In Oct. 2003, 77 senators voted to give President Bush authorization to go to war in Iraq. Just 23 senators voted against it.
But according to a new ABC News survey, 33 out of the original 77 senators “indicated they would vote differently knowing then what they know now.” Five senators — including three Republicans — said that in retrospect, the intelligence was so wrong that the matter should never have even been brought to a vote. These results would mean that a vote to authorize war in Iraq today would be 43-57, and the resolution would fail. (Full list of senators here.)
ABC News senior political correspondent Jake Tapper presented the survey results today on Good Morning America, noting that the survey of the senators was “a stunning repudiation of their own votes, the prewar intelligence, and the war itself.” Watch it:
According to a December CBS News poll, just 39 percent of the American public now believes that the “United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq.”
DIANE SAWYER: An ABC News survey of the senators who voted to go to war suggests the President may have a tough time selling his plan on Capitol Hill. ABC News senior political correspondent Jake Tapper in Washington has the results for us this morning. Jake?
JAKE TAPPER: Good morning, Diane. ABC News surveyed all 77 senators who voted to authorize foce in Iraq and asked them a simple question — knowing what you know now, would you vote the same way? The shocking results. The Senate that so overwhelmly voted to give the President more powers, Democrats and Republicans, would not do so today.
VOICE: Mr. Harkin — aye.
TAPPER: In October 2002, the vote to go to war in Iraq was overwhelming. 77 for, 23 against.
VOICE: The joint resolution is passed.
TAPPER: But an ABC News survey of those senators shows that knowing then what they know now, only 43 would vote the same way, and 57 would likely vote against the war. The resolution would not pass. Thirty-three U.S. senators who voted to go to war indicated to ABC News that they would vote differently knowing then what they knew now. Or that pre-war intelligence alleging Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was so wrong, the Senate would have never even voted on the war. While overwhelmingly the regrets came from Democrats, a significant number came from Republicans.
TAPPER: Overall our survey, Diane, indicates — a survey of the senators who voted to go to war — a stunning repudiation of their own votes, the prewar intelligence, and the war itself.
SAWYER: Well Jake, that’s it. More than 40 senators saying they would take back a vote. I have never heard of this.