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u2sarajevo
05-21-2004, 10:01 AM
Pelosi won't back off Bush condemnation
'Her words are putting American lives at risk,' says her House counterpart
Marc Sandalow, Washington Bureau Chief
Friday, May 21, 2004
2004 San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback | FAQ


URL (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/05/21/MNG5F6PP2A1.DTL)


Washington -- House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco rejected Republican demands Thursday that she apologize for her strong condemnation of President Bush, as raw nerves over Iraq collided with raw politics on Capitol Hill.

Republican leaders accused Pelosi of taunting the troops, inspiring the enemy and putting American lives at risk by telling The Chronicle on Wednesday that Bush is an "incompetent leader'' who lacks the judgment, experience or knowledge to make good decisions.

Pelosi stood her ground, telling reporters that "the emperor has no clothes." With the violence in Iraq threatening to overshadow all other issues in the coming election season, each party claimed to possess the moral high ground in setting the rules for debate.

"She apparently is so caught up in the partisan hatred for President Bush that her words are putting American lives at risk,'' said House Majority leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. "This nation cannot afford the luxury of her dangerous rhetoric.''

Countered one Democratic leader: "Frankly, that's McCarthyism.''

The sharp response to Pelosi's words reflected the passion and political stakes over the situation in Iraq and came as Bush made a rare visit to the Capitol to rally Republicans. GOP lawmakers, who just this week had been fighting among themselves over how to proceed in Iraq, emerged from the closed- door meeting expressing optimism, though it appeared that Pelosi's comments might have done as much to bring Republicans together as Bush's visit.

The Speaker of the House, the Republican National Committee and the Bush- Cheney re-election committee, among others, issued statements excoriating Pelosi for both the tone and the substance of her remarks in The Chronicle. By evening, the Republican Party distributed an 11-page critique of Pelosi's liberal record as a member of Congress titled, "Totally San Fran: 17 years of San Francisco Liberalism.''

Pelosi told reporters, "The time has come to speak very frankly about the lack of leadership in the White House.

"So the emperor has no clothes. When are people going to face the reality? Pull the curtain back.''

At the White House, press secretary Scott McClellan said, "I don't think that such comments are worth dignifying with any response from this podium.''

But across the Potomac at Bush-Cheney re-election headquarters, campaign chair Marc Racicot said the comments were "a reprehensible attempt to blame America for the action of terrorists and represent a fundamental misunderstanding of the war on terror.''

Apparently sensing that the tone of her remarks will turn off many voters, Racicot called on John Kerry, the party's presumptive presidential nominee, to renounce them, even as he said that Kerry had already "come dangerously close'' to advocating the "blame-America-first'' attitude that he said marked Pelosi's comments.

Kerry said in an interview with La Opinion, a Spanish language newspaper, that Pelosi had the right to speak her own opinion, but he did not say whether he shared her assessments of Bush's lack of leadership ability.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said Pelosi "has the right to disagree with President Bush.''

"But her comments questioning the president's competence cross the line, '' Hastert said. "Was it incompetence that put Saddam Hussein in jail? Was it incompetence that disbanded the Taliban? Was it incompetence that spurred the fastest economic growth rate in 20 years? Was it incompetence that created the highest home ownership rate in history?''

Rep. Tom Reynolds, the chair of the House Republicans re-election committee, said, "If Nancy Pelosi has nothing to offer our troops, who are living and dying thousands of miles away, besides taunting them by saying they are dying needlessly and are risking their lives on a shallow mission, then she should go back to her pastel-colored condo in San Francisco and keep her views to herself.''

Pelosi lives in a red brick home in Pacific Heights.

Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference that it was Bush's "activities, his decisions, the results of his actions (that) undermines his leadership, not my statements. My statements are just a statement of fact.

"Understand that when our kids are in harm's way, we are united -- it is one team, one fight. But they cannot say that anybody who criticizes their failures to be not supportive of our troops. It is the very support of the troops that provokes the candor that we must have about what's happening with this war, the cost in lives ... the cost in dollars to the taxpayer, and the cost in reputation to our country.''

