"Facing a steady stream of attacks for his original stance on the Iraq war," Rep. Rob Andrews (D-01) "sought to get out in front of the issue" 4/22, challenging Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) to stop dwelling on past positions and lay his own ideas out for the future of American involvement in Iraq."
Andrews' press conference "comes just after Lautenberg put out a commercial that hits Andrews on his early support for the war, noting that he was enlisted by Bush to co-author the war resolution" and to lobby Dems to pass it.
Andrews: "The U.S. Senate campaign should be a test of ideas about what to do next...And it's a choice between the tired, stale, old status quo politics that just complains, just hurls attacks, and a choice as to what to do next."
Andrews, "who was a vocal supporter of the war in its early stages and defended it" well into '05, "said that he's been working to come up with a withdrawal plan" since Nov. '06. The plan "goes into some detail about how the United States could create stability in Iraq while withdrawing." Lautenberg's camp "has criticized Andrews for never introducing the plan as legislation" (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/23).
An Andrews campaign mailer claiming he had "introduced a plan to get us out of Iraq" was denounced in a Lautenberg press release as "blatantly false" since the South Jersey congressman never proposed such legislation. Andrews "said his ideas found their way, through his work on the Armed Services Committee, into a resolution that would have required all combat troops to be out of Iraq by this summer."
Meanwhile, Lautenberg "won the endorsement of the Council for a Livable World, which opposes the Iraq war and nuclear proliferation." The council "said that over their careers in Congress, Lautenberg has supported its goals 90 percent of the time, Andrews 50 percent" (Schwaneberg, Newark Star-Ledger, 4/24).
This article appears in the April 24, 2008, edition of Latest Edition.