Republican Generals want to kick Bush's ass - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Republican Generals want to kick Bush's ass


Retired generals, Iraq veterans launch anti-war ads


POSTED: 3:44 p.m. EDT, May 9, 2007

CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) -- Three retired generals challenged a dozen members of Congress in a new ad campaign Wednesday, saying the politicians can't support President Bush's policies in Iraq and still expect to win re-election.

"I am outraged, as are the majority of Americans. I'm a lifelong Republican, but it's past time for change," retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste told reporters.

"Our strategy in Iraq today is more of the same, a slow grind to nowhere which totally ignores the reality of Iraq and the lessons of history," Batiste said. "Our president ignores sound military advice and surrounds himself with like-minded and compliant subordinates."

Batiste and Paul Eaton, also a retired major general, are featured in the ads by VoteVets.org. They challenge the president's argument that he listens to his commanders on the ground in Iraq and say the president's Iraq policies endanger U.S. security.

"The fact is, the president has never listened to the soldiers on the ground effectively," said retired NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark, who ran for president in 2004. "This administration is not listening to the troops and is not supporting them."

Moderate Republicans target of ads
Other veterans promoted the campaign at a news conference in Manchester, the start of a six-state publicity tour targeting Sens. John Sununu of New Hampshire, Susan Collins of Maine, Norm Coleman of Minnesota and John Warner of Virginia, plus nine House members. All are Republicans.

Many in the group, including Sununu, have criticized various aspects of administration policy, but all have opposed legislation to establish a timetable for withdrawing American troops.

"Telling members of al Qaeda, militias or insurgent groups the date we will begin and end troop withdrawals is irresponsible," Sununu said.

When VoteVets.org ran ads in February, Sununu said critics of the war have every right to speak out, "but no group or individual should claim to speak for all the patriotic Americans serving in Iraq and around the world in our armed forces."

The House members targeted by the new ads are Mary Bono of California, Phil English of Pennsylvania, Randy Kuhl and James Walsh of New York, Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri, Timothy Johnson of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Michael Castle of Delaware.

English's spokeswoman, Julia Wanzco, fired back.

"The congressman has long stated that he is for a political settlement not a surge, and at the end of the day, these ads are more about cheap Democratic political stunts than about solving the actual problem," she said.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 04:49 PM
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let's play bot: what kind of surname is Batiste? there is you answer buddy.



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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 05:05 PM
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so everyone has a plan for withdrawal except the guy "in charge"?Iran offers to help US find Iraq exit - Financial Times - MSNBC.com



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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 07:55 PM
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so everyone has a plan for withdrawal except the guy "in charge"?Iran offers to help US find Iraq exit - Financial Times - MSNBC.com
That's funny because Iran got us in through Al Chalabi and his friends.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 08:31 PM
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On the other hand, Baghdad is much safer than ever. The Green Zone, one of the most heavily fortified positions on Earth now requires all members of the US Embassy that have to walk between buildings to wear helmets and full Kevlar armor.

And today, when Dead eye Dick flew into Baghdad International he bounded out of the plane in full flak gear. Apparently this Administration has a different definition for the word “safe” much like they have a different definition for “ethics” and “winning” and…well, you get the picture.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 09:28 PM
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REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN TAKE IT TO BUSH
Wed May 09 2007 20:42:16 ET

TIM RUSSERT, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: Brian, all eyes on the Republican party. How long will they support the president's position on the Iraq War? Yesterday may have been a defining, pivotal moment.

At two-thirty in the afternoon, in the private quarters of the White House, the Solarium Room, eleven Republican congressmen had a private meeting with the president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, the chief political advisor Karl Rove, and the White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, and others.

This delegation was headed by Mark Kirk of Illinois and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. It was, in the words of one of the participants, the most unvarnished conversation they've ever had with the president.

Another member has said he has met with three presidents and never been so candid. They told the president, and one said, quote, "My district is prepared for defeat. We need candor, we need honesty, Mr. President."

The president responded, "I don't want to pass this off to another president. I don't want to pass this off, particularly, to a democratic president," underscoring he understood how serious the situation was.

Brian, the Republican congressmen went on to say, "The word about the war and its progress cannot come from the White House or even you, Mr. President. There's no longer any credibility. It has to come from General Petraeus.

The meeting lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, and was, in the words of one, " remarkable for the bluntness, and no holds barred honesty and the message delivered by all these Republican congressmen.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: And Tim...how did the president react and how did this then affect the instructions for VP Cheney heading off to Iraq?

RUSSERT: One congressman said, "How can our daughters and sons spill their blood while the Iraqi parliament goes on vacation? The president responded, "The Vice President is over there to tell them, 'Do not go on vacation.'"

Developing...

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2007, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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GOP lawmakers bluntly tell Bush: Fix Iraq soon


POSTED: 9:16 a.m. EDT, May 10, 2007

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Eleven Republican lawmakers expressed their frustrations to President Bush this week about the war in Iraq and its political implications, Illinois Republican Rep. Ray LaHood said Thursday.

LaHood said the delegation of lawmakers met with Bush Tuesday and told him "in the most unvarnished way that they possibly could that things have got to change" in Iraq.

Top Republicans have said an expected September review by Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, may decide the future of the war.

Bush must be able to show by September that the push to pacify Baghdad and its surrounding provinces is working, LaHood said.

"The American people are war-fatigued. The American people want to know there's a way out," LaHood said.

"We will hang with them until September, but we need an honest assessment in September," he said of his fellow congressmen. "People's patience is running very, very thin."

One source who attended the meeting, Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, told Bush that without positive results soon in Iraq, his district will be prepared for defeat.

