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StateSide:Policy
DC Buzz
McCain Speaks, But Are People Listening?
Reiterating Support for Unpopular Views in Policy Address
04/11/2007 2:05 PM ET
LEXINGTON, VA - APRIL 11: Republican U.S. presidential hopeful John McCain speaks on the war in Iraq at the Jackson Memorial Hall of the Virginia Military Institute April 11, 2007 in Lexington, Virginia.
Alex Wong/Getty
LEXINGTON, VA - APRIL 11: Republican U.S. presidential hopeful John McCain speaks on the war in Iraq at the Jackson Memorial Hall of the Virginia Military Institute April 11, 2007 in Lexington, Virginia.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), in a foreign policy address at the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, reiterated his support for the war in Iraq, just as CBS released the results of a poll indicating that more people than not believe the Senator misrepresents the situation on the ground there.

In his speech, McCain defended his views, and explained why he does not consider retreat an option:

“Democrats who voted to authorize this war, and criticized the failed strategy that has led us to this perilous moment, have the same responsibility I do, to offer support when that failure is recognized and the right strategy is proposed and the right commanders take the field to implement it or, at the least, to offer an alternative strategy that has some relationship to reality. Democrats argue we should redirect American resources to the ‘real’ war on terror, of which Iraq is just a sideshow. But whether or not al Qaeda terrorists were a present danger in Iraq before the war, there is no disputing they are there now, and their leaders recognize Iraq as the main battleground in the war on terror.”

Today's CBS poll indicates that 39% of those asked said McCain's descriptions of U.S. progress in Iraq make things sound like they're going better than they actually are, compared to 29% who believe what he says. Thirty-one percent have unfavorable views of McCain, compared to 26% who like him, indicating that McCain's unpopular views are weakening the support of potential voters.

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