Yesterday in a debate against Senate Democratic candidate Jon Tester, Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) took offense at the suggestion that President Bush has no real plan for victory in Iraq. Burns stated, “He [Tester] says our president don’t have a plan. I think he’s got one. He’s not going to tell everyone in the world.” Burns added that Tester, in specific, was not allowed to know the path forward in Iraq because “you’re just going to go out and blow it.” Watch it:
But as Tester pointed out, Bush doesn’t have a plan other than “stay the course.” Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) recently stated that Bush needs to “find a new strategy, a way out of Iraq” and 61 percent of the American public agreed that Bush has no clear plan for handling the situation in Iraq, according to a Sept. CNN/Gallup poll.
(Audio file here.)
Full transcript below:
CONRAD BURNS: I said we gotta win. He wants to pull out. He wants everybody to know our plan. That’s not smart. If you had a plan in order to win are you gonna tell the enemy? He’s not — the enemy’s not gonna tell us! That is absolutely unbelievable that anyone would take that approach! He says our president don’t have a plan. I think he’s got one. But he’s not gonna tell everybody in the whole world. And if you wanna go out and spar for a fight or you gonna tell your enemy what your plan is? I don’t think so. And that’s the way we’ll win it, Because we want to win it.
[SNIP TESTER REMARKS]
BURNS: Again he says there’s no plan. There is a plan. We’re not gonna tell you, John. We’re not gonna tell you what our plan is because you’ll just go out there and blow it. Period! By heavens, that’s just common sense. That’s enough.
JON TESTER: I just wanna say one thing.
BURNS: Wait a minute, hold the phone!
TESTER: Ok, all right, all right.
MODERATOR: This is his response.
TESTER: This is my response…
MODERATOR: Just this last word, then we’ll move on.
BURNS: No, I don’t think he has. I think he’s out of bounds.
MODERATOR: No, no.
TESTER: Mike asked me a question, I answered, you get to answer, I get to answer. That’s the way it works.
BURNS: Oh really?
BURNS: Like checkers?
TESTER: That’s the way it works. Well it’s interesting, Senator Burns because I listened to some of your comrades on TV last week who came back from Iraq, I guess they don’t know the plan either. The chairman of the Armed Services Committee doesn’t know the plan but you do. Because the chairman of the Armed Services Committee says that if things don’t change we need to change things. We need to have a plan.