September 12th, 2007
12:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama: Congress needs to send 'clear message' on Iraq

Obama spoke with CNN's Dana Bash Wednesday morning.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, told CNN's Dana Bash Wednesday Congress needs to send President Bush a "clear message" that change is needed in Iraq. But the Illinois Democrat, who is seeking his party’s presidential nomination, appears wary of voting for any Senate bill that does not include a deadline for withdrawal.

"You know we are going to have to evaluate what's available - but it appears clear to me that the president is not willing to compromise short of Congress forcing him to accept a shorter time table, and absent that we are essentially engaging in a bunch of symbolic action there," he said.

Senate Democrats seemingly do not have the votes to pass a bill that includes a specific withdrawal timetable and are currently looking for a compromise with Republicans.

Obama is scheduled to lay out his plan for Iraq Wednesday afternoon during a speech in Iowa where he will say that U.S. troops should begin to withdraw immediately.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iraq
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. spinstopper

    No doubt about the message this liberal Congress is sending terrorist..., We Surrender!

    September 12, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Completely logical, but the majority of Republicans will tow the party line and the Dems won't have enough votes to block a filibuster or override a presidential veto. This way, the dumb people in the country will buy into the propaganda that the Democrats are ineffective and are the sole reason for the low congressional ratings.

    September 12, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. harry, michigan

    we are with you on that one senator. keep up will not rest till we get there.

    September 12, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. efy, detroit, mi

    Ug. So in other words, they need to take a political stance – that's typical of an up and coming politician to say. Why not just go with what's right for our country? Or how about this- what each individual Congressman thinks is right. THis is about individualism in our country Obama, not a partisan [political stance.

    September 12, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. jacob,indianapolis, indiana

    just wanna ask hilly if she has anything that she comes out with first or she always come second to what you just said....To me she looks like your vice president already! Can you just remind her that you just said that....Just say " hey hilly, i just said that, remember? We are in the same party too so generate your own, don't be another joe bidden who coppies from british MP speech, looser!"

    September 12, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. BeReasonable, TC, Mi.

    Obama is just following the polls of the select few that the Democratic party uses. Sure we want them out of Iraq but "not until the job is done". That last part seems to go unheard and not questioned in their polls. He wants a deadline that is unachievable and knows it. He has even said in the debates that withdrawing the troops will take years not months. Yet the Democratic party still wants to demand the troops out by the end of the year?
    It is all campaign fodder, just like their #1 promise since the 60's, National Health Care. They have had plenty of chances to do that but still we have none, why is that when at times they have had control of Washington? Campaign promises and sound bites!

    September 12, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Rick Shepgerd

    Osama wants American troops out by a certain date. So does B. Hussein Obama.

    Osama wants America defeated in Iraq, so does Hussein Obama.

    These 2 have a lot in common

    September 12, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. erika morgan black dimond wa

    I have been somewhat dismayed by the purely partisan dialogue that is still going on in these blogs. I think due to the MOVE ON AD calling General Betray Us our Senators at least have gotten the message that we need them to exercise their constitutional responsibility for "Oversight of the Executive and Judicial branches". I was decidedly less impressed by the House and very disappointed with Pelosi's frank waffling compliancy with the tragic mistakes being made to enrich certain Bush "friends/supporters".

    I was really impressed by the questions and focus put to Petraeus and the Ambassador by Joe Biden's committee from both sides of the aisle and I think "we the people" will serve ourselves better if we cut the hyperbole now, and call for the realities, broker with each other honestly, and find a solution to the mess we have made of Iraq. As I said before hyperbole has its place in politics (like exaggerated makeup and costumes at the opera = gets your attention) but at a certain point when actual action and reactions are being contemplated, cool heads steeped in the real world will give us the only value for our money and precious military lives and limbs.

    I personally am leaning toward an Obama (fire in the belly) Biden (experience in rooting out the reality, coupled with intelligence to deliver a measured compromise) ticket.

