RNC Chairman Questions Democrats on Iraq
Mehlman specifically faulted several Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, saying they have been sending mixed messages on Iraq policy. Biden, for example, recently wrote that the U.S. must build sustainable compromises among Iraq's political factions, strengthen the Iraqi government, and speed up reconstruction and the training of local forces. That, Mehlman argued, is consistent with Bush's strategy. Biden is "copying the president's plan" but at the same time criticizing the administration, Mehlman said.Sen. Biden must not have learned his lesson when he was forced to drop out as a presidential candidate because of plagiarism charges. The basic outline of Bush's strategy has been pretty stable since Day 1. That's why I find it impossible for Biden to have thought of this before the President.
Biden spokesman Norm Kurz said the White House was confused about "who is copying whom." The senator, Kurz said, has long advocated alternative proposals for Iraq now being welcomed within the administration, including during an address by Bush on Wednesday at the Naval Academy. Reid spokeswoman Rebecca Kirszner called Mehlman's comments "an obvious attempt to distract Americans from the fact that the President once again failed to lay out a clear plan for success in Iraq."
As for Reid's comments, they're laughable. What Ms. Kirszner doesn't and won't say is that Reid had issued that same basis statement before the President took to the podium in Annapolis. Reid might have more credibility if he'd make specific arguments to specifics in the President's speech and policy but he can't be bothered, it seems, with that petty of a task.