CNN Says Bush's Time Is Up: 'Severely Weakened...Running Out of Cards'
On Wednesday's American Morning, CNN political correspondent Candy Crowley assembled a piece arguing strongly that President Bush is a "severely weakened commander-in-chief" who is "now running out of cards" on Iraq.
Crowley: "Less than four years ago 71 percent of Americans approved of the way the president was handling Iraq. Each spring thereafter shows a president in slow free fall. Americans come to believe the war was too slow, the objective far from sure; within 12 months the insurgency began to take hold."
Bush (2004 footage): "We will not waiver in the face of fear and intimidation."
Crowley: "Every good thing -- elections, new governments, a constitution -- was followed by something horrendous -- roadside bombings, prison abuses."
Michael O’Hanlon: "So each year the theory of victory, or the theory of ultimate success, that we had was either invalidated or displaced by something else."
Crowley: "In the spring of '04 the president's approval rating on Iraq was down 20 points, 51 percent. His reservoir of political capital stayed steady for most of that election year, but then began to hemorrhage. He hit 43 percent in the spring of 2005."
Bush (2005 file footage): "There are still some in Iraq who aren't happy with democracy."
Crowley: "President Bush was openly challenged on Capitol Hill by former allies. He launched a series of speeches designed to buck up support, but Americans were not to be bucked up."
Keating Holland (CNN Polling Director): "I don't recall any time when a speech that President Bush has given changed a lot of the public's mind on Iraq."
Crowley: "In spring of last year approval on Iraq was 35 percent, and the president talked new tactics."
Bush: (2006 file footage)"By the way, every war plan, or every plan, is fine until it meets the enemy, but you got to adjust."
Crowley: "He is today a severely weakened commander in chief."
Ted Kennedy: "Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam."
Crowley: "And now another speech, a new plan."
O’Hanlon: "He has one last shot, and that's the way to look at it, I think. It's Hail Mary time."
Crowley: "In effect, a commander in chief who was on top of his game just four years ago is now running out of cards -- Miles."