July 20th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
12 years ago

White House sends press corps al-Maliki praise for Obama plan

al-Maliki praised Obama’s 16-month withdrawal plan in a newspaper report Saturday.

al-Maliki praised Obama’s 16-month withdrawal plan in a newspaper report Saturday.

CRAWFORD, TX (CNN) - An embarrassing slip up for the White House press office Saturday, when an aide hit the wrong button and mistakenly sent to the news media a Reuters article saying Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki backs presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's troop withdrawal plan.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel says, "It was a mistake. Clips list for staff was supposed to be the addressee."

The Obama campaign quickly took advantage of the mistake, forwarding an ABC report detailing the incident to its press list.

This is not the first time the White House has emailed in error. But its timing is particularly embarrassing as the Bush administration's recent agreement with al-Maliki on a "general time horizon" for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq is being cited by some as resembling Obama's proposal that U.S. forces should leave within 16 months.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (1,001 Responses)
  1. g

    Looks like obama's foreign policies are right on for someone whose supposely naive. Admit it this guy knows what he's talking about and isn't just following the crowd but practicing good judgement.

    July 19, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. barackobama4prez

    This wasn't an accident. It was a gift.

    July 19, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Kaye- Jacksonville FL

    Ya gotta love it, don't ya?? Obama is always up around the bend, out in front and Bushie/McSame left scratching their....heads? It's early yet so just watch Obama's lead grow between now and November....he's the only logical choice, even if you don't agree 100% with everything he's done or proposes. The idea of John McCain and another Republican administration for 4 more years makes me wince!

    Go Obama – we're with you in Florida!

    July 19, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. Yonathan

    I mean could Mr Obama have started this trip any better??? Now you have the Iraqi prime minister saying hes right!!!! So stunning even people in the administration are reading it and 'accidentally' sending it out. I want to see how the media covers this one. So the Mccain camp implicitly admits Obama's right on Afghanistan, The Bush administration is showing Obama's right on Iran and has been right, and now you have the Iraqi prime minister saying he thinks Obama's position is the right one while implicitly blasting Mccain's open ended stance.

    WOW!!

    July 19, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. WeLuvObama

    Obama was right all along! He is the man to lead this country. Go Obama!!

    July 19, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. valery, Orlando, FL

    pretty much have to agree with you on that on there.......

    July 19, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Rich from FLA

    Do you think McCain would like to wring W's neck right about now?

    July 19, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. David

    McCains political career should have been over long ago when he was caught in financial scandal. McCain is dirty, corrupt and a phoney (before his major political scandal he would not have been called a maverik this was a design by his powerful political family to save a political career.)

    July 19, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. JD, Florida

    the WH would do us all a great service if they let Obama camp to foreign policy going forward.

    They have stolen pages from Obama's playbook on IRAN & IRAQ.
    what's next, the ECONOMY!!!

    July 19, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Gennamir

    Three pointer for Team Obama!!

    July 19, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Timothy

    Post my comments about the Bush Administration they are corrupt and was trying to hide the truth. Vote Obama!!!!!!

    July 19, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. robert

    wasn't it also Sen. Obama who said we should negotiate with Iran? Funny, isn't that what bush/cheney/rice are doing right now?

    Barack Obama has the strength, courage, decency, honesty and foresight to lead our county as President and Commander-in-chief.

    John McCain (McSame/McBush/McLame) has no credibility any more. Remember the "straight talk express?" He inspired me in 2000. Today, he's reversed himself on torturing detainees, on warantless eavsdropping, drilling in ANWR, etc. He cannot be trusted.

    Obama 08!!!!

    July 19, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Songbird McCain

    Wait...has Obama been elected president already?? He appears to be making wise choices, demonstrating sound judgement, and showing leadership characteristics of someone who is qualified for the job of President of the United States.

    July 19, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This was no "slip". Just posting this on the weekend gets less attention. It's the Republican way of not admitting they're dead wrong. And of course Maliki agrees with Obama, he's told the U.S. to pack your bags. Timetables aren't important when you are asked to leave someones' "House" and when you refuse to leave they usually taken action. And when you're being shot at, that's a good sign to saddle up.

