What Winning In Iraq Means John McCain has long been a supporter of the Iraq War. We speak with some convention attendees about what "winning the war in Iraq" means to them.
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What Winning In Iraq Means

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What Winning In Iraq Means

What Winning In Iraq Means

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ALEX CHADWICK, host:

This is Day to Day. I'm Alex Chadwick.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

And I'm Madeleine Brand. The war in Iraq may now be helping John McCain in his quest for the presidency. A year ago, though, it wasn't looking so good. The war in Iraq was unpopular, and it looked as if it was a conflict without end. Last night McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, suggested that victory there is now a possibility. McCain will be addressing that issue tonight in his acceptance speech. We go to Day to Day's Steve Proffitt who's at the Republican National Convention. And Steve, John McCain, he's known as a maverick, but the war, well, it's also defined him and his stances on it. Remind us, what is his position?

STEVE PROFFITT: Well, Madeleine, if you remember, he was quite a champion of the surge, and he's been pretty steadfast in insisting that we should conclude our involvement there in Iraq in a way that allows us to bring our troops home with honor.

BRAND: So, you were out yesterday on the floor of the convention hall, and you talked to delegates, and what did you ask them?

PROFFITT: I asked them what they thought victory, or maybe success, in Iraq means, and here's what I heard.

Mr. YANTIS GREEN (Texas Delegation, 2008 Republican National Convention): My name is Yantis Green, and I'm from San Angelo, Texas. Victory and, well, success in Iraq as a stable democracy there and our ability to protect the strategic location of Iraq in the Persian Gulf and next to Iran. And that's going to mean that the reality is we're going to have to have a presence there, military bases, not to help protect them, but to protect our interests in the region. That's just - it's just a reality. It's a global reality.

Ms. JOHN LEOPOLD (County Executive, Anne Arundel County, Maryland; Maryland Delegation, 2008 Republican National Convention): John Leopold. I'm the county executive of Anne Arundel County, Maryland. We've spent billions of dollars in that country, frankly, billions of dollars that could also have been spent in our own country, for public education and healthcare and environmental protection. So, part of victory would be to redirect those precious revenues to improving the quality of life for people in America.

Ms. ANN KOROLOGOS (Chairman, RAND Corporation; Washington, D.C. Delegation; 2008 Republican National Convention): Ann Korologos, Washington, D.C. I'm chairman of the RAND Corporation's board of trustees. Victory on the war in Iraq, I will say, is going to be a free Iraq with its own government as we have now, and peace, not easy to come by in a few short years, but certainly reachable, as has happened in other countries over time. So, a unified Iraq, economically viable, and most importantly, if they have a judiciary and a government that is for the freedom of the people and the opportunities for the people, and I think that's close.

PROFFITT: So, those are delegates from the Republican National Convention talking about what they think victory might be in the war in Iraq. Tonight, Governor Tim Pawlenty, Senator Sam Brownback, and Cindy McCain will speak, and that all leads up to the big acceptance speech from the nominee, John McCain.

BRAND: OK, Day to Day's Steve Proffitt at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Thanks, Steve.

PROFFITT: You're welcome, Madeleine.

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