Both NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and ABC's Ron Claiborne (embargoed link) filed from London on John McCain's tour of the Middle East and Europe, "officially," as Claiborne pointed out "a Congressional fact finding mission at taxpayer expense. Unofficially it is a chance to appear statesmanlike with world leaders and burnish his foreign policy credentials." As NBC's O'Donnell did Wednesday, Claiborne pointed out McCain's self-confessed misstatement that Iran supports al-Qaeda. Claiborne noted that McCain "stumbledůseveral times" before correcting himself: "I am sorry. The Iranians are training extremists not al-Qaeda." NBC had O'Donnell recap McCain's economic policies for its Where They Stand series. He supports George Bush's policies on tax cuts and Federal Reserve intervention on Wall Street. The federal spending he would target for cutting consists of the "pet projects known as earmarks." As for any decline in consumer confidence, O'Donnell observed that McCain's solution--"It is not a matter of being an economist. It is a matter of leadership and I am a leader"--lacked specifics.
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