On the Senate floor today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said, "one of the things that we will be debating this fall, Mr. President, is whether our troops need to be in Iraq for another 50 or 100 years. I think that will be a pivotal part of the debate that takes place for the presidential election.”
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, took issue.
“Mr. President, of course no one has said that," McConnell said. "And my dear friend, the Majority Leader, knows that. That’s a swipe at Senator McCain, who was talking about troop deployments overseas, not the continued engagement in warfare. And the mainstream media, which has not been particularly friendly to the war, has hammered those who have accused Senator McCain of saying we were going to have a 100-year war in Iraq. That is a deliberate misrepresentation of what he has said."
Actually, Harry Reid’s description was completely accurate: McCain said it would be fine with him if US troops were in Iraq indefinitely. Watch HERE.
What he did NOT say is that the troops would be there engaged in a war indefinitely. It would be fine for them to be there as long as they weren’t being hurt or killed.
Republicans are trying to use the media condemnation of the unfair distortion of these remarks (see HERE for when we hammered Sen. Barack Obama for such distortions) to turn it into a blanket condemnation of any time anyone quotes McCain on the matter.
The condemnations, Mr. McConnell, were for distortions — not for accurate quotes.