This week’s Democratic radio address was delivered by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and focused on the beginning the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war, and its costs at home and abroad. Menendez started by praising the troops then said, “When it comes to honoring and supporting our troops and their families, Democrats and Republicans stand as one. But when it comes to the decisions that got us into the war – and the flawed policies that keep us there – Democrats stand firmly apart from our Republican friends. In 2003, President Bush took us to war on the wings of a lie.”
The Senator then turned his attention to President Bush. “With each passing year, we’ve heard the same false promises of victory, the same excuses for failures from the Iraqi government, and the same refusal from President Bush to admit his mistakes. Now, as this war enters its sixth year, the American people are still waiting to hear the straight talk we deserve. Instead of making more sweeping claims of victory, as he did this week, it’s time for the President to face the reality of the situation we’re in.”
Menendez spoke about the cost of the war at home. “And the situation is no better here at home. The war hasn’t made us any safer, but it certainly has made us poorer. We’ve already spent more than $600 billion on a war that President Bush claimed would cost 1/10th that much. Instead of building barracks in Iraq, we could be helping millions of Americans avoid losing their homes to foreclosure. Instead of policing the streets of Baghdad, we could be investing in universal health care and a better education system. When all is finally said and done, experts say the war is going to cost as much as $3 trillion or more. Where does that $3 trillion come from? It’s all borrowed from future generations.”
He concluded, “It’s time for a responsible new direction. We owe it to our courageous troops who are shouldering a heavy burden – and to all Americans who are paying a dear price for the war in Iraq. Many of us wish that the War in Iraq had never happened. It is tragic to think what might have been. But it’s not too late to believe in what we, as a nation, can become.”
Since John McCain seems completely disinterested in any other issue except continuing the war, the Democratic strategy is simply to link our poor economy with the already unpopular Iraq invasion. Most Americans have already made this connection in their own minds, so I don’t see how John McCain can win this election against either Democrat. If the economy and Iraq are the two biggest issues of the fall campaign, then Republicans will take an even worse beating than they did in 2006. McCain is the wrong candidate at the wrong time with the wrong positions on the issues.
Read or listen to the Democratic Radio address: