Maybe I need to fine tune that. There will be a number of WALKs. The first one happened yesterday.
One Republican congressman told Bush, "“The word about the war and its progress cannot come from the White House or even you, Mr. President. There is no longer any credibility. It has to come from Gen. Petraeus.”
Tim Russert reports that 11 REpublican senators, headed by Mark Kirk of Illinois and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, went to the White house to meet with Bush, Karl Rove, Tony Snow, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Russert says this may have been a "pivotal moment" in the discussion of the Iraq war.
Here's the transcript, from thinkprogress.
WILLIAMS: Tonight we’re also able to report new and exclusive details on the politics of the war in Iraq, specifically involving President Bush and members of his own party. For that we are joined by our Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert. What do we know?- Advertisement -
RUSSERT: Brian, all eyes on the Republican Party. How long will they support the president’s position on the Iraq war? Yesterday may have been a defining pivotal moment. At 2:30 in the afternoon in the private quarters of the White House, the Salarium room, 11 Republican congressmen had a private meeting with the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the chief political adviser Karl Rove and the White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and others. It was headed by Mark Kirk of Illinois and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. It was, in the words of one of the parties, the “most unvarnished conversation they’ve ever had with the president.” Another member said he has met with three presidents and never have been so can candid. They told the president, and one said, “My district is prepared for defeat. We need candor, we need honesty, Mr. President.” The president responded, “I don’t want to pass this off to another president. I don’t want to pass this off, particularly, to a Democratic president,” underscoring he understood how serious the situation was. Brian, the Republican congressman then went on to say, “The word about the war and its progress cannot come from the White House or even you, Mr. President. There is no longer any credibility. It has to come from Gen. Petraeus.” The meeting lasted an hour and 15 minutes and was, in the words of one, “remarkable for the bluntness and no-holds-barred honesty in the message delivered by all these Republican congressmen.”
WILLIAMS: And Tim, in the seconds remaining, how did the president react, and how then did this affect the instructions for Vice President Cheney heading off to Iraq.
RUSSERT: One congressman said, “How can our sons and daughters spill their blood while the Iraqi government goes on vacation?” The president responded, “The vice president is over there to tell them, do not go on vacation.”
Tim, as always, thanks.