I’ll ask again… how’s that nomination working out for you Mr. President? Here are a few more knives in your back from Ms. Perino. Dana doesn’t think we should have a tax to pay for Afghanistan because then people really won’t like the war. Heaven forbid anyone would expect someone to pay for the military industrial complex instead of putting it on the credit card for the grandkids.
Wallace: If the leaks are correct and if the President announces somewhere between 30-35,000 more troops and trying to ask NATO for another 5000 and gets pretty close, maybe not all the way but pretty close to McChrystal’s initial request of 40,000, will conservatives declare victory and say look, the President has the right strategy?
Perino: I don’t know if they’ll declare victory but I do think they’ll rally behind the President and the Commander in Chief. I think they’ll have to set aside the fact that they think there was a really sloppy process; that he undermined President Karzai; that he alienated Gen. McChrystal and say this is the right thing to do. We wish he wouldn’t talk about exit ramps so soon, but this is the right thing to do and providing the generals what they need.
I think on the jobs issue though and on the cost one of the House Democrats, a leading House Democrat suggested that we increase taxes in order to pay for this. And I think tying taxes to this war, one is a bad thing to do in a recession, two it even more unpopular and one of the things that President Obama will need to do is rally the nation and say that he’s fully behind this.
Wallace: Yeah, wait a minute, you said he alienated or the process alienated President Karzai. There are an awful lot of people who say Karzai has been a bad actor, a weak actor and it’s important for the President in the course of this to make it clear to Karzai either you clean up your act or we’re not going to be there.
Perino: All of those things may be true. He might not have done enough, but he is the guy that you have to go into battle with in order to try to win this war and so alienating him so publicly was a bad idea. I think they probably thought that the other guy was going to win; Abdullah Abdullah was going to win. He didn’t and then we had another delay waiting to get McChrystal the troops that he needed. President Karzai is the president that they’re going to have to work with.