August 31st, 2010
01:43 PM ET
4 years ago

GOP claims Iraqi success despite Obama

Washington (CNN) - In twin speeches laced with heavy doses of "I-told-you-so," Republican leaders in the House and Senate tried to convince voters Tuesday that America's success in Iraq is not because of President Barack Obama, but in spite of him.

"Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, in prepared remarks for the American Legion convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"One lawmaker rejected the idea that the surge would reduce violence in Iraq, saying - and again I'm quoting - 'in fact, I think it will do the reverse.'"

The lawmaker Boehner is referring to is then-Sen. Barack Obama. Boehner aides said he was reluctant to criticize the commander-in-chief by name in front of a roomful of veterans, but insisted it would be clear who he was talking about.

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Filed under: Iraq • issues • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. jim

    This is so true. Obama fought against everthing that Bush wanted to do in Iraq and Joe Biden wanted to split the country up into 3 different parts.How soon the dems forget?

    August 31, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. CathyInAZ

    Considering the fact the American people were LIED to about why we invaded Iraq, Boehner has NO room to critize anyone. Iraq is a dangerous place and I am not at all convinced the surge made it any safer. WE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    August 31, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Sgt Joe

    Success? A bit too early to brag about "success" Boehner. This is a political grandstanding act if ever I saw one. What a complete idiot this man is. And what a disgraceful and disrespectful way to treat our President. Grow up and accept that you are not in power here. I would think that Obama will not "take credit" for anything other than honoring his commitment to get us out of that mess. But, success? Why are 50K troops still there? How about all the car bombs that continue? What about all the money that went into buildings that will never be used? We could have used that money at home. Go gloat somewhere else; we don't want to hear your phoney rant.

    August 31, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results,"

    You forgot to mention that the President was against this war of "choice and aggression" from the beginning. I can care less about the effects of the surge. We should have not been there in the first place!!! I haven't heard the President take credit for this Mr. Boehner, so stop putting words in his mouth.

    August 31, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. shawn

    Obama is on the right side of history, Republicans the wrong. This war was a totally unnecessary disaster that only created more al Qaeda where it never was before...like Iraq...and weakened the USA. We threw away a trillion dollars and hundreds of thousands of people dies for LIES. Obama was right to oppose the war and right to end it. Best vote I ever cast.

    August 31, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    I'm sure the GOP claims it invented aluminum foil and discovered that the earth was round.

    August 31, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. hobart

    What the President said as a Senator, and what he did as a President are two different things. He provided a troop surge in Afghanistan, when President Bush did not, and he brought the war in Iraq to a close on the timetable he said he would, when John McCain said we'd be there another 100 years. But, as is typical for you, Mr. Boehner, and the Party of No that you represent, you're all bluster, lies and obstruction, and no action.

    August 31, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    This is what I like about John Boehner. Besides agreeing completely with everything he said here, and he was being kind for not bringing up that the Democrats were calling the Iraq war, " unwinnable", I love his timing. His speech before Obama's shows a confidence I want to see out of the Republican leadership now. They have good reason to show confidence today.

    August 31, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. rdepontb

    Rep Boehner,

    If this is all you've got, it is high time you retired and got a real job. Stop living off the people-you've been in DC far too long!

    FOUR MONTHS OF THE YEAR PLAYING GOLF???

    August 31, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Video Guy

    The best thing we can do for our country is but Boehner on the unemployment line. I will be voting in Nov with the idea that I love my country too much to vote for a Republican.

    August 31, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Former Republican, now an Independent

    The only success that Boehner and his republicans had in Iraq was the successful murdering of hundreds of American soldiers over a false war that had more to do with personal interests than a threat to the U.S.

    August 31, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. rdepontb

    Rep Boehner,

    If this is all you've got, it is high time you retired and got a real job. Stop living off the people-you've been in DC far too long!

    FOUR MONTHS OF THE YEAR PLAYING GOLF??? That watered down to nothing speech you gave us a few weeks ago on "ideas" to turn the economy around, the ones bested by any college kid's try??? That unnatural tan. Enough said, sir.

    Stop trying to distract and disrupt this nation. Leave us all alone!

    August 31, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. mms55

    is he willing to take responsibility for 4000+ lives lost for no reason to?boenher is an idiot.there is no win in iraq ,we should have never been there period.

    August 31, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. chester drawers

    The disrespect the GOP has shown the troops is despicable.

    August 31, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but....

    Success in Iraq can only be declared when 10 year old Iraqi children are working 12 hour days for 10 cents an hour stitching together Elmo backpacks for Wal-Mart. All joking aside, what a shame that our troops fought and died for Halliburton, only to have China come in and scoop up all of the lucrative oil contracts. Cheney must be furious. Have a nice day!

    August 31, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. XWngLady

    ANYONE WHO KNOWS ANYTHING about what REALLY happened in Iraq knows that the so-called "surge" is NOT what led to the downtick in insurgent activity in Iraq. The so-called "Awakening" is what did it, and this was not a tactical/kinetic effort, but mostly a strategic/soft-power effort. And by the way, it was well under way before any troops began being depoloyed for any so-called surge. By the time the surge in troops occurred, the hard work of implementing a new strategy had already been done....ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE EITHER DOESN'T KNOW SQUAT ABOUT THE SITUATION IN IRAQ OR THEY ARE BEING DISHONEST FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES!!!! (ahem....
    Republicans).

    August 31, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. barry

    George W Bush and his strategies made the Iraq war successful. Like him or not he was a strong leader and our enemies feared him and our allies respected him. That's a 180 from what we have for a leader now.

    August 31, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. David

    Dang Boehner is a boner, there would have been more than one way to exit with other options being just as if not more viable. As this path had already been undertaken kudos to Obama for having this wisdom to continue down the path (of course putting his touches on it) and even for keeping Gates on. Bottomline, the GOP proved inept in both Iraq and Afganistan and Obama has had to make tea out of the pile of crap the GOP gave him.

    August 31, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Obama Mama

    Tanning bed fried this idiot's brain. 'What a joke

    August 31, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. JDD

    It's hard to argue with the face-value of Obama's quote from before the surge.

    It's also hard to ignore that this Administration's Iraq policy roughly mirrored the Bush Administration's. In fact, after President Obama obtained Office, he pretty much reversed all promises made with regard to the war during the Presidential Campaign.

    And he is about to try to take credit for something he plainly opposed and blatantly tried to use – sucessfully – for political advantage.

    August 31, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. David M

    Any one that started the war and the taking praise when troops ratchet down is like some one starting a house fire where multiple fire fighters loose there life's tons of resources wasted, gets advice from the same personnel sent to put out the fire wants to go on and take acclamations for saving the house next door. These people are a joke

    August 31, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. 60s survivor

    he was right to oppose the war. yeah wait and see John the bone head never ceases to amaze with his patent predictability

    August 31, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Dano

    Mr. Boner I don't believe that President Obama is going to claim any of the so-called "success" you claim occurred in Iraq. All he's done is to fullfill a campaign promise. American troops are still in danger there. Suicide bombers are still performing their cowardly acts seemingly at will. Iraq is no closer to Western style democracy now than it was 7 years ago. Does anyone really believe that Iraq won't fall right back into chaos as soon as American troops are gone? This sounds like more "Mission Accomplished" rhetoric to me from the most tanned one!

    August 31, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Jon

    Too bad the Republicans got us into this immoral and illegal quagmire in the first place. Yes, Obama was wrong about the surge. It worked, and I'm glad. But I'll never forget who got us into this mess to begin with, and I'll keep that memory alive at the voting booth.

    August 31, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. John in Cal

    many thought and rightly that the surge would bring on more violence. It did up until a good commander was able to turn things around. We still see lots of killings going on but now it's not our troops getting killed because they are in the forts we set up and not going out. I'm glad that the surge did work finally. but the big question still is why was it nessessary to go to Iraq in the first place as they were contained and did not have anything to do with 9/11?

    August 31, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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