September 9th, 2008
12:41 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama lukewarm on Iraq drawdown announcement

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Bush announced that he plans to withdraw 8,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by February, 2009 ."]

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (CNN) – Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday the Bush administration’s announcement it was bringing some U.S. troops home fell short, calling it a “modest” step that indicated no real change in policy.

“At this point what it appears is the next president will inherit a status quo that is still unstable, Obama told reporters at a high school outside Dayton. “And what’s going to be required is a comprehensive strategy, and that’s what I’ve been offering for the last two years.

“We should have a comprehensive strategy for bringing this war to a close and not what we heard from president today, which is essentially some tinkering around the edges and kicking the can down the road to the next president.”

Obama gave lukewarm praise to the president’s announcement that more U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan, something the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee routinely calls for in his stump speech.

“I am glad that the President is moving in the direction of the policy that I have advocated for years. But the most substantial increase will come when an additional Army brigade is deployed five months from now – in February, after the President has left office. His plan comes up short – it is not enough troops, and not enough resources, with not enough urgency,” he said.

The Democratic nominee also continued his regular practice of linking John McCain with President Bush on foreign policy.

“Last week, we heard a lot of tough talk in St. Paul, but we didn’t hear much about the Bush-McCain record,” he said. “Because seven years after 9/11, we are still fighting a war without end in Iraq and we still haven’t taken out the terrorists responsible for 9/11. That’s where George Bush and John McCain’s judgment has gotten us."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Of course, the Holy Redeemer is lukewarm about what President Bush has announced. The Way has difficulty crediting anyone who is not a liberal democrat with anything, and trying to get him to admit to plain old fallibility is impossible. For someone who stutters and stammers like a 13-year-old he is awfully supercilious.

    September 9, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. FreeNLovIt

    Hillary we LOVE you!!

    September 9, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Mike, TX

    Obama needs increased US casualties in Iraq to keep him relevant. The dems are actively cheering for the US to be defeated. It is obvious to everyone.

    September 9, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Splurge

    Sounds like Obama is worried about Bush stealing his withdrawal thunder. lol Can't even bring himself all this campaign to admit the surged worked and then when he was baited into doing so he claimed that he had said so all along. If his ego is causing this much interefernce in his campaign what will it cost us if he's president?

    September 9, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Amber in AZ

    Oh yeah, and this is ridiculous about Palin being sheilded from the media. How is she supposed to stare down Putin who has been in the KGB since he was 22 if she cant take on Campbell Brown? I wouldn't be suprised if she tries to cancel the VP debate. Show her no mercy Joe like this administration has shown the Iraqi people no mercy.

    September 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Kayla

    What's lukewarm is Bush's attempt to save face. Can't fool us...Americans see this as a sorry attempt to save the Republicans. How interesting is the timing that in the midst of a campaign, Bush finally talks about sending troops home.

    September 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. pa.joe

    The Bush administration invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq using faulty intelligence to justify their ulterior motives. Over the last 6 years they have changed the rational for going to war many times. First it was Iraq had WMDs then it was to topple Sudan Hussein, then it was to spread democracy. Now it’s the front against terrorism. None of these are the real reason we went to war. All of the trumped up intell and phony reasons for war were a ruse the Bush administration used to get American military into Iraq to protect our oil interests in the region. Imagine if we had invested all those billions of dollars in protecting our borders and developing alternative energy sources. We would be a safer, more energy independent, and more respected nation. But alas we are mired in war and dangerously dependent on oil from foreigners who hate us. The Bush administration failures most be recognized if we are ever to get past them.

    September 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Bush never seemed to understand that it took the founding fathers a while to get everything settled, and they were working themselves to get a new government. It should have occured to someone in the Bush administration and their friends that it would take quite a while for Iraq and Afghanistan to be put back together.

    Doing one at a time would have been better. Maybe if we had not have the conflict in Iraq, oil prices might not have jumped so much. We could have talked to Iran about them securing their side of the Afghan boarder.

