July 10th, 2007
05:52 PM ET
3 years ago

Bush says Iraq 'surge' just started, urges patience

Bush discussed Iraq Tuesday in a town hall event in Cleveland.

Watch Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid say the troop increase is not working in Iraq.

CLEVELAND (CNN) - President Bush urged Congress on Tuesday to wait for a September report by top U.S. officials before making any decisions about the war in Iraq, saying the U.S.-led push to pacify Baghdad "just started."

"They just showed up, and they're now beginning operations in full," Bush told participants in a town hall-style event in Cleveland. "And in Washington you've got people saying, 'Stop.'"

Bush ordered nearly 30,000 additional troops to Iraq in January as part of a campaign to quell the country's sectarian warfare. But the Pentagon is slated to deliver an interim report this week showing Iraq has made little progress in meeting political benchmarks, and Republicans in Congress have begun to call for a change in U.S. strategy in the 4-year-old war.

The U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are slated to deliver a more extensive report on the progress of the campaign in the fall.

"I believe that it's in this nation's interest to give the commander a chance to fully implement his operations, and I believe Congress ought to wait for General Petraeus to come back and give his assessment of the strategy that he's putting in place before they make any decisions," Bush said. "That's what the American people expect."


Filed under: Harry Reid • Iraq • President Bush
July 10th, 2007
05:13 PM ET
3 years ago

McCain: Troop increase showing progress

McCain said Tuesday progress is being made in Iraq.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain, who visited Iraq last week, said Tuesday the increase of U.S. forces in Baghdad and elsewhere in the country is showing signs of progress and pleaded for his fellow senators not to require they pull out until their goals have been achieved.

Departure now would "embolden radical Islamists around the world," he said during a speech on the Senate floor. "Withdrawal must grow out of a political solution, not the other way around."

It would also "invite further Iranian influence" in the region, which could lead to spiraling oil prices and genocide, he said.

"If we pack up and leave, the war doesn't end, it merely gets harder," he said.

More sheiks are siding with coalition forces against al Qaeda commanders, sectarian violence has diminished since January, and locals are increasingly giving tips to coalition forces about planned attacks, the Republican presidential candidate said.

Though there is no guarantee that U.S. forces will wind up achieving their goals, the senator from Arizona said, "you can be sure that should the U.S. Senate seek to legislate an end to the strategy as it is just beginning, then we will fail for certain."

McCain said Henry Kissinger, who played a key role in shaping U.S. foreign policy during the Vietnam War, was correct in saying that a "precipitous" withdrawal from Iraq "would produce a disaster, one that would not end the war, but shift it to other areas, like Lebanon, Jordan or Saudi Arabia."


Filed under: Iraq • John McCain
July 10th, 2007
04:50 PM ET
3 years ago

Giuliani: McCain is still a viable candidate

Giuliani said Tuesday it's not time to write McCain's presidential bid off.

(CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani Tuesday dismissed speculation that Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign has been derailed because of the departure of his two top political aides.

"Changes happen in a campaign," said Giuliani after a town hall meeting in Concord, New Hampshire.

Giuliani continued, “This is way too early for anybody to be written off. John McCain is a fighter. I expect John to be right there waging a tough campaign.”

The former New York City Mayor is competing against McCain for the GOP presidential nomination and stressed that he thinks the Arizona senator will remain in the race, just as prior candidates, Ronald Reagan and John Kerry, did after they made changes to their campaign staff.

“John is professional," said Giuliani. "He knows this business really well. Unless you really know him, you don’t know what a strong guy he really is. I would be the last one to ever think John McCain is counted out."

Earlier Tuesday, Campaign Manager Terry Nelson and Chief Strategist John Weaver announced their resignation from McCain’s presidential campaign.

– CNN Political Assignment Editor Marissa Muller


Filed under: John McCain • Rudy Giuliani
July 10th, 2007
04:49 PM ET
3 years ago

Davis: McCain campaign 'moving forward'

Davis, left, said Tuesday the McCain campaign is "moving forward."

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rick Davis, the new campaign manager of Sen. John McCain's presidential bid, said Tuesday the Arizona Republican's campaign is "moving forward."

"This campaign has always been about John McCain and his vision for reducing federal spending, defending traditional values, and winning the war against Islamic extremists," Davis said in a statement. "Today we are moving forward with John's optimistic vision for our country's future."

Davis' statement comes hours after key members of the campaign - including former campaign manager Terry Nelson - announced their resignations.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: John McCain
July 10th, 2007
04:00 PM ET
3 years ago

DSCC targets four senators in first 2008 ad buy

The DSCC is targeting McConnell and three other GOP senators over Iraq.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is hitting the television airwaves for the first time this election cycle to target four potentially vulnerable Republican senators over their past support of the Iraq war.

GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, John Sununu of New Hampshire, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are the subjects of the new ads, which began airing in their home states Tuesday.

Collins, Sununu, and Coleman have supported the president's policy in Iraq in the past, but have since come out against the troop increase there. McConnell has expressed reservation with the policy but has delayed a final judgment on it until a progress report is released in September.

