On the May 25 edition of MSNBC Live, NBC News congressional correspondent Chip Reid uncritically read a statement from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attacking Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for their May 24 votes against a war funding bill that did not include a binding timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In the statement, McCain said he was "disappointed to see" Obama and Clinton "embrace the policy of surrender by voting against funds to support our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan." McCain continued: "This vote may win favor with MoveOn[.org] and liberal primary voters, but it's the equivalent of waving a white flag to Al Qaeda." Yet Reid did not mention that McCain himself has recently voted, in McCain's words, "against funds to support our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan." On March 29, McCain voted against a war spending bill that funded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 51-47 and was then merged with a similar House version. Bush ultimately vetoed it on May 2, citing the inclusion of a withdrawal timetable.
A May 25 Associated Press article by Liz Sidoti also uncritically quoted McCain's statement attacking Obama and Clinton. Moreover, Sidoti added that with their votes against the most recent war funding bill, Obama and Clinton "opened themselves up to criticism from Republicans that they were denying 165,000 troops the resources they need -- an argument that could be damaging in a general election." However, the article ignored that Obama and Clinton did vote to give the troops "the resources they need" when they supported the earlier war funding bill that Bush vetoed.
From the 10 a.m. ET hour of the May 25 edition of MSNBC Live:
CHRIS JANSING (host): So the antiwar activists aren't going to have their complaints, but I'm guessing the Republicans certainly will.
REID: Oh, absolutely, Chris. In fact, within the last hour, we've gotten a couple of emails from John McCain and [former Massachusetts governor] Mitt Romney. Just listen to this. I think we have full screens we can look at here.
Here's McCain: "I was very disappointed to see Senator Obama and Senator Clinton embrace the policy of surrender by voting against funds to support our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"This vote may win favor with MoveOn and liberal primary voters, but it's the equivalent of waving a white flag to Al Qaeda."