September 9th, 2008
12:41 PM ET
12 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. Tired of the Nonsense

    Who is Sara Palin –

    Before you swing/undecided cast your vote, here is something you better consider –

    She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has ABSOLUTELY no foreign policy experience.

    Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.

    She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.

    Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.

    She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.

    She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.

    How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.

    ......and she's STILL under investigation for firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan when he refused to sack her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper involved in a custody battle with her sister, abusing her position as governor.

    With the economic and national security stakes this would think a decision this important would have warranted a little more thought.

    Do we really need a candidate who allows her personal views to interfere with her job?????

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. McCain=War

    Go ahead and vote for McCain/Palin because you like lipstick. You will be voting to seal america's doom.

    Our sons and DAUGHTERS will be sent to invade Russia, Iran, and probably N. Korea...why do you think they were so pro-military and getting people to chant strange and misplaced patriotic phrases (similar to new recruits) at the republican convention? They want us to blindly follow them into more wars.

    God help us all if you are stupid enough to vote republican.

    Obama has always been right about the war. He is still right. To not see it is to be blind.

    September 9, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Well If Obama has the plan then if he gets elected we should expect that all troops will be out of Iraq in the next 3-4 months. Remember two years ago when Pelosi told you that she would bring the troops home? Well all she got accomplished was to hold up a war spending bill.

    September 9, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. baby mama

    this loser was wrong on the surge...............and he is wrong for the future............go on back to Chicago and take your loser Obamamites with you

    September 9, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |

    A --–C O M M U N I T Y--–O R G A N I Z E R ' S--O P I N I O N-–

    September 9, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Republican for Obama

    The hypocrisy is astounding!

    In the 18 months Palin was governor Alaska received $750 million in earmarks for a state of 660,00 people, that's $1,136 per person.

    In the 3.5 years since Obama has been a Senator for the state of Illinois he has requested (not received) $932 million in earmarks for a state of 12,831,970, that's $72 per person.

    People need to wake up and do some unbiased research. This McCain/Palin ticket is out of control with their lies and misleading stories. is your friend people, use it!

    September 9, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. HIllarySupporter

    People you Vote for Mccain you will see your kids drafted and sent to the war without end.

    September 9, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. voter

    Hello! Hillary was also aganist timetables. Obama did not take this idea away from her. lets stop the fake bickering amoungst democrats and do what is right for the country which is voting Obama.

    September 9, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. Bush is Sarah Palin in Lipstick

    No one has yet to answer the question of WHY DID WE GO TO IRAQ IN THE FIRST PLACE???????

    September 9, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. Hillary 2012

    Obama you were against for surge

    Now surge is working

    You didn’t pick Hillary

    Now every thing against you

    Gallup poll Mc Cain 49% Obama 44% ( 09-09-08)

    September 9, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Truth Be Told

    Do you get the feeling that, no matter which Republicans had run, the Obama campaign would have attempted to portray them as another Bush-Cheney administration?

    Speaking of change, the Congressional Quarterly cites that, while Obama voted with his party 96% of the time, McCain voted in sync with the Republicans only 81% of the time.

    September 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |

    C ' M O N --- M R ---O B A M A---H A V I N G---L O O K S--

    L I K E----Y O U ----F O R G O T---S A Y--–A ---S T E P–

    I N--–T H E---R I G H T--–D I R E C T I O N

    September 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Bush is trying to say, "See, we're pulling troops out," in an attempt to blunt Obama's plan for organized troop withdrawal. But the fact remains that neither Bush nor McCain have any particular interest in getting us out of Iraq. Neither Bush nor McCain see the mistake in invading Iraq in the first place. Neither Bush nor McCain see any problem with continuing to spend $10 billion a month staying in Iraq while ignoring major military problems in Afghanistan and major economic problems here at home.

    The question isn't whether Bush is or is not withdrawing troops, it's where his and McCain's heads are regarding Iraq. And all evidence suggests they're in the same place. And it's a very dark place, indeed.

    Obama / Biden 08. The thinking person's ticket.

