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

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  • Maezeppa
    May 9, 2007 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I have been asking for three years why we don’t appeal to Republicans of good conscience to do exactly this. How lamentable this seems to be a move to save their own political hides.

  • May 9, 2007 - 7:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s a sad irony that only disaster brings out the best in a nation. It’s taken these Republicans a long time, but–better late than never.
    What does the President mean that he doesn’t want to “pass it on” to another President–that he’s sure he can win before he leaves office? Is that possible?????

  • Kathy Gustafson
    May 9, 2007 - 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one incredibly offended that Republicans have framed this politically?

  • Tom
    May 9, 2007 - 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Brings out the best in a nation? this nation has been turned into an ultra fascist neocon rogue state….despised by the entire world and engaging in lying torture, murder and all the things our forefathers fought against.

    this nation is done…because the people quit paying attention.

  • May 9, 2007 - 8:00 pm | Permalink

    The question now is, will it take a violent revolution to restore our Constitution? Or is the Constitutional experiment dead?

    Signing statements be damned!

  • Andy
    May 9, 2007 - 8:35 pm | Permalink

    There are only two options for Iraq; status quo or withdrawl. The conversation at the White House may have been blunt, but it wasn’t candid. Otherwise the congressmen would have told Mr Bush to end it now.

  • calgal
    May 9, 2007 - 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I feel incredible anger and relief at this report. Anger because it has taken the GOP years to admit what was obvious to the nation (shades of Viet Nam) and relief that someone in the GOP had the backbone to state it “candidly”. But at the same time Cheney is over there making hallucinatory statements and not getting called on it in the traditional press. Geez Louise, when are we gonna get real about this-we need to turn up the heat with more demonstrations and populist “acting out” to get this over, and fast.

  • cbs
    May 9, 2007 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Why isn’t there a list of everyone who was in on this meeting?

    The GOP still trying to hide their true feelings?

  • Degarces
    May 9, 2007 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Senior Reality and Mr. Piper are ringing the door bell Mr. President. Get out from under your arrogance, pride, and selfishness and open the door to face yourself.

  • marlow
    May 9, 2007 - 9:12 pm | Permalink

    “I am outraged, as are the majority of Americans. I’m a lifelong Republican, but it’s past time for change,” retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste told reporters.
    “Our strategy in Iraq today is more of the same, a slow grind to nowhere which totally ignores the reality of Iraq and the lessons of history,” Batiste said. “Our president ignores sound military advice and surrounds himself with like-minded and compliant subordinates.”
    You’ve lost it George…

  • John
    May 9, 2007 - 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Ummm…remember in 1968 when it became clear that the war in Nam was lost? The war dragged on for another agonizing five years and 25,000+ more dead US soldiers….US foreign policy is all about “saving face.” There is no way in the world Bush is going to withdraw from Iraq. Panicking GOP members might force Bush to resign though as they did with Nixon in 74.

  • May 9, 2007 - 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m, frankly, surprised that anyone is buying this. It just doesn’t ring true to me.

    Junior said that he doesn’t want to leave this god-awful mess to the next president, especially a Democrat?

    Give me a damn break! Nothing would please him more.

    The Goopers are panicking. They should be. Even we independents are organizing against them and they know it.

    This is a SOYA move if there ever was one. But it isn’t even real. Just political theatre; another Bushite reality, they are tryig to create.

    Everything is “perception,” with the Goopers. Where the hell have the been all this time, while we have known that we were lied into this mess and that they refused to do an ounce of over-sight, from 9/11 ’til this very day.

    Sorry, Goopers, that dog won’t hunt.

  • Ironhorse
    May 9, 2007 - 9:40 pm | Permalink

    What really tightens my jaw is that this plundering of Iraq is not, and has not been about freeing the people of Iraq, it is simply about the OIL and to see how quickly are military can be destroyed so the neocons can privatize the military….IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, THESE PEOPLE ARE MURDERERS AND DON’T CARE HOW MANY PEOPLE, AMERICANS OR IRAQI PEOPLE, DIE. IT’S ALL BIG ‘EFFEN BUISNESS !!

  • Mike
    May 9, 2007 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

    These same republicans sat on their hands for the past six years, basically rubber-stamping everything Bush did. They deserve absolutely zero credit now.

  • Kevin
    May 9, 2007 - 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to know exactly what these Republicans have been telling their districts as far as their perspective on the war up to this point. Can you say DECEIT!!!

