Washington, DC - Being the establishment candidate has its rewards, but as John McCain is learning, attacking the Vice President and getting away with it isn't one of them. As part of his do-anything-to-win campaign for the Republican nomination, McCain has made it a habit to attack the execution of the Iraq war, even though he's been one of its strongest supporters and the lead proponent of the escalation. His recent attacks on the Vice President and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over their handling of the war, however, earned a strong rebuke.
During an interview with ABC's Jonathan Karl for Good Morning America, Vice President Cheney "fired back" at McCain over his recent criticisms. Cheney said McCain has since apologized, and went so far as to suggest the presidential hopeful might also apologize to Rumsfeld. [ABC's Good Morning America, 2/21/07]
"I just fundamentally disagree with John," Cheney told ABC, "John said some nasty things about me the other day and then next time he saw me ran over to me and apologized. Maybe he'll apologize to Rumsfeld."
The Vice President concluded, "John's entitled to his opinion. I just think he's wrong."
According to the Vice President, McCain claimed "he'd been quoted out of context" as he apologized for having said that the President "was very badly served by both the Vice President and, most of all, the Secretary of Defense." [Politico.com, 2/21/07]
"John McCain's apology is another example of why his do-anything-to-win strategy is falling flat with voters," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Luis Miranda. "McCain is trying to have it both ways by criticizing a war he always supported, while also trying to stick close to the President. If McCain wants to apologize, it should be to our brave troops and the voters he's misleading, not to Cheney and Rumsfeld."