NBC's Gregory Resurrects Bush's 'Bring 'em On' & Cheney's 'Last Throes' of Insurgency

NBC’s David Gregory on Friday night resurrected two of the favorite quotes of Bush-bashers as he contrasted past boasts with how the current “cautious view about the way forward in Iraq underscores the degree to which events on the ground have humbled the Bush team.” After a clip of Bush on Friday conceding the killing of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is “not going to end the war. It's certainly not going to end the violence. But it's going to help a lot," Gregory declared: "It's a far cry from July, 2003" -- when Bush uttered his “bring ‘em on" taunt. Gregory then offered a second example, Vice President Dick Cheney’s 2005 prediction that "we're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." (Transcript follows)

David Gregory’s June 9 NBC Nightly News story, picking up midway through it:
Gregory: “What's increasingly clear is that the administration's goal of reducing U.S. troops to 100,000 by the end of 2006 is now unrealistic.”

Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings Institution military analyst: “The simplest problem is that we went in too small. And so even as Iraqis now train and get better, all we're doing is catching up to the kinds of aggregate numbers we probably should have been at from the start.”

Gregory: “The President's cautious view about the way forward in Iraq underscores the degree to which events on the ground have humbled the Bush team. Asked about Zarqawi today-”

President Bush at Camp David Friday morning: “It's not going to end the war. It's certainly not going to end the violence. But it's going to help a lot.”

Gregory: “It's a far cry from July, 2003.”

President Bush in 2003: “There are some who feel like, that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring ‘em on.”

Gregory: “Or May of 2005.”

Vice President Dick Cheney on CNN’s Larry King Live: “I think we're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”

Gregory concluded: “Instead, today Mr. Bush spoke of progress in the war, but not winning. And yet tonight Bush aides insist that the President is confident that the U.S. is in fact winning in Iraq but they say he's cautious. Caution that reflects as desire at this point, as one aide said, not to over-promise or undersell.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center