McCain On "100 Years in Iraq," Troops in Middle East


From CBS News' Andante Higgins:

John McCain defended his now infamous "100 years in Iraq" comments made at a town hall back in January, contending the Democrats are deliberately distorting his remarks. He explained today that those who say he wants to fight in Iraq for 100 years are making a "direct falsification" and apologized that campaigns "have to deteriorate in this fashion."

At a New Hampshire event five months ago, McCain had an exchange with a voter about the war. "President Bush has talked about staying in Iraq for 50 years," the man said before McCain interrupted. "Maybe a hundred… We've been in Japan for 60 years, we've been in South Korea 50 years or so, that'd be fine with me. As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, then it's fine with me. I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al-Qaeda is training recruiting equipping and motivating people every single day," McCain said.

The comments have become a rallying cry for the Democrats, and both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have referenced them in their stump speeches. Most recently the liberal organization is using his comments in an anti-McCain ad, which you can see here:

He also addressed the reasons that U.S. troops are deployed overseas, suggesting perhaps that they are there because it's an oil-rich area. "I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East," McCain said. "That will then prevent us from having ever to send our men and women into conflict again in the Middle East."