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 Home > News & Policies > August 2007

For Immediate Release
August 22, 2007

Setting the Record Straight: President Bush's View on Iraq's Elected Government Consistent
Following Joint Press Conference At North American Leaders' Summit,
Media Reports Misrepresent President Bush's Comments On Political
Progress In Iraq

     Fact sheet Setting the Record Straight
     Fact sheet In Focus: Renewal in Iraq

Some Media Reports Wrongly Claim President Bush's Comments Yesterday On Political Progress In Iraq Represent A "Striking Attempt By The White House To Distance Itself From The Maliki Government"

President Bush's comments were in response to a specific question about Sen. Carl Levin's (D-MI) assessment of Iraq's government.  Q: "Senator Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said that the Iraqi parliament ought to oust Prime Minister Maliki and his government for being politically unable to deliver political unity… I'm wondering what your reaction is to Senator Levin's comment…"  THE PRESIDENT: "…I think there's a certain level of frustration with the leadership in general, inability to work – to come to get, for example, an oil revenue law passed or provincial elections."  (Joint Press Availability With President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Harper, and Mexican President Calderon, Montebello, Canada, 8/21/07)

As the wire services reported, but some major media outlets ignored, White House officials made clear that there was no change in the President's support for Iraq's elected government.  "Trying to underscore the administration's commitment to al-Maliki, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters that Bush continued to have confidence in the prime minister and that his level of support had not changed. 'President Bush believes that Prime Minister Maliki and the presidency council are going to be able to come together and reach some sort of political accommodation,' Johndroe said. 'He certainly urges them to do so every time he speaks with them.'"  (Deb Riechmann, "Bush Says It Is Up To Iraqi People To Determine The Fate Of Their Government," The Associated Press, 8/21/07)

As He Did Yesterday, The President Has Consistently Emphasized The Need For Iraq's Government To Fulfill Its Commitments To Political Benchmarks

President Bush: "[M]y own perspective is, is that they have made some progress, but not enough."  (President George W. Bush, Press Conference, The White House, 8/9/07)

  • "[T]here is a lot of work left to be done, don't get me wrong."  "People say we need an oil revenue sharing law. I agree with that, that needs to be codified."  (President George W. Bush, Press Conference, The White House, 8/9/07)
  • "[T]he Iraqis have got to do more work."  "I call upon the United States Congress to give General David Petraeus a chance to come back and tell us whether his strategy is working. … In the meantime, the Iraqis have got to do more work."  (President George W. Bush, Remarks, Cleveland, OH, 7/10/07)
  • "I make no excuses, we will continue to keep the pressure up.  We expect there to be reconciliation.  We expect them to pass law."  (President George W. Bush, Remarks, Newport, RI, 6/28/07)
  • "Iraq's leaders must meet the other pledges they have made."  "[Iraq's leaders] have committed themselves to a series of benchmarks to advance this reconciliation… Iraqis have already begun to deliver on some of these promises. … And now Iraq's leaders must meet the other pledges they have made."  (President George W. Bush, Remarks, Washington, DC, 3/6/07)
  • "If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people – and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people."  "I've made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq's other leaders that America's commitment is not open-ended. … Now is the time to act."  (President George W. Bush, Address To The Nation, The White House, 1/10/07)
  • "We're pressing Iraq's leaders to take bold measures to save their country.  We're making it clear that America's [patience] is not unlimited."  (President George W. Bush, Press Conference, The White House, 10/25/06)

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