GOP Hopefuls React to Obama War Speech

Pawlenty, Romney hawkish as Huntsman calls for faster withdrawal

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 22, 2011 11:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan could become a major bone of contention among the GOP's 2012 hopefuls, judging by their differing responses to President Obama's speech outlining the US drawdown.

  • Tim Pawlenty took the most hawkish position, calling the decision to bring all the surge forces home by the end of next summer a "grave mistake." "Look how he phrased the outcome of this war: He said we need to end the war 'responsibly,'" Pawlenty told Bill O'Reilly. "When America goes to war, America needs to win. We need to close out the war successfully."

  • Mitt Romney also stressed the importance of staying the course as long as necessary, Politico reports. "We all want our troops to come home as soon as possible, but we shouldn’t adhere to an arbitrary timetable on the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan," he said. "This decision should not be based on politics or economics"
  • Jon Huntsman, meanwhile, said the pace of withdrawal should be faster, calling Obama's plan "a little cautious," reports the Hill. "Now it is time we move to a focused counter-terror effort which requires significantly fewer boots on the ground than the President discussed tonight," he said. "We need a safe but rapid withdrawal which encourages Afghans to assume responsibility."

A television monitor in the Brady Briefing Room displays US President Barack Obama as he speaks during a prime time address regarding Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 22, 2011. Obama announced that 10,000 troops serving in Afghanistan will return home by...
A television monitor in the Brady Briefing Room displays US President Barack Obama as he speaks during a prime time address regarding Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC,...   (Getty Images)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow

Nine years and 50 days into this conflict, the money that has been spent on both conflicts, well over $1 trillion, I think we have to say, ‘What have we accomplished in Afghanistan?' - Jon Huntsman

« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
74%
7%
18%
0%
0%
2%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!