News from the Democratic National Committee:
Bush: "One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror"
Washington, DC - In an interview with Katie Couric aired tonight on CBS Evening News, President Bush said that "one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." His comments contradicted previous statements by the Administration.
"It must be a hard job to connect the two given that the only link between the President's war of choice in Iraq and the war on terror is the one the Bush Administration manufactured in its rationale to go to war in Iraq," said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney. "Despite the election year rhetoric, the truth is, the war in Iraq is bogging us down from fighting the real war on terror. Democrats are committed to a new direction in Iraq and will be tough and smart in the war on terror."
TODAY, BUSH SAID THAT "ONE OF THE HARDEST PARTS OF MY JOB IS TO CONNECT IRAQ TO THE WAR ON TERROR":
KATIE COURIC: You have said we can't cut and run on more than one occasion. "We have to stay until we win. Otherwise we'll be fighting the terrorists here at home on our own streets." So what do you mean exactly by that, Mr. President?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I mean that a defeat in Iraq will embolden the enemy and will provide the enemy more opportunity to train, plan to attack us. That's what I mean. There's a -- it's -- You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror. I believe it, but the American people have got to understand that a defeat in Iraq -- in other words if this government there fails, the terrorists will be emboldened. The radicals will topple moderate governments. And I truly believe this is the ideological struggle of the 21st century. And the consequences for not achieving success are dire.
WHEN MAKING THE CASE FOR WAR DURING 2003, THE WHITE HOUSE LINKED IRAQ AND THE SEPTEMBER 11TH ATTACKS
President Bush links "end of major combat" in Iraq with September 11th attacks. In his speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, President Bush stated "The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror...We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th -- the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got." [Emphasis Added, Remarks by the President, 5/1/03]
Vice President Cheney states that the war in Iraq is a strike against the terrorists who had America under assault on 9/11. On Meet the Press, Vice President Cheney stated, "If we're successful in Iraq...we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11." [Emphasis Added, NBC's Meet the Press, 9/14/03]
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld stated that going to war with Iraq costs "a heck of a lot less" than the cost of the September 11th attacks. Secretary Rumsfeld stated that although he could not estimate the cost of a war with Iraq, "It would cost a heck of a lot less than 9-11 cost and 9-11 would cost a heck of a lot less than a chemical or biological 9-11." [AP, 2/13/03]NEWS RELEASE