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John McCain has meeting plans for Barack Obama

May 28, 2008 |  3:33 pm

John McCain hardly could have been surprised that the road trip recently suggested by one of his allies received a rude reception from Barack Obama's camp.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton, responding to the idea floated by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and quickly embraced by McCain that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and Obama visit Iraq together, dismissed it as "nothing more than a political stunt."

That reaction, as it turns out, may be exactly what McCain was hoping for. It gave him the opportunity, which he jumped on today at a campaign stop in Reno, to personalize his unrelenting criticism of Obama's pledge that as president, he would be willing to meet with anti-American leaders with a raft of preconditions.

How is it, McCain exclaimed with relish, that Obama "wants to sit down" with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but has yet to have a one on one with Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq?

It's a line we suspect will become a perennial in McCain's rhetorical arsenal. Indeed, to reinforce the point, the Republican National Committee today announced the start of an "online clock" marking the days since Obama's sole trip to Iraq (871 and counting).

It worked for Fox News' Chris Wallace....

-- Don Frederick

(UPDATE: The Obama campaign says the Illinois senator is considering a trip to Iraq this summer -- but not with McCain.)

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