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. J from DC

    Yes John McCain is switching his colors and talk to match Obama's. Conservative Republicans are running as Democrats now. But be not fooled. This is not the reason for his recent poll bumps.
    Stop looking for dirt on Palin because she is clean, maybe vindictive at best. The hard reality is that women identify with her because she looks and feels familiar to them. The problem is that they really can’t see how different she is from most of them. When they switch the Supreme Court next year, pro-choice goes out the window with it. But not for 4 years, but for the next 20 years. That is the wool being pulled over women’s eyes.
    Problem is, women are not carrying this critical issue (their right to choose) in the forefront of their minds. They won’t get it tell it’s too late, and after the price for Palins seat proves too expensive in personal rights.

    September 9, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Susan

    What I don't get is how people do not understand that this is just a Republican ploy to help McLame win. If this were not an election year, Bush would have committed more of our overworked troops! This is a PLOY, America! Wake Up and smell the coffee! McCain and Gidget aren't going to do antythin to end this illegal war, but will llok for ways to extend it all for one thing – OIL!

    September 9, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Maria

    Oh Gosh,
    please make 01-20-2009 come SOON!!!!!

    132 days seem too long when desperate... 🙁

    September 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Veterans for Obama

    It's amazing that Bush wouldn't deploy more troops to Afghanistan! Why are our troops forgotten in the REAL WAR ON TERROR?

    September 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Nelson, MO

    When the snake McCain brings Pailin out of the bunker, maybe the press will be able to find out why she wasn't vetted. The decision was made so quickly that the vetting team was sent to Alaska, one day before she was introduced to the country. I'd say that shows a lack of respect for Americans.

    O/B 08

    September 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. Chris in CT

    Would someone please tell me, Repubs- Just what IS OUR GOAL in Iraq? I keep hearing that we need to stay "until we achieve our goal". What is it? More oil? More blood?

    September 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Careful now..

    You wont have to worry about it Obama. You won't make it to the White House.

    September 9, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. Smart thinker

    One thing politcal figures love, is to hear all the comments in the politcal ticker. It keeps them on their toes and know what kind of questions may be popped during debates and news media.
    Thanks to all of you.

    September 9, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. Clinton

    I'm so tired of the chear shots by Republicans and posters on here. I don't believe either candidate is evil or hates this country. But there is a stark difference on how they want to bring about change and success, and right now Obama has laid down his cards and I can understand what change he will bring. Even after the RNC, I'm still not sure what McCain is wanting to do, but I'm willing to listen.

    It does occur to me that some people want change without paying for it, and that never works. I don't want to pay any more taxes than I have to, but the truth is that we all pay "taxes" in some shape or form. If I have to pay the Federal Government more out of my paycheck to reduce our dependency on oil, get help on sending my kids to college, and providing a better, cleaner, world – then I'm willing to that. Because those things are what we leave for our kids, and we will pay one way or another...

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

    It is sad that Obama was so vested in defeat and not we can smell victory for America.
    I wonder why Obama, Pelosi and Harry Reed were so determined to accept such big defeat for their country?
    As a leader you don’t do that.

    September 9, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Olivia, NV


    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. kim

    Barack will win the election, I simply cannot believe that americans are so dumb as to give these imbeciles 4 more years. If John Mccain gets elected I think we would need to update the report on just how many american suffer from a serious mental disorder, using the number of people that voted for mccain as a starting point..

    September 9, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. former hillary supporter now for Obma

    to American for real change..WHAT IS OUR GOAL IN IRAK????

    Obama might be down in the polls...BUT HE IS STILL AHEAD IN THE ELECTORAL VOTES....after all that's what counts...

    He will be ahead in the polls after the debates..that is a given..the pittbull with lipstick doesnt even know what a VP is suppose to do...SHE SAID IT!

    September 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. mark from NY

    this election is not about issue it is about obama the black guy who cannot be president under the watch of whites supremacy. this is the fact people. when some white people say that obama does not share their values that mean he is not one of them. he is black. that is ashame for america

    September 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |


    September 9, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. jm for sc

    Obama never said anything different regarding the war. This is nothing to play with. Bush has really gotten us into a mess with the help of McCain as well as Hillary Clinton. Obama has been firm on his intentions to bring our troops home as carefully as we were carelessly going into the war. That meant as it means now, he will take into an account of the conditions on the ground as well as the intelligence reports, which was ignored by the Bush administration, in making his decisions. You don't have to have been captured as a POW to know how to end this war.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Undecided

    It doesn't matter to me one way or the other who is elected I am financially set for life and so are my children.. Americans that are stuggling to make it I suggest you wake up an listen to what going on your complaining about Bush but guess who voted him in a second you did becauce of lack of knowledge

    September 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Veterans for Obama

    FYI...The surge did not work as planned. If it had, we would have drawn down a year ago, saving us billions in debt to China. So when McCain claims the surge is working, I say to what end? Our military is weaker than ever, our economy is $420 billion in the red, and Al Qaeda is stronger than before Iraq.....go figure McCain.

    Americans are being duped by McCain and Palin.....unless you make over $250,000 /year, you should vote for Obama.

    September 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |


    September 9, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. m4rk

    Nothing makes the Dems happy.

    September 9, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Idiots Vote for Pailin & McCain

    Bush and McBush are stupid. The president is Commander and Chief. There is a reason our forefathers put them over the military. And slowly but surely the GOPoop had given that power back to the military.

    Obama is right and Bush and the village idiots are WRONG. My vote goes to the only candidate who can get us out of this quagmire.

    And for the record, Sarah Pailin is mascot, nothing more. That's why she can't talk to the press. You people are idiots.

    September 9, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Education 1st

    It is so hard to read these comments and accept they are from the American people. The way people think never ceases to amaze me.
    What education level did they get? These people must be out of jobs and bored trying to think they are doing something. Well, I must get back to work, do not have time for all this garbage. I know who I will vote for and no second thoughts. Good bye.

    September 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. deb

    This is just same old politics. Outgoing presidents always try to please the people at the last minute so they go out smelling like roses. Give me a break.

    Meanwhile, the media are having a field day with Sarah Palin. They need to do their jobs and report on the issues. This woman is so far to the right of what most Americans want it's scary. Please, people, Obama CARES about the American people and our jobs, health care, educations, etc., etc. Palin is just another right wing, religious nut who wants to teach creationism in the schools! Haven't we had enough of that! Look where it has gotten us!!! Nowhere!


    September 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. Think it through

    How pompous and arrogant can this guy get?

    Something has changed in last few days in the Obama camp, he is going off the cuff a lot with remarks that are easily proven wrong, they seem to be shouting a lot (Biden for sure), and just seem unorganized in general. The McCain camp doesn’t need to do anything but stand back and watch the temper tantrums being displayed by Obama/Biden

    I am not speculating as to why, I am just making an observation. I am looking forward to the debates. Mr. Obama may do great things for our country in a few years, however his arrogance pushed him to move too soon.

    September 9, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. We Will Barack You


    September 9, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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