The ads scroll through several news clips reporting negative news out of Iraq and directly attack each senator specifically for voting to support the war.

“Four times this year Republican senators have had the opportunity to support a new direction in Iraq, and four times they have instead voted for George Bush’s failed status quo,” DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement. “This week they have a chance to listen to their constituents and do the right thing for the country. It’s time for Republican senators to stop taking their marching orders from the president and vote to end this war.”

Collins, Sununu, and Coleman are considered to be three of the most vulnerable senators facing reelection in 2008. McConnell may also face a tough reelection fight.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Iraq
July 10th, 2007
03:49 PM ET
3 years ago

Giuliani on Vitter: 'Some people disappoint you'

Giuliani, right, and Sen.Vitter in New Orleans on June 30, 2007

Watch Giuliani respond to the news of Vitter's link to the D.C. Madam.

(CNN ) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani called Senator David Vitter’s apparent connection to the D.C. Madam “a personal issue”, but admitted that “some people disappoint you.”

Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has endorsed Giuliani and serves as his southern regional chair. The two appeared together two weeks ago in New Orleans. Vitter admitted in a statement that his phone number was in the records of an escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey.

Giuliani was asked about the admission after a town hall meeting in Concord, New Hampshire on Tuesday morning. He noted he had not spoken to Vitter and that “it’s too early to tell” if he will leave the campaign position. ”I believe it’s a personal issue,” he said. “We’ll have to hear from Senator Vitter.”

Last month, Giuliani’s South Carolina chairman resigned after he was indicted on drug charges. Giuliani insists he should not be judged based on the behavior of certain individuals associated with his campaign or mayoral administration.

“If you look at all the people I’ve appointed, a thousand or so, sure, some of them have problems,“ he said. “The vast majority were outstanding. You couldn’t accomplish the things I’ve accomplished without outstanding people. Some people are flawed, but the percentage is no greater than other people would have encountered. People look at this in the big picture.”

Giuliani said his record “came about by having mostly good people. And some people disappoint you.”

In his statement, Vitter said, “This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and from my wife in confession and marriage counseling."

– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk


Filed under: D.C. Madam • David Vitter • Rudy Giuliani
July 10th, 2007
02:15 PM ET
3 years ago

Clinton wraps up New York delegation endorsement

The complete New York Democratic Congressional Delegation is now behind Clinton's White House bid.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, announced Tuesday New York Rep. Yvette Clark has endorsed her presidential bid - the last member of the New York congressional Democratic delegation to do so.

“After careful deliberations and discussions with the diverse base of my constituency, I am convinced that Senator Clinton is best able to win and bring much needed change to the White House,” Clark said in a statement released by the Clinton campaign. “I support Hillary because she is a leader who has been a forceful and tireless advocate on behalf of New York’s families, especially concerning the needs of those most affected after 9/11. The depth of Hillary’s experience will allow her to hit the ground running on her first day in office.”

While Clinton had wrapped up the endorsements of the other 22 New York congressional Democrats weeks ago, Clark, a freshman representative, was the last holdout.

"I’m honored to have her support and I look forward to working together with her to bring our message of change across New York and the nation," Clinton said in the statement.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
July 10th, 2007
01:58 PM ET
3 years ago

Two more top McCain staffers resign

McCain is surrounded by reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign lost two more senior level staffers Tuesday, hours after it was announced that his campaign manager and chief strategist were leaving the campaign.

Deputy Campaign Manager Reed Galen and Political Director Rob Jesmer are leaving the campaign, a campaign source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells CNN. Earlier in the day, Campaign Manager Terry Nelson and Chief Strategist John Weaver announced they were leaving their posts.

The Washington Post first reported the departures of Galen and Jesmer.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston


Filed under: John McCain
July 10th, 2007
01:29 PM ET
7 years ago

Crowley on McCain shakeup

Watch CNN's Candy Crowley assess the latest McCain staff shakeup.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN's Candy Crowley reacts to the news that Sen. John McCain's campaign manager and top strategist have resigned from his presidential campaign.


Filed under: John McCain
July 10th, 2007
01:11 PM ET
3 years ago

Bush: 'We've got a plan to lead to victory'

CNN's Ed Henry reports President Bush is preaching patience when it comes to the war in Iraq.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) – As he toured a suburban Cleveland plant Tuesday, President Bush previewed a speech he’ll give this afternoon in which he refuses to back down on his Iraq strategy.

Mr. Bush told reporters in brief comments, “I will remind the people in the audience today that troop levels will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington, DC, and that we've got a plan to lead to victory."

The president added, "I fully understand that this is a difficult war. It's hard on the American people. But I will once again explain the consequences of failure to the American people."

Mr. Bush toured GrafTech in Parma before going on to events at the Cleveland Clinic and then his speech to the Greater Cleveland Partnership. Mr. Bush will take questions following his remarks.

– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk


Filed under: Iraq • President Bush
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