    September 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. LB

    If you have children soon to be 18 you best pray McCain and Palin don't win or they may soon be in McCain's next war. If your planning for your kids to go to college you also had best not vote for McCain. Present college Federal tuition loans for students are running at 6.5% and then the parents will have to borrow the balance on a Parent-Plus loan at 8.5% because Bush and McCain didn't but a cap on what lenders can charge you now for student loans. Obama want to help kids get into college and help with the tuition. McCain doesn't care, he never attended college and he never had to worry about college tuitions for his kids. If I owned 7 houses I wouldn't have to worry either.

    September 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. David

    The Bush/McCain administration says Bin Laden is a huge threat to America, yet as Obama said, they have done nothing to go after or capture him. The only thing they seem interested in is Iraq, until now, when Bush showed slightly more interest in Afghanistan (Which Obama has been saying to do since the start of this campaign) ...Its ridiculous how they use fear to sway voters. If you think Bush/McCain actually want to capture Bin Laden you are sadly mistaken, yet people keep giving them chances to get him. Without Bin Laden...they have no way to get votes.

    September 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. The Voice of Common Sense (Independent Voter - Charlotte, NC)

    Common sense tells you that an overwhelming force (aka: surge) will suppress or overwhelm one that is not superior to itself as long as it exists or is in practice. That is why violence has gone down in Iraq, but that violence is simply suppressed waiting patiently to reemerge. As soon as the troops are pulled out, the violence will return because the lack of an overwhelming force will create a power vacuum that will be filled by those hungry for the control of Iraq.

    Now, with that said, this darn war should have never been a war in the first place! It is an illegal conflict that defies international laws and even those of the United States itself!

    This mess should have never been made! Shame on you Bush!

    September 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. maynard hopkins wi

    this just goes to show you that something is a miff with Obama. he was ready to bail out some time ago, It was a waste of time and money......this guy is lacking something upstairs remember the hand over the heart then the lapel pin

    And he wants to be president I DON'T THINK SO,,,,,,,

    September 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Phil in KC

    It was never about the terrorists. It has always been about Bush's private agenda.

    September 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Sick & Tired of Nobama

    Hey Nobama, why don't you just shut up. There is no McCain – Bush strategy. McCain has not been running this country has he?? By the way, you are in the Senate and have done nothing, nada about this war so just shut up now.

    September 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. janine

    “Only in Republican America would a black man with a law degree from Harvard, 12 years in politics, four years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and manager of one of the most impressively flawless and forward thinking presidential campaigns ever not be ready for the presidency while a white female evangelical with 19 months in national politics and a bachelors in journalism is considered ‘ready on day one’.”

    September 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. ez

    I think Mr. Obama and the democrats need to continue to talk about the issues; and not get involved in the petty political games the republicans and John McCain has been playing for the last eight years. We know that real change is to elect Obama/Biden and get rid of these republicans bums.

    Republican voting for Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. former hillary supporter now for Obma

    Sorry Johnny...she aint Hillary

    September 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. S. Shay

    Thank you Senator's the judgment folks, it's the JUDGMENT!!

    Obama has been consistently right on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, economics, women's rights, upholding the Constitution, realizing that Americans want and need a change and doing something about it John Palin McBush has been consistently wrong on all of the above and on the final test of his judgment he chooses a running mate neither he nor the American people knows WHO IS CURRENTLY EYEBALLS DEEP IN AN ETHICS SCANDAL who has no experience in American politics and who every other story that comes out about her reveals her to be radical, scary and mean and we are supposed to now TRUST MCCAIN'S JUDGMENT?? Not in this lifetime. No way, now how, no Palin/McCain (and it's Palin/McCain because she is running his campaign, he doesn't even have the judgment to do that for himself.) NO THANKS!

    September 9, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Community Organizers

    Bush, McCain, & Sarah three birds of a feather destroying America together, he wants to release 8,000 troops because the surged worked, but what about the other 4,500 that had to be released in a box back home, and where is Osama why you didn't follow him to the cave he live in, just admit to the American People that this war shouldn't never had happened, the next time instead of using our innocent sons and daughters to fight in your uncause for wars send all the Republicans, Sex Offenders, & People thats on Death Row, whats wrong another book was realeased on all of your lies you are getting scared.

    September 9, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. ginger

    Sen. Obama, you are right again. I cannot wait for you to move into the White House.

    September 9, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11