Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mitt Romney Blasts Reid

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he was shocked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comments the U.S. has lost the war in Iraq. Romney told those at a state Republican Party dinner that the United States had successfully deposed Saddam Hussein in Iraq and was now involved in supporting the country's new leaders in a rebuilding effort. "It's not worked anywhere near as well as we had hoped it would, and there have been setbacks and there are huge challenges," Romney said. "That's a very different thing than saying we've lost the war in Iraq." Reid said Thursday he had told President Bush he thought the war could not be won through military force, although he said the U.S. could still pursue political, economic and diplomatic means to bring peace to Iraq. "I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and - you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows - (know) this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday," Reid, D-Nev., said.Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said Reid's comments encouraged "violent jihadist to parade to their believers around the world that they beat America, and that's not what happened." About 700 people attended the Indiana GOP's annual spring dinner in the northern suburb of Indianapolis. The event was expected to raise about $150,000, party spokesman Robert Vane said. State Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker released a statement Friday criticizing Romney for changing his stances on issues such as tax increases, abortion, gun rights and gay marriage to appease conservative voters. "Cable news would do America a great service putting a ticker at the bottom of the television screen to indicate which Romney is doing the smooth talking," Parker said. "It could be Gov. Romney. It could be campaign Romney. It could be something in between."