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. He's the changiest

    The changing mind of Obama:

    Change You Can Believe In. Or Not.

    September 9, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Tony

    Never underestimate the ignorance, nor the gulibility, of the American people.

    The republicans don't. As a matter of fact, they count on it.

    September 9, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. MIKE






    September 9, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Texas Straight Talker

    Rick Davis said on MSNBC on Friday morning that the McCain campaign will do WHATEVER it takes to win including shielding Palin from the press totally if that is what it takes. This statement is frightening and disturbing! Why should Palin be shielding from questions that ALL American should have about the person who may well be responsible for this country should McCain win and something happens to him. We deserve to know where she stands on the issues and she should be under the same microscope that certainly Obama, Biden and (somewhat) McCain have been under. Please don't allow race, lies, smears and even fears to cloud your judgement in this election. We have way too much at stake to allow another Republican to take office for another four years. If John McCain really wanted to "shake up Washington" he would have done so by now. After all, he has had more than 25 years to do it. Don’t be fooled – not this time!

    September 9, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. The Patriot


    Check out Bob Woodward's new book, "The War Within" This is THE WORST PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY! John McCain could not gather a crowd of mice before Palin came along. How can some of you be so shallow and stupid to fall for this. She is a woman with no qualifications to be President. I dont care if she does it in a skirt. John McCain and I agree on one point – the world is too dangerous for this type of inexperience.

    Let's give McCain and Palin a ride on the bridge to nowhere....

    September 9, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. debbie

    Ofcourse he is lukewarm, its not like he can jump up and down about what bush did... if he does that he wouldnt have anything else to run on.

    September 9, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. question

    obama, is not a happy camper.....the troops are comming home...and he wants to send them to afganitan.......instead...doesnt look good ...when he tells everyone they going back war...........

    September 9, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. anon

    proud army and navy mom said: It was a nice try the whole "Change" and "Hope" thing. however why dont you try again in 2016 when your resume doesnt resemble that of a college summer hire.

    Interesting you should say that given that McCain is now running on that "change" thing your so mocking. And if you even bothered to read Obama's "summer resume", it wouldn't be full of lies like that one that Palin has.

    September 9, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Linda K.

    A real leader has the judgment to know the difference between a war worth fighting and an unfortunate mistake.

    We need judgment in the White House again.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. SHAME

    to proud army mom and navy mom no one is born is experienced. you stated that obama resume resemble a college summer hire and is not qualify to be POTUS. you are correct he is qualify for greater things. Let your republicam continued to run down your lovebable USA for in four years this wonderful black man will shine and you will continue to live from pay check to pay check or if you are lucky to have that.

    September 9, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. mike

    Om my gosh, some of the troops are coming home and obama and his fellow liberal bed wetters are not happy. I guess it was not about the troops at all but about making noise. By the way, no one can replace democrat jimmy carter as the worst president in history and well into the future I might expect. Of course if oshame is elected that will change but the democrats will have both of the worst.

    September 9, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    Someone mentioned that it doesnt matter how many people or $ it takes to win, we just need to win.

    I disagree with these statemetns. We have a MARATHON to run and we must not be burned out or overheat ourselves. WE must run to survive the next 100 years War.

    What good is it if you burned out aftr 10 years of war and lose 90 years worth of wars?

    If you win 10 wars, what good is it if you have no economy? Your country has been bought out by foreigners? You owe your enemy money?

    We must be smart! Our government cannot save us. We must save our government. We must demand that the best serve the country!

    September 9, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. eds

    Sorry if this repeats–hard to believe comments are not closed! Didn't get any notification so:

    Proud Army and Navy Mom:
    YOUR right to vote was a direct result of "community organizers".

    All the loud idiots that knock people who actually care about others, and try to help should clam it.

    This country needs way more people willing to help others/volunteer/THINK and ACT charitably rather than continuing on their egocentric paths to out-doing the guy next door.

