Obama Sways GOP on Iraq, Loses Dems

McCain backs plan; Pelosi thinks leaving 50K is too many
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2009 6:16 AM CST
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington Wednesday.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – Key congressional Republicans, including John McCain, gave their backing to President Obama's plan to withdraw all combat forces from Iraq by August 2010. The New York Times reports that GOP members at a bipartisan White House meeting yesterday left more impressed than some Democratic counterparts, who thought Obama was leaving behind too large of a so-called residual force—between 35,000 to 50,000 troops. The president is expected to announce his plan this morning.

McCain's spokeswoman said he was "supportive of the plan," while the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee called the withdrawal timetable "one that we should pray for." But leading Democrats were disappointed: Nancy Pelosi said she did not understand "the justification" for such a large residual force. Chuck Schumer echoed that sentiment: "50,000 is more than I would have thought," as did Harry Reid.