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President Refutes Reid’s Comments That Iraq War Is ‘Lost’

President Bush asserted Friday that progress is being made in Iraq, a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the war is "lost." Analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks discuss this story and more.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The war of words over funding the Iraq war heated up in Washington late this week. It was yesterday when the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, spoke to reporters.

    SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), Senate Majority Leader: I believe myself that the secretary of state, the secretary of defense — and you have to make your own decision as to what the president knows — that this war is lost, and that the surge is not accomplishing anything, as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Less than 24 hours later and some 6,000 miles away in Baghdad, the man in charge of the war, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said that's not the case.

    ROBERT GATES, Secretary of Defense: I would say that I have great respect for Senator Reid. And on the matter of whether the war is lost, I respectfully disagree.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In Michigan today, President Bush maintained keeping American troops safe should have no strings attached.

    GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States: I just disagree with the notion that, when we have troops in harm's way, that there ought to be, you know, a kind of political process with strings attached to a piece of legislation that goes to fund our troops. As I say, there's ample time to discuss right or wrong. I don't believe there's ample time to delay funding for men and women who have volunteered.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    But Reid, speaking on the Senate floor today, said the president has let down those same men and women.

  • SEN. HARRY REID:

    An effective strategy is exactly what we're offering the president and our troops, no more, no less. Let's all understand: Changing course in Iraq will increase America's security by bringing this war to a responsible end.

    Mr. President, I believe supporting our troops means giving them the funding they need and a strategy they deserve. It means stopping the partisan attacks, and it means spending time working together on a bipartisan basis to develop an effective strategy to successfully end this war. I wish some of my detractors felt the same.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Reid added it was not too late for changing direction on the Iraq policy.

    And to the analysis of Shields and Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

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