McCain: 'Moral responsibility in Iraq'

LOS ANGELES Some say this speech was Sen. McCain's chance to separate himself from the Bush Administration on matters of foreign policy, and in some ways he did exactly that.

Sen. McCain spoke for about 35 minutes at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in front of the Los Angeles Foreign Affairs Council. His main focus was foreign policy and the war on terror.

McCain believes the country needs to build up alliances around the world, specifically with other democracies.

He separates himself from the Bush Administration when it comes to the country's foreign allies. The Administration has often been accused of a go-it-alone policy. McCain made it clear Wednesday he'll be willing to work closely with U.S. allies to get things done in the world.

"We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a global compact, a league of democracies, that can harness the vast influence of the more than 100 democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend out shared interests," said McCain.

McCain said that the country could not lead the world by virtue of its power alone, but by virtues of freedom and democracy.

"If we lead by shouldering our international responsibilities and pointing the way to a better and safer future for humanity," McCain said. "It will strengthen us to confront the transcendent challenge of our time: the threat of radical Islamic terrorism."

He also spoke at length about the Iraq War, an issue where he shares the same view as the Bush Administration. He is a big supporter of the troop surge, the current strategy in Iraq. He was one of the early advocates for the surge and maintains that it is working.

McCain says the country needs to continue the surge to make Iraq a peaceful and stable country.

"We have incurred a moral responsibility in Iraq. It would be an unconscionable act of betrayal, a stain on our character as a great nation, if we were to walk away from the Iraqi people," he said.

On Tuesday, Sen. McCain picked up another significant endorsement in Bel Air. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan officially announced she's backing his candidacy. The endorsement is important for McCain because some Republicans have questioned his conservative credentials and the campaign is hoping it will build up more support.

Also on Tuesday, McCain was in Santa Ana where he spoke with business leaders about the ongoing mortgage mess and credit crisis across the country. McCain made it clear he is against government bail outs unless they are absolutely necessary.

"Government assistance to the banking system should be based on solely, preventing systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and the economy," said McCain.


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