Media Blog

Gregory: Was Airstrike Intended to Boost Poll Numbers?

In the mind of David Gregory, it’s fair to wonder whether the President of the United States put American lives at risk in yesterday’s airborne strike against terrorist strongholds just to boost his poll numbers:

Q Scott, can I ask you a question about this operation underway in Iraq? Does the President think that an offensive like this, high profile, is necessary, in part to turn public opinion around in this country about the war?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, our commanders in the theater have the authorization to make tactical decisions about the operations that they undertake. And there have been a number of operations that have been undertaken over the course of the last several months to really go after the terrorists and the Saddam loyalists who want to return to the past of oppression and tyranny. So this operation is part of our ongoing efforts to help move forward on the security front. […]
Q But my question — I’m sorry, but you aren’t done with my question, which is, beyond the merits of this particular operation, we are coming to the three-year anniversary of the war. Support for the President is at rock bottom; support for this war is at rock bottom in this country. Does the President think it’s important as a show of U.S. and Iraqi force to mount these kinds of operations, to try to change public opinion in this country?
MR. McCLELLAN: I can’t accept the premise of your question because this was a decision made by our commanders.

This is how it works: Reporters like David Gregory ask preposterous questions such as this one. The White House refuses to take them seriously. Then, the reporters leave the briefings and write that the White House is “stonewalling” them again as part of a larger “war on the press.”

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