Flanked by many of his national security advisers, John McCain this afternoon aggressively challenged Democratic rival Barack Obama's readiness and capacity to be commander in chief.
"These statesmen and those who have joined me here today are supporting my candidacy because we share many of the same convictions, and the same assessment of the national security challenges before our country. And with good reason, they question whether my opponent in this election has the wisdom or judgment to serve as commander in chief," McCain said in Tampa.
He also said that Obama would withdraw from Iraq prematurely. "Victory must still be secured, in Iraq and Afghanistan" McCain said.
Obama's most consequential action on foreign policy was a 2002 speech opposing the Iraq war when he was an Illinois state senator and had "no vote" and "no responsibility."
Since Obama has been in the US Senate -- two years spent running for president, McCain said -- he wrongly opposed the troop surge in Iraq. That's something, McCain said, Obama "hopes in the cloud of crisis at home" that voters will forget.
"But the question is whether this is a man who has what it takes to protect America from Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and other grave threats in the world. And he has given you no reason to answer in the affirmative," McCain said. "Senator Joe Biden has a way of straying off message and stumbling on the truth, and his most recent warning bears close attention. He cautioned us -- in fact, he guaranteed his listeners -- that because he is untested Barack Obama would only invite an international crisis."