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Gaffe or Straight Talk: When Troops Return Not Too Important

The ghosts of presidential elections past are coming out of the dark to go back and forth about John McCain's latest quote on Iraq. Let's check out the exchange.

On the Today show Matt Lauer asked McCain if he had a better estimate of when the troops will come home. McCain said:

No, but that's not too important. What's important is the casualties in Iraq.

Former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry responded saying:

It is unbelievably out of touch and inconsistent with the needs of Americans and particularly the families of troops who are over there. To them it’s the most important thing in the world when they come home.

And let's not leave out former Dem veep nominee Joe Lieberman, who said:

The attacks on Senator McCain this morning [are] another partisan attempt to distort John McCain’s words, to distract the American people from the fact that McCain has been both courageous and right about the surge in Iraq, and Barack Obama has unfortunately been consistently wrong.

Click here for a roundup of other reactions to the comment. Even if McCain's interview is not so bad, he's already had to spend time explaining away his "100 years" in Iraq comment. It still remains to be seen whether the "not too important" line will help him contextualise his stance, or simply provide useful fodder for Obama supporters.

Who do you agree with — John or Joe?

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