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

Obama lukewarm on Iraq drawdown announcement

President Bush announced that he plans to withdraw 8,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by February, 2009 .

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. Bruce

    well Obama was right and now Bush is finally doing something ,but he is letting it go until he is out of office so that the next person will have to clean up his mess, or continue it.
    About time he saw the light that he should have spent the time and money to go after the murderer of our citizens...or ahve all the repubs forgotten who actually did attack us 7 years was not the iraqi's.
    For those who want to dimiish what a community organizer does get off your butts and do something for your community and the citzens og THIS country who need help.

    September 9, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. SHAME







    September 9, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. LET IT GO

    LOL proud army and navy mom I feel sorry for you. You don't even know what's going on.

    September 9, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    Looks more and more as if the G.O.P. is following the policies advocated by Obama.

    Maybe they ARE listening.

    September 9, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Spencer from VA

    It sounds like Sen. Obama knows what he is talking about. And warmonger McCain wants to keep troops there indefinitely. Even this unpopular president is "trying" to wise up. Although 8,000 is far from 300,000 troops. They need to refocus mission to Afghanistan.

    September 9, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Johanna not voting GOP

    Just in from former Mayor Ed Koch:
    I have concluded that the country is safer in the hands of Barack Obama, leader of the Democratic Party and protector of the philosophy of that party. Protecting and defending the U.S. means more than defending us from foreign attacks. It includes defending the public with respect to their civil rights, civil liberties and other needs, e.g., national health insurance, the right of abortion, the continuation of Social Security, gay rights, other rights of privacy, fair progressive taxation and a host of other needs and rights.

    If the vice president were ever called on to lead the country, there is no question in my mind that the experience and demonstrated judgment of Joe Biden is superior to that of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is a plucky, exciting candidate, but when her record is examined, she fails miserably with respect to her views on the domestic issues that are so important to the people of the U.S., and to me. Frankly, it would scare me if she were to succeed John McCain in the presidency.

    September 9, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Team America

    Obama's new campaign slogan: There is no "I" in team, but there is a "me".

    September 9, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Tired of the Lies

    What's the matter…thunder gone….poor Barack. His best strategy seems to be adopting McCain's.

    If you'd been following events for the last 17 months instead of the last 17 hours, you would be able to easily see that McCain's poll results were low until he started usurping Obama's platform.

    McCain's campaign reminds me of Palin's Bridge to Nowhere: advocate for one thing until you realize it's not working, then flip-flop and brag about how right you are. But always, always insist it was what you thought all along.

    September 9, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Dave

    What Obama fails to mention is that the troop withdrawal was done according to the suggestions of the commanders on the ground. Obama has said that he would consult with the commanders on the ground. Bush is doing this, Obama is merely playing politics with a war that at this point can and should be won.

    September 9, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. linda seeba

    mr maccaine is changeing word and that is change may be him and sara pailene or sara plaine should take more listen from mr obama ..ok ofter all it wont work .oh i mean ofter 8 years. when we say change we want obama he is the man yes he is the men .

    September 9, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Byrd

    Some of you are truly ignorant...even in 2004 electorial debuts they were saying troops should be conentrating on aghanastahn and not iraq......also its funny this year that democrats have had a femal nominee as well as advocating change in the economy....all of a sudden you have a female vp pick for republicans and have changed their campaign slogan to change as well....since repubs are doing the same thing over and over again now they are either copying democrats or taking their advised and submitting as their own accomplishments

    September 9, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Kent

    In order for Bush/McCain to continue their war efforts, did it ever occur to many of you that the DRAFT will probably come into play? Hang on tight folks, the DRAFT is coming for a loved one near you!

    September 9, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. tracy

    Obama is correct and we need that 10 billion over here rebuilding our American whle the Iraqis sit on 79 billion dollars of oil profits. These people are hating on Obama because he is the man. Bush fell short and McCain wants to double down on this failed strategy. Al-Queada sent a tape and Bush is ignoring the call.

    September 9, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. Phoenix

    Obama, why should you worry. Isn't it funny how these people keep adopting your policies and then people are acting like somehow their ideas are original such as change. Remember, Republicans are copy cats.

    REAL REPUBLICANS - DO NOT SUPPORT PALIN AND MCCAIN (You will be a sellout. This message is endorsed by an angry black Republican)

    September 9, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Vincent

    proud army and navy mom,

    I'm with you, four more years of the same!! Can't wait!! My kids will suffer but, you know what, I don't care!!!! And about my Veteran's benefits? I don't need them either.

    I am so happy that I don't need to think for a living, I LIKE it that others can do it for me!!

    September 9, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Willa-PA

    Below you will read but a few votes McCain voted against.

    September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments. At the time, nearly 65% of people polled in a CNN poll indicted that "things are going either moderately badly or very badly inIraq.

