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. Cheryl L

    Did anyone see Michael Ware this morning? He tells it like it is about Iraq and the surge and the whole battle that is going on.

    September 9, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Cindy

    It's a gimmick. Like Clinton's removal of troups in 60 days. Like the gas tax holiday. While I'm happy for the troups who will be coming home, I don't see longevity in this plan.

    They're playing the American people for fools. Like we did 4 years ago, Like we did 8 years ago... Don't be fooled again, people.

    September 9, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. mike

    By the way oshame voted for the bridge to nowhere. He never met a port barrell project he did not like.

    September 9, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Palin has more experience than Obama

    Poor Obama does not know what to do.

    September 9, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Sammy

    Still funny how people use partyline talking points for their arguments. Both campaigns should simply put a few daily generic responses and people can just cut and paste. Wham bam thank you ma'am.

    September 9, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. proud to be an american

    Listen up you Obama lovers. Obama is connected in ways we do not even know about...Who funded his college and how did he get in..Guess? the Saudi's. Wake up. He will be taking us to socialism and marksism..the goverment will control everything..He is the wrong ticket of change. even Biden aggreed with this way back when...another flip flopper....America needs change but not Obama...
    Vote McCain Palin and save this country from disaster...

    September 9, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |


    YOUR QUOTE "OBAMA DOESN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT Constitution of the United States "



    HE ONLY TAUGHT Constitution Law at Harvard...and the President of the HARVARD LAW REVIEW ........GET YOUR FREAKIN FACTS STRAIGHT.........




    September 9, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Tim

    Duh, he and the rest of the democrats have already acknowledged that they will not follow the advice of the military leaders.

    September 9, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. American For Real Change

    Obam should be ashamed of himself. He has insulted our troops and the American Citizens. We need to continue in Iraq until we have achieved our goal. And we are close to it! Do you want war here on our turf? Then vote for Obama because that is exactly what will happen. Ever since the Dems have demanded that God be taken out of our schools, our Government and out of society in general, America has had turbulance. This wonderful Country was founded on Bibilical Principals.

    September 9, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. DisenfranchisedHills for McCain

    Obama's just can not admit when a big issue of his is no longer relevant to this election! Now,he is scrambling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Panic stricken!!!. You can tell! His whole camp is floundering for a platform for Obama to promote that is still relevant,while McCain keeps looking more capable of making the right decisions. Until they can come up with an important issue,the plan if him to continue attacking a woman who has more experience than him in executive and administrative matters! Not a good plan!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. John McPain


    September 9, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Rob Kole


    Tell the husbands, wives, sons and daughters who are getting their loved ones back safe and sound it a "modest step".

    September 9, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. The Patriot

    Hey Sarah!

    Do you know more about Iraq war that you did not have time for?

    Did you find out what the VP does since you didnt know 2 weeks ago?

    John McCain said he did not know much about the economy – have you taught him yet?

    Hey Sarah, you DID campaign FOR the bridge before you were against it! So much for straight talk!

    Your party has been in control for 7.5+ years. Why should we give you another chance?

    Name me 5 things you can do that are not the same as Bush!
    – Are you FOR tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%?
    – Are you FOR staying in Iraq indefinitely?
    – Are you FOR health care for all Americans (...and Alaskan's)?
    – Are you FOR the Patriot Act?

    YOU WERE NOT VETTED GIRLFRIEND!!!!! It was as much a surprise to you as it was to us!

    September 9, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Moderate and Balanced


    Obama doesn't have a clue what he's talking about and his little "press conferences" designed to make him look "presidential" are ridiculous. There is no doubt in my mind that Obama would not give a hoot what the military commanders suggest...he would do what the far left wants him to do to keep their support. He has NOT been suggesting troop increases in Afghanistan. He condemned it in the primaries!!! It was Hilliary who promoted troop increases. Obama has changed his position so many times he can't remember what he said in the past.

    September 9, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. The Patriot


    September 9, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Kathryn, Nevada

    Obama said: “And what’s going to be required is a comprehensive strategy, and that’s what I’ve been offering for the last two years.

    Lie number..................Oh Heck, I lost count ! ! He only used "comprehensive strategy" after he beat Hillary! Prior to that, he continually said, "Imediate Withdraw".

    I guess he's hoping those people in Dayton don't have good memories!!!!

    Some of us are aware of the only stratagy Obama does use, and that is to thell the people what they want to hear at the time just to get their votes!
    He ust really think we Americans are stupid!

    September 9, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. FL Obama Supporter

    I find it funny that people think Obama is adopting either Hillary's or McCain's policies, when it has clearly been the other way around.

    The one-time Community Organizer will be the next POTUS. Gonna be great!

    Obama/Biden '08/'12

    September 9, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. John McPain

    Mc Cain / Pai(l)n 2008 – get ready for a bumpy ride!!!!

    September 9, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Tim

    Here is a clue to all the clueless. Obama will eventually be right. When we pull the troops out of Iraq, he can say "see I was right". It's exactly like a broken clock. Keep saying it is 12:00 and eventually you will be right.

    The difference is Bush and McCain are right now, and have always been right on the big question.

    September 9, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. shannon

    Obama's plan?!?!?

    The plan has always been to draw down troops as the Iraqis stand up.

    This was the plan before Obama even came to Washington.

    Who is he kidding?

    He can't just make this stuff up.

    September 9, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. redneck for obama

    obama is correct ,again. republicans are blinded by the 'light'.

    September 9, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Wayne, IN

    Have you ever noticed that when Bush wants to give a speech, he has to go and stand in front of the military or in this case the Defense University. That's because he knows they can't boo him.

    He's not smarter than a 5th grader, and we are not falling for his dimwitted pea-brain tactics.

    The man is not capable of running the country. We are paying for millions of stupid voters who put him in office. Now they want to do the same thing with McCain and Pailin. Well, not this time, no way, not this time–NEVER AGAIN.

    September 9, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Alice in Florida

    Barack needs to shut up! Sarah is the new star! Barack just is so YESTERDAY NOW

    McCain/Palin '08
    Clinton '12


    September 9, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. President McCain

    The Patriot – Who was the other maverick?

    September 9, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I think its clear as day. If the idea is Obamas to pull some troops out its a great thing and shows he cares about the troops right???? If troops numbers are reduced because of President Bush you try to take credit for it?!?!? AHHHHH that is pathetic and is that must be more CHANGE you can believe in??? He is like that relative you invite to a gathering and when its over he wont leave your house and doesn't take the hint. Wonder when HE will start to get it...Obama is just .... well... I am starting to feel sorry for him......

    September 9, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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