Faced with widespread disappoval of its Iraq policy, the Bush administration launched a coordinated effort this week to convince Americans it has never had a stay-the-course strategy in Iraq. On Sunday, President Bush said, “We’ve never been stay the course.” White House Counselor Dan Bartlett disavowed the label again yesterday.
But in a radio interview today with Sean Hannity, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld confirmed that the Bush administration isn’t planning to shift its strategy. Rumsfeld called media reports about Bush’s reversal “nonsense,” and said “of course” Bush is “not backing away from staying the course.”
HANNITY: A lot of debate has no emerged over the phrase “stay the course,” and what that actually means. “Well, the President is backing away from staying the course.”
RUMSFELD: Aww, that’s nonsense.
HANNITY: He’s not backing away from staying the course?
RUMSFELD: Of course not. The concern was that it gave opponents the chance to say, “Well, he’s not willing to make adjustments,” and of course, just the opposite is true.