Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 628
Skipped around the web today to find out what the Democratic candidates for President are saying in the aftermath of President Bush's veto yesterday of the Iraq funding bill. Here's what I found, in alphabetical order.
"At a time when the country needs real leadership the most, President Bush continues to practice the politics of division.
There was room to work with the Democrats and Congress to give our troops the money they need and the American people the plan they expect to end the war in Iraq.
But the President slammed the door shut on cooperation and compromise.
The fact is - Democrats sent the President every dollar he requested for our troops and then some. And we sent him a plan to bring this war to a responsible end, instead of continuing it with no end in sight. That's what the American people want.
The President's veto demonstrates that he is totally out of touch with the needs of our troops, the hopes of our people and the interests of our country.
The President has repeatedly turned his back on our military. He took us to war unnecessarily without letting the weapons inspectors finish their work. He took us to war without a plan to stabilize Iraq. He took us to war without enough troops, without the right equipment for the troops we sent, or the proper care for those who came home wounded.
Now, by continuing this war indefinitely, he is sending soldiers back on third and fourth tours; extending the time they spend in Iraq; abolishing the practice of keeping them home for a year between tours; and diverting the National Guard and Reserve from critical missions here at home.
Nothing is more outrageous than the President's claim that those who criticize his conduct of the war are undermining our troops or emboldening the enemy.
That's the one mission his failed policy has accomplished."
"With his veto today, President Bush has made it clear that he is standing in the way of ending the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home. The nation is ready for the President to stop disregarding the will of the American people and to work with Democrats on a funding bill that will enable us to begin redeploying our troops. He has a chance to do just that when he meets with the Democratic leadership tomorrow.
It has been four years since the President declared an end to major combat operations. It is my hope that the President will approach this next round of talks in good faith.
I am also disappointed that with his veto, the President has taken us back a step in meeting the homeland security needs of our high-threat cities like New York City and vetoed $35 million in additional funding under the Urban Area Security Initiative.
In addition, with his veto, the President has shirked his responsibility to address the growing health needs affecting those exposed to the toxic air around Ground Zero in the wake of 9/11 and vetoed $50 million in funding for 9/11 health, which would not only have helped provide treatment to those affected in the New York metro area, but also to responders from all over the country who are suffering from 9/11 health effects. This funding would have helped meet immediate health needs and allow 9/11 health programs to continue operating. Despite the President's actions today, I will continue to fight, along with my colleagues in the New York delegation, to secure the federal commitment and funding required to meet 9/11 health needs in the long-term.
The President has also chosen to veto critical legislation that would have ended the practice of giving Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contractors bonuses for incomplete or sub-par work, thereby saving taxpayers millions of dollars."
Dodd: Nothing that I could find. Not on his campaign website. Not on his Senate website.
"Today, President Bush vetoed a bill that supports our troops and ends the war in Iraq that he declared won four years ago.
"Four years ago he flew onto the deck of the U.S.S. Lincoln under a 'Mission Accomplished' banner to declare victory in Iraq. Today, all the photo ops in the world can't hide the truth - the war is still raging, and the president's mismanagement of Iraq is still dead wrong. Our troops have done everything they were asked and deserve a hero's welcome. Instead, they remain in harm's way; Iraq has become a breeding ground for terrorists; and we're no closer to a permanent political solution than we were four years ago.
But one thing has changed: The American people have given Congress a mission to end the war - but that mission hasn't been accomplished yet.
Congress needs to stand firm and strong. Congress should answer the president's veto by sending him another bill with a timetable for withdrawal. And if he vetoes that one, Congress should send him another and another until we end this war and bring our troops home.
There is no military solution to the conflict in Iraq - only a political solution. The Iraqi people need to take responsibility for their own country. Under my plan, we would cap funding at 100,000 troops to stop the McCain Doctrine of escalation and force an immediate withdrawal of 40-50,000 troops, followed by a complete withdrawal in 12-18 months. Now is not the time for political calculation, it is the time for political courage. Every person who is against this war needs to speak out, so together we can bring an end to the quagmire that is Iraq."
"With one stroke of his pen, President Bush has stubbornly ignored the will of the American people, the majority of Congress and, most disturbingly, the realities on the ground in Iraq. Now we call upon our Republican colleagues in Congress to help override this veto and acknowledge what the President will not – that there is no military solution to a political conflict that lies at the heart of this civil war. Only the Iraqi leadership can make peace, and the best way to pressure them to do so is still a phased withdrawal of American forces with the goal of removing all combat troops from Iraq by March 30th, 2008. It is time to end this war so we can bring our troops home and redeploy our forces to help fight the broader struggle against terrorism and other threats of this new century."
"The President is defying the will of the American people so it is time for Congress to take action that cannot be vetoed," said Governor Bill Richardson. "It is clear to all but the President that no military solution remains in Iraq. Mr. President, stubbornness is not foreign policy. The death of more than 100 U.S. soldiers there last month underscores the need to withdraw our brave men and women now. To continue with more of the same is not a strategy, it is a tragedy. The only solution is strong diplomacy and real political progress led by the Iraqis. Our troops have performed bravely, with honor and sacrifice, but it is time to get them out of the crossfire of a civil war. We need to redeploy all of our forces out of Iraq leaving no residual forces. Al Qaeda and other anti-American forces benefit from our continued presence in Iraq- it enables them to portray the US as imperialist occupiers- we need to deprive them of that propaganda. The truth is our enemies want us mired and bleeding in Iraq rather than fighting the real war against the real terrorists who attacked this country on 9/11."
There's also good read about this in today's Washington Post.