No Democrat offered a public challenge to Pelosi's comments, which were the strongest yet by a Democratic leader.

"In fact, what she said is what many people are thinking,'' said Rep. Robert Matsui, D-Sacramento, who heads the House Democrats campaign committee. "I think many Democrats want our leaders to speak out on these issues.''

Matsui echoed Pelosi's critique of Bush, calling developments in Iraq a sign of the president's "either being clueless, or being incompetent.''

As for the charge that such criticisms are inappropriate during a time of war, Matsui said: "Frankly, that's McCarthyism.''

FishForLunch
05-21-2004, 10:14 AM
Who cares, for the past 4 years the left has been trying to tell us that Bush was dumb and an idiot or clueless, while Gore and the other democracts are geniuses. Just screw those elitists.

MavKikiNYC
05-21-2004, 10:32 AM
Stupid bitch oughta be worried about a new face lift.

Mavdog
05-21-2004, 10:51 AM
Here is the Chronicle story with Pelosi's comments, If anyone truly believes that her remarks "inspire the enemy" or "are putting American lives at risk" much less being "dangerous rhetoric", they are going to have real problems with the election this year.
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BLUNT ASSESSMENT: S.F.'s Pelosi calls Bush 'incompetent' and lacking in judgment

Marc Sandalow, Washington Bureau Chief
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Washington -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco offered her strongest condemnation yet of President Bush on Wednesday, assailing him as incompetent and declaring that the only way for the United States to triumph in Iraq is to replace him as commander in chief.

"Bush is an incompetent leader. In fact, he's not a leader,'' Pelosi said. "He's a person who has no judgment, no experience and no knowledge of the subjects that he has to decide upon.''

Pelosi has long been an outspoken critic of Bush and the war in Iraq. Yet the tone and extent of her comments during an interview with The Chronicle go well beyond criticisms leveled by her and other Democratic leaders in the past.

Speaking from her Capitol office for 45 minutes, Pelosi portrayed the president as dangerously in over his head and stubbornly unwilling to consider information that clashes with his own preconceptions.

"He has on his shoulders the deaths of many more troops, because he would not heed the advice of his own State Department of what to expect after May 1 when he ... declared that major combat is over,'' Pelosi charged. "The shallowness that he has brought to the office has not changed since he got there.''

The sharp words reflect a growing despair among lawmakers of both parties over Iraq as well as a growing sense of opportunity among Democrats that they will be able to capitalize on the deteriorating situation to oust Bush. A poll released Wednesday by the Democratic firm Democracy Corps found that 55 percent of voters say the United States is losing control in Iraq, while 41 percent believe the United States is making progress.

The White House dismissed Pelosi's comments as election-year posturing.

"It's clear that the election season is drawing near, and there are those who will pursue politics over policy,'' said White House spokesman Ken Lisaius. "That doesn't change the fact that the president is focused on winning the war on terror, protecting our homeland security and strengthening our improving economy.''

Bush, speaking to reporters after a meeting with his cabinet, said steady progress is being made toward the June 30 transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis and toward free elections.

"We've got hard work to do,'' Bush said. "After all, we saw the vivid savagery of the enemy; the decapitation of a U.S. citizen reminds us all about the barbaric nature of those who are trying to stop progress toward freedom. We understand the nature of that enemy. We also understand the nature of our brave troops. They're motivated, they're skilled, they're well trained. They will accomplish the mission.''

While some members of Congress have been highly critical of Bush's Iraq policy, most Democratic leaders -- including Sen. John Kerry, the party's presumptive presidential nominee -- have shied away from the blunt language used by Pelosi. Their caution stems from the fluidity of the situation as well as a political concern that comments too strongly condemning the commander in chief at a time of war may be viewed by some voters as unpatriotic.

"It's a dangerous situation,'' Kerry said on his campaign plane earlier in the week. "You have to give the president some room to get things done, but if he doesn't do what he has to do ..."

