House GOP leaders: Keep Iran out of the mix in Iraq
June 18th, 2014
02:00 PM ET
3 months ago

House GOP leaders: Keep Iran out of the mix in Iraq

Washington (CNN) - Ahead of a White House meeting Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner called on President Barack Obama to lay out a "broader strategy" for how to deal with sectarian violence in Iraq, but the Ohio Republican said the United States should "absolutely not" talk to Iranians about the crisis.

"I can just imagine what our friends in the region, our allies will be thinking by reaching out to Iran at a time when they continue to pay for terrorists and foster terrorism not only in Syria, in Lebanon but in Israel as well," Boehner told reporters after the House GOP weekly conference meeting.

Rep. Buck McKeon, R-California, replied sarcastically when asked if there should be any effort to discuss any response with Iran. "Talking to Iran? Well let's see, we got Russia to help us out in Syria, and now we're going to have Iran help us out in Iraq?"

"It's amazing, the way this country has gone the last couple of years is just mind boggling," said McKeon, who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. "This President has just taken us right down the tubes."

Boehner sidestepped a question about whether he supported airstrikes and said it’s up to the President to lay out what to do next.

“I'm looking for the overall strategy that will help secure the gains that we have made,” said Boehner

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, also declined to give any specific suggestions for what course the administration should pursue in Iraq, but insisted, "Absolutely, positively no boots on the ground.”

Meantime, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, spoke out forcefully against sending U.S. service members into the middle of sectarian strife. “This is an Iraqi civil war and it is time for Iraqis to resolve it themselves,” he said on the Senate floor.

“It is not worth the blood of American service members. It is not worth the monetary cost to the American taxpayer. Rather than spending trillions more refighting President George W. Bush’s war, how about we use that money to build and rebuild our nation’s roads and bridges.”

Reid chastised former Vice President Dick Cheney and other critics of the administration who are encouraging greater military involvement in Iraq. But he did not rule out the use of force, saying he has “no doubt that the President will meet this threat head on, without unnecessarily risking American lives.”

McKeon argued it was Obama, not his predecessor, who is to blame for the conditions in Iraq now, telling reporters he wasn’t surprised at the conditions now. "Who got us out of Iraq without an agreement without leaving a residual force to make sure this didn't happen?"

McKeon also said he wasn’t sure the number of U.S. troops — approximately 275 - the President sent to protect the embassy in Baghdad were sufficient to guard the Americans there now.

Boehner repeated his criticism that Obama has been unresponsive to developments: "The President has been watching what we've been watching for over a year as a situation in Iraq continued to be undermined, yet nothing - nothing - has been done to try and reverse it. I'm hopeful I'll hear something today."

CNN’s Paul Courson contributed to this report


Filed under: Buck Mckeon • Harry Reid • Iraq • John Boehner • Nancy Pelosi • President Obama
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Dems in PA

    The one and only option needed is for president Obama to Resign Effective Immediately.
    -------------------
    The one and only other option is for your crowd to impeach him. What's the delay?

    June 18, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    ""It's amazing, the way this country has gone the last couple of years is just mind boggling," "

    It's only mindboggling if you're a complete freekin imbecile. Anyone with a brain in their head knew, understood and expected Iraq to go precisely in this direction after we pulled out. What we are witnessing is the CONSEQUENCES OF OUR ACTIONS....predicted, inevitable, unavoidable and OUR FAULT. These idiot neocons and partisan hacks on the right are pretending otherwise for no other reason than that they don't want to be held accountable for their part in it...no no...they have to talk about it like it's somehow all Obama's fault because ignoring and/or rewriting history is a congenital disease for conservatives.

    June 18, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. guest

    and cheney's position has nothing to do with moving vast fleets of military vehicles around the desert pointlessly expends tremendous amounts of gasoline and oil prodcuts, a field he happens to have vested interests.

    June 18, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. patNY

    Why didn't someone from the media immediately correct McKeon to his face when he blatantly lied about Obama pulling out troops without an agreement to leave residual troops behind-that it was BUSH who signed the withdrawal order without any residual force agreement with Iraq!

    June 18, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    "Boehner sidestepped a question about whether he supported airstrikes and said it’s up to the President to lay out what to do next."

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Clearly, crybaby doesn't understand how government works. He and Congress should come up with a plan and present it to the President for further action. That he is unaware of how to do his job is a pretty good indication he and the entire rightwing congress need to be shown the door NOW, not in November.

    June 18, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Henri

    I bet in the end he ends up having to send some ground troops back even if its just special forces. The only and only reason it will happen is if oil prices begin to rise from instability due to Iraq having 20% of the world's oil. Doesn't matter who is president in that regard our interest (in this case the working poor) will be harmed on everything – food, transportation, etc. ISIS has already started to take refineries.

    June 18, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    rs
    Dems in PA

    The one and only option needed is for president Obama to Resign Effective Immediately.
    ________________________
    For what? Having the misfortune of having to clean up after Bush and the neocons?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    for doing such a good job of cleaning up after them that it shines a glaring light on just how incompetent that whole crew of warmongers are.

