McCain Would Not Use Cheney's Words

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on "Face the Nation."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on "Face the Nation," Oct. 25, 2009.

Senator John McCain made clear that he and the Republican Party should send the message that they support whatever President Obama's strategy in Afghanistan ends up being, rather than send messages that the U.S. is "waffling" or "dithering."

In response to former Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remarks, in which he said, "signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries," McCain said, "I wouldn't use that language."

Speaking Wednesday evening while accepting an award from the conservative Center for Security Policy, Cheney said, "The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger."

Cheney continued: "Waffling, while our troops on the ground face an emboldened enemy, endangers them and hurts our cause."
On CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, McCain said, "I wouldn't use that language. The fact is, as I said before, we already have men and women who are in danger there now. The sooner we implement the strategy, the more we will be able to ensure their safety."

"Let's face it. The president, when he makes his decision — and again, I believe that he will have trouble with the base of his own party. And so the more united we can be behind him, I think the more the chances are of success and American public support," he said of recruiting Republicans to support the eventual Obama decision.

"Let's look forward. I want to support the president. I want this strategy to work. I know it can work, and I know it will work if . . . it's properly resourced.

Moderator Bob Schieffer pushed McCain on whether he thinks Cheney's remarks were "unhelpful."

"I don't know. I would leave that to others to judge, really," McCain responded.