Sen. Kit Bond: Bush’s Speech Convinced Me Escalation Is The ‘Best Available Option’

At least one person in America was convinced by President Bush’s recent Iraq speech to support escalation. Prior to Bush’s address, Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Kit Bond (R-MO) said that he was opposed to an escalation of the war: “I have seen nothing so far that would push me to think a surge is a good idea.”

But today on the Senate floor, Bond said that he now supports Bush’s policy, calling it the “best available option.” Watch it:


On Jan. 11 — one day after Bush’s speech — Bond called escalation a “significant plan that is a much more promising way forward,” and said that the option of sending more troops to Iraq “should be on the table.”

Bond, evidently, was one of the only few convinced by Bush’s speech. ABC News noted that “rather than Bush bolstering public confidence, the national survey, conducted after his address to the nation on his new Iraq strategy, finds that a new high — 57 percent — think the United States is losing the war. Just 29 percent think it’s winning.” Just 36 percent of the American public said they support his plan to send more troops to Iraq.

[ThinkProgress is keeping track of where every member of Congress stands on escalation. Check out our full tally HERE.]


BOND: There’s nothing really good in terms of choices. One option has been put forward by President Bush. I happen to believe it is the best available option to support the Iraqis who have committed to end the insurgency, to bring in the Sunnis into a government that would share in the oil revenues and take responsibility for ending the insurgency while our troops go after the external forces–the terrorists coming in from other countries joining the Al Qaeda movement.