On CBS this morning, White House Counselor Dan Bartlett claimed that the administration has “never” had “a stay-the-course strategy.” Watch it:
President Bush made the same claim over the weekend. It’s not true. For years, the White House has repeatedly described their Iraq policy as “stay the course.” Here’s the video evidence:
STORM: So, Mr. Bartlett, staying the course is no longer the operative strategy?
BARTLETT: Well, Hannah, it’s never been a stay-the-course strategy. Strategically, we think it’s very important that we stay in Iraq and we win in Iraq. And if we were to cut and run and go and leave that country too early it would be a disaster for American policy.
But what we aren’t doing is sitting there with our heads in the sand. We’ve completely changing and making tactical changes on a week-by-week basis as we respond to the enemy’s reactions to our strategies.
BUSH: We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq. [8/4/05]
SNOW: The second thing you do is you stay the course. [7/10/06]
SNOW: But on the other hand, you also cannot be a President in a wartime and not realize that you’ve got to stay the course. [8/17/06]
BUSH: We will stay the course. [8/30/06]
BUSH: We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We’re just going to stay the course. [12/15/03]
BUSH: And my message today to those in Iraq is: We’ll stay the course. [4/13/04]
SNOW: People are going to want more of it, and that’s why the President is determined to stay the course. April. [8/16/06]
BUSH: And that’s why we’re going to stay the course in Iraq. And that’s why when we say something in Iraq, we’re going to do it. [4/16/04]
BUSH: And so we’ve got tough action in Iraq. But we will stay the course. [4/5/04]