Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday it was a mistake to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq, but would not back comments from GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry about sending American servicemen back to the country.
In response to a statement by Perry during a primary debate Saturday, McCain told CNN, "the moment and window of opportunity [to keep troops in Iraq] has now been closed."
McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, endorsed rival candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday, and campaigned for the former Massachusetts governor in South Carolina and New Hampshire later in the week.
At the ABC News GOP debate Saturday, Perry said he would "send troops back into Iraq."
"I think we start talking with the Iraqi individuals there, the idea that we allow the Iranians to come back in to Iraq and take over that country, with all of the treasure, both in blood and money that we have spent in Iraq, because this president wants to kowtow to his liberal leftist base," the Texas governor said.