McCain on Iraq: Cheney and Rumsfeld blew it

Is this why Liz Cheney is so mad?

By Tim Grieve
Published January 23, 2007 3:15PM (EST)

In an interview with the Politico, straight-talking John McCain has an explanation for the Iraq war he continues to support: Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld screwed the pooch.

McCain tells Roger Simon: "The president listened too much to the vice president ... Of course, the president bears the ultimate responsibility, but he was very badly served by both the vice president and, most of all, the secretary of defense."

As Simon points out, McCain wasn't so tough on Cheney back when it was more politically expedient to support him. At a campaign rally in July 2004, McCain praised Cheney as "one of the most capable, experienced, intelligent and steady vice presidents this country has ever had.''

Maybe McCain's new vision of the vice president helps explain Liz Cheney's simplistic little rant in the Washington Post today -- the one in which she complains that Republicans "seem ready to race the Democrats to the bottom" when it comes to the war in Iraq.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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Dick Cheney Donald Rumsfeld Iraq War John Mccain R-ariz.