John King, USA

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February 3rd, 2011
06:52 PM ET

McCain: 'I'm not a starry-eyed idealist'


Washington (CNN)-Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain said he's no "starry-eyed idealist" when asked about his opinion on the conflict in Egypt and the role of the United States in the region by CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King.

On CNN's "John King USA," airing Thursday at 7 p.m. EST, he said "I'm not a starry-eyed idealist. I know the nature of war. I think I understand these issues and I understand the criticality, but for us to be on the side of governments that are oppressive and repressive in the long run can never benefit us and help us achieve our goals."

And according to the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, history proves that he was right about the troop surge in Iraq, despite what former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld may have written in his new book "Known and Unknown."

"I was over in Iraq to know that we were losing and American lives were being lost. There's nothing more important than that and I came back and we had literally pitch battles on the issue of a surge and he steadfastly opposed it.

"He didn't believe we needed additional troops. That was a huge bone of contention between myself and Secretary Rumsfeld and fortunately after the election of 2006 the president decided to replace him. We had the surge and we've achieved a significant degree of success in Iraq which we wouldn't have under Secretary Rumsfeld."

Of his campaign rival, President Obama, McCain revealed that they now have a "common interest" and "common values" that will help them work together. Specifically, McCain believes the two could cooperate on "enhanced rescission" and "once we get the border secure…immigration reform," along with "several other issues."

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  1. Sandy Lester

    So John McCain shares the same values as barry. What like bowing to communist leaders, playing catchy cu with islamic fascists, the dismemberment to pre born babies, and letting die those born to botched abortions, government intrusion to every aspect of the citizenry, over taxation, elimination of free speech........what values? I did not know McCain was a socialist.

    February 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  2. Dennis in Chicago

    I just heard John McCain extolling the impact on the "Surge" in Iraq. Senator Mc Cain is dramatically mistaken. The increase in U.S. troops during the "Surge" was mirrored by the reduction in a comparable number of troops from U.S. allies. In fact there was no "surge" in the number of troops fighting Iraqi insurgents. The true change is that we simply started paying Sunni Muslims in Iraq to stop fighting us.

    February 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  3. Fatcha Brute

    John, You have tried taking the side of Obama at every turn, Healthcare, against all right wing republicans at every chance. You have launched infomercials, you and others have launched programs, you have taken the other side of the right at very chance. You began a barrage of anti Tea Party lies, you have called them thugs. You , yourself have called people who were pro 1070 immigration , you called them racist and bigots you had hundreds of people many Hispanic , Dupnick, Mr. Grahalva, LA RAZZA and many more all calling Arizona racists. When 72% of the American people were actually the ones you were calling racist, but you still put on programs and tried to convince people they were racists.

    You lost, for the last two years you ran a infomercial for Obama, he lost you Democrats lost worst then Democrats have ever lost on sixty years.

    You had John Stewart on at least twenty times day after day trying to negate the march that Glen Beck was launching. You failed there.

    My point Mr. King is this is a loosing deal for you, Obama, and the Democrats and also CNN. Obama has come up in the pools because of the question asked but yes people feel better about obama now but only because the Tea Party has their foot on his neck. Wake up see what the American people really want.
    Mr. King I will leave you with this. Chris Mathews made a statement he said " Glen Becks program has had the worst ratings this January then has all this year" That is what you people do, you lie without lying! This year just started 2011 in JANUARY, no matter what the ratings were one could say they were the worst, because there are no other months to compare them to.
    My family go back to 1899 as Democrats and my self personally until 2003, at the time the fringe infiltrated the Democratic party.

    February 3, 2011 at 8:34 pm |