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Murtha on Rove: ‘He’s Sitting in His Air-Conditioned Office on His Big, Fat Backside, Saying Stay the Course’

By ThinkProgress  

"Murtha on Rove: ‘He’s Sitting in His Air-Conditioned Office on His Big, Fat Backside, Saying Stay the Course’"

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Karl Rove attacked Rep. John Murtha during a speech last week in New Hampshire. Rove described Murtha’s Iraq plan as “cutting and running,” and suggested that the 37-year Marine combat veteran would “be with you at the first shots” but not “for the last, tough battles.”

Murtha defended himself this morning on Meet the Press:

MURTHA: He’s in New Hampshire. He’s making a political speech. He’s sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside, saying stay the course. That’s not a plan. … We’ve got to change direction. You can’t sit there in the air-conditioned office and tell troops carrying 70 pounds on their backs, inside these armored vessels hit with IEDs every day, seeing their friends blown up, their buddies blown up — and he says stay the course? Easy to say that from Washington, DC.

Watch it:

Full transcript below:

ROVE (TAPE): Like too many Democrats, it strikes me they are ready to give the green light to go to war, but when it gets tough and when it gets difficult, they fall back on that party’s old pattern of cutting and running. They may be with you at the first shots, but they are not going to be there for the last, tough battles. They are wrong and profoundly wrong in their approach.

RUSSERT: Cutting and running.

MURTHA: He’s in New Hampshire. He’s making a political speech. He’s sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside, saying stay the course. That’s not a plan. I don’t know what his military experience is, but that’s a political statement. This is a policy difference between me and the White House. I disagree completely with what he’s saying.

Now, let’s give you an example. When we went to Beirut, I said to President Reagan, get out. The other day we were doing a debate and they said, Beirut was a different situation, we cut and run. We didn’t cut and run. President Reagan made the decision to change direction because he knew he couldn’t win it. Even in Somalia, President Clinton made the decision, “we have to change direction.” Even with tax cuts, when we had a tax cut, under Reagan we then had an increase.

We need to change directions. We can’t win a war like this. This guy is sitting back there criticizing — political criticism, getting paid by the public taxpayer, and he’s saying to us, “We’re winning this war and they’re running”? We’ve got to change direction. You can’t sit there in the air-conditioned office and tell troops carrying 70 pounds on their backs inside these armored vessels hit with IEDs every day, seeing their friends blown up, their buddies blown up, and he says stay the course? Easy to say that from Washington, DC.

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