I don’t oppose a reckless withdrawal from Iraq because I’m indifferent to the suffering war inflicts on too many American families.While I would not characterize this sentence as a "major gaffe"—it's more like some loopy garden path sentence—(and this is, after all, John McCain, and the campaign has just begun), I somehow enjoy imagining, say, Dennis Steele in some ad, solemnly intoning:
John McCain: He said he was indifferent to the suffering that the Iraq War inflicts on many American families. And, therefore, he would not oppose even a reckless withdrawal from Iraq. John McCain. Reckless. Indifferent. That's not a leader we can believe in.One might have hoped for some attempt at an elegant syncrisis—I don't oppose X because Y; I oppose X because…—but, well, that might have raised the question of what sort of withdrawal John McCain could support or, perhaps, if he could support any type of withdrawal at all.