Kerry did not finish the sentence.

Pelosi, who never fails to mention her support for the troops in Iraq, led the effort against the war in 2003 and has been a consistent critic of the Bush policy. Yet in her role presiding over all 206 House Democrats, she had - - until Wednesday -- been more restrained in her criticism of Bush's leadership abilities.

"Not to get personal about it, but the president's capacity to lead has never been there. In order to lead, you have to have judgment. In order to have judgment, you have to have knowledge and experience. He has none,'' Pelosi said.

She called on the United States to bring more allies into the war effort, to send more troops to Iraq if military commanders ask for them and to level with the American people about how much the conflict is going to cost, an amount she estimated will soon reach $250 billion. Though she voted against going to war in 2003, she rejected the idea of withdrawing from Iraq now as irresponsible.

But success in building the coalition and rebuilding Iraq can happen only with a new president, Pelosi said.

"This president has demonstrated very clearly that he does not have the capacity to present a plan to transition,'' she said.

"The only way we can get more troops from other countries is to have a president who respects the other countries. It's hopeless for George Bush. He has made it hopeless.''

Pelosi said Kerry's more gentle criticism of Bush's Iraq policy was appropriate.

"The risk in many of us speaking out in the way that I'm speaking out to you right now is that people will say, 'Oh, it's just political,' '' Pelosi said.

Yet in the end, Pelosi said, she is confident that the failures in Iraq, as well as discontent over domestic issues, will defeat Bush in November.

"He's gone,'' Pelosi said of Bush. "He's so gone.''

LRB
05-21-2004, 11:36 AM
Nancy "Hanoi Jane" Pelosi would is a self centered cold hearted witch with without an ounce of patriotic blood in her body. She would gladly aid any emeny in killing American servicemen if it would serve her political ambitions. Thank goodness that there are only a small minority of her kind in this country. It's just sad that the Democrats don't have sense enough to elect leaders who believe in putting country 1st and politics 2nd.

MavKikiNYC
05-21-2004, 11:58 AM
...they are going to have real problems with the election this year.

I already have problems with the level of rhetoric.

Especially considering that I believe that George W. Bush, defined by his response to the events occurring during his presidency, will be considered one of the 5 Greatest American Presidents ever.



"Not to get personal about it, but the president's capacity to lead has never been there. In order to lead, you have to have judgment. In order to have judgment, you have to have knowledge and experience. He has none,'' Pelosi said.

Sorry. Knowledge alone doesn't entail judgment, nor does experience trump vision (cf Bill Clinton....case closed.)

However much experience Kerry may have, he lacks conviction, and IMO, vision. He's an inveterate opportunist, blown by the winds of the day, and propped up by lackeys like Pelosi. While George W. Bush will be regarded by history as a leader, a visionary, and a hero, Kerrey will be but a footnote, and Nancy Pelosi will be rinsed away from the fabric of our nation's history like fecal matter out of her underwear.

dude1394
05-21-2004, 03:34 PM
Whatever. Pelosi, Kerry, Kennedy, Carville, KKK Byrd, Fritz Holling all play form the same chicken-**** playbook. I used to think that if Al Gore had been in the white-house after 9/11 he "might" have gone after the taliban. But now I'm pretty sure even if he had as soon as the going went tough he would have chickened out just like the rest of the leftists.

The quicker the democratic party is completely humiliated the quicker we will have a responsible loyal opposition and two viable parties. Right now what I hope I'm seeing is the death throes of the democratic party as we've known it. The quicker the better.=

Drbio
05-21-2004, 03:57 PM
However much experience Kerry may have, he lacks conviction, and IMO, vision. He's an inveterate opportunist, blown by the winds of the day, and propped up by lackeys like Pelosi. While George W. Bush will be regarded by history as a leader, a visionary, and a hero, Kerrey will be but a footnote, and Nancy Pelosi will be rinsed away from the fabric of our nation's history like fecal matter out of her underwear.

classic....and rings soooooo true.