U.S. Republican candidate John McCain says if he becomes president, once U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq they will not return, because the United States will have won the war.
At a town hall meeting Wednesday in the city of Wilkes-Barre in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, McCain once again criticized his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, for his stance on Iraq, including his call for a timeline for troop withdrawal.
McCain blasted Obama for saying he wants to bring troops home, but that if things do not go well, he is prepared to send them back. McCain said under his own leadership, troops will never have to return once withdrawn.
The presumptive Republican nominee said he would rather lose a campaign than lose a war. He accused his rival of the opposite, wanting to win a campaign over the war.
McCain says the United States is winning the conflict in Iraq. He credits the U.S. troop surge that began last year for recent successes. He says the surge was not just an increase in troops but a change in strategy.
Tuesday in the U.S. state of New Hampshire, McCain said Obama was wrong to oppose the surge. He said if Obama had gotten his way, the United States would have faced defeat.
The veteran Arizona lawmaker is scheduled to meet with Republican Governor Bobby Jindal later Wednesday in the city of New Orleans in Jindal's state of Louisiana. Jindal has been mentioned as a possible running mate for McCain.