Meet The Press: David Gregory Thinks Confronting Politicians Only Matters With Democrats

[media id=7039] (h/t Heather) David Gregory famously rejected his responsibility to confront lies in the run up to the war, but apparently, he feels

(h/t Heather)

David Gregory famously rejected his responsibility to confront lies in the run up to the war, but apparently, he feels no such compunction to reject confronting those who criticize those who lie to get us into a war. Critics, you see, are far more deserving of the Russert-like "gotcha" attack than actual war criminals. It's a question of priorities.

On today's Meet the Press, Gregory opts to go after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for daring to suggest that the surge was not the way to win the war in Iraq (never mentioning that the framing that it is a war in Iraq and what benchmarks would indicate a "win" have been left purposefully undefined by those who took us there). Reid, who is surprisingly milquetoast-y for a former pugilist, has to say no less than three separate times to the unconvinced Gregory that he was merely reiterating, somewhat inartfully, the same things that Gen. Petraeus was saying at the same time.

GREGORY: But you said the surge was not accomplishing anything. Even Barack Obama said last fall that it exceeded everyone’s expectation and succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

REID: Listen, at the time that statement was made, a surge, they weren’t talking about the surge. Petraeus added to the surge some very, very interesting things that changed things. He said that just simply number of troops is not going to do the deal. What we need to do is work with the Iraqi people, which we haven’t done before. That’s where the Awakening Councils came about, as a result of David Petraeus’s genius. He has done…he will be written about in the history books for years to come. My original statement was in keeping with what David Petraeus said, that is, the war cannot be won militarily.

But that's not enough for Gregory, who has to ask Reid if he regrets being mean to President Bush, calling him the worst president ever. Are you flipping kidding me? With the exception of David Gregory (and those employed by NewsCorp.), is there truly any question of that status? If not, why would Bush be going full court press on the Legacy Restoration Tour, the notoriously press-shunning president giving more interviews than either Clinton or Reagan gave in the twilight days of his presidency.

Hey, David, here's a question for you: Do YOU ever regret handing over your journalistic and personal integrity, your intellectual honesty and anything left of your gonads to the White House? How dare you ask the Majority Leader if he has any regrets about actually acting like an opposition party. If you look at polling, the American people don't think the Democrats have done it nearly enough. And very few of us disagree with Reid's assessment of the success of the Bush presidency. Will you ask the same wistful questions of Cryin' John Boehner and Eric "Don't Know My Ass From My Elbow" Cantor about being "mean" to President Obama?

I'm betting you won't, you partisan hack.

Transcripts below the fold

GREGORY: Let me ask you about the war in Iraq. In April of 2007, this is what you said, ‘I believe myself that this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything.’ Were you wrong?

REID: David, I first met Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq. He was training the Iraqi forces at that time. At that time, you knew it wasn’t working. After he became the Commander in Iraq, he and I sat down and talked. He said to me and he said within the sound of everyone’s voice, the war cannot be won militarily. I said it, differently than he did, but it needed a change in direction. Petraeus brought that about. He brought it about, the surged helped, of course it helped. But in addition to that, the urging of me and other people in Congress and the country dictated a change and that took place. So…

GREGORY: But you said the surge was not accomplishing anything. Even Barack Obama said last fall that it exceeded everyone’s expectation and succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

REID: Listen, at the time that statement was made, a surge, they weren’t talking about the surge. Petraeus added to the surge some very, very interesting things that changed things. He said that just simply number of troops is not going to do the deal. What we need to do is work with the Iraqi people, which we haven’t done before. That’s where the Awakening Councils came about, as a result of David Petraeus’s genius. He has done…he will be written about in the history books for years to come. My original statement was in keeping with what David Petraeus said, that is, the war cannot be won militarily.

GREGORY: Do you believe the war in Iraq has been lost?

REID: I don’t think that at this stage, we can talk about that with any degree of sensibility. That has to come about in the history books to come.

GREGORY: So you spoke too soon in 2007?

REID: David Petraeus and Harry Reid spoke at the same time. David Petraeus said the was cannot be won militarily, I said what I said. Who phrased it the best….

GREGORY: You said the war was lost. Today, in 2009, that’s no longer your view.

REID: David, listen, someone else will have to determine that as the years go on. What has the war done? It’s brought about…it destabilized the Middle East. We have a civil war going on in Israel. We have a civil war in Iraq, as indicated today, more than 50 people were killed with a bomb in Iraq today. We have Lebanon, a civil war there. We have Iran thumbing their nose at everyone. And if that weren’t bad enough, our standing in the world community is so far down, as a result of this war. So that doesn’t take into consideration the tens of thousands that have been injured and thousands that have been killed in the war. Historians will have to talk about what the war in Iraq did, but I think historians today indicate, as I have, the outline that I’ve given.

GREGORY: Before you go, do you have any regrets about the way you have publicly battled with President Bush? Over the years, you’ve called him a liar, a loser, you’ve described him as quote ‘our worst President ever.’

REID: I wrote a book and I said that in the book several times. David, I am who I am. I’m going to continue to be who I am. You just have to call things the way you see ‘em. I really do believe that President Bush is the worst president we’ve ever had. I think his efforts to destroy Social Security were very bad. That brought about one of the statements. I think as we’ve looked now at what’s happened to the stock market, wouldn’t that have been a terrible thing to do, to privatize Social Security? Medicare, he done it…he’s done his very best to destroy Medicare. Medicare, a wonderful program. Perfect? Of course not, but one of the best programs ever developed to take care of sick people.

GREGORY: No regrets?

REID: It’s just who I am!

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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