McCain Makes Gaffe on Iran

During his Middle East tour, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blames Iran several times for training al-Qaida in Iraq, before correcting himself to say Iran was training Shiite militants.


Yesterday at a press conference in Jordan, Senator McCain made a remarkable stumble.

Sen. JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Presidential Candidate): We continue to be concerned about Iranian taking al-Qaida into Iran, training them and sending them back.

BLOCK: But Iran is mostly Shiite, and al-Qaida, Sunni. The White House has accused Iran of training Shiite militants but not training al-Qaida. Standing behind McCain, Senator Joe Lieberman whispered a correction in his ear.

Senator JOE LIEBERMAN (Independent, Connecticut): You said that the Iranians were training al-Qaida. I think you meant they were training extremists.

Sen. MCCAIN: I'm sorry. The Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaida, not al-Qaida. I'm sorry.

BLOCK: McCain's campaign dismissed the mistake, saying the senator had simply misspoken. But he apparently misspoke on Monday, too, when he called in to a talk radio program and said the same thing.

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