ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Talal Al-Khatib Report: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was less than forthcoming on Tuesday about "rogue-state rollback," a policy he championed during his 2000 presidential campaign.
"I wasn’t saying that we should go around and declare war," said McCain. "I was saying that we nations of like values and principles and belief in democracy and freedom should make efforts to modify the behavior of other nations."
McCain’s claim, which he made on Hardball’s "College Tour," is directly at odds with the description of "rogue-state rollback" that the Arizona senator offered during his 2000 presidential campaign.
While participating in a Republican debate moderated by CNN’s Larry King on Feb. 15, 2000, the candidates were asked: "What area of American international policy would you change immediately as president?"
"I’d institute a policy that I call ‘rogue state rollback,’" said McCain. "I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically- elected governments."
"As long as Saddam Hussein is in power," he added, "I am convinced that he will pose a threat to our security."