Spin Wars on Iraq Continue
The message wars continued on Iraq Thursday, with the top two Democratic Congressional leaders professing lack of concern on a veto threat by President Bush regarding upcoming legislation to fund the war.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave a midday presser with leaders of some sympathetic veterans’ groups following Bush’s speech Thursday morning.
In the speech, Bush announced that tours of duty for troops sent to Iraq would be shortened from 15 months to 12 months. And he urged Congressional Democratic leaders not to hold up an upcoming Iraq supplemental spending bill with domestic spending largesse or artificial timetables for troop withdrawal.
If those conditions are not met, Bush said he would veto the bill.
But Reid and Pelosi scoffed at that pronouncement as an empty threat. They also portrayed themselves as the ones looking out for the troops’ best interests.
“We’re the ones that take care of the troops,” Reid told reporters. “The president does not need to lecture us to take care of the troops.”
Pelosi warned the president that he must pay attention to a second economic stimulus package being advanced by Democratic leaders.
“If he doesn’t change his economic policy, he will be leaving a failed war policy and a failed economic policy at the new president’s doorstep,” she said.
Reid would not reveal any specifics about what domestic spending projects may be added to the Iraq supplemental, but he did say Democrats plan to use the power of the purse to put pressure on the president to change the Iraq mission.