Obama altering his Iraq policy

Democrat says coming trip could change his troop withdrawal plan

Democrat Barack Obama struggled Thursday to explain how his upcoming trip to Iraq might refine, but not basically alter, his promise to quickly remove U.S. combat troops from the war.

A dustup over war policy — one of the main issues separating the Illinois senator from his Republican opponent, John McCain — overshadowed Obama’s town-hall meeting here with veterans to talk about patriotism and his plans to care for them. Republicans pounced on the chance to characterize Obama as altering one of the core policies that drove his candidacy “for the sake of political expedience.” He denied equally forcefully that he was shifting positions.

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