From NBC's Mark Murray
Once again, the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee are making it crystal clear that they will pounce on any kind of "100-year" iteration by Obama that they think distorts what the Arizona senator originally said. The latest example comes after Obama's appearance on TODAY this morning.
VIEIRA: "Senator, both you and Senator Clinton have said Senator McCain favors 100 more years of war in Iraq. On Sunday in The New York Times, Frank Rich wrote, 'really, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of themselves for libeling John McCain.' That in fact he never said he wanted a 100 more years of war, he just felt American troops should be a long-term presence, the way they are in Japan and South Korea. So are you willing to admit that you've distorted his statements?"
OBAMA: "No. That's not accurate, Meredith. We can pull up the quotes on Youtube. What John McCain was saying was, that he was happy to have a potential long-term occupation in Iraq. Happy may be overstating it -- he is willing to have a long-term occupation of Iraq, as long as 100 years, in fact he said 10,000 years, however long it took."
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers emails, "Obama continued his dishonest attacks by actually claiming he never leveled the dishonest attack that John McCain supports a 100-year war in Iraq," He actually said 'we can pull up the quotes on Youtube.' Well, we did pull those quotes up, and in his own words, they clearly show Barack Obama's dishonest attacks."
The RNC also took issue with Obama's word choice of "occupation" this morning ("presence" is probably more accurate). "After being rebuffed by fact-check groups and media outlets, Barack Obama this morning took his dishonest '100 year' attack to a new level of duplicity," RNC spokesman Alex Conant says. "Obama's assertion today that John McCain advocates a 100 year 'occupation' of Iraq is just as false as the junior senator's other discredited claims. Replacing one dishonest attack with another is not the sort of 'new politics' voters are hoping for."