McCain says Iraq War will be over by 2013, if he’s elected president

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GOP presidential hopeful Senator John McCain, speaking in Columbus Thursday outlined accomplishments he plans to make by the end of his first term if he’s elected in November.

Senator McCain took some Columbus crowd-goers on a proverbial time machine ride ahead five years to 2013. With the disclaimer that there are no guarantees, he laid out his hope for the next five years if he wins the presidency.

“The Iraq war has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of deceases of tyranny ad centuries of sectarian tension. Violence still occurs, but it is spasmodic and much reduced,” he said.

McCain also predicted most troops will be back on American soil, and Osama bin Laden will be dead or captured.

“There is no longer any place in the world where al Qaeda can consider a safe haven.”

And McCain said he will add significantly to the nation’s Army and Marine Corps, and veterans’ benefits will be better.

“A substantial increase in veterans’ educational benefits and improvements in their health care.”

From there McCain moved on to the state of the economy. He said he expects, if he’s elected president, the economy will see several years of growth. And part of the reason why, he explained, is because he will have overhauled the way taxes are filed.

“Congress has just passed by a single up or down vote a tax reform proposal that offers Americans a choice of continuing to file under the rules of the current complicated and burdensome tax code or use a new, simpler fairer and flatter tax, with two rates and a generous deduction,” McCain said.

McCain also touched on the nation’s health care crisis. He said by 2013 more Americans will have access to health care.

“Walk-in clinics as alternatives to emergency room care; paying for outcome in the treatment of disease rather than individual procedures; and competition in the prescription drug market have begun to wring out the runaway inflation once endemic in our health care system,” he said.

The energy crisis will be better under control, McCain said, by the end of his term if he’s elected. He said the nation will be on its way to independence from foreign oil.

And McCain said the nation’s border will be secure. He said illegal immigrants will be prosecuted and deported.

“Illegal immigration has been finally brought under control, and the American people accepted the practical necessity to institute a temporary worker program and deal humanely, humanely with the millions of immigrants who have been in this country illegally,” he said.

McCain’s speech ended about three minutes shy of a half hour. This was the senator’s third trip in four weeks to Ohio attempting to secure votes and campaign funding. Ohio, an important swing state, will play a pivotal role in November’s election.

A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday says presidential candidate democratic Senator Barack Obama leads McCain 47 to 40 percent. Even democratic Senator Hillary Clinton, who trails Obama, leads McCain, 46 to 41 percent.