November 30th, 2009
10:14 AM ET
13 years ago

Price: Obama's tone could spell success or failure in Afghanistan

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Georgia Rep. Tom Price, just back from Afghanistan, told CNN Monday that President Obama must sound resolute about his commitment to winning the war in Afghanistan."]
(CNN) - Georgia Rep. Tom Price, just back from Afghanistan, told CNN Monday that President Obama must sound resolute about his commitment to winning the war in Afghanistan when he unveils his military strategy for the country Tuesday evening.

"If he says that he's going to commit 32,000 or 34,000 more troops and maybe it will work or maybe it won't, that's not the message we need to hear or the world needs to hear," said Price, a Republican who spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Afghanistan. "What the world needs to hear is he's going to commit the number of troops necessary and accomplish the task and mission of keeping the American people safe. That's the most important thing."

Ultimately, Price said, success in Afghanistan could come down to the tone of the president's message when he announces his Afghanistan plan in a highly-anticipated speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

"If he talks about an exit strategy only and if he talks about benchmarks in terms of calendar time lines, that's where the challenge is because the Afghan people are hedging their bets," Price said. "They are not certain America is committed to prevailing in this mission. If the president is very resolute and very specific about what he believes the mission is and what can be accomplished, I think we'll be fine."

In the speech, Obama will explain why the United States is in Afghanistan, its interests there, and his decision-making process, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said last week, adding that the president "does not see this as an open-ended engagement."

"Our time there will be limited, and I think that's important for people to understand," Gibbs said.

Filed under: Tom Price
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. ATL Guy

    The Republicans can't resist from turning this issue into political football. After 8 yrs of ignoring the Afghan war, now they're say that the President's "tone" is what matters? Seriously?

    November 30, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Bob in Pa

    Just like his tone on Iran caused them to start plans for 10 new enrichment plants. This guy has made us a joke in the Worlds view.

    November 30, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. dak

    I just think it's incredible that members of the Republican party are so free with advice for President Obama about what he should do as far as Afghanistan is concerned! Perhaps, if Rep Price had been as free with advice for the former (Republican) President, we MIGHT not be in the mess we're in right now in Afghanistan!

    November 30, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Shiranee

    What is this idiot talking about? Nothing changed after eight years of
    Bush and the Republican's.
    Now, suddenly everthing depends on the
    Presidents "tone"? Was Bush's "tone" wrong that the war is not over yet? The hypocrisy of the Repubs amaze me everytime!

    November 30, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. W l Jones

    Winning the war and losing the battle of the Afghanist people mind and heart will not accomplish nothing. The people of that country know we American is a for giving lot so trust we are behind you in every possible way in your persue of best for your people.

    November 30, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    However the tone of the speech is, the fact of the matter is that this war is necessary. By the time it's all said and done, there will be 100,000 allied forces on the ground.

    November 30, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Bill from GA

    "Tea-Party-Tom" Price goes to Afghanistan for a few days and comes back an expert of military/foreign policy. Sure, he's entitled to his opinion, just like anyone else, but all I've ever heard from him are attacks on Democrats. He used to show up on the local noon news around Atlanta (CBS) and whatever the Dems did was wrong; whatever Bush did was inspired genius.

    I'm sure the Afghan people are sitting around their TVs and radios waiting for Pres. Obama's encouraging words.

    While I don't totally disagree with Price, what the Afghan people need is to see action, mainly action helping them improve their day-to-day lives, as well as help driving the Taliban from existance.

    November 30, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Haven't we had enough of Republicans who are inclined to rush to a "Mission Accomplished" answer to complex problems?

    November 30, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Al

    I hate to say it, however i am NOT sure America can win any wars anymore. I am 80+ years young,,,,i have have been around for a few. We seem to stick our noses into every one's business, and end up with a bloody nose. I do NOT believe America should be the world's policeman. How many people in this country would be happy if America had armed troops from a FOREIGN country walking our streets year after year. I would NOT like it at all. If Afghanistan has NEVER had a central country, a real democracy, do i really care, hell no. Leave the country, bring our troops home, preferably alive and not in body bags. This country is so far in debt to China right now, if for whatever reason they should want us to pay them what we owe them, if we can not pay, China will OWN AMERICA with out ever firing a shot.

    November 30, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. conservativeTEXAN

    at least the president has a actual plan, you can't just press the big red button

    November 30, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Hennessy Black Racine, WI

    Any engagement in Afghanistan is an "Open-ended engagement."

    That's the major issue this administration fails to UNDERSTAND!

    November 30, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Sandra, Atlanta

    Do we really care what Tom Price has to say? It really is only ever negative if it concerned President Obama. He is the representative for the district I live in. I will not say he is my representative because I can say with great certainty that most of what he says and does will not represent what I believe in. I'm still waiting for a return call from him on why he felt he was entitled to obtain my cell phone number to send repeated calls to only to ask a computer generated set of questions that you could only respond yes or no to. Those type of questions do not have a yes or no answer to them. They were also tightly controlled to get only the responses he wanted to support HIS position. I don't think cell phone companies should be selling politcians or anyone else cell phone lists. Of course, when I called Mr Price and left a message of complaint and asked for a response, I got exactly what I expected....NOTHING!

    November 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. phx1969

    Price: Obama's tone could spell success or failure in Afghanistan

    Isn't this like saying if I jump from a moving car I am either going to live or die?

    November 30, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. War of political necessity

    But it's still necessary right?

    November 30, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. JB - NYC

    Funny.. Afghanistan hasnt really been much of a problem until Oblama came into office.. just sayin, before April 2009 when was the last time you heard about Afghanistan? BTW this is far from a rushed decision... 11 months and counting... Mission Accomplished alright.

    November 30, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. Jim

    The Republicans take 8 years and never make their mind up about how to handle Afghanistan, and then criticize President Obama about taking two months to work on it. Now this guy makes news by offering advice about tone? I am never amazed at the complete lack of humility Republicans show after their complete disaster when running the country.

    November 30, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    No drama here, Price.

    I am sure now that you are fresh back from a photo op, YOU now know more than President Obama and his aides?

    Now the nine year Afghan war comes down to success or failure by ONE speech???

    In case you cons, haven't noticed, the American public was not happy with how you ran these wars and made a change and tossed you out of office.

    Certainly, none of you have come up with even ONE reason to change the fact that none of you have any credibility.

    You only know how to make a buck off of our dead soldiers, and you certainly are not interested in stopping the war machine(s) or you would have solved these issues years ago!.

    November 30, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Jane/Seattle

    I think no Republican should have anything to say regarding this war or Obama. It was their buddies, Bush/Cheney and their war contractor friends, who made these messes! It seems that Saving American Face is more important than the lost lives to this point. If Bush et al HAD NOT TURNED TAIL and ran off to Iraq (as they always intended to do-The Downing Street memo) this would not have gotten to this point. Also, IF the U.S. would stop meddling and propping up corrupt people (who will do their bidding), this would not be as it is now. STOP GIVING OUR MONEY TO THESE PEOPLE AND ROBBING THE U.S. COMMONS for your private motives that you call Foreign Policy! If you want to be warmongers for your corporate buddies, MAKE them pay for it themselves! So much for talk of helping Main Street! All we ever see is the Rich and the Richer get assistance from a complicit Government! This IS called Fascism by any definition! Stop ROBBING America and take care of our needs! To do less is TREASON!

    November 30, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. New Yorker

    Bush accomplished what needed to be done in Iraq. Now, let's see if Obama has what it takes to accomplish what needs to be done in Afghanistan which he correctly summed up as a "war of necessity'... or have the polls changed his mind?

    November 30, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |