From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner-Treworgy
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine -- After three morning fundraisers and a private meeting with former President George H.W. Bush, McCain was at the new Maine Military Museum for a short rally with both current GOP senators from the state. McCain picked up where his campaign left off earlier in the day by hitting Obama over his judgment on Iraq.
"My friends, Sen. Obama said it wouldn't work," McCain told the crowd here about Obama's opposition to the surge. "He opposed it. He said it would fail, and he refuses to this day to acknowledge that it has succeeded. My friends, that's what judgment is all about. That's why I'm qualified to lead, and I don't need any on the job training."
Earlier in the day McCain's top foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann handed out backhanded compliments to Obama for deciding to embark on his current overseas trip.
"Sen. Obama had said this is going to be a listening tour, we certainly hope very sincerely that he listens to the advice of our military commanders," Scheunemann said, before quoting several military leaders saying that a "date-driven withdrawal" without consideration of the facts on the ground would be "dangerous."
Scheunemann also reiterated the McCain campaign's argument that the only reason Obama was able to travel to Iraq safely was due to the surge that McCain supported. McCain also towed this line at his press conference with Bush 41 this morning.
"If Sen. Obama had had his way, the troops would have been out by this past March, and Sen. Obama voted to cut off funding for our troops in Iraq," McCain said to reporters gathered at Bush's Kennebunkport home. "So the American people can clearly decide and the withdrawal will still be based on conditions on the ground as Prime Minster Maliki has affirmed and repeatedly reaffirmed -- conditions on the ground. And I also agree with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who said it would be very dangerous not -- to do what Sen. Obama has advocated."
After repeating that military experts say Obama's strategy would be "dangerous," McCain cut right to the unspoken focus of his argument: "I hope he'll pay attention to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, particularly someone that has no military experience whatsoever."