Senator John McCain said Thursday that if he’d won the presidential election in 2000, the United States wouldn’t have gone to war in Iraq.
McCain, who voted for the invasion in 2003, explained during a CNN interview that “it’s obvious now, in retrospect, that Saddam Hussein–although he had used weapons of mass destruction–did not have the inventory that we seem to have evidence of. Which now looking back on it, with the benefit of hindsight, [the evidence] was very flimsy.”
He said that if he’d been president, he “would have challenged the evidence with greater scrutiny. I think that with my background with the military and knowledge of national security with these issues that I hope that I would have been able to see through the evidence that was presented at the time.” (RELATED: McCain Says There Will Be ‘Hell To Pay’ If Russia Shot Down Plane)
When asked about American foreign policy during a 2000 GOP primary debate, McCain said “I’d institute a policy that I call ‘rogue state rollback.’ I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically- elected governments. As long as Saddam Hussein is in power, I am convinced that he will pose a threat to our security.” (RELATED: McCain Says Obama Should Fire Entire National Security Team)
During the Thursday interview he was quick to add that, “I’m not blaming President George W. Bush. It’s not for me to critique my predecessors, especially those that I lost to.”