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McCain on a Possible Republican Running Mate for Obama

(CBS)

From CBS News' John Bentley:

(OMAHA, NEB.) – Usually, John McCain is asked about who his running mate is going to be. Today, he was asked what he thought the chances of Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel switching sides and joining Barack Obama as his running mate. "I don't know anything about that, except to say Chuck Hagel is a distinguished veteran and a very dear and close friend of mine," McCain said. "I've cherished his friendship for many, many years."

Hagel is traveling with Obama when he makes his visit to Iraq, something that McCain believes is a good idea. "I'm certainly pleased that Sen. Obama is being accompanied by Chuck Hagel, who has military experience, who has knowledge of these issues, even if we have some disagreement."

That's putting it mildly. Hagel called the surge strategy in Iraq "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it's carried out," while McCain credits it with turning the tide for American forces there. Hagel has been an outspoken critic of the war for several years, but McCain says he has more credibility than Obama because he's studied the issue. "Sen. Hagel has visited Iraq. Sen. Hagel has made an informed decision," McCain said. "Sen. Hagel, although I disagree with some of his conclusions, the fact is that Sen. Obama has never examined the issue carefully, at least from the standpoint of sitting down and discussing the situation with the commanding officer on the ground."

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