Cantor Highlights McCain’s Experience on National Security
In what is certain to become a fixture in Republican attacks on Sen. Barack Obama, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sought to contrast Sen. John McCain’s lengthy record on foreign-relations issues with one of Obama’s biggest perceived weaknesses: his lack of experience on foreign policy. Following Obama’s speech at the AIPAC conference this morning, Cantor spoke to reporters as a surrogate for the McCain campaign in conference call.
"To allege that somehow our efforts, in terms of trying to bring our allies along to isolate the regime in Iran, cannot work, illustrates a lack of experience in dealing with foreign policy and issues of U.S. security…Sen. McCain has consistently been very clear in his position that we ought not be allowing any respect or validation going towards a terrorist regime. With that statement you cannot then undercut yourself and sit down with such players. We have to do what Sen. McCain is talking about: joining our allies in a series of valid sanctions that work to isolate the regime and its power base."
Obama is already believed to have a problem with some Jewish voters when it comes to protecting Israel, and Cantor played on this perception by questioning Obama’s fortitude as a leader:
"I don’t think [Obama's speech] did anything to dispel the doubts about Barack Obama’s positions on the U.S.-Israel relationship, or the likelihood that he would have the strength of leadership or character to protect Israel’s interests, as a pillar in America’s national security policy. At the end of the day, I think it’s easy to talk about supporting Israel, as Barack Obama did today, but it’s hard to actually do it. John McCain has had 30 years of foreign relations experience. He has had extensive travel to the region. His support has never wavered…I think that John McCain doesn’t need any on-the-job training. It’s in his DNA."
Not to re-open an old can of worms, but it’s interesting to hear an American politician discuss protecting "Israel’s interests as a pillar in America’s national security policy." Wasn’t this essentially what all the commotion over the so-called "Israel lobby" was about?