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An ad for Sen. John McCain makes the case that Sen. Barack Obama is a foreign policy lightweight who has voted against funding for troops.
"Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan," an announcer states. "He hasn't been to Iraq in years. He voted against funding our troops — positions that helped him win his nomination. Now Obama is changing to help himself become president. John McCain has always supported our troops and the surge that's working."
See our story for details about the ad's other claims. Here we'll look at the statement that Obama "hasn't been to Iraq in years."
The McCain campaign released this ad on Friday, July 18, 2008, a day before Obama was to leave for a widely anticipated trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel. Before that, the last time Obama had been in Iraq was in January 2006. McCain, on the other hand, has been to Iraq eight times as of this writing. The McCain-Obama Iraq tally is now 8 to 2.
One catch to this claim is that it was accurate when the ad was released on Friday, but was no longer accurate by Monday, July 21. Because the campaign knew its claim was going to be invalidated in a few days, we deduct one point and call it Mostly True.
BBC News, Obama meets Iraqi PM in Baghdad , July 21, 2008
The Hill, " 'Have You Been to Iraq?' — 76 Sens. Say They Have," by Patrick Fitzgerald, August 1, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times, "Obama Sees No Military Solution in Iraq: He Visits Baghdad, Calls For Sunni Participation, U.S. Troop Reductions," by Lynn Sweet, Jan. 8, 2006
Los Angeles Times, "Lawmakers Call on Iraq to Shape Up," by Borzou Daragahi, Jan. 8, 2006
YouTube, "John McCain: Obama Should See Iraq for Himself," from May 28, 2008, speech in Nevada
Chicago Daily Herald, "Obama: 'Everything's Up for Grabs' in Iraq," by Eric Krol, Jan. 8, 2006
Interview with McCain spokesman Brian Rogers, May 29, 2008
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