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 Home > News & Policies > April 2007

For Immediate Release
April 20, 2007

Setting The Record Straight: Sen. Reid's Inconsistent And Conflicting Statements
General Petraeus Believes Military Action Is Necessary For Political Reconciliation To Occur, And More Troops Are Needed To Secure Baghdad

     Fact sheet Setting the Record Straight

"Yesterday, Sen. Reid said the war 'is lost.'  Today, Sen. Reid has tried to back off from that egregious comment using smoke and mirrors.  It's impossible to figure out where the Democrats stand and there's no telling what Sen. Reid will say tomorrow."

– White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino, 4/20/07

Sen. Reid's Inconsistent And Conflicting Statements

Today, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) tried to align himself with Gen. Petraeus: "General Petraeus, the commander on the ground, has said so himself.  Twenty percent [of the war in Iraq] can be won militarily and 80 percent has to be won through our diplomatic efforts, politics, and economics.  I repeat: the only way to succeed lies through a comprehensive political, diplomatic and economic strategy.  So says the commander on the ground there, General Petraeus."  (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks, 4/20/07)

  • Gen. Petraeus told the Senate that securing Iraq is "necessary" for a political solution to occur.  "It is, however, exceedingly difficult for the Iraqi government to come to grips with the toughest issues it must resolve while survival is the primary concern of so many in Iraq's capital.  For this reason, military action to improve security, while not wholly sufficient to solve Iraq's problems, is certainly necessary. And that is why additional U.S. and Iraqi forces are moving to Baghdad." (Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 1/23/07)
  • Gen. Petraeus also said additional troops are necessary to get the job done.  SEN. MCCAIN: "Suppose we send you over to your new job, General, only we tell you that you can't have any additional troops. Can you get your job done?"  GEN. PETRAEUS: "No, sir."  (Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 1/23/07)

Today, Sen. Reid claimed the President said this afternoon that "victory is imminent."  (Sen. Harry Reid, Remarks, 4/20/07)

  • President Bush actually said: "General Petraeus has been carrying out this new strategy for just over two months. He reports that it will be later this year before we can judge the potential of success. … Since the security operation began, we have seen some of the highest casualty levels of the war. And as the number of troops in Baghdad grows and operations move into even more dangerous neighborhoods, we can expect the pattern to continue. We must also expect the terrorists and insurgents to continue mounting terrible attacks."  (President George W. Bush, Remarks, Grand Rapids, MI, 4/20/07)

Today, Sen. Reid claimed "no one wants us to succeed in Iraq more than Democrats."  (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks, 4/20/07)

  • Yesterday, Sen. Reid said the war "is lost."  (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks, 4/19/07)

Today, Sen. Reid claimed the President this afternoon "attacked those of us with the courage to ask the tough questions."  (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks, 4/20/07)

  • President Bush actually said: "It's also very important in this debate to understand that even though we have our policy differences … we don't think either of us are not patriotic citizens. … So when you hear the debate, in my perspective it's because of – I just disagree with the notion that when we have troops in harm's way that there ought to be a … kind of political process with strings attached to a piece of legislation that goes to fund our troops. As I say, there's ample time to discuss right or wrong. I don't believe there's ample time to delay funding for men and women who have volunteered."  (President George W. Bush, Remarks, Grand Rapids, MI, 4/20/07)

President Bush Consistently Emphasizes The Importance Of Political Reconciliation

Today, President Bush said: "We fully recognize that there has to be political progress and economic progress, along with military progress, in order for that government to succeed." (President George W. Bush, Remarks, Grand Rapids, MI, 4/20/07)

Yesterday, President Bush said: "I told … Prime Minister Maliki this week on a secure video: You have an obligation to your people, and to our people, for that matter, to do the hard work necessary, to show people that you're capable of getting your government to move forward with political reconciliation."  (President George W. Bush, Remarks, Tipp City, OH, 4/19/07)

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