Schieffer falsely claimed Clinton is "saying ... maybe the surge is working"

››› ››› ROB DIETZ

On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton is "saying it looks like ... maybe the surge is working in the sense that there is less violence there." But as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, Clinton actually said: "We've begun to change tactics in Iraq, and in some areas, particularly in Al Anbar province, it's working. ... We're just years too late changing our tactics. We can't ever let that happen again."

On the August 26 edition of CBS' Face the Nation, during an interview with Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, host Bob Schieffer falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) is "saying it looks like ... maybe the surge is working in the sense that there is less violence there." In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, Clinton said in her August 20 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) that changed tactics in Iraq are "working" -- not President Bush's troop "surge" policy.

According to an August 21 New York Times article, Clinton actually said: "We've begun to change tactics in Iraq, and in some areas, particularly in Al Anbar province, it's working. ... We're just years too late changing our tactics. We can't ever let that happen again." The Times also reported that "[a]ides to Mrs. Clinton said her remarks that military tactics in Iraq are 'working' referred specifically to reports of increased cooperation from Sunnis leading to greater success against insurgents in Al Anbar Province." And according to an April 29 Times article, the progress in Al Anbar "began last September" -- months before Bush announced his plan to increase the number of troops in Iraq.

Moreover, Clinton's statement to the VFW that the changed "tactics in Iraq ... particularly in Al Anbar Province" show "it's working," is not new, as Media Matters has also noted. The New York Daily News reported on August 23 that she made similar comments about the Al Anbar province in March: "Camp Clinton insisted she was talking only about a limited improvement in Anbar, linked to better relations with tribal leaders -- a claim she made to the Daily News in March." Clinton was also quoted in a May 7 New York Observer article saying, "We are making some progress it turns out, in what is called Al Anbar province against al Qaeda and the reason we are is that our military leaders have learned a lot in the last several years there and they have made common cause with some of the tribal leaders, who don't like Al Qaeda any more than we do because Al Qaeda is also going after them."

From the August 26 edition of CBS' Face the Nation:

SCHIEFFER: Well, when the Senate and House come back into session, at the end of the summer here, the first thing they're going to have to deal with is what to do about Iraq -- funding the war.

EDWARDS: Yes.

SCHIEFFER: You're seeing even some Democrats, like Senator Clinton -- to go back to Senator Clinton -- saying it looks like that maybe the surge is working in the sense that there is less violence there. What do you think the Senate should do here, Senator? I know you have said that you'd like to immediately draw down about 40,000 troops there and then work from there and eventually get all of them out. Do you think that's in any way a possibility or is the president going to be able to ride this out?

EDWARDS: Well, I think there's actually a mandate from America, regardless of what I think. I think America said very clearly in the November 2006 elections that they wanted a very different course in Iraq and I think the Congress has a responsibility under that mandate, and I think they should stand their ground. I think they should not submit a single funding bill to the president for the war that doesn't have a timetable for withdrawal. And I think they should use whatever legislative tool is available to them, including filibuster.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
CBS
Person
Bob Schieffer
Show/Publication
Face the Nation
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.