McCain advisor's new message on Iraq: Obama's just like Bush

John McCain's national security advisor draws a parallel between the president and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Published July 16, 2008 6:34PM (EDT)

In a call with reporters on Wednesday, Randy Scheunemann, John McCain's national security advisor, tried out a new line of attack against Barack Obama. McCain's been hurt by his ties to President Bush; it's not surprising that voters should make such a connection, if only because they do after all come from the same political party. But, Scheunemann said, on Iraq, at least, the real comparison is between Bush and Obama.

According to Time's Mark Halperin, Scheunemann went to what has become the McCain camp's default message for the week on Obama's policy regarding Iraq, saying Obama has an "ideologically driven commitment to withdraw at all costs" from that country. But then he went in a new direction, saying, "I think the American people have had enough of inflexibility and stubbornness on national security policy" and also, "We cannot afford to replace one administration that refused for too long to acknowledge failure in Iraq with a candidate who refuses to acknowledge success in Iraq."

Seems to me as if this particular message might be one the McCain camp will have trouble selling to the American public. That'll be especially true if Scheunemann continues to be the salesman, given his role as a prominent advocate of the initial invasion during the years leading up to it.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama Iraq War John Mccain R-ariz.