Throughout their two terms in office and during his reelection campaign, President Obama boasted about “responsibly” ending the war in Iraq, withdrawing troops, and ending the conflict there. With al-Qaeda-linked militants now controlling multiple cities in that country, his accomplishments don’t look so impressive anymore. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney’s criticism of the president for leaving no American troops in the country looks a little wiser than the president gave him credit for.
A look back at when Obama was trying to convince the American people he got Iraq right:
“From the beginning of his time in the White House [President Obama] has said, before he went into office, ‘I’m going to end the war in Iraq’ – he did that . . . and al Qaeda is decimated. ‘I’m going to restore our place in the world’ — he’s done that. That’s how people are going to look at and evaluate the President’s record.” — Jen Psaki, State Department spokeswoman, September 27, 2012
“When President Obama took office, the Iraq War had been going on for years and he had campaigned with a promised to end that war, and he has done that. He kept his promise to refocus the mission in Afghanistan to take a fight to al-Qaeda in the AfPak region as well as around the world, and I think you know the results of that.” — Jay Carney, White House spokesman, October 1, 2012
“If you look [Mitt Romney’s] record . . . he has opposed ending the war in Iraq, unlike the president’s position and president’s record on that, saying that he would have kept as many 30,000 troops there indefinitely. He’s had an incoherent record and vision on al-Qaeda.” Jen Psaki, October 1 2012
“What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq [as Candidate Romney proposed], that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.” — President Obama, October 22, 2012
And, of course, Twitter is forever: