In late 2002 and early 2003, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was a fixture on cable television, assuring Americans that an invasion of Iraq would be "easy." "I believe that the success will be fairly easy," McCain told CNN in September 2002. "We will win this conflict. We will win it easily," he told MSNBC the following January.
Over the years, McCain has often claimed that he made never made rosy predictions, saying in 2006 that he "fully understood from the beginning" that Iraq "would be a very, very difficult undertaking." In January 2007, however, he wasn't sure what he believed. First, he said that he knew it was "going to be long and hard and tough," but six days later he claimed, "I said the military operation would be easy. It was easy."