Is there traction control on the Straight Talk Express?

John McCain says he didn't really need all those troops and that body armor.

Published April 10, 2007 1:04PM (EDT)

John McCain, who said parts of Baghdad were so safe that "you and I" could take a walk there, then wrapped himself in body armor and the protection of about 100 U.S. troops before taking a walk through a Baghdad market, now says that Baghdad is, in fact, so safe that he could have taken the walk without any of those precautions.

So what was the deal with the body armor, the troops and the attack helicopters that accompanied McCain's amble through the market?

McCain says that Gen. David Petraeus -- who presumably knows a bit more about conditions on the ground in Iraq than McCain does -- insisted that he and the others in his congressional delegation refrain from taking any market strolls without military protection.

"I'm not notorious for being nervous about going anywhere," McCain said Monday in Phoenix, where he wore no body armor. "I'm glad to go most anywhere in the world, under any circumstances, but I did respond and do what Gen. Petraeus asked me to do."

By Tim Grieve

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

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Iraq War John Mccain R-ariz.