December 6th, 2009
04:42 PM ET
10 months ago

Matalin: With Afghan surge, Obama resembles George W. Bush

On State of the Union Sunday, Republican strategist Mary Matalin said President Obama's Afghan surge is 'a reassertion of the Bush doctrine.'
On State of the Union Sunday, Republican strategist Mary Matalin said President Obama's Afghan surge is 'a reassertion of the Bush doctrine.'

Washington (CNN) – A leading Republican strategist and one-time aide to former Vice President Cheney said Sunday that President Obama’s recently announced decision to send an additional 30, 000 troops to Afghanistan is “a reassertion of the Bush doctrine.”

“The [Bush] doctrine is no safe havens [for terrorists intent on harming the United States] and we go after those that provide a harbor [for such terrorists]. That’s the doctrine,” Republican strategist Mary Matalin explained Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

Obama’s decision to surge additional troops into Afghanistan is “solid policy,’ in Matalin’s view and “a reassertion of the Bush doctrine.”

“Every strategic element is from the Bush doctrine. The tactics are from the Bush surge [in Iraq],” she said.

Matalin added that when civilian contractors and forces supplied by NATO allies are considered “there are enough troops” in Afghanistan.

But, Matalin also said Sunday that, by announcing a date to begin to remove some American troops, Obama had sent a mixed message about the United States’ commitment in Afghanistan.

In laying out his new strategy, Obama gave “a discordant speech,” the Republican strategist said of the president’s address last week at West Point.

“It’s hard to reconcile [saying] this is for the security of the whole world, but we’re going to get out in 18 months,” Matalin said.

“The problem for Democrats,” Matalin also said Sunday, “is that they’ve bashed Bush strategy and tactics for so long and now they have to embrace them because they’re the only ones that do work.”


Filed under: Afghanistan • Extra • Mary Matalin • Popular Posts • President Obama • State of the Union
soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. Unemployed In Iowa because of Obama

    dont trust osamaObama

    December 6, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. Dave

    Is she really wearing a piano necktie?

    December 6, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. Keeth in California

    Good, then maybe that partisan hack and her husband can shut up now?

    December 6, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Michael

    BUSH DOCTRINE! Well, I do not buy that, I see as either Powell doctrine or American policy in effect against foreign sabateurs AND TERRORIST! If, this was Bush doctrine for Afganistan, where was its implementation the last eight years! THIS IS JUST A REPUGLICAN TRYING TO TAKE CREDIT FOR PROBABLE SUCCESS OF THIS STARTEGY!

    December 6, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. Mike

    Jeez listen to all the sycophants HOWL

    December 6, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. Second Week of Advent- symbolic of Peace...Blessed be the peacemakers for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven

    I think most people are reasonable enough to know that the timeline is to be hopeful we won't be needed longer with the goals set, but are informed enough to know that anything can happen to change the timeline.

    December 6, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. W l Jones

    I wish some of these Media strategist figure out how to cross the street not to mention executing a whole military strategist to go in battle and know how to disengage the enemy.

    December 6, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  8. Big Mowma

    So does this mean Matalin is going to be the pundit who finally stands up and says that there is a small group of people pulling the strings in this world and that our elected officials are mere puppets and that party politics is a distraction to keep us from seeing what is REALLY going on?

    Yes, W was/is an imbecile – he could not have won an election without cheating, but he was a needed pawn in the world game (Middle East) and Obama is the next piece of the puzzle. He is our link to the wealth in Africa, our next conquest. Mark my words.

    We are all cattle and there is nothing we can do about it.

    December 6, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. Kevin Collins

    If it wasn't for Bush unleashing the unnecessary Iraq war, Afghanistan wouldn't be such the mess that it is now because there would've been more than enough troops to deploy there. Afghanistan should have always been the central fight on terror, but instead more troops were sent to Iraq than there.

