Obama defended (dialed-back? clarified?) his McCain’s for a 100-years-war statement on the Today Show this morning (hat tip, Michael Calderone):

Meredith Vieira: Senator, both you and Senator Clinton have said that Senator McCain favors 100 more years of war in Iraq. Well on Sunday, Frank Rich wrote, “Really, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of themselves for libeling John McCain.” That in fact Sen. McCain never said he wanted another 100 years of war, he just said he felt American troops should be a long-term presence they way they are in Japan and South Korea. Are willing to admit you’ve distorted his statements?”

Obama: That’s just not accurate, Meredith. We can pull up the quotes on YouTube. What John McCain was saying was, that he is happy to have a potential, long-term occupation in Iraq. Happy may be overstating it. He is willing to have a long-term occupation of Iraq—as long as a hundred years. In fact, he said, 10,000 years. However long it took. That was his argument. The problem is that there’s no end in sight because John McCain has not offered any clear point at which he suggests its time for us to move our troops home….


If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.