From CBS News' Michelle Levi:
(WASHINGTON) John McCain's campaign launched what they're calling a "documentary" video today, which features soundbites of Barack Obama offering seemingly contradictary positions on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The McCain campaign referred to the 8-minute video, titled "The Obama Iraq Documentary: Whatever the Politics Demand" and is running only on the internet, as a "timeline" of Obama's statements on the war.
It opens with footage of Obama saying "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse." The date "1/10/07" is featured repeatedly and prominently on the screen. The next shot features Obama arguing that the surge would work: "I said at the time, when I opposed the surge, that given how wonderfully our troops perform, if we place 30,000 more troops in there, then we would see an improvement in the security situation and we would see a reduction in the violence" from "1/5/08."
The video then states, "Translation: You're Never Wrong If You Pretend You Gave The Right Answer All Along."
McCain supporters gathered for the video's launch on Capitol Hill and echoed the campaign's argument: that Obama's positions on the wars amount to "political posturing."
"[Obama] views Iraq more as a political issue than a national security issue and he is constantly striving to craft the right political position on Iraq to advance his political ambitions," explained Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who has been mentioned as a potential McCain running mate, argued, "You can about guarantee that [Obama] is going to take the postion that satisfies the far left of his party...it does become a political decision rather than a national security decision."
The Democratic National Committee responded almost immediately with a press conference where three previously released McCain campaign web videos were shown.
"The latest partisan attacks against Senator Obama by the McCain campaign would put a smile on the face of the architects of the Swift Boat Veteran attacks against John Kerry," Obama surrogate Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Tex., said in response to the McCain video.
"It isn't like you can't have a well formulated policy before you go," Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said in response to criticism that Obama has finalized his policy before visiting Iraq and Afghanistan.
"There is a big distinction here as well between strategy and tactics. The strategy is what is important," he continued. "I don't see how you can even announce a run for president if you didn't have a pretty good idea of what you thought our strategy ought to be in one of the single most important foreign policy decisions."
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