    May 2006: McCain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.

    April 2006: McCain was one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.

    March 2006: McCain voted against increasing Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.

    In reading a past piece by The Hill dated, May 17th, 2007, you will read, “Sen. McCain has spent considerable time defending the president on Iraq and catering to the Republican base on immigration, but has only managed to show up for four of the last 14 Iraq votes…”

    It is no wonder why that protester who interrupted his speech was so angry. I would be too especially if a candidate could become the next president of the United States.

    September 9, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Deandra, NY

    Bush is the face of everything that is wrong with this country. I will buy Bob Woodward's book because he is telling the truth. His first book on Bush was very flattering. He would not have written another, unless he wanted to set the record straight. That's the sign of a true American.

    Bush has never cared about anything in his life. His legacy will be one of pain and suffering. The irony is he will suffer for the rest of his life because he will never be able to erase the stain of his presidency. He will never be able to look any American in the eye without seeing their disgust. I blame the entire Bush family. Their personal goals to have three presidents in the family hurt all of us. Bush Sr. allowed his son to run for a job that he simply wasn't qualified to do.

    We are at a crossroad. We have an opportunity for real change, or adapted, bogus promises of change from the GOP. I hope Americans are smarter this time. The country and the world are watching.

    September 9, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Linda

    proud army and navy mom fits in perfect with McCain/Palin. I hate to tell you but Palin is now showing us that she can only stand by old McCain and repeat the words written for her by the Bush and McCain cronies. She can't talk to anyone or be on her own. She is a sarcastic, degrading and now finding out her special memorized speech is full of lies and great spin. How pathetic to think most Americans will fall for her empty energy. If she is so tough and smart why is this maverick letting McCain and co. hide her in a closet not allowing her to talk since she is so ready to take over our country if needed??????????? Palin definately belongs with the lieing schemeing republicans in there now!

    September 9, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |

    Wasn't that Hillary's plan?

    Nice try Obama... man you are really sinking fast... must be the big rock between your ears

    September 9, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Lone Star Wolf

    Well hopefully take it from a 28-year retiree of the United States Army who has one son who is also a retiree of the Army and another one who is a LTC Battalion Commander of a unit just back from Iraq finishing his third tour there. He says the job is not done and OBAMA is full of crap if he thinks the military wants to run from the enemy. SO YOU PEOPLE VOTE HIM INTO OFFICE AND LET THE DEMOCRATS FINISH DESTROYING OUR ONLY SECURITY WITH THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES. McCAIN/PALIN 08.

    September 9, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. David

    The Iraq War always has been a mistake caused by G W Bush. The surge had two goals, only one has been met. The one goal that is failing is the Iraqi government were to restructure itself and take over.They were supposed to have elections in October, and by all accounts that is not going to happen. The surge had two objectives, and only one has been met.

    Ask McCain why Bin Laden is still free to move around seven years after 9/11? Ask McCain why did he and Bush dropped the ball on the War on Terror? Ask McCain how many brave Americans should die for righting a wrong?Ask McCain how many Americans should suffer here, while he supports giving American tax dollars to aid Iraq who raised a 79 Million surplus

    You know executive experience means nothing these days. For example Bush has way more executive experience than Palin, and look how well America benefited from that over the last 8 years. We need people who have good judgment , who is not disconnected from Americans who are suffering. We need Obama

    September 9, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. The Patriot

    Team McCain:

    All McCain talked about was his status as a POW until beauty queen Palin came along. P-O-W is the sound you will hear when her ballon pops! Barack said it – AMERICAN'S ARE NOT STUPID!!!!

    September 9, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. FreeNLovIt

    These two parties are fused together. WE must make good use of them. It is necessary and essential we balance them to protect AMerica.

    Overall, we need to call the attack dogs home.

    Let's learn from the military: Hit lethally and re-supply.

    There will be more wars, so let's take good care of our economy so we can fight for freedom, in the next 100 years.

    This is a marathon race. We must pace ourselves to win MAJOR battles. In my mind, Bush's persistence, has paid off and paved the way for negotiation to happen.

    Now, we need Obama to start a conversation with them.

    September 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. bill mullis

    bush is history what a legecy he leaves behind budget was balanced when supreme court elected him now my great great grand kids will pay for his blunders BUT WHO WILL PAY FOR THE WRONGFUL DEATHS THAT THIS MISERABLE EXCUSE FOR HUMAN BEING CAUSED CAINT WAIT TILL BUSH IS BACK IN TEXAS

    September 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Foreign observer

    Secret killings of Irak insurgents and their family members probably is an idea from Cheney. Bush asked for body count and so he received it. That´s the way Irakis have learned about how democracy works. The style remembers at Saddam – stupid.

    September 9, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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