While waiting to do a segment with Neil Cavuto on Nancy’s Big Wind Boone-doggle, I watched John McCain’s press conference on the Russia/Georgia conflict. He was looking pretty strong and presidential, and made a high-minded statement in response to a reporter’s question about the Obama camp’s attacks on his aggressive stance. The reporter asked McCain what he thought of Obama foreign policy adviser #299 Susan Rice’s claim that McCain helped cause the war.
I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist was that McCain felt it was “no time” to indulge in partisanship and that the candidates needed to rises above that to put the interest of suffering Georgians first.
And then, it went downhill.
Fox News’s Carl Cameron smartly followed up by asking about Sen. Joe Lieberman’s razzing of Obama’s equivocation yesterday. Here’s what Lieberman said:
“The last few days, four or five days, we’ve seen one of the most unexpected crises in the world as the Russians moved into Georgia as aggressors,” said Lieberman.
“And if you read the statements from the beginning, Senator McCain and Senator Obama, one had kind of moral neutrality to it, that comes I think from inexperience. The other, Senator McCain, was strong and clear and principled and put America where America always wants to be.
Instead of backing up his Democrat friend and ally, McCain grimaced and repeated his initial statement that this was “no time” to engage in partisanship.
Another reporter, noting that Lieberman was standing right beside him, asked McCain to revisit the question. McCain again refused to back up Liebs.
Under the bus, Joe.
The Fox camera panned back and forth between McCain and Lieberman. Lieberman was stoic. But the skid marks are fresh.
What McCain should have said?
There is a fundamental difference between what my friend Sen. Lieberman pointed out yesterday and what my opponents’ operatives shamelessly claim. Sen. Lieberman provided accurate analysis. My opponents indulged in reckless demagoguery. And those who can’t tell the difference have no business being in a position of power on the world stage at this critical moment.