GOP to Hammer Democrats on Early 'Surge' Criticism

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With Democrats moving quickly to soften their earlier criticism of the Iraq troop "surge" amid positive reports about the impact, Republicans are poised to demand that the prior critics admit they were wrong. "We are going to make sure that Democrats own their previous statements and positions on the surge," says a congressional GOP leadership official. The Senate Republican Conference, for example, has just released talking points—Dems' Surge 360—that highlight what Democrats like Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Harry Reid have been saying recently about the surge versus what they said just two months ago. "We're not going to allow them to approach the Petraeus report without first having to admit that they were wrong about the surge and that General [David] Petraeus was right, and continues to be right in his assessments," says the official.

—Paul Bedard