CHANGE #1: Despite Pledging To Withdraw American Troops From Iraq Immediately, Barack Obama Now Says He Would "Refine" His Policy After Listening To The Commanders On The Ground
In July 2008, Barack Obama Said He Will Continue To "Refine" His Iraq Policy.
Obama: "I've always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed...And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I'm sure I'll have more information and will continue to refine my policies." (Jeff Zeleny, "Obama: Open to 'Refine' Iraq Withdrawal Timeline," The New York Times' "The Caucus" Blog, The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog
In The Primaries, Barack Obama Committed To Withdrawing Troops From Iraq Regardless Of The Advice He Received From Commanders On The Ground.
ABC's Charles Gibson: "And, Senator Obama, your campaign manager, David Plouffe, said, 'When he is' -- this is talking about you - 'When he is elected president, we will be out of Iraq in 16 months at the most. There should be no confusion about that.' So you'd give the same rock-hard pledge, that no matter what the military commanders said, you would give the order to bring them home?" Obama: "Because the commander-in-chief sets the mission, Charlie. That's not the role of the generals. ... Now, I will always listen to our commanders on the ground with respect to tactics, once I've given them a new mission, that we are going to proceed deliberately, in an orderly fashion, out of Iraq, and we are going to have our combat troops out. We will not have permanent bases there. Once I have provided that mission, if they come to me and want to adjust tactics, then I will certainly take their recommendations into consideration. But, ultimately, the buck stops with me as the commander-in-chief." (Sen. Barack Obama, Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Philadelphia, PA,