Breaking: Bush Gets ‘Blunt Talk’ from GOP House Delegation

“My district is prepared for defeat.”
— GOP rep to Bush

NBC News is reporting that a delegation of House members called on Pres. Bush yesterday in the private residence of the White House to inform him that he has lost all credibility on the war among their constituents.

Pres. Bush was advised that he and his spokespersons should stop making claims about progress in Iraq altogether. One of the congressmen told him, “We need candor. We need honesty, Mr. President.”

Here’s a rough transcript of the NBC News report:

TIM RUSSERT: All eyes on the Republican Party. How long will they support the president’s position on the Iraq war. Yesterday may have been the defining, pivotal moment. At 2:30 in the afternoon, in the private quarters of the White House, the Solarium Room, 11 Republican congressmen had a private meeting with the president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, the chief political advisor, Karl Rove, and White House Press Sec. Tony Snow and others.

This delegation was headed by Mark Kirk of Illinois and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. It was, in the words of one of the participants, the most unvarnished conversation they’ve ever had with the president. Another member said he has met with three presidents and never been so candid. They told the president, and one said, quote, “My district is prepared for defeat. We need candor. We need honesty, Mr. President.”

The president responded, “I don’t want to pass this off to another president. I don’t want to pass this off, particularly, to a Democratic president — underscoring how serious the situation was.

[The] Republican congressman went on to say the word about the war and its progress cannot come from the White House or even you, Mr. President. There’s no longer any credibility. It has to come from Gen. Petraeus.

The meeting lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, and was, in the words of one, remarkable for the bluntness and no-holds-barred honesty in the message delivered by all these Republican congressmen.

Update: Crooks & Liars has video of Keith Olbermann’s report on this story on Countdown.

Update 2: The New York Times has a story online about the meeting:

One [congressman] told Mr. Bush that voters back home favored a withdrawal even if it meant the war was judged a loss. Representative Tom Davis told Mr. Bush that the president’s approval rating was at 5 percent in one section of his northern Virginia district.

“It was a tough meeting in terms of people being as frank as they possibly could about their districts and their feelings about where the American people are on the war,” said Representative Ray LaHood of Illinois … “It was a no-holds-barred meeting.”

35 Comments

  • tim
    May 10, 2007 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    This entire piece is suspect because of this single sentence:

    TIM RUSSERT:

  • dinojak
    May 10, 2007 - 11:42 am | Permalink

    These 11 Rubberstamp Republicans waited until Darth Vader was away in the Middle East before sitting Emperor GW Palpatine down and giving him the smackdown he so richly deserves. I haven’t heard of one prominent senator being present at this lovefest, only second stringers afraid they’re going to be out on their asses come election day, and not a day too soon.

  • Pingback: Political Waves » Watershed moment? Or CYA?

  • JD
    May 10, 2007 - 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m still waiting to hear what part of what was said was the “blunt talk” part. What I’m reading is that the “loyal Bushies” went over to the WH to beg Bush to save their jobs come next election.

    And since Bush is now infamous for saying the exact opposite of what he intends, I am now thoroughly convinced he intends to “gum to death” the Iraq situation, hand it off to a Democratic president, and then whine on Fox News about why the mess he created isn’t being straightened out fast enough.

  • A Nuffer
    May 11, 2007 - 4:15 am | Permalink

    I am sure I am not the only person who knew this was about oil from the very beginning. This administration does not care about us, don’t you get it??? It is about money and greed. The republicans will follow that bunch off the cliff! So will certain democrats! We will need a revolution to stop the madness! Obviously the democracts, whom we elected to stop the madness, are in on it too!!!

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