    September 12, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Chris S, Tallahassee, FL

    Pulling out troops from Iraq is not giving up on the war on terror. Remember Obama proposed a plan to send troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Our troops should be fighting terrorists in those regions because they are the biggest threat to the US right now.

    September 12, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    Can some one explain to me any real difference between mainstream democrat and mainstream republican views on what to do with Iraq? The only real difference I see is the political use of words to convince people they are following the proper philosophy.

    Both groups want to get the Iraqi people governing and defending themselves ASAP, within 2 years. Dems say they will slowly withdraw the troops and it will take about 15 months. Repubs want to do it, but don't want to say it, they want the Iraqis to do something to give them the facesaving excuse to start pulling out.

    In any event, the Iraqis have a very short time, from either party's perspective. I'm not going to spend $2 billion a week indefinitely. That money is sorely needed for my (insert tax cut for republican OR health care for the uninsured if democrat).

    The people arguing the dems vs. republicans are all blind. Common sense dictates we get out as soon as possible. If the Iraqis need 10 years of us there, tough, we can't afford it and we ain't doin' it.

    September 12, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. MCD, San Francisco

    I Can't believe that anybody is talking compromise!! Yes, that would be wonderful if we could but... give me one instance where this administration has ever compromised! They don't do compromise! They don't understand the meaning of the word... it is either their way or... you are a traitor!!!!


    September 12, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Lioness, Washington DC


    Your comments are so laughable. This is not Alice in Wonderland. In the real world, Bush is the one who turned away from Osama – turned away from the terrorists – to concoct a war of his own in Iraq so that Cheney's oil friends would have more business, amongst other reasons.

    Also, I love the way in which neocons throw the word "liberal" about as though it were an expletive. Liberal sounds good and positive. I like being a liberal. It means open-minded and progressive, not retrograde and regressive. It means 21st Century industrialized world. Not Crimea War-era thinking.

    September 12, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Chudi Otis

    If Americans fail to elect Obama as POTUS, they can get ready for a draft because we will be facing a world war in the near future. Electing any other person will keep the status quo of the white house which is not good for the future. We need to lead the world again and fight terror wherever it is.Open your eyes people,Terrorists don't care if you are black or white, male or female, rich or poor, red state or blue state. They qualify you with only one criteria are you American? If your answer is YES then kiss your stubborn head good bye. ONLY Obama can truly unite us please check his record on working with both parties. He is the only one to have an ad with a republican supporter there. Put all your racism, facism, religiousness, and hatred away. We have enough hate from the world out there so why bother to add more. Elect him not for yourselfs but for the future generation. Posterity will never forgive us if miss this chance.

    September 12, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Bob, Nebraska

    Thank You Senator Obama!
    3,767 American dead so far. Let's end this war.

    September 12, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Adam, Plano, TX

    Ug. So in other words, they need to take a political stance – that's typical of an up and coming politician to say. Why not just go with what's right for our country? Or how about this- what each individual Congressman thinks is right. THis is about individualism in our country Obama, not a partisan [political stance.

    Obama has never been for the war. and it shows how much you know about Obama, he has done more bipartisan work than any of the other candidates, period.

    September 12, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Chuck Woolery

    The message from the democratic congress seems to be perfectly clear: They approved the appointment of General Petraeus unanimously, they then discredited and dishonored him even prior to his hearings, and they would now like to officially surrender to all of the terrorists, hoping not to offend them any longer. After all, Bin laden apparently is the new democratic spokesman – his ideas for a direction forward seem almost identical to those of Obama, Reid and his radical bible cronies.

    September 12, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. David, Gilbert Arizona

    This Congress has been a clear example of why democrats lost the House in the first place. They are inept at doing anything other than bickering with each other. I knew the first second the votes came in and saw the democrats won that we were all in for a lot of noise and saber rattling and absolutely no real work completed.

