GOP leader says party’s support could wane for Bush’s war if surge fails

  Rep. John Boehner (AP Photo)

The House Republican leader said Sunday that GOP support could waver if President Bush’s Iraq war policy does not succeed by the fall. A top Democrat said it would be "ridiculous" to stop insisting on linking new war money and a troop withdrawal.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Bush’s troop increase deserves a shot.

"We don’t even have all of the 30,000 additional troops in Iraq yet, so we’re supporting the president. We want this plan to have a chance of succeeding," he said.

"Over the course of the next three to four months, we’ll have some idea how well the plan’s working. Early signs are indicating there is clearly some success on a number of fronts," he said.

But, he added, "By the time we get to September or October, members are going to want to know how well this is working, and if it isn’t, what’s Plan B?"

Thus far, Republicans have stood behind the president’s increasingly unpopular war policies, including the troop increase and an open-ended war commitment.

Yet Boehner’s comments were an acknowledgment of the concern expressed by some lawmakers in private that their support could further damage the party, which lost control of Congress in the November elections.

The new Democratic leadership is pushing to begin pulling troops out of Iraq. Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democratic presidential candidate, said congressional Republicans increasingly seem uneasy about Bush’s policies.

"So we may disagree politically here, but remember where the American public is on this issue: They want a change. They think we’re getting less secure, far more vulnerable today, than ever before, and they want a change in this policy," he said.

Last week, Bush vetoed a $124 billion bill to provided money for Iraq and Afghanistan operations in part because it required troops to begin returning home by Oct. 1, saying the fixed date is unworkable.

Top White House aides are negotiating with Democratic leaders on a new war spending bill.

"It would be ridiculous to think that we’re going to just drop this fight," said Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. "This is not our fight. This is the American people’s fight. They asked us to send a message to the president."

"We’ve got to shake that White House until the people of the United States are heard," Rangel said. "Sure, we’ve got to have some restrictions on the money."

Another Democratic presidential candidate, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, argued against negotiating and said lawmakers should keep sending Bush the same Iraq spending bill.

"I think that America has asked the Democratic leadership in the Congress to stand firm, and that’s exactly what I’m saying they should do," he said.

Edwards started airing a television commercial last week urging Congress to stand up to Bush and keep sending back the vetoed bill, which sparked a quarrel with Dodd.

"With all due respect, we could have used John’s vote here in the Senate on these issues here," Dodd said.

Dodd and Boehner appeared on "Fox News Sunday," while Edwards was on "This Week" on ABC. Rangel spoke on "Face the Nation" on CBS.


  1. Wayne K Dolik

    When I look at how well Ron Paul did on the MSNBC poll I am very encouraged. Ron Paul is a true civil libertarian conservative. And, I am saying that after July 2006 when I left the G.O.P. to become a Democrat.

    In short we need new people in government. Now if the democrats can get out of the Illuminati Hillary camp perhaps we the people can take the country back. How about Obama, Kucinich, or a new leader.

    Let’s get out of the box people, let’s think for ourselves for once.

  2. Carl Nemo

    When I look at the photo associated with this article, all I see is two Republican party poster children for corruption and racism blathering their continual feelgood, lying screed! I recommend all republicans currently holding office in the nation’s capitol to take as many photo-op sessions as possible and to start building their memorabilia albums. In years to come these albums will become quite valuable because it will the last known images of an extinct political species known as Homo sapiens predatorus republicanus… :))

  3. Ardie

    Edwards is right. Democrats should give Bush what is called “Hobson’s choice”. Either take the bill or get nothing.

  4. Sandy Price

    The top ten have failed to show any reason for voting for them next November. Fred Thompson is just another man running under the cross of the religious right. Another vote for the prohibitions as well as facism and bigotry grows under this political party.

    This morning we learned that 13 more of our soldiers were killed while Bush is planning a “white tie” event for the Queen.

    When will he learn that we are fighting a war against an illusion while sacrificing our guys for nothing. Somebody must tell him to stop or be forced to get out of the White House before we lose any more. The man must have no conscience in his empty head.

  5. gene

    These dumb stupid f**king morons that think this surge shit is going to save the day for bushidiot in Iraq. God what stupid idiots these people are. An extra thirty thousand troops, many of them support not trigger pullers is not going to change shit except get more GIs killed.

    Their are a thousand times that many arabs that are willing to fight against bushmoron. Congress you are a bunch stupid f**king idiots especially the Repubs. I did not vote for bushasshole either time, I new from the start he was a LOOSER. You dam f**king fools that voted for him are gettting just what you deserve and because of him this nation will collapse.

    Of course their are other reasons this nation has gone to hell. All I can say is good, I live to see the day when americans have to eat the shit they have created. I am sorry for those who were not apart of creating this insanity.

  6. KayInMaine

    …John Boehner consistently has a nice tan! Other than that, the republicans will spew their thoughts out loud for Americans to hear, but will go back inside the building and will say and do the opposite of what they just said.

    I trust republicans like I trust a fox to guard a hen house, because if you think about it, will these same republicans after the investigations are done and the White House members are found guilty…will they impeach any of them? Nope! They would much rather have the “difficult task” of saying that they’re disappointed with Bush.

    *rolling eyes at the cowards*

  7. Bill Robinson

    How long is it going to take for everyone to realize that the “Surge” has already failed? Don’t tell me that we are going to have to wait for the malingering media to announce this? Hell, it took them 4 months to realize that there really was a “Civil” War going on in Iraq! How many more American lives will be wasted while we play rhetorical games?
    Bring the troops home and end the murders. If Bush and Cheney are so in favor of a war and staying in Iraq, send them there. I can just see the cartoon now: Cheney is bent over hiding his head in the sand and Bush is bent over kissing his ass. Then let the two of them be our fighters for democracy in the middle east. What a pair of pathetic imbeciles they make as they loot the treasury of the USA. How could two such disgusting monsters ever have been elected to any office, no less the ones they hopefully temporarily occupy.
    Impeach and save the lives of our troops.
    Impeach now.