Perturbed Reid Chastises ABC's Tapper for Questioning Withdrawal: 'This Isn't a Debate'
Tapper's story ran a night after Wednesday's World News featured a report from Terry McCarthy in Iraq on how General David Petraeus, commander of all multi-national forces in Iraq, “is still very optimistic about the military battle, if the politicians give him enough time.” (July 11 NewsBusters item)
Video clip (35 secs): Real (1 MB) or Windows Media (1.2 MB), plus MP3 audio (200 KB)
[UPDATE, 10:25pm EDT: As "bigtimer" noted in a comment below, on his "Political Punch" blog Tapper posted a transcript of the entire exchange with Reid.]
Tapper's July 12 World News story was pegged to the House passage of a resolution calling on troop withdrawal from Iraq to begin within four months, a measure to be taken up next week by the Senate. Following a pro and a con soundbite on the resolution, Tapper showed his exchange with Reid:
JAKE TAPPER: Some foreign policy experts predict that such a U.S. withdrawal could unleash genocide against innocent Iraqis. It's a subject Democrats do not want to discuss.TAPPER TO REID AT PRESS CONFERENCE: Do you think the Iraqi people will be safer with U.S. troops out?TAPPER: This week's renewed push to withdraw troops, two months before General Petraeus reports to Congress on the progress of the surge strategy, has Republicans saying these votes are more about politics than national security....
REID: It is clear that the Iraqi people don't want us there. It is clear that there is now a state of chaos in Iraq. And it is up to the Iraqi people to make themselves safe.
TAPPER: With all due respect, Senator, you didn't answer my question.
REID: This isn't a debate. We're answering questions.
TAPPER: Will the Iraqis be safer?
REID: Anyone else have a question?