    Democrats are only good at complaining and pointing fingers. They have shown very clearly they are not capable of getting any real work done.

    September 12, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Henry Tucker, GA

    Democratic message to Iraq (and insurgents/terrorists/etc) = We don't want to stay and fight. You win!

    September 12, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bush's belief that we're fighting the battle in Iraq rather than here is tired, bring our troops home now. We've spent billions on Homeland Security and National Intelligence to protect our country, or have we been fooled into believing that. Is it possible the Iraq's have more protection than us?

    September 12, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. G. Ho

    I'm truly amazed by the the veiws posted her. So much amazed that i decided to leave my own. First I agree with the withdrwal. We have to ask ourselves why are we there to begin with. We went there to find Weapons of Mass Destruction or has everyone forgotten ? and we still havent located those elusive weapons. We have managed to wreak havoc on Iraq. Does anyone care about the innocent children, women and men that have died has a result of our occupation. The Iraqis did not initiate any sort of terrorism against us nor has there been any proof to substantiate that they did/have. So why are we there? They were better off under Sadam Hussein. Even the Iraqis say so. We must open our eyes. Countless innocent lives are being loss. How many have died . How many have been wounded. In a time when we as civilization claim to be so advanced why do we resort to war to settle our differences. We are no better than those we campaign against. We preach about democracy and equality but we do not adhere to our own teachings. We only pretend to defend freedom of choice. We only pretend to defend equality. We only defend these ideals if they represent American values. That is the crux of our (Global) problem. We attempt to export our values to the remainder of the world and those that do not readily accept those values or beliefs are branded as enemies. Have we ever even thought about entertaining the wishes of the Iraqis. They say they want us out. So let's leave. Let's try some other way and see what happens. What's the worst that could happen. Maybe the fighting will stop. Bring our troops home!

    September 12, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Lioness, This is what my "liberal" Governor from Massachusetts (Clinton crony Deval Patrick) said during a 9-11 ceremony "supposedly" honoring our fallen on that day:

    “Among many other things, 9/11 was a failure of human understanding,” Patrick said. “It was a mean and nasty and bitter attack on the United States. But it was also a failure of human beings to understand each other, to learn to love each other.”

    We need to learn to understand and love people that killed us?

    Like we were somehow complicit.

    Sing it with me people, Kumbya....

    September 12, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. ReadBtwthlins

    When is Obama going to take the troops up on their 360 offer of a tour in Iraq? Can Obama walk the beat in the heat??

    September 12, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Lance in Monrovia, CA

    Obama is the only leader that is actually able to bring enough support to the table to pull off a real troop withdrawal. he spoke about it for about thirty minutes of his hour long rally last Saturday in Santa Barbara. I stood about ten feet away in the front row, and i watched him closely. He was fierce and his eyes did not waver. He will put the focus back to places where it belongs and off Iraq. The 9,000 people that gathered behind me felt the same way judging by the deafening cheers as he called getting out of Iraq his number one priority.

    September 12, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. TiredinIraq, fort hood texas

    Im currently serving in Iraq and Im ready to get outta here. I feel and see that the surge is working but...BUT this does nothing if the Iraqi government doesn't step up and do something. When I say the government needs to do something it doesn't mean take a month long vacation. Also it is impossible for us (the army) to move in the time that most people want.

    This is my second tour and hopefully my last. I don't think there is any shame in leaving we have given them alot of time to step up and do something. And on the argument that we are fighting terrorist's here so we won't fight them in the states is crazy. The people we are fighting here would not be able to blend in. And those that would are probably attempting to get in or already are in the states. By the way Im a republican (as majority of military is) but i will more than likely voting Democrat this coming election.

    September 12, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. Philadelphia,Pa

    right, democrats love terrorists because they want results and accountability rather than simply death in iraq..the democrats and voters seem to feel the same way..i guess we all like the terrorists.

    September 16, 2007 02:39 am at 2:39 am |