Two more Upper Midwestern U.S. Senators—both Republicans—have released statements in response to President Bush’s new plan outlined in a national address earlier this week.
South Dakota junior senator John Thune acknowledged the need for change in Iraq, stated winning in Iraq is the “right thing to do for America’s security,” and had favorable words for Bush’s approach: “The president’s plan is a constructive approach that provides our troops with additional support, changes the rules of engagement and sends a clear message to the Iraqi government that America’s support is conditional on their commitment to take responsibility to quell the sectarian violence. I support our Commander in Chief and his decision to move forward with a new strategy, but will continue to thoroughly examine and evaluate this plan in the Senate Armed Services Committee in the coming days and weeks.”
Iowa senior senator Charles Grassley recognized the skepticism among Americans about the Iraq war, but stressed the need to take out terror networks in Iraq (and elsewhere), and characterized support for the president’s plan as support for America’s troops: “Congress gave the President the authority to go to war. As long as our troops are in harm’s way, whether or not Congress agrees with the President’s tactics, support for the troops ought to be non-negotiable.” Grassley did caution, however, that this is the last chance for the Iraqis to demonstrate their “commitment and political will to make this campaign successful.”
The only Upper Midwestern U.S. Senators who have not weighed in on the president’s plan with an official press release (besides recovering South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson) are Democrats Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).