    September 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. sue

    To Bush is Sarah Palin in Lipstick:

    Why we went to war in Iraq?

    Answer: Cheney = Haliburtan and Haliburton = oil and oil = money

    September 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Sandy

    He should be COLD, this war was nonsence to begin with. Now it's left up to Republican and Democratic peeps to answer for Bush's mistakes.

    September 9, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Breck

    I find it hilarious you ReDUMBlican scumbags still think Palin has more experience than Obama since you can't be troubled to actually look at their records, and that you still refuse to admit Obama was right all along about Iraq.

    September 9, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Why should he be anything more THAN lukewarm? After all, the Bush admin/Repubs have only STARTED this idea of a "drawdown" or troop reduction, SINCE future POTUS Obama said he will do as much once he takes office...remember his "be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in" statement? GWB is trying to start that process to make things look better for McCain and his gun-totin' book banning VP running mate. Looking at GWB in the waning days of his administration and the McCain campaign, it seems that all they can DO now is steal Obama's ideas and concepts!
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12–YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. John in Ohio

    It's not a troop drawdown... Bush is just reducing the troops that were there for the surge.

    September 9, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. USMC

    Some of you Obama people are painfully stupid, and the McCain followers aren't much better. It's not that I support either party right now, the choice to me is not clear, but what is clear is that the Independents such as myself will decide this election, not the party faithfulls. All of the foolish degrading names you give to the candidates is beginning to get on my nerves, it's all the same, and it's all worse than the rhetoric we keep hearing from the candidates. No wonder the choice isn't clear.

    September 9, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Tell It Like It Is

    I miss Hillary Clinton. She gave Obama some of his best talking points and political phrases.

    She actually kept a forum of issues and ideas in the present tense.

    But you can't blame her for slippin into the background.
    After all why would she want to 'carry water' for Obama/ Biden.

    "Yes, Hill, carry that water and if you're lucky we'll let you iron our shirts. "

    September 9, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. obama for potus!!! si se puede!!!

    Republicans Hate America September 9th, 2008 1:08 pm ET

    I want to know why this is not surrender when the republicans draw troops down. Obama once again is correct as always. you inbreeds stay with McPhony and Gidget i will vote for a real leader.

    Its not a surrender because of course the conditions are allowing the troops to leave. Obama has been saying withdraw since the war started, because his base is anti war(good), and he didnt have achoice in the matter. Just because he was against this war doesnt mean he was right to withdraw everyone then. BTW a pro war VP is just a heartbeat away on your ticket as well.

    September 9, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. J J

    I thought that Barack wanted all the troops out in 16 months. Amazing how his position has changed since he has started running. He doesnt have a clue.

    September 9, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Do you clowns want a democracy of a theocracy? Frankly, a lot of people are getting tired of having the country's agenda hijacked by the God Squad!

    September 9, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. dittohead with forty names

    Im so clever.I get all my talking points from the man with the golden microphone,my hero and god,Rush Limbaugh.

    September 9, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Cathy

    Bush is not fooling anyone. He is making this modest drawdown to try to help McSame and his pit bull in lickstick win the election. I agree with Obama. It is definitely not enough and their game will not work.

    September 9, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. L.A.

    Some is better than none. I do understand where Obama is coming from, but on the same token that's 8,000 troops that won't be in harms way. We'll get the rest of them out, Obama, when you're president.

    September 9, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. ss

    That's right Barack stay on course. We got your back

    September 9, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    His idea of open government would likely include distribution of National Security Council meeting minutes!!

    What ignorant people we are to add credence to Obama's absurd comments. There are a thousand valid reasons to not publish a withdrawel plan–so that our enemies know our time-line. The current administrations appears to be ahead of schedule–even without Obama there to oversee

    Another example of his supreme ignorance of defense strategy.

    September 9, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain and Palin are asking Americans to take a ride on "The Bridge to Nowhere". Isn't that what we've been on for the past 8 years?

    September 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Change Is Coming!

    Remaining Obama Supporters:

    Change your mind. Change your vote.
    Change We Can Believe In.

    September 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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