ABC News’ Bret Hovell Reports: Senator John McCain stressed Thursday that he is the only presidential candidate equipped to fight the global war on terror, and drew distinctions between himself and his chief rivals for the job from both parties.
Saying he is worried that the U.S. Government is "not adequately prepared to fight" the long war ahead, McCain argued that his two closest competitors for the Republican nomination haven’t proven they are ready for the job of president.
"Tough talk or managerial successes in the private sector aren’t adequate assurance that their authors have the experience or qualities necessary for such a singular responsibility," McCain said in a speech to the Hudson Institute in New York.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the target of the "tough talk" criticism, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a wildly successful businessman, the target of the "managerial success" comment.
"You don’t just talk about or manage such changes," McCain said, "you lead them."
And speaking with reporters after his speech, McCain was critical of the front-runner on the Democratic side, Senator Hillary Clinton.
"I think that anyone who advocates setting a date for withdrawal and voting for cutting off funding, which Senator Clinton did, after we decided that [the troops] would remain, obviously doesn’t have the strategic grasp that is necessary to address this issue," he said.
Watch the video HERE.
The Arizona Republican’s speech in New York came on the same day his campaign announced a new series of television and radio advertisements they have purchased in New Hampshire, the first ads the McCain campaign has run this election cycle.
Two different thirty second ads have been produced, and the campaign has purchased what it says is a full statewide buy that will cover New Hampshire for several weeks.