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McCain Mocks Obama

11:29 AM, Feb 27, 2008 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Obama at last night's debate:

"As commander in chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests. And if al-Qaida is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad."

McCain today on the trail in Texas:

"When you examine that statement, it's pretty remarkable," McCain told a crowd in Tyler, Texas.

"I have some news. Al-Qaida is in Iraq. It's called 'al-Qaida in Iraq,'" McCain said, drawing laughter at Obama's expense.

Of course, Obama doesn't say he'd send troops back into Iraq, only that he'd "act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad." It's a euphemism for 'I might not do a damn thing,' and it plays fine with a Democratic audience--but in the general? Maybe not so much...

McCain led Obama among likely voters in yesterday's USA Today/Gallup poll, and now the Los Angeles Times has McCain beating Obama among registered voters, "with voters giving McCain far higher marks when it comes to experience, fighting terrorism and dealing with the situation in Iraq." I tend to think this kind of back and forth will only serve to widen that gap in perception.

Update: McCain adds in a just released statement:

Where is the audacity of hope when it comes to backing the success of our troops all the way to victory in Iraq? What we heard last night was the timidity of despair. Our allies deserve better, our soldiers deserve better, and so do the American people."