Republican Sen. John McCain criticized Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's move to repeal congressional authorization for the Iraq war, saying it's "the worst possible idea that anybody could have."
Speaking to reporters after a town hall meeting Saturday in Reno, McCain said the new war strategy announced by President Bush
in January is beginning to show "some success" and should be
given a chance to succeed.
"I think it's a bad idea for us to again tie up the United States Senate in something that won't be successful," McCain said. "I think it again perhaps will send the wrong signal to our men and women who are trying to succeed over there."
"I just think it's the worst possible idea that anybody could have," he added. "I'll do everything in my power to see that it doesn't succeed."
The presidential candidate's criticism came two days after the
Democratic front-runner joined legislation that would require Bush
to seek new authority from Congress to extend the conflict beyond
Oct. 11, 2007.
McCain, whose meeting was dominated by questions about Iraq and
immigration, said he hopes the buildup of 21,500 more U.S. troops
in Iraq will give the Iraqis time to mend sectarian fractures within the government and resolve other reconciliation issues.
The Arizona senator insisted security around Baghdad has improved and that the U.S. is dealing better with improvised explosive devices. But he acknowledged suicide bombings are on the upswing and insurgents are moving outside Baghdad.
"(The insurgents) are by no means subdued and they are continuously supplied from Iran and Syria," he said. "But I do believe now we have an opportunity to succeed. There's some good news, not a lot, but there's some good news already out of Iraq."
McCain, who was questioned just as much about immigration, said
sweeping, bipartisan legislation to deal with the issue would be
unveiled later this month.
He said it would call for securing the borders and creation of a temporary worker program involving a tamper-proof document.
Employers whose workers lack the document would be subject to
prosecution. Illegal immigrants also would face penalties.
McCain declined to elaborate, saying he did not want to
jeopardize negotiations over the bill.
"You can't ship them (illegal immigrants) all back," McCain said. "But you can't reward anybody because they broke our laws getting here. There's nothing (under various proposals) to do with amnesty or forgiveness. Securing our borders is the highest priority."
Afterward, McCain flew to Las Vegas for a fundraiser hosted by
MGM Mirage Inc. chief executive Terry Lanni and to attend the Floyd
Mayweather Jr.-Oscar De La Hoya boxing match.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)