Republican presidential candidate John McCain is stuck in an awkward position after both President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki moved closer to a withdrawal timetable favored by Barack Obama, Politico notes. McCain has opposed such a measure, but in 2004 asserted that if a sovereign Iraqi government asked US troops to leave, the American government should comply.
“It’s a devastating blow to the McCain campaign — not just that Maliki moved to Obama’s position but that Bush did as well,” a former adviser to Bill Clinton said. McCain officials, meanwhile, jumped to tweak his position. “John McCain supports reducing troop levels based on the conditions on the ground and the security of Iraq and if, and only if, that is consistent with a ‘time horizon’ then of course he would support that policy,” a spokesman said.