did what McCain had urged for years did the tide begin to turn in our favor. That is the kind of judgment America needs in the oval office." (Editorial, "Commander In Chief: McCain Is The Best Choice," New Hampshire Union Leader, 12/25/07)

· Union Leader: "America Needs A Leader Whose Own Judgment In Matters Of War And Peace Can Be Trusted Implicitly. John McCain Is That Leader." "There is no greater issue in this election than keeping America safe from its enemies. Romney and other Republicans might have similar foreign policy agendas, but none has the proven judgment on foreign affairs that Sen. McCain has. America needs a leader whose own judgment in matters of war and peace can be trusted implicitly. John McCain is that leader." (Editorial, "Commander In Chief: McCain Is The Best Choice," New Hampshire Union Leader, 12/25/07)

Portsmouth Herald: "[McCain] Is A Strong Military Man Prepared From Day One To Defend Our Nation Against Its Enemies. Of All The Republicans Running, He Is By Far The Best Qualified To Lead Our Country." "John McCain has been leading the country from his seat in the U.S. Senate for 20 years. He is a man of integrity and honor who would help the Republicans rid themselves of the stench of Jack Abramoff and other lobbyists and allow the GOP to reclaim its status as the party of fiscal restraint. He is a strong military man prepared from day one to defend our nation against its enemies. Of all the Republicans running, he is by far the best qualified to lead our country." (Editorial, "Vote Sen. McCain In GOP Primary," Portsmouth Herald, 12/16/07)

Romney "Lacks Any Background In The Military Or Foreign Policy,"

Romney "Lacks Any Background In The Military Or Foreign Policy." "[T]he one-term governor lacks any background in the military or foreign policy." (Jonathan Martin, "McCain Hits Romney On Bin Laden Comment," Politico.com, 4/28/07)

Romney's Iraq Position "Has Been A Study In Flexibility"

The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes: "[Romney's] Position On Iraq Has Been A Study In Flexibility ..." (Fred Barnes, "McCain Helps Himself," The Weekly Standard, 9/6/07)In October 2007, Romney Told New Hampshire Union Leader That Iraq Would Not Be "The Big, Dividing Issue" Of 2008 Election And That Hillary Clinton Is "Not Going To Be Demanding A Dramatically Different Course In Iraq Than The Republican Nominee Will." "He predicted that the Iraq war will not be 'the big, dividing issue in 08, believe it or not.' 'Come the fall of 08, for all of Hillary's rhetoric, she's not going to be demanding a dramatically different course in Iraq than the Republican nominee will,' Romney said. He said that by next fall, U.S. troops will 'be playing more of a support role' and 'the gap (between the political parties) will not be as huge.' He said almost all Republican candidates have criticized President George W. Bush's handling of the war, while Clinton, who he assumes will win the Democratic nomination, 'voted to go into Iraq' and should not 'pretend like you were in a different place.' 'I'm not convinced they're going to beat us on this,' he said." (John DiStaso, "Romney: U.S. At Critical Juncture," New Hampshire Union Leader, 10/30/07)

In September 2007, Romney Called The Iraq War "A Mess." "Mitt Romney called the war in Iraq 'a mess' and gave a detailed explanation of how he would end it 'relatively soon' while maintaining stability in the region as he spoke at a town hall meeting in Nashua on Labor Day." ("Romney Shares With Voters His Get-Out-Of-Iraq Strategy," Boston Herald, 9/5/07)

In September 2007, Romney Hedged On Success Of Surge, Saying It's "Apparently Working." ROMNEY: "What I've indicated is very consistent with what the president is speaking about and what we're hearing from Iraq right now, and that is that the surge is apparently working. ... If the surge is working ..." MCCAIN: "Governor, the surge is working. The surge is working, sir." ROMNEY: "That's just what I said." MCCAIN: "It is working. No, not 'apparently'; it's working. It's working because we've got a great general. We've got a good strategy. Anbar province, things have improved." (Fox News Republican Presidential Debate, Durham, NH, 9/5/06)
· The New York Times' Katharine Q. Seeyle: "Mr. Romney Just Demonstrated Why Some Voters View Him As Slick." (Katharine Q. Seeyle, "Live Blogging The G.O.P. Debate," The New York Times' "The Caucus," Blog, 9/5/07

In July 2007, Romney Said "He Is Willing To Change Course In Iraq." "Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney said Saturday he is willing to change course in Iraq -- as some Republican senators have now done -- and is keeping an eye on the recent troop surge there." (Susan Spencer-Wendel, "Romney Says He's Flexible On Iraq," Palm Beach Post, 7/8/07)

In June 2007, Romney Said He "Wants The Administration To Publicize The 'Metrics' It Will Be Using To Evaluate Progress In Iraq This Fall ..." "Romney wants the administration to publicize the 'metrics' it will be using to evaluate progress in Iraq this fall, when several reports on the Iraq involvement are due." (Kenneth T. Walsh, "Romney Sticks With Bush Iraq Policy," US News & World Report, 6/28/07)

In April 2007, Romney Endorsed Plan For Secret "Timetables And Milestones" For Iraq Withdrawal. ABC'S ROBIN ROBERTS: "Do you believe there should be a timetable in withdrawing the troops?" ROMNEY: "Well, there's no question but that the president and Prime Minister 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." (ABC's "Good Morning America," 4/3/07)

· Romney "Endorsed Setting 'Timetables And Milestones' For Iraq Policy But Keeping Them Private -- An Approach Notably Supported By Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.)." "Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, newly minted winner of the GOP's first-quarter presidential fundraising sweepstakes, on Wednesday endorsed setting 'timetables and milestones' for Iraq policy but keeping them private -- an approach notably supported by Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.)." (Elana Schor, "Romney Advocates Non-Public Iraq Benchmarks," The Hill, 4/4/07)

· Watch Romney Endorse Private Timetables For Iraq Withdrawal

In April 2007, Romney Said "It's Not Worth Moving Heaven And Earth Spending Billions Of Dollars Just Trying To Catch" Osama Bin Laden. "[Romney] said the country would be safer by only 'a small percentage' and would see 'a very insignificant increase in safety' if al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught because another terrorist would rise to power. 'It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person,' Romney said." (Liz Sidoti, "AP Interview: Romney Says He's Not The Only One Switching Positions, Rivals Do It Too," The Associated Press, 4/26/07)

Romney's Failure to Mention Iraq During January 2007 National Review Summit Speech Called "Bizarre And Just Wrong And Almost Offensive" By Editor Rich Lowry.

"Put aside how rambling and unfocused [the speech] was. Maybe that can be chalked up to a bad night or fatigue. But to speak for 50 minutes or so and not to talk about the Iraq war before a conservative audience at a crucial moment in that war is bizarre and just wrong and almost offensive in my view. This doesn't seem like an oversight. [Romney] went out of his way to check off every conservative box -- except the one that is politically risky at the moment." (Rich Lowry, "The Romney Speech," National Review's "The Corner" Blog, corner.nationalreview.com, 1/29/07)

In Late December 2006, Romney Deferred When Asked About Surge, Saying "I'm Still A Governor." "I'm not going to weigh in. I'm still a governor. I'm not running for national office at this stage. I'm not going to weigh in on specific tactics about whether we should go from 140,000 to 170,000. That's something I expect the President to decide over the next couple of weeks and announce that to the nation. I want to hear what he has to say." (Robert Bluey, "Q&A: Mitt Romney Discusses Iraq War, Reagan's Influence And Gay Marriage," www.humanevents.com, 12/28/06)

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