    July 19, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Ann

    Check other news sources for better coverage of this. CNN fails to tell the whole story.

    Maliki fully endorsed Obama's plan 16 month and said the "sooner the U.S. leaves, the better". In addition, the White House intended to only send this to "internal distribution" but hit the wrong button and sent it to "international distribution".

    Nancy Pelosi has also called for a "high-level meeting" with the Iraqi government to discuss our exit strategy. Bush and McCain have done nothing except make more excuses why we should continue our occupation and they continue to lie to us about what the Iraqi government really wants. It's time for Congress to intervene now.

    July 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. episty

    And in that article cited, Maliki specifically endorses Obama's withdrawal plan by name, and just as specifically rejects every Iraq policy plan espoused by John McCain. Not a great way for the White House or the Republican nominee to start their weekends.

    July 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Marc PDX

    But Al-Maliki, while not an enemy, is not exactly an ally either. After all, he wants us to leave Iraq and that's the sole reason he likes Obama. Hardly an endorsement the American people "can believe in".

    Unicorns in Middle Earth for Obama...

    Jimmy Carter all over again...

    NObama N'08

    July 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Minnesota Girl

    A plan similar to Obama's, huh? Sounds good to me. 🙂

    July 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Norma

    lmao...too funny. Thanks White House Press for tell the truth for once.

    July 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Joe

    Obama has been right on Iraq, on Afghanistan, and on Iran. Now the Bush administration and the McCain camp are finally catching up.

    Why are we even bothering having an election this year? Just give it to Obama, he's going to take it with ease.

    July 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. Don

    Well Al-Maliki has to say it, even if he does not believe it is necessarily needed.... no leader og any nation would welcome US troops forever. Thus, this piece of leaked news is no-news!!
    But, in reality, the need for troops is still there. From now on, it does not matter what was someone's opinion in 2002, 2004 or 2006. What matters is someone's ability to lead and manage the situation from 2009 and on, and to do this someone may need to disregard politics and public opinion...

    July 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Want Honesty & Honor in the White House ? ...Vote for the Democrat

    1st ... Americans (nor the Obama campaign) can not Trust the White House. I'd not be surprised if this was an attempt to water down the alignment between Bush & McCain and increase alignment with Obama PURELY FOR POLITICS

    2nd ... John McCain, the self proclaimed expert in Foriegn Affairs has often spoken of the role of Democracy in Iraq. Nothing is more democratic than a soveriegn nation making a determination about it's future. al Maliki's call for a timetable therefore must be respected by the United States, otherwise we loose even more international credibility. Obama's foresight on the need for a timetable shows how far ahead he is on foriegn affairs than McCain or Bush.

    3rd ... DOD Secretary Gates and the President have stated that we need to remove troops from Iraq and place them in Afghanistan. On Friday 7/1808, Secretary Gates stated we are able to maintain all of our troop deployments ( Korea, Europe, Iraq, Afghanistan, other) and also increas the presence in Afghanistan (the REAL war on Terror) without futher stressing military familys with longer tours of duty, postponed/cancelled leave etc. None of these are good for our country's soldiers.

    July 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Joe

    the republican party is vastly out of touch with this country and this world.

    July 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. GERRY

    It's about time the White House admits that it's time for troop witdrawal as Obama has continually said and al-Maliki and the Iraq government is requesting. For al-Maliki to be supporting Obama is no surprise because he can see that our future president is someone he can work with and not take orders from. The Bush administration along with McCain are also beginnign to understand there is going to be CHANGE in the White House that will work to bring back resepect from other world leaders. It's time for McCain to drop out and Bush should just leave early for the games in China and maybe stay there until the morning of January 20, 2009.
    OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW.
    OBAMA – "08" AND BEYOND.

    July 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. Charlene.

    Bush and McCain follow the leader..............OBAMA.

    July 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41