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McCain Regrets Remarks to Press on Baghdad Safety, but 'That's Just Life'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

McCain Regrets Remarks to Press on Baghdad Safety, but 'That's Just Life'

Article excerpt

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in a '60 Minutes' segment coming on Sunday says he misspoke in comments he made about security in Baghdad earlier this week and admitted that heavily armed troops and helicopter gunships accompanied him when he visited a market there.

'60 Minutes' correspondent Scott Pelley accompanied McCain to Baghdad and then interviewed him afterward after the senator drew wide criticism.

"I'm happy, frankly, with the way I operate," McCain explained, "otherwise it would be a lot less fun."

CBS previews the segment as follows:

***

In two interviews before the Army took McCain and 60 Minutes on the heavily guarded visit to the al-Shorja market last Sunday, the senator said security had improved in Iraq. Upon his return, he also told a news conference he had just come back from a neighborhood one could walk around in freely.

The remarks made headlines and he now regrets saying them. "Of course I am going to misspeak and I've done it on numerous occasions and I probably will do it in the future," says McCain. "I regret that when I divert attention to something I said from my message, but you know, that's just life," he tells Pelley, adding, "I'm happy, frankly, with the way I operate, otherwise it would be a lot less fun. …

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