John McCain is slamming the potential GOP candidates calling them isolationists and on the fringe of the party. It’s interesting to me that McCain now has all of these opinions. It seems like you wouldn’t have picked perhaps the “fringiest” candidate we’ve ever had run for one of our top offices. I have always respected John McCain for working with others. I don’t always (and more often than not don’t) agree, but I have always felt like he listened to other points of view. He always listened except when he became a puppet for a presidential campaign.
Some highlights from the CNN article.
“We cannot repeat the lessons of the 1930s, when the United States of America stood by while bad things happened in the world,” McCain said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.”
Citing what he viewed as the GOP presidential hopefuls’ positions in general on both Libya and Afghanistan, McCain said, “We are the lead nation in the world, and America matters, and we must lead. But sometimes that leadership entails sacrifice, sadly.”
“This is isolationism,” McCain said. “There’s always been an isolationist strain in the Republican Party, the Pat Buchanan wing of our party. But now it seems to have moved more center stage, so to speak.”
If former President Ronald Reagan had watched the debate, McCain said, he “would be saying that’s not the Republican Party of the 20th century and now the 21st century. That is not the Republican Party that has been willing to stand up for freedom” for people all over the world.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi “was at the gates of Benghazi,” McCain said. “He said he was going to go house to house to kill everybody. That’s a city of 700,000 people. What would we be saying now if we had allowed for that to happen?”
Citing the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and a 1986 Libyan sponsored bombing of a German disco frequented by U.S. soldiers, McCain said Gadhafi has Americans’ blood “on his hands.”
“If Gadhafi remains in power, it’s clear that you will see him engage in an escalated effort, of course, to harm the United States of America, obviously,” he said.
McCain was equally adamant that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan must continue.
“We abandoned Afghanistan once, and we paid a very heavy price for it in the attacks of 9/11,” he said. “So that is an important lesson that we must learn.”
In the CNN debate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, currently leading the pack of GOP hopefuls in polls, said “it’s time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes from our generals that we can hand the country over.”
McCain took issue with that.
“I wish that candidate Romney and all the others would sit down” with General David Petraeus, commander of the war in Afghanistan, “and understand how this counterinsurgency is working and succeeding,” McCain said.