Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois gave the official Democratic response to Bush’s speech.
Needless to say, the Democrats hated Bush’s plan for escalating the war in Iraq, although they differed on how to defeat the action. Ted Kennedy continues to push for a direct confrontation, while the leadership wants to start off with a symbolic vote. Hillary Clinton was surprisingly feisty in her comments, calling Bush’s policy “marred by incompetence and arrogance.”
AFP via Yahoo:
WASHINGTON—Democrats wasted no time in slamming President George W. Bush’s latest strategy for Iraq, although rifts emerged among them about how best to respond to his plan to send fresh U.S. troops to the war-torn country.
Minutes after Bush in a nationally-televised speech outlined a last-ditch effort to salvage Iraq, the Senate’s number two Dick Durbin repudiated the plan, and said it was time to pull U.S. troops and let Iraq save itself.
“It is time for the Iraqis to stand and defend their own nation. The government of Iraq must now prove that it will make the hard political decisions, which will bring an end to this bloody civil war,” Durbin said.
“Tonight President Bush acknowledged what most Americans know: We are not winning in Iraq, despite the courage and immense sacrifice of our military. Indeed the situation is grave and deteriorating,” Durbin said, delivering the Democrats’ official response to the Bush speech.
“Escalation of this war is not the change the American people called for in the last election,” he said.
His was among a chorus of Democratic condemnations of the president’s plan, which the party dismissed as just the latest ineffectual effort by the White House to try to get control of the runaway violence in Iraq.