"Senate Minority Leader on Bush Iraq Escalation: ‘I Intend To Support Him’"
Later this week, President Bush is reportedly planning to unveil his escalation plan that “could send 20,000 new troops to Iraq.” The plan has little support among the American people and faces strong and growing bipartisan opposition in Congress. “It’s Alice in Wonderland,” Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) said last week. “I’m absolutely opposed to sending any more troops to Iraq. It is folly.” Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) said he would “stand against” Bush’s escalation plan.
This morning on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for his opinion on escalation in Iraq. “If the president recommends what we seem to believe he’s going to recommend,” McConnell said, “I intend to support him.”
HUME: Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that the president comes out now sometime this week and he says he’s going to send something in the neighborhood of 20,000 troops, that’s the number that seems to be out there now, and additional troops, and that he would like something on the order of a billion dollars to spend on a jobs program in iraq. We’re hearing even from Republicans increasingly skeptical sounds about the continuation of the effort in Iraq. Gordon Smith from Oregon, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, all have said, have all expressed skepticism. Will Senate Republicans go along in your judgment?
MCCONNELL: Well, look, I think we need to keep in mind there the goal there is to win and the definition of winning is to have a reasonably stable government that’s an ally in the war on terror, that is stable enough to allow us to begin to draw down our troops, and clearly that’s not the situation at the moment in Baghdad. Senator Lieberman, for example, in the Democratic conference, believes that the surge is a good idea. I think to basically begin to withdraw before the job is finished is a mistake. If the president recommends what we seem to believe he’s going to recommend, i intend to support him.