U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who is touting his foreign policy credentials, made a mistake on Tuesday, which Democrats were quick to highlight as a sign he can not be trusted as the new president.
McCain briefly mixed up which al Qaeda Iran is accused of supporting and at a news conference in the Jordanian capital of Amman he accused Iran of supporting the Sunni group al Qaeda in Iraq.
"Well, it's common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al Qaeda is going back into Iran and is receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran. That's well known and it's unfortunate," McCain said.
U.S. officials claimes Iran has been backing Shiite fighters in Iraq, not a Sunni group al Qaeda.
Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, traveling with McCain through the Middle East and Europe, whispered in his ear and McCain quickly corrected himself.
"I'm sorry; the Iranians are training the extremists, not al Qaeda. Not al Qaeda. I'm sorry," McCain said.
Democrats quickly jumped on McCain, a strong backer of President George W. Bush's troop build-up in Iraq.
"After eight years of the Bush administration's incompetence in Iraq, McCain's comments don't give the American people a reason to believe that he can be trusted to offer a clear way forward," said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney.
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said McCain "misspoke and immediately corrected himself."
"Democrats have launched political attacks today because they know the American people have deep concerns about their candidates' judgment and readiness to lead as commander in chief," Rogers said.