    December 6, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. jim

    bwahahahahahahahahaha

    whatever.

    seriously,

    after getting military recommendations and then pondering them for a very long time. deciding in the end to reluctantly give them only something of what the military wanted ... that's like bush?

    WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ON?

    December 6, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. No Huey in this hunt

    She just doesn't get it. There should never have been an "Iraq war/surge" in the first place. Saying strategic and Bush Doctrine in the same sentence? The lives wasted, resources, reputation wasted. Because of an outright lie. If a surge is required , Thanks to the bush doctrine it is sadly, long overdue.

    December 6, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. DJ

    Comparing anyone to GW Bush is a really low blow. She should be ashamed. The Bush administration did as much damage to America as Mao's Cultural Revolution did to China. Eight years of failure. Eight years of cultural stagnation. Eight years of decline.

    December 6, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. Matt

    This was nothing like the Bush method. It involved consultation, deliberation, debate.... you know, like actual intelligent thought processes.

    Its amazing when we are blessed with the best statesman the country has had in decades, and republicans seem intent on undermining the progress our country needs to make for the 21st century.

    December 6, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Frank from Gilroy

    No! The Bush doctrine was to start never ending meaningless wars that the American people would be saddled with paying. All the while cutting taxes on the wealthiest while he tells the average citizen to spend/borrow themselves into bankruptcy. Bush was a schmuck! He is much better now that he is a harmless idiot that’s ashamed to show his face for "Breaking the World" That was the Bush doctrine!

    December 6, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Taylor

    It looks like we have our 3rd term after all.

    December 6, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. kd

    During his campaign, Obama said he would be sending more troops to Afghanistan. Why is everyone on both sides so surprised when he did? The only new aspect is in the planning and, as others have stated here, the exit strategy.

    And why is anyone surprised Matalin says something offensive and just plain stupid? She's an Ann Coulter wannabe. If she's a 'strategist' for the Republicans, part of her strategy must be to say stupid things to put all the non-Republicans off the scent of the trail.

    December 6, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. Morgan from the Hill

    No! The Bush doctrine was to start never ending meaningless wars that the American people would be saddled with paying. All the while cutting taxes on the wealthiest while he tells the average citizen to spend/borrow themselves into bankruptcy. Bush was a schmuck! He is much better now that he is a harmless idiot that’s ashamed to show his face for "Breaking the World" That was the Bush doctrine!

    December 6, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. MARK

    We all wish Obama was more like Bush. Bush was not the greatest president, but Obama is shaping up to be much WORSE.

    December 6, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. llinmpls

    Do you mean when I voted for Pepsi I should have been voting for Coke? Seems to me there is only one issue dividing Dem's & Rep's and it sure isn't fixing the economy for working Americans. Seems like this chess match is working out strictly for the super rich. And those that make money shilling for them.

    December 6, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. Lou from CT

    Once again, the Republicans are continuing their NO NO NO, splatter theory rhetoric. Mary Matalin, you are no Lou Dobbs.

    December 6, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. Elliott Carlin

    It is truly entertaining to watch the intellectual gymnastics of the libs who support the President. Uh, no way is Obama like Bush when it come to Afghanistan...uh, no way he is like Bush in running up deficits of immoral proportions....

    After deciding on their nominee in 2012, the GOP's soundbite ought to be: "Could We Do Worse? YES WE CAN!"

    LOL

    December 6, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. mims

    If Bush would have finished the job in Afganistan, instead of running off to Iraq, Obama wouldn't have to send more troops.

    December 6, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. willa

    Matalin lacks any credibility.

    December 6, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Dem in AZ

    I would disagree that he is like Bush. I would like to think Pres. Obama is more calculated on approach to help Afgan poeple and take out the bad guys. Time will tell success. Keep on fighting the good fight Pres. Obama!

    December 6, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. David

    Yeah, actually we invaded Germany when Japan attacked, then fought japan. Which according to liberal thought, Germany never attacked us and should have never been attacked.

    December 6, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
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