OBAMA'S IRAQ BACKTRACK: Obama Spends Another Week Backtracking on His Iraq Positions Instead of Visiting the Country, Showing O

June 6, 2008

IT HAS BEEN 880 DAYS SINCE OBAMA HAS BEEN IN IRAQ - visit http://www.gop.com/

WASHINGTON , June 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following release is being issued by the Republican National Committee:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/RNCLOGO )

Today, Obama Communications Director Robert Gibbs Claimed That "Everybody" Said The Surge Would Improve Security In Iraq :

Gibbs: "[W]ell, there's no doubt that the security situation has improved, much as everybody admitted it would if we put more troops on the ground." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 6/6/08)

But When The Surge Was Announced In January 2007 , Obama Said That It Would Not Work And Would Actually Increase Sectarian Violence:

Obama Said "I Don't Think The President's Strategy Is Going To Work." Obama: "But right now what we have is, I think by all accounts, a disaster unfolding in Iraq . We all have a responsibility, Democrats and Republicans, Congress and the White House, to make sure that we can come up with the best strategy. I don't think the president's strategy is going to work. We went through two weeks of hearings on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; experts from across the spectrum -- military and civilian, conservative and liberal -- expressed great skepticism about it."(MSNBC's "Reaction To The State Of The Union Address," 1/23/07)

-- Obama Said The Surge Would Actually Worsen Sectarian Violence In Iraq. Obama: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraqis going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse." (MSNBC's "Response To The President's Speech On Iraq," 1/10/07)

Obama: "Finally, in 2006-2007, we started to see that, even after an election, George Bush continued to want to pursue a course that didn't withdraw troops from Iraq but actually doubled them and initiated a surge and at that stage I said very clearly, not only have we not seen improvements, but we're actually worsening, potentially, a situation there." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 11/11/07)

Yesterday, Obama Claimed That He Would Be Open To Listening To Commanders On The Ground And What They Advised Regarding Withdrawal From Iraq:

Obama Told CNN's Candy Crowley That He Was Open To "Facts And To Reason" With Regard To His Plan For Withdrawal From Iraq. Crowley: "You have said you want to go back to Iraq ." Obama: "Yeah." Crowley: "See what the situation is on the ground. Is there nothing that they could show you or that General Petraeus could tell you that would move you from wanting to immediately begin removing U.S. troops?" Obama: "Well, you know, I never say there's nothing or never or no way in which I'd change my mind. Obviously, I'm open to the facts and to reason. And there's no doubt that we've seen significant improvements in security on the ground in Iraq ." (CNN's "The Situation Room," 6/5/08)

But Previously, Obama Committed To Removing Troops From Iraq Regardless Of What Military Commanders Advised:

Obama Committed To Withdrawing Troops From Iraq Regardless Of The Advice He Received From Commanders On The Ground. ABC's Charles Gibson : "And, Senator Obama, your campaign manager, David Plouffe , said, 'When he is' -- this is talking about you - 'When he is elected president, we will be out of Iraq in 16 months at the most. There should be no confusion about that.' So you'd give the same rock-hard pledge, that no matter what the military commanders said, you would give the order to bring them home?" Obama: "Because the commander-in-chief sets the mission, Charlie. That's not the role of the generals. And one of the things that's been interesting about the president's approach lately has been to say, 'Well, I'm just taking cues from General Petraeus.' Well, the president sets the mission. The general and our troops carry out that mission." (Sen. Barack Obama , Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Philadelphia, PA , 4/16/08)

Obama Has Made No Effort To Meet One-On-One With Gen. David Petraeus , And Has Not Met With Troops Or Commanders On The Ground In Iraq In Over Two Years:

Obama Confirmed That He Has Never Attempted To Meet With Gen. Petraeus. Question: "He's saying outside of those meetings on the Hill, you would not set up your own meetings with General Petraeus, never attempted to meet with him?" Obama: "And I haven't - look, it's just a flippant comment, it's not designed to actually talk about substance. It's a political comment that doesn't get anywhere." (Sen. Barack Obama , Press Conference, 5/28/08)

Obama Was In Iraq For Two Days In 2006. "Obama ... met with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Saturday [ January 6, 2006 ]. He said before his two-day trip to Iraq that he wanted to ask U.S. commanders what a realistic time frame was for bringing troops home." ( Jason Straziuso , "Obama Says Minorities Must Be More Involved In Iraq's Government," The Associated Press, 1/7/06)

It Has Been 880 Days Since Obama Visited Troops And Commanders In Iraq . (GOP Website, www.gop.com, Accessed 5/29/08)

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Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

SOURCE Republican National Committee

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