This is not a big deal. There's a policy difference between Barack Obama and John McCain. Obama wants to get U.S. troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible, McCain wants to stay in Iraq until victory can be declared. (More or less -- you can describe the differences through different policy lenses. Obama wants to "cut and run". McCain wants to stay for 100 years. Again, the partisan attacks are less relevant than the legitimate policy differences between the candidates.)
At the very least, it doesn't have to be a big deal. Yesterday, with video cameras rolling, John McCain declared that in Iraq, "we have drawn down to pre-surge levels". It's a fact. It's what the Senator said.
The fact is, we have not drawn down to pre-surge levels. The surge is ending, troops are coming home, and within 60 days, the draw down will be complete.
So, if McCain wants to say he mis-spoke, that's fine. It's easy to believe, it's relatively trivial, and makes sense. He meant to say, "we are drawing down to pre-surge levels", messed up his tense, and sent a slightly wrong message.
Instead of copping to a mistake, McCain is on cable television misquoting himself (see the update at the Think Progress link). There's a big difference between saying "we have drawn down" and "we have drawn down to pre-surge levels". McCain is choosing to fight reality on this one. I wonder why?