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McCain scolds Obama for ‘cheap shots’ during foreign policy debate

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., scolded President Obama for taking unpresidential “cheap shots” at Mitt Romney last night and for glossing over the rise of al Qaida in Iraq.

“Those were cheap shots that he took at Mitt Romney last night,” McCain said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today. “I think you should treat your opponent with some respect, especially if you’re the President of the United States. And he certainly didn’t. It was small ball, and that’s the same thing he did before. It didn’t work in the second debate; I don’t think it worked in this debate.”

McCain, who served as a naval pilot during the Vietnam War, especially criticized Obama’s remarks belittling the importance of the U.S. Navy.

“I don’t understand why the President of the United States seems to want to take these cheap shots,” McCain said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today. “‘Bayonets and horses’ — what’s that all about? When I debated then-Senator Obama, I didn’t criticize or belittle his lack of experience on national security issues. And frankly, I kind of resent it because I think Mitt Romney has had a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge and background on these issues.”

During the debate, Obama mocked Romney for saying that the U.S. Navy needs more ships. “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916,” Obama said.  “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed.  We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them.  We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.  And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships; it’s what are our capabilities.”

McCain also faulted Obama for portraying Iraq as a foreign policy success. “Iraq is going to hell in a hand-basket,” McCain said. “Al Qaida has doubled there presence there. There are al Qaida training camps in Western Iraq . . . I’ve got to hand it to the president to [be able] to say things that in my view defy reality.”

 

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