RAPID CITY, S.D. -- In an arena primarily used for cattle auctions, Barack Obama continued to criticize John McCain on his Iraq policy. "For the last few weeks, he's been attacking me, saying I have 'no knowledge' to make decisions, even though I made the right decision based on the right knowledge, about why we shouldn't go into Iraq in the first place, before this war began."
The back and forth on Iraq policy and Iraq speeches is an on going topic between Obama and McCain, and offers a preview of what the general election conversation might look like. McCain's campaign responded that Obama was not prepared to be commander-in-chief. "For over 874 days, which includes the entirety of the 'surge' strategy, Barack Obama has refused to visit Iraq, see the conditions on the ground, and meet with General Petraeus," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. "It raises questions about whether his campaign is based on conceding defeat in Iraq, no matter what progress our troops make there."
Obama's Iraq comments received a lot of enthusiasm and applause, but during the question and answer portion of this town hall meeting, no one asked about Iraq. The questions focused specifically on energy policy, veterans health issues, and one question on immigration from a seventh-grade student.
"Don't people outside of America deserve to come to America and have the freedoms of being an American?" he said.
Obama asked him if he wanted to go into politics, to which the boy responded that he would actually like to go into film. The young filmmaker-to-be and the candidate had a short back and forth about what serious movies they each like. When the boy said "Apocalypse Now," Obama looked towards his mother. "You are letting him watch 'Apocalypse Now'?"
Obama is currently visiting the Fire House Pub here before heading to the other side of the state for another town hall meeting.