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Huckabee Campaign Press Release - Huckabee Campaign Refutes Romney's Attacks on Troop Surge Support

January 07, 2008

Asks Romney: "Which Position Is It, Mitt?"

Windham, NH – Today, Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee's campaign reiterated Governor Huckabee's consistent, steady and unwavering support for General Petraeus' troop surge.

"General Petraeus and our troops are giving their all to provide an opportunity for the Iraqi government to succeed, and setting a timetable for withdrawal is a mistake. We must remain until we've achieved victory," said Huckabee.

January 12, 2007/ MSNBC Interview

Only two days after President Bush announced his plan for the surge in U.S. troop levels, Governor Huckabee appeared on MSNBC with Norah O'Donnell. During the interview, Huckabee asserted his support for the surge saying: "I think we've got to give him a chance to let it work. Whether it's the right decision, I honestly don't know because I don't have the access to the kind of military and intelligence information that he does. But he's the commander-in-chief, and we've got to give him an opportunity."

January 28, 2007/ NBC's "Meet the Press" Interview

When asked about the President's troop surge tactic on NBC's "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert, Governor Huckabee stated: "I think that's a dangerous position to take, to oppose a sitting commander-in-chief while we've got people being shot at on the ground. I think its one thing to have a debate and a discussion about this strategy, but to openly oppose, in essence, the strategy, I think that can be a very risky thing for our troops."

February 11, 2007/ ABC's "This Week" Interview

On "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," when asked whether Governor Huckabee would have voted for the surge had he been a member of the Senate, Huckabee replied: "you bet I would." With regards to setting a timetable, Governor Huckabee said, "I was careful not to say there should be a specific timetable. In fact, it's like a baseball game, not a football game. You can't put it on a specific clock."

March 27, 2007/ Real Clear Politics Interview

Although Governor Huckabee did express some concern over the use of an over-extended National Guard and Reservist Corps, in an interview with Real Clear Politics in March of 2007, Huckabee stated: "I support the President's right as Commander-in-Chief to make the decisions that he feels like will work and General Petraeus is the person in whom he has placed his trust. I have to respect that he's looking at information that I don't have and he's based this decision on those intelligence reports and the reports that he's getting from his generals in the field."

Sept. 10, 2007 / Press Release on Gen. Petraeus' and Ambassador Crocker's Capitol Hill Testimony "I appreciate General Petraeus' candid, compelling testimony before a joint House committee this afternoon, along with the insights of Ambassador Crocker. I look forward to their continued testimony tomorrow. I have deep respect and admiration for both of these outstanding men, who have staked their lives and reputations on a successful outcome in what, I believe, is the defining battle, not only of our time, but for Western civilization itself. From their testimony, it is clear that the surge is working; their military objectives are being met; and that a quick or precipitous withdrawal will have dire consequences, not only in terms of massive human suffering in Iraq – but for the region. Undoubtedly, Iran would be a winner in this scenario – rendering the whole world vulnerable. This scenario is unacceptable.

September 28, 2007/ Center for Strategic and International Studies Speech

In a speech given to The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington , D.C., in September, Governor Huckabee stated that he had supported and continued to support the surge. "Now is not the moment to lose heart or lose faith, too much has been sacrificed and too much is at stake. By not projecting beyond pre-surge levels, we send a strong signal to the Iraqis that we will be there for them and to our enemies that they can't just wait us out."

On the other hand: Mitt Romney supported a timed withdrawal, and now he says he did not.

During the Jan. 5, 2008, presidential debate, Mitt Romney claimed he never supported a timed withdrawal in Iraq . Governor Huckabee challenged this claim and Romney responded, "I do not support and have never supported a timed withdrawal." However, in an April 2007 interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America," Romney voiced support for "a private timetable and benchmarks for U.S. troops to get out of Iraq ." Governor Huckabee restated his charge that Romney can't have it both ways saying that "time tables, whether public or private, is a withdrawal. This was the Democrat's position in Congress, which I am entirely against."

Romney's claim that he never supported a timed withdrawal, when in fact he did, begs the Governor's question last night: "Which position is it, Mitt?"

Furthermore, after attacking Governor Huckabee for weeks on his criticism of some elements of the Bush administration's approach to foreign policy -- and demanding that Huckabee apologize to President Bush – yesterday, Mitt Romney changed his tune at a New Hampshire house party. He publicly stated that U.S. diplomacy has been dominated by an "our way or the highway approach."

This is very similar to what Governor Huckabee has been arguing. Does Romney now owe the President an apology?

Mike Huckabee, Huckabee Campaign Press Release - Huckabee Campaign Refutes Romney's Attacks on Troop Surge Support Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/293681

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