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The Clintons and John McCain:Hoping For Clinton-Dole 2.0

Saturday, January 26, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Hillary Clinton and John McCain are very close, Bill Clinton says.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain are very close, Bill Clinton says.

Why is Bill Clinton talking up Senator McCain? For the same reasons that The New York Times endorsed the Arizona maverick yesterday.

The GOP cannot win running a D.C. insider against a Democrat. The Dems are the party of government. Run another Bob Dole, and we get another 1996.

Worse perhaps, because Bob Dole had not spent the previous seven years battling his own party on tax cuts, judges, global warming and immigration.

From CNN:

If Hillary Clinton and John McCain become their party’s presidential nominees, the general election race is likely to be a love-fest.

At least according to Bill Clinton.

Campaigning in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Friday, the former president brushed aside suggestions his wife would prove to be a divisive nominee for the Democratic Party, pointing out how she has successfully worked with Republicans in the Senate -including one of the current GOP presidential candidates.

“She and John McCain are very close,” Clinton said. “They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they’re afraid they’d put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other.”

UPDATE: Senator McCain must not like what his polling, is showing, as he lashed out at Romney in a blatantly false attack today, one certain to boomerang among GOP voters who know that all of the leading GOP candidates have stood for victory in Iraq:

John McCain accused Mitt Romney of wanting to withdraw troops from Iraq, drawing immediate protest from his Republican presidential rival who said: “That’s simply wrong and it’s dishonest, and he should apologize.”

The McCain charge is so wildly untrue that it will cause even McCain supporters to blanch. This is the old McCain of 2000, lashing out when the tide turns against him. Inventing a wholly new line of attack that is instantly understood to be false is a sign of a campaign in disarray. The Romney campaign released the following fact sheet:


Governor Romney Criticized Withdrawal Timetables And Instead Talked About Setting Metrics To Measure Progress:

Governor Romney: “You want to have a series of things you want to see accomplished in terms of the strength of the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police and the leadership of the Iraqi government.” (ABC’s “Good Morning America,” 4/3/07)

Governor Romney: “Could you imagine the setting where during the Second World War we said to the Germans, ‘Gee, if we haven’t reached the Rhine by this date why we’ll go home,’ or if we haven’t gotten this accomplished we’ll pull up and leave?” (ABC’s “Good Morning America,” 4/3/07)

Governor Romney Has Warned About Bringing American Troops Home Too Quickly:

Governor Romney: “Well, there’s no question we all want to see our troops home as soon as we can possibly have them home. But we have to recognize that if we bring them home too quickly or in a way which leads to a collapse of the country or perhaps the Iranians grabbing the Shia south or Al-Qaeda playing a dominating role among the Sunnis or a Kurdish population destabilizing the border with Turkey, you could then end up with a regional conflict which would cause Americans to somehow have to get involved again-this time at a much more ugly situation with more casualties.” (“Laura Ingraham Show,” 3/9/07)

Governor Romney: “I Don’t Think We Should Run Our Foreign Policy Based Upon Elections, Election Schedules Or Anything Of That Nature.” “But Mr. Romney said he did not agree with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the New York Democrat, that President Bush needed to resolve the war he started before he left office and not hand it off to his successor, as she said while campaigning in Iowa on Sunday. ‘She can do what she likes-but I take exception to her conclusions,'” Mr. Romney said in an interview while campaigning across this state today. ‘I don’t think we should run our foreign policy based upon elections, election schedules or anything of that nature.'” (Adam Nagourney, “Romney: Clinton’s Wrong About Bush,” The New York Times, 1/29/07)

Governor Romney Has Consistently Said There Must Be “Clear Objectives And Milestones”:

Governor Romney Said There Must Be “Clear Objectives And Milestones” In Iraq. “This effort should be combined with clear objectives and milestones for U.S. and Iraqi leaders.” (Romney For President, “Governor Mitt Romney On Iraq,” Press Release, 1/10/07)

President Bush Has Himself Talked About The Importance Of Setting Benchmarks In Iraq:

President Bush: “Iraq’s Leaders Must Continue To Work To Meet The Benchmarks That Have [Been] Set Forward.” “As we help the Iraqis secure their capital, their leaders are also beginning to meet the benchmarks they have laid out for political reconciliation. … There’s been good progress. There’s a lot more work to be done, and Iraq’s leaders must continue to work to meet the benchmarks that have set forward.” (President George W. Bush, Remarks On The Fourth Anniversary Of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Washington, D.C. 3/19/07)

President Bush “Pleased” Iraqi Government “Meeting Benchmarks.” “I was pleased that he’s meeting benchmarks that he had set out for his government. One of the benchmarks was to move Iraqi troops into the city of Baghdad-troops that will be complemented by our own troops. He is meeting those obligations. A second such benchmark is that he would change the rules of engagement so that criminals, regardless of their religion, would be brought to justice in equal fashion. He is meeting that benchmark. Thirdly, he passed a budget of which $10 billion is available for reconstruction. He said he would do that; the budget has been passed, he has met that benchmark.” (President George W. Bush, Remarks Meeting With Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Ambassador-Designee To Iraq, Washington D.C., 2/16/07)

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