Obama Restates Iraqi Plan After Charges of Flip-Flop

Says he remains committed to withdrawing troops in 16 months
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 10:57 PM CDT
Barack Obama greets the crowd during a campaign stop at the University of Colorado.    (AP Photo/The Gazette, Bryan Oller)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama today reaffirmed his commitment to withdraw American troops from Iraq in 16 months, hours after being accused of backtracking on that pledge. Obama triggered a flurry of speculation—and ridicule from the McCain camp—by saying earlier in the day he might "refine" his war policies after speaking with military leaders. After the brouhaha, he called a second press conference to insist that the 16-month time line remains his goal, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Here is what I can tell you," Obama said. "I will bring our troops out one to two brigades a month. That's what I intend to do as president of the United States." He said he remains committed to the 16-month deadline but will be flexible on areas such as the training of Iraqi troops. He criticized McCain's camp for distorting his words. "I've always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain security. That assessment hasn't changed."