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Ken Mehlman Falsely Claims Conservatives Aren’t Advocating ‘Stay The Course’ In Iraq

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"Ken Mehlman Falsely Claims Conservatives Aren’t Advocating ‘Stay The Course’ In Iraq"

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Yesterday on Meet the Press, former Rove deputy Ken Mehlman tried to claim that conservatives are “not coming in and saying ‘Stay the course’” in Iraq, but rather are advocating “Win by adapting.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/08/mehlmaniraq1.320.240.flv]

But despite Mehlman’s statement, plenty of conservatives are saying “stay the course”:

President Bush:

“We’re not going to lose in Iraq. As a matter of fact, we will win in Iraq so long as we stay the course.” [7/11/06]

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow:

“The second thing you do [to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis] is you stay the course. And you allow the government of Prime Minister Maliki to create a functioning and successful democracy.” [7/10/06]

Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN):

We’re for staying the course in Iraq and the war on terror.” [7/27/06]

Sen. John Thune (R-SD):

“And a believe that a free, democratic Iraq is quickly becoming an inevitable fact, and that now more than ever we need to stay the course there.” [2/17/05]

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA):

“On behalf of our men and women in harm’s way, the children they protect, and the dreams and aspirations of Americans for a bright future, I will stay the course as a member of the Senate to support them in the war on terror.” [11/8/05]

Full transcript below:

DAVID GREGORY: This is something that he also said last Sunday during a campaign speech. “The fact is”””this is Senator Lieberman speaking”””I have openly and clearly disagreed with and criticized the president for, among other things: not winning the support of our allies in the run-up to the war; not having a plan to win the peace; not putting enough troops on the ground; putting an American in charge of the Iraqi oil supply. And I said that if I were president, I would ask Secretary Rumsfeld to resign.” Given your respect for the credibility of his views, do you acknowledge that he’s right on these points?

MR. MEHLMAN: Look, the fact is that our mission in the war in Iraq is critical. We agree on that; we agree it’s wrong to cut and run. But look, we’re not coming in and saying “Stay the course.” The choice in this election is not between “Stay the course” and “Cut and run,” it’s between “Win by adapting” and “Cut and run.”

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