    June 18, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Marty

    The thing about leading from behind is the view never changes.

    June 18, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I hope the GOP remembers the level of disrespect aimed at this POTUS when one of them gets back in the WH.

    June 18, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. yolanda

    Hey Tom I. It is entertaining to observe the double standard....god forbid that one has the audacity to question what this administration does and not expect to be labeled a Rethuglican/teabagger/etc. by the usual open minded, tolerance demanding, objective gang of posters that lives here. No room for discussion, just ridicule.

    June 18, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. CryBabies

    Boy, I did'nt see those numbers coming!!!! How did it happen? That damn GB! It was his fault!

    June 18, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Miguel

    Rudy NYC

    Dems in PA

    The one and only option needed is for president Obama to Resign Effective Immediately.
    -------
    The one and only other option is for your crowd to impeach him. What's the delay?

    ______________________

    I hope neither happens because this train wreck is just too fun to watch.

    June 18, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Not a peep from Guns Over People teatards about being broke now. They want that war money.

    June 18, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Malory Archer

    "Boehner sidestepped a question about whether he supported airstrikes and said it’s up to the President to lay out what to do next."

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Clearly, crybaby doesn't understand how government works. He and Congress should come up with a plan and present it to the President for further action. That he is unaware of how to do his job is a pretty good indication he and the entire rightwing congress need to be shown the door NOW, not in November
    =====================================================================
    Gee, that's funny should put it that way. When the same question came up regarding Syria, the Republicans were yelling and screaming about how the POTUS could not act unilaterally without the approval of Congress. In fact, we did indeed take a vote on it, it failed to pass, and so no military action was taken, not even military aid.

    June 18, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. g

    keep out of it ,let the middle east kill each other 24/7 .bush signed the treaty .no American troops after 2011. Iraq will have to live with it .tell Haliburton no .they are a foreign company any how

    June 18, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. salty dog

    Well Mr. Buck, the real question is are you incredibly incompetent, or a bold face liar. If you don't know who got us out without a residual force your grossly incompetent, and if you do know, your a big liar, what'll it be? Reminds me of the good governor in Jersey.

    June 18, 2014 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. tom l

    The Real Tom Paine

    Well, I guess the only thing that makes the Conservatives happy is a nice, big body count. Now, has there been another mass shooting in the country the NRA can fundraise off of?
    ======

    Your joking, aren't you? Is this your sarcastic tone that you speak of? Because if you would like, I could show you how it is the dems that fundraise off of the shootings. Just like when repubs were fundraising off of Benghazi, it's disgusting. You seem to be more fair minded than most on here so please do some research on this and get back to me. It was Obama and his PAC that have fundraised off of Sandy Hook as well as several other tragedies. Just use the googlez and type in "OFA fundraise shootings" – it will be eye opening for you and perhaps make you realize that YOUR side is just as guilty. Like I have said countless times, your side is no better than the side you vilify.

    June 18, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. tom l

    And when is Rudy going to give credit to Bush for ending the Iraq War as he pointed out earlier? Or is it Biden who said on Larry King that the withdrawal will be looked at as a huge success for the Obama administration? Oh yeah, that's right, he did indeed say that!

    June 18, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    patNY says:
    June 18, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm
    Why didn’t someone from the media immediately correct McKeon to his face when he blatantly lied about Obama pulling out troops without an agreement to leave residual troops behind-that it was BUSH who signed the withdrawal order without any residual force agreement with Iraq!

    Surely you jest... There is no news anymore, nothing but biased gossip.

    June 18, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. rino

    GOP strategy push Obama to do something, then blame him for not doing the right thing. They have no clue on what to do.

    June 18, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Bill Davis

    If Obama single handily ended this conflict today the GOP clown show would say he made the wrong decision. These fools simply refuse to support this American president. They should all be brought up on charges unAmerican...

    June 18, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. california99

    Seriously?! Cheney and the GOP not tired of making millions from the war on Iraq? thru Halliburton and thru LIES!

    June 18, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Ol' Yeller

    yolanda

    Hey Tom I. It is entertaining to observe the double standard....god forbid that one has the audacity to question what this administration does and not expect to be labeled a Rethuglican/teabagger/etc. by the usual open minded, tolerance demanding, objective gang of posters that lives here. No room for discussion, just ridicule.

    Oh no... someone has joined tom I in his victim game! The gang is going to get us, oh my... The gang is going to get us, oh my... the awful, awful gang!
    I noticed neither of you were posting on the thread involving cheney as you wisely saw your usual defense of the war criminals would not have played well there (and the awful gang... and a MOB would have really tore you a new one).

    You two make a good couple... victimdee and victimdumb.
    Oooohhh, that awful gang.

    June 18, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. 1776usa2016

    GOP: We must always have an Arch-Enemy to scare people with.

    Please, please, please don't joint venture with Iran on this Iraq thing.

    You'll ruin all our FEAR, FEAR, FEAR.

    .

    June 18, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Pixie Witch

    Lindsey Graham, this weekend was saying that... that we " should open uop talks with Iran". I heard it with my own ears...Republicans just lie...

    June 18, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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