Another McCain gaffe

John McCain is running on his foreign policy, but on Monday he made one more in a string of mistakes that seem to throw into question just how much he really knows.

Published July 14, 2008 8:08PM (EDT)

I'm not the first to point it out, but in a press availability on Monday, John McCain, who's largely running on foreign policy, made yet another embarrassing gaffe when discussing that subject.

"I was concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days. One was reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia."

Of course, if McCain's characterization of what had happened had been accurate, it would probably have been good news -- given the price of energy these days, who could blame the Russians for reducing the supplies given to a country that hasn't existed since 1993? (The country split into two parts, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It's the Czech Republic that's been subject to a cut in oil supplies coming from Russia.)

As Talking Points Memo's Greg Sargent points out, this isn't the first time McCain has made this mistake. In fact, it's at least the third time since October of last year.

As it is, this is only a minor, if embarrassing, gaffe -- though, as Sargent observes, one that the McCain camp would certainly run with if Barack Obama had been the one who made the mistake. And it probably won't become big news. Still, I'm sure McCain will now be extra careful not to accidentally refer to Austria-Hungary.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections John Mccain R-ariz.