LIMA, Ohio, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Republican presidential hopeful John McCain called on Iraq to pick up more of the tab for its reconstruction during a town hall meeting in Lima, Ohio.
In response to an audience question Thursday, McCain said Iraq should start its effort in Sadr City, which only recently came under Baghdad's control.
McCain's remarks followed a report from the Government Accounting Office this week that said Baghdad had some $80 billion in unspent budgeted funds, still relying on U.S. government aid for most of the reconstruction activity.
"The Iraqis have got to pay more for their own autonomy and pay more for their own military … and we have to reduce our commitment there and we have to do it quickly," McCain said.
The U.S. senator from Arizona committed a slip of the tongue during his answer, briefly referring to the Iraqi government as Saudi.