  • Ironhorse
    May 9, 2007 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of the GOP, anybody paying attention to what’s currently going on up here in Alaska with the oil field service co. Veco, their CEO, Vice Pres. and some of our esteemed Republican lawmakers and a couple of our Repub. senators ? It’s all about the money……….

  • onofrio perzia
    May 9, 2007 - 10:11 pm | Permalink

    this reminds me of the Congressional Republicans going to Nixon and telling him, the jig is up.

  • OH
    May 9, 2007 - 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Bush, you idiot, we need someone
    with some credibility to tell the lies, so we can continue to make matters worse.

  • Sally
    May 9, 2007 - 10:41 pm | Permalink

    This entire piece is suspect because of this single sentence:

    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.

  • Bill P
    May 9, 2007 - 10:41 pm | Permalink

    The war has been won. The oil supplies are not in the hands of our enemies. We are building huge permanent bases, to give us power in the Middle East. We have generated huge profits for our friends, and successfully used the war as a political weapon. The neo-con plan is succeeding.

    The only real problem, is the bad news on the TV. Once we shut that down, then we can continue to cut taxes for the rich, who have moved to the Cayman Islands anyway, and cut benefits for the poor and disabled.

    I just don’t understand what all the hulla-balloo is all about!? We are winning!

    GW

  • Condi "white on" Rice
    May 9, 2007 - 11:19 pm | Permalink

    what we need NOW is candor ?

    what have they needed until now ?

    the cheap-labor republicans are looking at 2008 and preparing their asses for a whipping. watch as the next 12 months they try to position themselves for the election.

    REMEMBER IN 2008 TO BRING OUT THE 5 YEAR VOTING RECORDS AND QUOTES OF THESE LYING BASTARDS!!!

    send all of their lying god-fearing asses back to the private sector

  • John Q Public
    May 9, 2007 - 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Please be kind. You know that W and Laura have suffered more than anyone over this war. It was tough enough just picking the CG (commander guy) green leotards versus the TD (the decider) aqua speedos. In the end Dubya attended the meeting in his codpiece-enhanced flight uniform. Such are the decisions of the man in charge.

    Baghdad Bob (alias George Bush) “everything is going well, we have secured the city, the Republicans guard is in full force, the enemy is running in fear from our attacks”

  • Gremlin
    May 9, 2007 - 11:32 pm | Permalink

    The thing that no one is noticing is that Bush himself is conceding that the next President will more than likely be a Democrat. That’s the real big news to come of this.

    Grem-

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  • TRAVIST
    May 10, 2007 - 12:35 am | Permalink

    Without the Immediate Impeachment of Bush/Cheney the U.S will lose An entire generation of credibility.
    Too little to late in the eyes of the world community.
    Warmongers.

  • Liberal Kool-Aid Drinkers UNite
    May 10, 2007 - 2:04 am | Permalink

    Keep Dreaming about drinking that liberal dumb- ass kool-aid.

  • SaintGuy
    May 10, 2007 - 4:17 am | Permalink

    There is no Democrat or Republican, only a Hegelian dynamic where the Illuminati control the script. The Illuminati will work as easily through Hillary as they have through George. Yet forces for good have been planning worldwide moves for years. I truly believe in NESARA and associated worldwide changes.

  • Carolyn
    May 10, 2007 - 5:46 am | Permalink

    Why doesn’t Congress just not pass any budget to fund the illegal invasion, and let Bush come crawling to them, so it has to be on Congress’s terms?

  • Sugee
    May 10, 2007 - 6:56 am | Permalink

    Frankly, I’m tired of being a war criminal because that is what our president and Unka Dicky have made us. Anything less than impeachment and then turning the entire bunch of criminals over to The Hague for trial for war crimes cannot save us. The article in the NYTimes didn’t make it sound like GWBco. will do anything to correct the situation, except wait for Gen. Petraus(sp?) to take the fall. Then, we’ll get another deadline. Remove ALL the funds from the military, so the only thing that can happen is that the troops will have to be removed.

    Remember, that we no longer have military bases in Saudia Arabia. That was the whole plan to establish PERMANENT bases in Iraq and as the pres had said to some supporting group, either building contractors or the Cattlemen’s Assoc., we need their oil to live like we do. I don’t remember the exact quote, but he was essentially saying that we went over there for the oil and F**k the Iraqis because they are NOT Christians. It doesn’t look good.

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