The message from the lawmakers was "we're all with you now, but we have concerns about where we will be next year," a House GOP leadership aide said.

A GOP House aide told CNN that the meeting was a "proactive step" by the White House to meet with lawmakers who had reservations about Bush's troop increase in Iraq to make sure they would not support a new Democratic proposal that would pay for the Iraq war in stages.

The aide predicted that there will be "no defections" when the proposal comes up for a vote today.

Bush said Wednesday that he would veto the bill.

Another source who attended the White House meeting said that one of the lawmakers also told Bush that Petraeus should be the one to provide updates about progress in Iraq because the administration's credibility is diminished.

White House spokesman Tony Snow, who attended the meeting, said "everybody was completely candid" in telling Bush about deep frustration in the Republican Party about the situation in Iraq.

LaHood said he thought Bush "appreciated the fact that people were willing to open up and give it to him."

Other administration officials at the meeting included Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the president's chief political adviser, Karl Rove.

Kirk led the delegation, along with Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. Among others in the group were Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan, Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania, Todd Platt of Pennsylvania, Jim Walsh of New York and Wayne Gilchrist of Maryland.

Bush last week vetoed a $124 billion war spending bill because of its call for U.S. combat troops to leave Iraq by March 2008, calling that setting a "date for failure." A CNN poll out Tuesday found a majority of Americans disapprove of his veto, and 65 percent expressed opposition to the war.

If the September report shows things haven't improved in Iraq, LaHood said, "I think public opinion probably turns even worse than it is."

Top Bush allies in Congress have been telling the White House for months that the president has lost credibility with the American people on the war. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in January that Bush needed to let Petraeus be the administration's spokesman on Iraq because Bush and his team are being tuned out.

CNN's Ed Henry, Dana Bash and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2007, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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GOP is imploding


Bush aides berate GOP members
By Jonathan E. Kaplan
May 11, 2007


Top Bush administration officials lashed out at a pair of House Republicans at the White House yesterday after details about a contentious meeting between President Bush and GOP legislators were leaked to the media earlier this week.

The confrontations are the latest indications of an intensifying rift between Bush and congressional Republicans.
Reps. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) attracted the ire of White House officials for allegedly speaking to reporters about a Tuesday meeting between Bush and centrist Republicans on the Iraq war. Details of the contentious meeting first emerged Wednesday evening and attracted Page 1 headlines yesterday.

Sources said that Dan Meyer, Bush’s liaison to the House, confronted LaHood while White House political strategist Karl Rove rebuked Kirk. It is unclear if LaHood or Kirk were the originial sources for the stories, but LaHood was quoted in one of the articles.

Regardless, LaHood and Meyer got into a shouting match as emotions ran high and voices were raised yesterday morning in the White House while lawmakers were waiting to meet with first lady Laura Bush, according to two legislators who witnessed the exchange. LaHood and five other GOP lawmakers met with Mrs. Bush in the Yellow Oval in the White House residence to chat about the No Child Left Behind law.

“The White House is not happy,” said a Republican lawmaker.

Two GOP lawmakers said that Rove admonished Kirk for talking to the media about the private meeting.

Kirk and the White House declined to comment.

During his briefing yesterday, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said the exchanges between Bush and congressional Republicans were “respectful” and “interesting.”

“And I think a lot of members, when they get into a situation like that, they’re excited about the prospect that they do in fact have an opportunity to speak at liberty with the president, so they do it,” Snow added.

The fracas between congressional Republicans and the White House delighted Democrats. During the House Democratic
Caucus meeting yesterday morning, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the caucus chairman, told Democrats to stick together on the vote on the Iraq supplemental spending bill while the GOP splinters.

Yesterday’s imbroglios indicate that congressional Republicans, who lost their majorities in Congress partly because of the Iraq war, are growing more frustrated with Bush and are willing to openly defy him.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, LaHood implied that Bush’s credibility on Iraq has eroded, saying that “the biggest benchmark of all is [General David] Petraeus’s report in September.”

Snow refuted suggestions that the war has fractured Republican unity, but acknowledged that members of Congress are “impatient.”

“And as the president pointed out [yesterday], yes, he’s impatient, too,” Snow added.

In a sign of how much the politics of Iraq have deteriorated for the GOP, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) – a member of House Republican leadership — compared Bush’s political problems to then President Truman’s in 1952. President Eisenhower subsequently won the presidency and Republicans captured the House.

“We’re probably slightly behind where Truman was” with his Democratic Party in 1951 and 1952, McCotter said. “History has vindicated Truman…fortunately I don’t see a Democratic Eisenhower out there.”

Several lawmakers who attended one or both meetings did not fault Bush, but blamed his aides for overreacting.

“They can have such thick skin,” said Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who attended the meeting on Tuesday. “[President Bush] ought to embrace this and be seen as getting input from everyone.”

The meeting with Laura Bush ended with a 20-minute tour of the White House residence, which is off-limits to almost everyone except the First Family.

LaHood drew a crowd of more than a dozen reporters yesterday in the Speaker’s Lobby off of the House floor to elaborate on the meeting on Tuesday.

LaHood, who was passed over to lead the Intelligence Committee in 2004, is not shy about expressing his views.

During the 109th Congress, the 7th-term lawmaker publicly criticized then Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) as well as then House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

A GOP rank-and-file lawmaker said that LaHood’s recent comments were a “nuisance” and made some members “pretty upset.”

“He’s his own man,” said a former senior GOP aide. “A lot of the members and members of leadership say that Ray talks too much.”

Still, some top GOP aides said LaHood’s candidness was not unusual and did not cause a flap within the conference.

“Ray’s been here a long time,” Hastert said. “He’s a stand up guy and he says what he thinks.”
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