McCain: It’s the war, stupid

There has been a lot of bloviating about how the economy now trumps national security as the issue most voters are concerned about. But John McCain, for one, isn’t buying it. Here’s McCain yesterday chatting with Meet the Press host Tim Russert: Matt May/Getty Images for Meet the Press MR. RUSSERT: Rush Limbaugh, one of the leading ...

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596842_mccain_45.jpg
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks as he is interviewed by moderator Tim Russert during a taping of 'Meet the Press' on January 27, 2008 in Tampa, Florida. Sen. McCain spoke about his campaign ahead of the January 29 primary elections in Florida. (Photo by Matt May/Getty Images for Meet the Press)

There has been a lot of bloviating about how the economy now trumps national security as the issue most voters are concerned about. But John McCain, for one, isn't buying it. Here's McCain yesterday chatting with Meet the Press host Tim Russert:

Matt May/Getty Images for Meet the Press

MR. RUSSERT: Rush Limbaugh, one of the leading voices in the conservative movement, said this the other day, 'I'm here to tell you, if either of these two guys, Mike Huckabee or John McCain, get the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party. It's going to change it forever, be the end of it. A lot of people aren't going to vote. You watch.'

There has been a lot of bloviating about how the economy now trumps national security as the issue most voters are concerned about. But John McCain, for one, isn’t buying it. Here’s McCain yesterday chatting with Meet the Press host Tim Russert:

Matt May/Getty Images for Meet the Press

MR. RUSSERT: Rush Limbaugh, one of the leading voices in the conservative movement, said this the other day, ‘I’m here to tell you, if either of these two guys, Mike Huckabee or John McCain, get the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party. It’s going to change it forever, be the end of it. A lot of people aren’t going to vote. You watch.’

SEN. McCAIN: Well, all I can say is that I’m proud of winning Republican votes in New Hampshire and South Carolina, I know that there’s a broad base of our party. I am a proud conservative. I think that when a lot of Americans, a lot of Republicans review my credentials, they’ll vote for me. But also, I believe that most Republicans’ first priority is the threat of radical Islamic extremism.  Now, I know the concerns about the economy…

MR. RUSSERT: More than the economy?

SEN. McCAIN: More than the economy at the end of the day. We’ll get through this economy. We’re going to restore our economy, and many of the measures we’re taking right now–although it’s very difficult now. This transcendent challenge of radical Islamic extremism will be with us for the 21st century. We are in two wars. We’re in two wars. We have young Americans sacrificing as we speak. I’m most qualified to be commander in chief with the knowledge, the experience, the background and the judgment. And part of that judgment, I was the only one that’s running that said Rumsfeld’s strategy failed, we got to do the Petraeus strategy.”

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