Politico's Smith uncritically quoted McCain misrepresenting Biden proposal for Iraq

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

The Politico's Ben Smith uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false claim during the third presidential debate that Sen. Joe Biden has proposed "dividing Iraq into three countries.' " In fact, Biden introduced a plan to "[m]aintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions."

In an October 15 post on his blog, Politico senior political writer Ben Smith uncritically reported that during the third presidential debate, Sen. John McCain "hit[]" Sen. Joe Biden "on specific foreign policy issues" including "his 'cockamamie idea about dividing Iraq into three countries.' " Smith did not note that McCain's claim -- which he has made repeatedly -- is false. In fact, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, Biden introduced a "five-point plan" to "[m]aintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions." Biden's plan also stated that "[t]he Iraqi constitution already provides for federalism" and that "[t]he central government would be responsible for common interests, like border security and the distribution of oil revenues."

Smith's blog post, headlined "Biden's views":

McCain praises Biden, but hits him on specific foreign policy issues: his "cockamamie idea about dividing Iraq into three countries" and his opposition to the first Gulf War.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
The Politico
Person
Ben Smith
Stories/Interests
Joe Biden, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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