By- Suzie-Q @ 1:45 PM MST
From Dana Bash
updated 1:22 p.m. EDT, Tue March 25, 2008
Chula Vista, CALIFORNIA (CNN) — While the Democratic presidential candidates are duking it out on the campaign trail, Sen. John McCain is trying to fill up his campaign coffers. But some supporters fear he’s not making the most of his time.
Just back from his eighth trip to Iraq, McCain returned to the campaign trail Monday in Chula Vista,California, with last week’s words from Osama bin Laden in hand.
“He urged Palestinians and people of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to — quote — ‘help and support the mujahadeen brothers in Iraq, which is greatest opportunity and the biggest task,’ ” McCain said.
It’s proof, he argued, that Democrats are dead wrong about the war in Iraq.
“My Democrat opponents, who want to pull out of Iraq, refuse to understand what’s being said … the central battleground is Iraq in this struggle against radical Islamic extremism,” he said.
Absent from McCain’s remarks to California veterans was any mention of the new grim death toll released Monday: 4,000 U.S. troops in the war zone he just visited. Watch more of McCain’s campaign travels »
Asked about the toll, McCain responded with a personal story of one soldier’s heroism.