From State of the Union, National Security Advisor Ret. Gen. James Jones responds to McCain's criticism that he is playing politics with the decisions
From State of the Union, National Security Advisor Ret. Gen. James Jones responds to McCain's criticism that he is playing politics with the decisions being made on troop levels in Afghanistan.
KING: But you know you have some critics. Having seen general McChrystal made his case publicly, having spoken to General Petraeus, having been to the region, some Republicans including Senator John McCain say that you, sir, and others in the White House are playing politics with this decision. I want you to listen to Senator McCain.
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MCCAIN: It's well known, it's broadcast all over television, that there are individuals, including the vice president of the United States, now, unfortunately, the national security adviser, the chief political adviser to the president, Mr. Rahm Emanuel, who don't want to alienate the left base of the Democrat Party.
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KING: Is that a factor in the White House, rising Democratic opposition to sending more troops to Afghanistan? Do you, sir, say, "Mr. President, no more troops because of politics," as Senator McCain says?
JONES: Senator McCain knows me very well. I worked for Senator McCain when he was a captain. I've known him for many, many years, and he knows that I don't play politics with national -- I don't play politics, and I certainly don't play it with national security, and neither does anyone else I know. The lives of our young men and women are on the line.
This is -- the strategy does not belong to any political party, and I can assure you that the president of the United States is not playing to any political base. And I take exception to that remark.