Just yesterday, the McCain campaign was criticizing Barack Obama for not changing his troop withdrawal plan for Iraq:
Representative Eric Cantor: “My concern has to do with Barack Obama’s National Co-Chair Claire McCaskill’s statements on the news shows this week, responding to a question about whether Barack Obama was going to be changing his Iraq policy. And Claire McCaskill responded emphatically, no, that he would not change course. I just believe that that raises serious questions as to the sensibility of that position given what’s going on in Iraq right now, what’s going on, on the ground.
“And I think that if you look at Barack Obama’s plan, what sounded sensible, perhaps to some, a year ago when he came out with a plan of one brigade a month, and it would take sixteen months, and we would automatically go into withdrawal. Now I believe, given the facts on the ground and the progress that has been made over the last year, I believe its disingenuous to the American people. And again it ignores the realities on the ground.
McCain Spokesman Brian Rogers: “I guess the question is, if indeed he’s going to go to Iraq and nothing that he sees will change or impact his decision-making on this, then why is he going? If it’s just to check a box politically, then it represents the kind of cynical politics that the American people are pretty sick and tired off.”
So today, Obama suggests that he might indeed “refine” his proposed timeline for withdrawal. To which the RNC has this to say:
“There appears to be no issue that Barack Obama is not willing to reverse himself on for the sake of political expedience. Obama’s Iraq problem undermines the central premise of his candidacy and shows him to be a typical politician.” – Alex Conant, RNC Spokesman
So what’s the charge here: Is he inflexible, or too flexible?
UPDATE: NYT has Obama’s response to the latest salvo.:
Mr. Obama said such criticism was misguided, saying: “My position has not changed, but keep in mind what that original position was. I’ve always said that I would listen to commanders on the ground.”
UPDATE2: You can see Obama’s press conference on this here.
And here’s the latest from the RNC.:
“Iraq was the defining issue of Obama’s primary campaign and now it is defining him as the self-interested, typical politician he really is. Obama’s Iraq problem undermines the central premise of his candidacy and shows he places political expedience above everything and anything else.” – Alex Conant, RNC Spokesman
Alas, nothing from Eric Cantor.