Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s appearance in Des Moines this afternoon is bringing out all sorts of critics from the Democratic side of the aisle. Labor leaders have been picketing outside the venue where McCain will speak. Nurses and others involved in Iowa for Health Care plan to attend McCain’s town hall meeting to voice their displeasure with McCain’s health care proposals.

Iowa Democratic Party chairman Scott Brennan held a news conference to highlight the date McCain chose to visit. May 1st is the fifth anniversary of President Bush’s declaration of "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq. "We’ve suffered through two failed Bush terms," Brennan said. "We just can’t afford another and that’s what we’d have if McCain becomes president."

Twenty-two-year-old Jim Mowrer of f Des Moines is in the National Guard who returned in July from a tour of duty in Iraq. Mowrer became political active in Democratic Party politics after he got home and Mowrer spoke at this morning’s news conference. "Senator McCain has supported, you know, the continued strategy in Iraq that’s a flawed strategy that’s cost the people of Iowa and the American people a substantial amount of, you know, blood and treasure," Mowrer said, "and we’ve failed to take the fight to real enemy in the War on Terror in Afghanistan."

During an interview with Radio Iowa this morning, McCain stressed his longtime opposition to the Iraq war plan of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his repeated call for a "surge" of troops into Iraq to quell. McCain is also critical of Bush’s decision five years ago to make that "Mission Accomplished" declaration.

"I disagreed with subsequent comments, such as made by Secretary Rumsfeld about a ‘few dead enders’ and others. This is a long, hard, tough struggle. We’re saddened by the sacrifice but the surge is succeeding," McCain said. "We have had setbacks, including this month. It’s been a very tough month but I believe if we do what Senator Obama and Senator Clinton want to do, set a date for withdrawal, it’s chaos, genocide and we’ll be back with greater sacrifice of American blood and treasure."

McCain is scheduled to begin speaking in Des Moines at two o’clock.