A RNC Conference Call About Iraq With Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Congressman John Kline (R-MN)
Patrick Ruffini over at the RNC set up a blogger conference call with a couple of Republican Congressman who just got back from Iraq.
One of the Congressman, Jack Kingston, got in late on the call because he was at the White House, so the majority of the call was handled by Congressman John Kline and *** wow *** this is an impressive guy, especially if you’re talking about Iraq.
Not only has he just gotten back, Kline is a 25-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has a son who’s a Blackhawk helicopter pilot stationed near Tikrit.
Kline pulled no punches.
He essentially said the one concern he heard from troops in Iraq time and time again was that the mainstream media’s slanted and negative reporting would undercut support for the troops and the mission from the American people. In fact, he went so far as to say that it would be a “betrayal” of the troops to do an immediate pull-out.
He also said — and I’m paraphrasing this — that the Democrats wish we didn’t have an enemy and wish the Europeans were cooperative. They have wishes, not plans.
Jack Kingston then got on and noted the progress in Iraq. He said the morale of the troops is sky high, 30,000 new businesses started since the liberation, and there have been 36,000 teachers trained. Then, he also slammed the mainstream media. In fact, he even said you can’t have an intelligent discussion with people about Iraq because the media coverage is so slanted.
Then we had a Q&A period where we got to ask a few questions. Here’s the question I asked:
Although President Bush has refused to set a timetable, we’ve had multiple generals and Iraqi officials speculating that we’ll have a significant number of troops leaving the country during 2006 as the Iraqi military improves. So, do you think that there is any possibility that the Democrats like Pelosi and Dean understand that the troops are coming home anyway and are just trying to steal credit for that, when it happens, by calling for an immediate withdrawal?
Jack Kingston plainly answered, “yes” and pointed out that’s the sort of thing the MSM should be talking about, but that blogs are having to be the ones that point it out.
On that note, they finished the call — which was great, by way. This is the first time the RNC has set up a conference call on Iraq, but they should do more of them.
*** Update #1 ***: Others discussing the call include: