McCain’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ Misstep

May 1, 2008 7:25pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Talal Alkhatib Report: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday that he believed five years ago that the "Mission Accomplished" banner was wrong.

"To state the obvious, I thought it was wrong at the time," said McCain. "I thought phrases like ‘a few dead-enders,’ ‘last throes,’ all of those comments contributed over time to the frustration and sorrow of Americans because those statements and comments did not comport with the facts on the ground."

The veracity of McCain’s claim about how he felt regarding the banner, which appeared behind President Bush on the deck of the USS Lincoln on May 1, 2003, was challenged Thursday when the Democratic National Committee unearthed video of McCain talking approvingly of the banner in a June 11, 2003 Fox News interview.

In that interview, McCain pointed to the banner to bolster his contention that major conflict had ended in Iraq and that it was appropriate for the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold post-conflict hearings.

"Why was there a banner that said mission accomplished on the aircraft carrier?" McCain asked Neil Cavuto after the Fox News Channel anchor said "many argue the conflict isn’t over."

McCain went on to say in his 2003 interview that reconstruction of Iraq would be a "long, long, difficult process" while maintaining that the "the major conflict is over, the regime change has been accomplished" and that it’s "very appropriate" for the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold post-conflict hearings.

"I remain confident that we will find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," he added.

Watch today’s comments Here.

Watch the 2003 comments HERE.

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