From NBC's Mark Murray
Today, GOP Sen. John McCain said this when arguing against the Obama administration's effort to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":
This would be a substantial and controversial change to a policy that has been successful for two decades. It would also present yet another challenge to our military at a time of already tremendous stress and strain. Our men and women in uniform are fighting two wars, guarding the frontlines against a global terrorist enemy, serving and sacrificing on battlefields far from home, and working to rebuild and reform the force after more than eight years of conflict. At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
But Democrats are passing around this statement McCain made in 2006, when he appeared on "Hardball":
We have the most qualified, the bravest and most capable military we've ever had in our history, and so I think that the policy is working. And I understand the opposition to it, and I've had these debates and discussions, but the day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, Senator, we ought to change the policy, then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to.
Yet as liberal blogger John Aravosis notes, here's what one of those military leaders -- Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen -- said today:
It is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is the right thing to do.
*** UPDATE *** McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan called First Read, maintaining that the Arizona senator has not changed his position on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." She said that Mullen was speaking for himself, and that the military will undergo a yearlong review to study whether or not to repeal DADT. "A determination has not been made," she said.
When asked if McCain would support repealing DADT -- if that's what the review recommends -- Buchanan declined to answer, saying it was a hypothetical question.