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Obama, McCain exchange words on national defense
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US presidential forerunners Barack Obama and John McCain exchanged words on their experience in the national defense affairs on Wednesday as the two took aim at each other for the November national elections.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama speaks at a rally in Dallas, Texas February  20, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Illinois Senator Obama solidified his momentum to be the Democratic presidential nominee after winning three more races on Tuesday in the states of Wisconsin and Washington as well as Hawaii.

By 76 percent to 24 percent, he beat New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the caucuses in Hawaii, his birthplace.

The photo shows Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain on February 19, 2008.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)

On Republican side, Arizona Senator McCain, who has moved his campaign to the next battleground in Ohio after a big victory on Tuesday, accused Obama in a rally of being "naive" in the national defense affairs.

"Well, the best idea is to not broadcast what you're going to do. That's naive," McCain said of Obama's remarks in August that he would mandate strike against al-Qaida in Pakistan if the country's government would not respond to actionable intelligence.

"You don't broadcast that you are going to bomb a country that is a sovereign nation and that you are dependent on," he added.

The 71-year-old Vietnam veteran was trying to contrast his record in the defense policymaking with Obama's three-year work in the Capitol Hill.

In a response, Obama's foreign policy advisor Susan Rice said in a conference call that McCain was "misrepresenting and distorting" Obama's positions.

She noted Obama's opposition against the Iraq war, and charge that McCain's support to the war showed his misjudgment on foreign policy.

She also likened McCain to President George W. Bush and his senior advisors.

"John McCain, like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, may have years in Washington, but they have demonstrated that when it comes to the crucial national security challenges of the day, their experience didn't help them," Susan added.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)

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