— From NBC's Ken Strickland
Are we beginning to see the contours of a possible Clinton-McCain presidential race? In remarks today, Sen. John McCain (R) said the Clinton Administration's policy on North Korea "was a failure," calling it a "carrots and no sticks policy that only encouraged bad behavior." He also called on Senator Hillary Clinton (D) to stop blocking legislation that would accelerate missile defense. These remarks were released in a written statement today to compliment a news conference McCain held in Michigan where he was expected to make the same points.
"I would remind Sen. Clinton and other critics of the Bush Administration's policies that the framework agreement of the Clinton Administration was a failure," McCain said. "The Koreans received millions of dollars in energy assistance. They diverted millions in food assistance to the military. And what did the Koreans do? They secretly enriched uranium." He added, "When one carrot didn't work, we offered another." McCain also threw his support behind President Bush and his handling of the North Korea situation, including Bush's calls for action by the UN Security Council. And while he didn't call for immediate military action against North Korean, McCain said "it is obvious" the United States needs a larger active duty Army and Marine Corps.