McCain Calls for ‘Economic Surge’

Aug 6, 2008 11:52am

ABC News’ Bret Hovell reports: John McCain called for an "economic surge" Wednesday, marrying key language from the war in Iraq with the economic troubles facing the United States.

"Our surge has succeeded in Iraq militarily, now we need an economic surge," Sen. McCain said at a cabinet maker in Southeastern Ohio, "to keep jobs here at home and create new ones."

It was the first time he used the term surge in concert with his economic plans, but it does not mark a shift in those plans. It’s more of a re-branding effort.

"Most Americans identify the surge as taking resources and putting them where they’re needed for success," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

"This is a concept that we feel like we can replicate," Bounds said.

In past months identifying a new policy with the war in Iraq would have been politically dicey territory for any candidate. McCain’s willingness to appropriate language specific to the war in Iraq for a domestic policy item seems an overt demonstration of his campaign’s confidence in the situation on the ground in that country.

In mid-July, McCain went from saying that the surge in Iraq is "succeeding" to saying that it had "succeeded." That change seemed spontaneous and was described by aides at the time as McCain’s own decision after thinking about the progress that had been made.

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