McClatchy uncritically repeats McCain falsehood that Obama "tried to prevent funding for the troops"

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

McClatchy Newspapers uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's charge that Sen. Barack Obama "tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge." In fact, Obama, who has repeatedly voted to provide funds for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he voted against a troop funding bill in May 2007 because it did not include a timeline for withdrawal. Further, McCain himself has voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

An August 19 McClatchy Newspapers article by Margaret Talev and William Douglas uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's charge that Sen. Barack Obama "tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge." McClatchy did not report that the charge is false: Obama did not try "to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge." Rather, Obama said he voted against a troop funding bill in May 2007 because it did not include a timeline for withdrawal. Moreover, Obama has repeatedly voted to provide funds for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, including during the period of troop escalation in Iraq. As Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote, "Obama has frequently voted to finance the war but was one of 14 Senate Democrats to oppose a war-funding bill last year -- after Republicans removed troop withdrawal deadlines -- saying he did not want to be 'validating the same failed policy in Iraq.' "

McClatchy also did not point out that McCain himself has voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and to direct more than $1 billion to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

From the August 19 McClatchy Newspapers article:

McCain, campaigning in Florida, accused Obama of being weak on foreign policy and unwilling to admit that President Bush's "surge" policy in Iraq is working.

"With less than three months to go before the election, a lot of people are still trying to square Sen. Obama's varying position on the surge in Iraq," McCain told the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Orlando.

"First, he opposed the surge and confidently predicted that it would fail. Then he tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge. Not content to merely predict failure in Iraq, my opponent tried to legislate failure. This was back when supporting America's efforts entailed serious risk," McCain said.

Posted In
Elections, National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
McClatchy Newspapers
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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