Yet during the full 90 minutes of the last and final debate, the word "Iraq" came up only 7 times, and every time it was Senator John McCain. However, Senator Barrack Obama did use the word "war" once. The following are excerpts capturing the use of these words taken from the full transcript (38 pages).
MCCAIN: OK. But it's very clear that I have disagreed with the Bush administration. I have disagreed with leaders of my own party. I've got the scars to prove it.
Whether it be bringing climate change to the floor of the Senate for the first time. Whether it be opposition to spending and earmarks, whether it be the issue of torture, whether it be the conduct of the war in Iraq, which I vigorously opposed. Whether it be on fighting the pharmaceutical companies on Medicare prescription drugs, importation. Whether it be fighting for an HMO patient's bill of rights. Whether it be the establishment of the 9/11 Commission.
I have a long record of reform and fighting through on the floor of the United States Senate.
MCCAIN: Let me just say categorically I'm proud of the people that come to our rallies. Whenever you get a large rally of 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 people, you're going to have some fringe peoples. You know that. And I've -- and we've always said that that's not appropriate.
But to somehow say that group of young women who said "Military wives for McCain" are somehow saying anything derogatory about you, but anything -- and those veterans that wear those hats that say "World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq," I'm not going to stand for people saying that the people that come to my rallies are anything but the most dedicated, patriotic men and women that are in this nation and they're great citizens.
page 19 & 20
MCCAIN: I think that Joe Biden is qualified in many respects. But I do point out that he's been wrong on many foreign policy and national security issues, which is supposed to be his strength.
He voted against the first Gulf War. He voted against it and, obviously, we had to take Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait or it would've threatened the Middle Eastern world supply.
In Iraq, he had this cockamamie idea about dividing Iraq into three countries. We're seeing Iraq united as Iraqis, tough, hard, but we're seeing them. We're now about to have an agreement for status of forces in Iraq coming up.
There are several issues in which, frankly, Joe Biden and I open and honestly disagreed on national security policy, and he's been wrong on a number of the major ones...
page 15 & 16
OBAMA: ...What I think is most important is that we recognize that to solve the key problems that we're facing, if we're going to solve two wars, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, if we can -- if we're going to focus on lifting wages that have declined over the last eight years and create jobs here in America, then Democrats, independents and Republicans, we're going to have to be able to work together.