Even as McCain tries to distance himself from Mr 71% by intimating what many have already known for years, the war in Iraq was more about oil than terrorism, he still cannot get clear of his 100 years in Iraq remark. During a town hall meeting in Denver this morning he spoke on both subjects starting with the dangers of our reliance on foreign oil. He brought up the subject when promoting his upcoming energy policy rollout and while doing so suggested that our Iraqi occupation is, and possible future conflicts could be, caused by that dependence.
"My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will - that will then prevent us - that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East," McCain said.
But even while saying that, he is still being dogged by his comments suggesting that we could be in Iraq for 100 years which he again tried to explain while dismissing the latest ads from the DNC and MoveOn.org that put those comments front and center.
"You have seen an ad campaign that is mounted against me that says I wanted to stay and fight in Iraq and fight for 100 years," McCain told about 300 people at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center.
"My friends, it's a direct falsification, and I'm sorry that political campaigns have to deteriorate in this fashion," McCain said. "Because there's legitimate differences between myself and Senator Obama and Senator Clinton on what we should do in Iraq."
But now instead of denying he said that, which given the video is pretty much a moot point, he now suggests he was refering not to fighting in Iraq for 100 years, but instead just maintaining a presence there for that long.
He doesn't deny saying "100 years" in connection with U.S. military operations in Iraq, but says he was clearly referring to a possible peacekeeping force — not a centurylong war, as critics imply.
He says tomato...And that is his problem, his platform in Iraq and the Middle East will keep him forever connected to the most unpopular President in our history and possibly our second most unpopular war.
UPDATE: McCain is again trying to clarify something he said. This time he is now saying that the war that was fought for oil was actually the first gulf war, not the one we started 5 years ago. It seems he spends almost as much time clarifying things he said as he does saying them in the first place.