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Friday, March 09, 2007
McCain criticizes Dems' Iraq plan, offers praise to Giuliani
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain sharply criticized the new wave of House and Senate Democratic proposals calling for a troop withdrawal from Iraq, saying at a campaign stop in New York City Thursday night that wars should not be "micromanaged by Congress."

"I just wish that my colleagues in the Democratic Party would do two things; one, let this new strategy have a chance to succeed and two, recognize that presidents don't lose wars and parties don't lose wars, nations lose wars and the consequences are felt by a nation," the presidential aspirant told reporters after addressing supporters at a fundraiser the campaign billed as an "exchange of ideas."

He added, "I have never heard of a war in history that was micro-managed by the Congress and that's basically what they want to do. So, I wish they would sit down with us and give this new strategy a chance to succeed and if it doesn't then sit with us and examine what other options we have."

Campaigning in the home turf of one of his chief rivals for the GOP nomination, McCain also addressed recent polls that indicate former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is leading the Arizona Republican -- by as much as 25 points according to a Newsweek poll released last week.

"I'm not here to try to tout Mayor Giuliani for president of the United States, but having said that he understands law and order; he worked in the Justice Department; he has many qualifications that I think are impressive," McCain said. "And I'd like to stop touting his candidacy, but he's a genuine American hero who has great credentials."

McCain also reiterated his comments made to CNN earlier this week on the possibility that his close friend, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, may launch a White House bid next week.

"Chuck Hagel and I are the best and dearest of friends," McCain said. "I have the greatest love and affection for him I will look forward to having him on the campaign trail."

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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