From ABC's "This Week" program, on which Senator McCain criticized what he called the "isolationism" of the Republican presidential candidates:
MCCAIN: I wonder what Ronald Reagan would be saying today.
AMANPOUR: What would he be saying today, if he had heard, for instance, Michele Bachmann or Mitt Romney?
MCCAIN: He would be saying that's not the Republican Party of the 20th century and now the 21st century. That is not the Republican Party that has been willing to stand up for freedom for people for all over the world, whether it be in Grenada, that Ronald Reagan had a quick operation about, or whether it be in our enduring commitment to countering the Soviet Union.
President Reagan was great. But whether one agrees with Mr. McCain about the wisdom of intervening in Libya or Afghanistan or whether one agrees with the Republican skeptics, Reagan's view of the matter is hardly as self-evident as Senator McCain, unchallenged by Christiane Amanpour, portrayed it. Reagan, remember, pulled American troops out of Lebanon after they took casualties there. In the case of Libya, Reagan bombed it in 1986 after Sergeant Kenneth Ford was killed in a Libyan terrorist bombing of La Belle discotheque in West Berlin, but he stopped short of forcing Colonel Gadhafi from power. Even Reagan might not have been as Reaganesque as Senator McCain would imagine.