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Sweet blog special: Obama and McCain mixing it up over Iraq. Obama statement.

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WASHINGTON--It's not the general election campaign yet, but Wednesday was a preview of what an Obama vs. McCain 2008 race will look like.

Here's the timeline: McCain returns a few days ago from his fifth trip to Iraq and says there is progress being made in the war. Obama on Tuesday, without mentioning McCain by name, says any notion that things are improving in Iraq is not credible. He cites the need to travel with security details and helicopters. On Wednesday in a major address, McCain, not mentioning Obama by name, said he drove, not helicoptered. The speech was a strong defense of Bush's push to send more troops to Iraq.

The text of McCain's speech was sent out this morning with a hold for release time of 11:30 a.m. eastern. At 11:49 a.m. Obama's media shop sent out a statement in a direct response to McCain's address, countering his assertion of progress.

click below for Obama statement...

Obama: Progress in Iraq Cannot Be Measured in Ideological Fantasies

Chicago, IL- Senator Barack Obama today released the following statement in response to Senator John McCain’s speech on Iraq.

“Progress in Iraq cannot be measured by the same ideological fantasies that got us into this war, it must be measured by the reality of the facts on the ground, and today those sobering facts tell us to change our strategy and bring a responsible end to this war."

"No matter how much this Administration wishes it to be true, the idea that the situation in Iraq is improving because it only takes a security detail of 100 soldiers, three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships to walk through a market in the middle of Baghdad is simply not credible or reflective of the facts on the ground."

"What we need today is a surge in honesty. The truth is, the Iraqis have made little progress toward the political solution between Shiia and Sunni which is the last, best hope to end this war. I believe that letting the Iraqi government know America will not be there forever is the best way to pressure the warring factions toward this political settlement, which is why my plan begins a phased withdrawal from Iraq on May 1st, 2007, with the goal of removing all combat troops by March 31st, 2008."

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For Immediate Release

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 11, 2007 11:07 AM.

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