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McCain and Giuliani lob verbal rounds into Clinton camp

In a presumably uncoordinated pincers movement, both John McCain and Rudy Giuliani lashed out at Hillary Clinton today for her reaction to Senate testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and for not denouncing a newspaper ad questioning the patriotism of the U.S. military commander in Iraq.

In Monday's New York Times, bought a full-page ad playing with the Petraeus name and turning it into Gen. Betray Us. Yesterday Clinton said the general's testimony on progress in Iraq requires a "willing suspension of disbelief."

"I think it willingly suspends disbelief to not repudiate an advertisement run by a radical left-wing organization that impugns and dishonors the integrity of a man who has served his nation with dedication all of his life," said McCain, a Navy veteran who spent nearly six years as a POW in Vietnam and was in the second day of his "No Surrender" tour of Iowa. "If you're not tough enough to repudiate a scurrilous, outrageous attack such as that, then I don't know how you're tough enough to be president of the United States."

"I think," Giuliani said on an Atlanta radio show, "that between [the general] and Hillary Clinton, I'd kind of take his advice on what's going on in Iraq, don't you think? And I really do think to accuse a general of the 'willing suspension of disbelief,' particularly in the atmosphere that has created with these terrible attacks, I don't know, I mean I think that's not the way in a responsible way to go about, you know, forging the foreign policy of the United States and the military policy."

Giuliani called the ad "disgusting" and added, "I think the failure of the Democratic candidates to really condemn that, given how much money spends on behalf of Democratic candidates, which is millions if not hundreds of millions, is really, I really think it’s very, very unfortunate,"

"What we need right now," Giuliani added, "is a reasoned account. We need statesmanship, not political venom." is an easy target for Republicans, much less so for Democrats, who can receive millions of dollars of support--or attack ads--from the liberal advocacy group.

--Andrew Malcolm

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The war in Iraq is not easy to settle and all patriotic Americans should support anyone working to bring it to an end. That is why ad which lashed at Gen. David Petraeus is in bad taste and should be denounced. What is doing to help end the conflict? Nothing. Gen. David Petraeus is an American hero working hard to find the solutions to this war

Obviously Rudy and McCain were out of the loop during the 1960's or they would know that America learned that yes the President, Secretary of Defense and General Westmoreland can be lying through their teeth. The Pentagon Papers proved it. Thanks to Move On for pointing out the obvious, that Generals are trained to follow orders including and order from their commander in chief to lie.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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