John McCain had his own speech on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan today. From the Washington Post:
ALBUQUERQUE — Arguing that the status quo in Afghanistan “is not acceptable,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested today the U.S. can win the battle against the Taliban by “applying the tried and true principles of counterinsurgency used in the surge” in Iraq. In a prepared speech peppered with attacks against the presumptive Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), McCain suggested Obama had been proven wrong in Iraq and lacked the judgment to oversee military forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“I know how to win wars. I know how to win wars,” McCain told the audience at a town hall in Albuquerque. “And if I’m elected President, I will turn around the war in Afghanistan, just as we have turned around the war in Iraq, with a comprehensive strategy for victory, I know how to do that.”
McCain outlined a plan that includes sending at least three additional brigades; establishing a “unity of command” that will oversee U.S. as well as NATO forces; appointing a “Afghanistan czar” to report directly to the president on the progress of the war; and a boost in non-military assistance.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee openly mocked Obama for his inexperience in the region, saying the Democrat had made up his mind about the war without surveying how U.S. troops were faring there.
“Senator Obama is departing soon on a trip abroad that will include a fact-finding mission to Iraq and Afghanistan. And I note that he is speaking today about his plans for Iraq and Afghanistan before he has even left, before he has talked to General Petraeus, before he has seen the progress in Iraq, and before he has set foot in Afghanistan for the first time,” McCain said. “In my experience, and I’ve traveled around the world, usually at your expense, fact-finding missions usually work best the other way around: first you assess the facts on the ground, then you present a new strategy.”
Commentary on the McCain speech from Ed Morrisey here.
And if this ABC poll is to be believed, Sen. Obama has a huge deficit to overcome on who Americans think would be a good Commander-in-Chief. McCain polls at 72%, Obama at 48%:
One reason McCain can push back on Iraq is his advantage as commander-in-chief a striking one, albeit perhaps not surprising given his military background. Seventy-two percent of Americans even most Democrats say he’d be a good commander-in-chief of the military.
By contrast, fewer than half, 48 percent, say Obama would be a good commander-in-chief, a significant weakness on this measure.
(Obama, however, still leads in the ever important Match.com poll on who would be a better kisser.