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May 1st, 2012
05:18 PM ET

Sen. McCain: 'Good thing' Obama in Afghanistan

Sen. John McCain tells CNN's Dana Bash that it is a "good thing" the president is in Afghanistan. A full transcript of Bash's interview with Sen. McCain is after the jump.

Please credit use of this interview to CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.

WOLF BLITZER:  Meanwhile, some Republicans have accused the president of spiking the football, celebrating, when it comes to bIn Laden on this, the one-year anniversary of his death.  Now one prominent critic is speaking out about this trip as well.  Let's bring in our senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash.  He's up on Capitol Hill.  Dana, you had a chance to speak with senator John McCain a moment ago.  What did he say?

DANA BASH:  He had been very, very critical, Wolf, about the political ad that the president's campaign put out boasting about getting Osama bin Laden and also hitting Mitt Romney on that issue, but on this particular trip, John McCain was anything but critical.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BASH:  What do you think about the president's surprise, secretive trip to Afghanistan?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA:  I think it's a good thing.  I think it's always good when the president goes to where young men and women are in harm's way, and I think that many of us who have been involved in Afghanistan are very supportive of the strategic partnership agreement which I'm sure he'll be talking about, and we think the agreement is good.  We obviously would like to know the details.

BASH:  Now, Senator, you have been very outspoken, very critical of what the president did recently, politically with an ad boasting about getting Osama bin Laden and hitting Mitt Romney for it.  Do you think that this trip is also part of his political campaign?

MCCAIN:  No, I can't accuse the president of that.  A lot of people both here and in Congress including Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Lieberman worked on this strategic partnership agreement and it's important that we send a message to friends and enemies alike that the United States has a long-term commitment to Afghanistan.

BASH:  So this is not spiking the football in the end zone, as he said.

MCCAIN:  No, I don't view it as that, and I wish the president would explain more often to the American people why Afghanistan - it's important that Afghanistan not return to a base for attacks on the United States of America.

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