    Change and Hope are what made this country great.

    The founding fathers didn't have one wit of "job experience' on their resumes–just the guts to try.

    September 9, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. steve dumford, Scotts valley ca.

    Just like he was "lukewarm" about the troop surge, Oh, that was before it was obvious it worked. Just like he had lukewarm thoughts about maybe joining the military. Oh, that's right, there wasn't a war. He would have joined if there had been one. Oh, and he's "lukewarm" about NAFTA, and rescinding the tax cuts for the rich,
    Let me see, he was also "lukewarm' about the Patriot Act, before he voted for it. And then there's his "lukewarm" supprt for offshore oil drilling. But, wasn't he against that? Looks like he's signed on to almost all of McCains positions. Guess we can start calling him "McBama. "

    September 9, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. John

    Obama was wrong, as were most of us, about the surge. McCain was right. Obama's line on taxes will not convince people either. Taxing businesses and raising the capital gains tax will affect everyone. Also, the democrats shouldn't raise the experience issue or the former pastor issue (as CNN is doing) regarding Palin. These are two issues that only hurt Obama. But hey, that's fine with me. So, full steam ahead, CNN!

    McCain 08.

    September 9, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Jean


    Does Obama want to bring the troops home or not?

    He says he does but when the President decides to start the withdrawal it's not ok. Sounds like Obama is losing his sound bytes and his ability to run against President Bush.

    Come on, Barrack... when are you going to put America First?

    September 9, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. redneck for obama

    he's only 'drawing down' to the level of the pre-surge. he has left a mess ,for the next president, and mccain isnt equipped to deal with it. neither is palin.

    September 9, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. ANGIE

    Once again obama has been right all along that disgrace of a president has no right to talk about our brave men and woman putting them in harms way and getting them killed ON HIS LIES I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL SENATOR OBAMA takes over the WHITE HOUSE!

    September 9, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. No Way, No How, NObama

    Obama's whole career has been "lukewarm." Why should anything "change" for him?

    How many "Present" votes does it take to make "Change?"

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 9, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. Alicia, TX

    Give me a break, of course Obama is playing it cool, just like he won't say that the surge worked!

    Obama/Biden are the worst thing that could happen to the presidency!

    At the end of the day, Obama's thin resume will become very clear!

    McCain/Palin '08!!!

    September 9, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Breck

    Good going Obama. Don't let the Bush Administration, one of the worst in history, off the hook. You've been right all along on Iraq, McCain has been wrong, and the old fool still won't admit it.

    September 9, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. question

    sorry ..that was afghanistan.....

    September 9, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. FreeNLovIt

    I watched David Gergen a couple of weeks ago (Economy and Iraq War) and I just watched Woodward on the war in Iraq, and you know, we have A LOT of challenges, but I TRULY believe, that the BEST of the BEST in AMerica can LIFT this country up.

    My favorite statement: Anyone who believes the Republicans can fix the mess they created; also believes the iceberg could've saved the Titanic." — Hillary Clinton

    September 9, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. Anna

    Finally, Bush is trying to make a positive move. It's kind of too late for that. Yes, I must say the worst president in history. Now we need some changing around here. WE NEED TO CLEAN HOUSE and CLEAN UP OUR COUNTRY. Bush left us to hang out and dry. We NEED a president who ACTUALLY cares about "WE THE PEOPLE" and I do know that OBAMA is the closest to saving this country.

    I support OBAMA because we can't stand to lose a chance for CHANGE.


    September 9, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. Bryan, Michigan

    I just completely fail to understand how any american can trust in anything Bush or McCain does or says. Look at their records. McCain will continue to support a war that has no strategy.

    McCain is anything but a maverick and he certainly has flopped on issue after issue solely to get support from the GOP base. Some many of these issues he doesn't even believe in.

    McSame said himself, "I have done some things I am not proud of to get elected." He is a moraless creep and will do nothing differently than the worst president in our history.

    September 9, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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