Iraq Will Make or Break My Campaign: McCain

Says he'll lose if surge fails—then back pedals
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 5:40 AM CST
Republican Senator John McCain addresses troops during a ceremony at Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq, on Independence Day, July 4, 2007, at which soldiers reenlisted and some were naturalized as United States...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – John McCain flatly told reporters yesterday that if US policy in Iraq doesn't work, "I'll lose."  But then he quickly asked to "retract" his "stark" pronouncement, adding that he hoped voters would also back him for his ability to run the economy as well as his positions on national security, reports the New York Times.

Still, he conceded, "I don’t think there’s any doubt" that voters' judgment of the Iraq war "will have a direct relation to their judgment of me.” McCain said that most Americans now believe that the surge "is succeeding." However, the poll he was apparently referring to found that only 43% of Americans believe the surge is "making the situation better."