RUSH: Here’s David Rodham Gergen, this is on CNN last night, Anderson Cooper 360. Question: ‘What do you make of these moves by the Maliki government saying it wants American combat troops out of Iraq by 2010?’
GERGEN: Barack Obama made the first mistake of his trip in releasing a statement in which he said exactly what Maliki had said in those conversations. We have a long tradition in this country that we only have one president at a time. He’s the commander-in-chief and the negotiator-in-chief. I cannot remember a campaign in which a rival seeking the presidency has been in a position of negotiating a war that’s underway with another party outside the country. I think he leaves himself open to the charge tonight that he’s meddling, that this is not his role, that he can be the critic but he’s not the negotiator. We have a president who does that. I think the underlying facts support him, but I think it will be a real mistake and I think it was a mistake to get into these conversations and let it be used politically.
RUSH: He’s right on the money about that. Right on the money. But after this has been said, okay, so it’s said on CNN last night, then that will be the end of it as far as the Drive-Bys. There won’t be any amplification of this. David Rodham Gergen has gone out there, he’s gotten it said so the Drive-Bys can say, ‘Yeah, we had somebody point this out.’ But that’s not the action line, the continuing trip that Obama’s taking, that’s the action line. Gloria Borger was up next, and she was asked by Anderson Cooper, ‘Do you think this is the first mistake Obama has made?’
BORGER: I do agree with David about walking the fine line between being this candidate and being presumptuous and I think that he may just have crossed that, because, you know, it is a tradition, you don’t talk about these private conversations, and it’s not up to Barack Obama right now to negotiate troop withdrawals. It’s up to Barack Obama to be on a fact-finding mission, which is indeed what he has said he was on.
RUSH: Well, this is not the first mistake, and it’s by no means the only mistake. He’s piling up all kinds of mistakes here. He is saying really stupid things in these press conferences. It’s not just that he’s revealing the private conversations he had with Nouri al-Maliki. It’s not just that he’s conducting negotiations and pretending to be president when he’s not. It’s his arrogance that leads him to that. But he’s just plain wrong on so many things. You don’t think it’s a mistake, for example, in the face of unquestionable success of the surge to deny it? Would you, knowing what you know now, would you support it? Yeah, I think I would have. I was mistaken — you think that’s smart?
RUSH: All right, two more bites for you, folks. Andrea Mitchell, National Barack Channel. This is last night on their little twiddling cable outlet talking about Obama and his summer trip to Afghanistan and Iraq.
MITCHELL: Let me just say something about the message management. He didn’t have reporters with him, he didn’t have a press pool, he didn’t do a press conference while he was on the ground in either Afghanistan or Iraq. What you’re seeing is not reporters brought in, you’re seeing selected pictures taken by the military, questions by the military, and what some would call fake interviews because they’re not interviews from a journalist. So there’s a real press issue here. Politically it’s smart as can be, but we have not seen a presidential candidate do this in my recollection ever before.
RUSH: Yeah, so where’s the criticism? Just say it, flops and flies away. Isn’t this also interesting, he’s meeting with the troops! He’s meeting with the generals, and, of course, the Pentagon, the military is out there, stage managing this, they always do this, no matter who’s on the trip. But it’s fake interviews because the questions from the journalists are not being asked. Questions asked by the troops are irrelevant because they’re not journalists. So these are fake interviews. So in a sense, Andrea Mitchell, National Barack Channel, is out there accusing Barack of propagandizing this by not allowing the media anywhere. Hey, look, Andrea, if he didn’t want you, he didn’t want you. (interruption) Well, military journalists are phony journalists because they work — you have to understand the liberal mind-set, Snerdley — military journalists are phony journalists because they’re with the military. The military is nothing but a propaganda arm of the Bush administration. You can’t trust what the military tells you. The military always lies. Liberals, they hate the military. Well, they don’t hate it, they don’t trust it. It’s not one of their most favorite institutions. Andrea Mitchell, National Barack Channel, was asked the following question by the host, Chris Matthews. ‘The administration of George Bush and now the campaign of McCain has, fairly or not, made their case that they’re the politicians looking out for the troops, they are the troops’ politicians, the troops’ party, they have suggested that soldiers, men and women both, in all ranks, all the outfits support the Republican policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Does the picture of Obama having a good time among the smiling faces of service people undercut that political statement?’
MITCHELL: I have to tell you that the military feels very uncomfortable about being used in any way as helping one side or the other in a political campaign. This is something that is against their rules, against the law, and they don’t want to be, you know, part of this, but they have no choice because congressional delegations are carried by the military. So they’re trying to play it down the middle. It’s very hard for them to be put on the spot this way. I do think that Obama has some vulnerability when you really drill down on these issues, because the surge, clearly the surge has worked, and not only in terms of security, there is some level of political reconciliation. The Sunnis rejoined the government on Saturday. We saw 1,700 police recruits only yesterday being sworn in, the first and largest — or the largest, I should say, graduating class. So there are some positive things happening on the ground that you have to attribute to the surge.
RUSH: Whoa, mama! All right. That’s all well and good. Credit where credit is deserved, she gets credit. Isn’t the question rather obvious? It’s been working for a long time. The surge has been showing a lot of success for a long time. We’re only now hearing about it. We’re only now hearing about it ’cause Barry had to go tour some college campuses to see if the administrators would let him in, be part of the gang. So all of a sudden we get some accurate reporting out of Iraq because Obama’s there. Very little accurate reporting, but you gotta give Andrea Mitchell, National Barack Channel, all the credit in the world here. He’s vulnerable, the surge has definitely worked. She saw it. It’s just kind of frustrating because it gives you the idea what could have been reported all along if there was any kind of honesty in the American media about it.