McClellan: ‘We Are On the Way to Accomplishing the Mission’

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"McClellan: ‘We Are On the Way to Accomplishing the Mission’"

Three years ago today, President Bush stood under a banner that proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” and announced that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”

Today, at the end of a testy exchange with a reporter, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan offered a revised slogan: “We are on the way to accomplishing the mission.” He also accused those who brought up the original banner of “misrepresenting and distorting the past.”

Today, at the end of a testy exchange with a reporter, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan offered a revised slogan: “We are on the way to accomplishing the mission.” He also accused those who brought up the original banner of “misrepresenting and distorting the past.” Watch it:

Full transcript below:

QUESTION: Scott, given the current situation in Iraq, what the president described today as havoc…

MCCLELLAN: As a what?

QUESTION: Havoc — he used the word havoc today — could he, would he, possibly stand under a sign that says Mission Accomplished today, as he did three years ago?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I think that there are some Democrats that refuse to recognize the important milestone achieved by the formation of a national unity government. And there’s an effort simply to distract attention away from the real progress that is being made by misrepresenting and distorting the past.

And that really does nothing to help advance our goal of achieving victory in Iraq.

QUESTION: So, Scott, simply yes-or-no question: Could the president stand under a sign today…

MCCLELLAN: No, see, this is a way that…

QUESTION: This has nothing to do with Democrats. I’m asking you…

MCCLELLAN: Sure it does.

QUESTION: … based on reporter’s curiosity: Could he stand under a sign again that says Mission Accomplished ?

MCCLELLAN: Democrats have tried to raise this issue. And like I said, misrepresenting and distorting the past, which is what they are doing, does nothing to advance the goal of victory in Iraq.

QUESTION: I mean, it’s an historical fact that, you know, we’re all taking note of…

MCCLELLAN: Well, I think the focus ought to be on achieving victory in Iraq and the progress that’s being made. And that’s where it is.

And you know exactly that Democrats are trying to distort the past.

QUESTION: Let me ask it another way: Has the mission been accomplished?

MCCLELLAN: Next question.

QUESTION: Has the mission been accomplished?

MCCLELLAN: We are on the way to accomplishing the mission and achieving victory.

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