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RNC: Obama's Iraq Fact Check

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2008-07-06 00:05:33     
Republican National Committee

The following is Obama's Iraq Fact Sheet as distributed by the Republican National Committee:

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

MYTH: On Thursday, Obama Claimed That He Has Always Said His Timetable For Withdrawal From Iraq Would Be Based On Conditions On The Ground:

Obama: "I've always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed... And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I'm sure I'll have more information and will continue to refine my policies." (Jeff Zeleny, "Obama: Open to 'Refine' Iraq Withdrawal Timeline," The New York Times' "The Caucus" Blog, http://www.nytimes.com, 7/3/08)

Obama Claims That He "Always Said" He Would Slow The Pace Of Withdrawal From Iraq Based On Conditions On The Ground. Obama: "And as I've said before, and this was true during the heat of the primary, it was true when we posted this Web site. I have always said, and again, you can take a look at the language, that as commander-in-chief, I would always reserve the right to do what's best in America's national interests. And if it turned out, for example, that, you know, we had to, in certain months, slow the pace because of the safety of American troops in terms of getting combat troops out, of course we would take that into account. I would be a poor commander-in-chief if I didn't take facts on the ground into account." (Sen. Barack Obama, Press Conference, 7/3/08)

-- Obama: "I've given no indication of a change in policy. I haven't suggested that we're moving in a different direction."(Sen. Barack Obama, Press Conference, 7/3/08)

FACT: Obama Previously Said He Would Immediately Begin Withdrawing Troops From Iraq And Would Have Them Out In 16 Months:

In May 2008, Obama Promised To End The War In 2009. Obama: "When I promise that we are going to bring this war in Iraq to a close in 2009, I want the American people to understand that I opposed this war in 2002, 2003, '04, '05, '06 and '07, so you can have confidence that I will be serious about ending this war." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At The North Carolina Democrat Party 2008 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Raleigh, NC, 5/2/08)

-- Click Here To View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyxPxjtqDso

In March 2008, Obama Said He Would "Immediately Begin To Remove Our Troops From Iraq And Have Them Out In 16 Months." Obama: "In order to end this war responsibly, I will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. We can responsibly remove one to two combat brigades each month. If we start with the number of brigades we have in Iraq today, we can remove all of them 16 months." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks On Iraq, Fayetteville, NC, 3/19/08)

-- Click Here To View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJlBF26y-O0

In April 2008, Obama Reaffirmed His 16-Month Timetable; Did Not Say That It Would Be Dictated By Security On The Ground. NBC's Meredith Vieira: "You've said when, Senator. You've said if you are elected, that within 16 months you're going to bring all the troops home from Iraq. Senator McCain said yesterday that that is a reckless promise that you cannot possibly keep, a failure of leadership. And even military leaders say that any withdrawal of troops would be dictated by security on the ground. So how can you guarantee you can pull out those troops in just 16 months?" Obama: "Meredith, I've been very consistent in saying that we are going to set a timetable and we will have a prudent pace of withdrawal, one to two brigades per month. At that pace we can have combat troops out within approximately 16 months." (NBC's "The Today Show," 4/8/08)

In November 2007, Obama Said He Would Have Troops Out Of Iraq "Within 16 Months." Obama: "I've been absolutely clear in terms of the approach that I would take. I would end this war, and I would have our troops out within 16 months." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 11/11/07)

-- Obama: "As president I will end this war in Iraq. We will have our troops home within 16 months." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At The Democrat National Committee Annual Fall Meeting, Vienna, VA, 11/30/07)

-- Obama Said He Would Remove Troops From Iraq In 16 Months Because "The Overall Strategy Has Failed." Obama: "But the overall strategy has failed, because we have not seen any change in behavior among Iraq's political leaders. And that is the essence of what we should be trying to do in Iraq. That's why I'm going to bring this war to a close. That's why we can get our combat troops out within 16 months." (Sen. Barack Obama, CNN/Nevada Democrat Party Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Las Vegas, NV, 11/15/07)

In September 2007, Obama Called For The U.S. To "Immediately Begin To Remove Our Combat Troops" From Iraq. Obama: "So let me be clear. There is no military solution in Iraq. There never was. The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year, but now." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks On Iraq, Clinton, IA, 9/12/07)

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