Iran would love to be able to see a destabilized Iraq, because they've been fighting in Iraq and for Iraq for a long time. If we leave it vulnerable, all we've done is create a situation that the rest of the world is going to have to be back into sooner or later for all of our interests.
And with all due respect, Congressman Paul -- and I do think you're right, we don't want to be there for 100 years -- but however long it takes to get out of there with victory and with honor, we owe it to those who have gone to make sure that they did not go in vain.
And we need to make sure that future sons and daughters of America don't have to go back and do it over.
COOPER: Also, for accuracy's sake, I just want to point out Senator McCain was talking about 100-year involvement in the same way as the U.S. being involved in South Korea, not at the current situation that it is now.
Janet Hook, you have another question on foreign policy for Governor Huckabee.
HOOK: I have another one for you, Governor Huckabee.
MCCAIN: You're not going to let me address the quote that you attributed to me?
COOPER: All right, fine, if you could briefly.
MCCAIN: Thank you. It's a false argument. It's a false argument. We are going to be there for some period of time, but it's American casualties, not American presence.
We've got troops right next door in Kuwait. We'll probably have them there for a long time. We have troops in Bosnia. We've had troops in South Korea for some 50 years. By the way, President Eisenhower didn't bail us out of Korea.
But the point is that we need to protect America's national security interest. It's not a matter of presence. It's a matter of casualties.
We are succeeding. We are succeeding. And I unequivocally put my career and my political fortunes on the line and unequivocally said we're going to support this surge. We're not going to talk about timetables or anything else; we're going to talk about winning and what's necessary to win.
And I'm the only one that said that Rumsfeld had to go and the Petraeus strategy is the one that can succeed. That's because I have the experience, the knowledge, and the judgment.
And I believe that Americans will come home with honor. And the fact is -- and the fact is that it's not American presence, because America, as the world's superpower, is going to have to be a lot of places in the world. It's how they come home.
And as president, I will follow in this tradition of sticking to my principles no matter what and bring our troops home with honor.
COOPER: Janet Hook from the Los Angeles Times.
HOOK: OK. Governor Huckabee, we're going to shower you with questions now, OK?
HUCKABEE: Well, good. I'd like to be here tonight. Thank you.