Wash. Post uncritically quoted McCain accusing Dems of voting "against funding for our troops"

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

In a September 9 entry on The Washington Post's The Trail blog, staff writer Dan Balz reported presidential candidate and Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) statement that "Today, leading presidential candidates vote against funding for our troop engaged in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq." Balz added: "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) both voted against an Iraq funding bill earlier this year," referring to their May 24 votes against a war funding bill that did not include a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. But as Media Matters for America repeatedly noted in response to other media figures' uncritical reporting of similar attacks by McCain or his staff, McCain himself voted against an emergency spending bill that funded the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on March 29, which President Bush ultimately vetoed, citing its provision for a withdrawal timetable.

From the September 9 post in The Washington Post's The Trail blog:

Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) took on the three leading Democratic presidential candidates Saturday, accusing them of advocating policies that would lead to defeat in Iraq and that would weaken America's national security.

"Today, leading Democratic presidential candidates vote against funding for our troops engaged in war in Afghanistan and Iraq," McCain said in a speech to the California Republican Party convention. "Today, leading Democratic presidential candidates question whether there is a war on terror, offer to enter into unconditional negotiations with our worst enemies, and talk about countering the forces of radicalism by advocating surrender to them in Iraq."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) both voted against an Iraq funding bill earlier this year. Former North Carolina senator John Edwards has charged that President Bush's global war on terror amounts to a bumper sticker that has been used to enact policies detrimental to the country. Obama has said he would be prepared to meet with leaders of hostile nations without preconditions.

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