John McCain's Campaign

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It's been a bad day in Iraq: a bomb in the Green Zone, in Iraq's parliament building, a major bridge blown up in Baghdad, US troops told their tours will be longer. And above it all, the headline: John McCain says stick with the war.

McCain was once a darling, a presumed front-runner in the '08 race for the White House. Now, the senator and one-time Vietnam POW is again locked up in war, sinking and struggling in polls and fundraising, and laying off campaign staff.

But the old POW has responded by getting tougher. We can't break on Iraq, he says. But will Iraq break McCain?

This hour On Point: the campaign of John McCain, and the war.

Quotes from the Show:

"Senator McCain is trying to invigorate his campaign which was so much the frontrunner just several months ago and now is looking like it's trailing the field." Michael Shear

"He needs to appeal to Republicans who after all are going to pick the Republican nominee for President. They still overwhelmingly support the war so his campaign is mindful of that and knows that a message of support for the war is good in the Republican primary. The problem for Senator McCain is that much of his political strength over the years and certainly when he ran for President in 2000 was the independent vote and those folks have turned overwhelmingly against the war." Michael Shear

"John McCain is trying to pursue the only chance he has of winning the Presidency which is a slim chance but his only which is to hug President Bush on the one issue where he agrees with him ... in hopes that this can kind of re-endear him to the Republican base that's so suspicious of him. He's in a desperate fight for his political life which is not to say he doesn't believe what he's saying." Jonathan Chait

"I'm struck by how apolitical he's become. ... In this case, he's being who he is. He's trying to answer his calling." David Brooks

"I think he's wrong on the war." Listener from South Carolina

"I am not sure where Mr. McCain gets his optimism [on the war in Iraq]." Allen Pizzey


Michael Shear, reporter for The Washington Post.;
David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times

Jonathan Chait, senior editor at The New Republic and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

Allen Pizzey, Foreign Correspondent, CBS News.

This program aired on April 12, 2007.


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