John McCain has used some shameless sleight of word to get his claims past the lie detector. But a May 28 statement didn't get past Steven Pinker who passed it on to Geoff Pullum who then quotes foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann's promise:
If you're going to start fact-checking verb tenses, we're going to make sure we start monitoring verb tenses a lot more closely than we have in this campaign.
Less than two months later and it's like McCain is playing with a new toy: verb tenses. He's just throwing them around as if trying to cover every possible span of time.
Of course Jon Stewart has to get in a jab.
Stewart: Ultimately through his frustration McCain insisted that he had the correct Iraq policies no matter which verb tense you use.
McCain (on video): We will succeed. We have succeeded and we will win the war in Iraq.
And we are winning!
Stewart: And then we will have won! Having been winning we will have had to win! My friends we will would have.
Watch the full episode here.