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Boehner To Slam Obama Ahead Of Iraq Speech Boehner To Slam Obama Ahead Of Iraq Speech

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Boehner To Slam Obama Ahead Of Iraq Speech

American Legion Address Tuesday Will Take The President To Task For Having Opposed The 'Surge'

Updated at 8:01 a.m. on Aug. 31.

House Minority Leader John Boehner is preparing to bash President Obama and other Democrats during a speech Tuesday for having opposed the troop "surge" in Iraq that he says is now allowing a shift of U.S. forces there from combat.


In a speech to be delivered at 1:10 p.m. CST to the American Legion convention in Milwaukee, Wis., Boehner, R-Ohio, will also talk about the role the U.S. should play amid tensions in the Middle East.

"He will discuss the Middle East, our steadfast commitment to Israel, and the need to remain vigilant against efforts by the Iranians to acquire a nuclear weapon and expand its influence in the region," said an aide today.

Boehner's speech will come as Obama is set to deliver a major televised speech Tuesday from the Oval Office marking the shifting from a combat role for American troops in Iraq to an advisory one.


His remarks also come as Obama plans to meet Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before the two meet in direct negotiations with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton later this week.

According to his office, Boehner will urge Obama to assign credit for the progress in Iraq squarely on the men and women in uniform -- and he will also seek to remind voters that "the transition Obama is celebrating was only made possible by the implementation of the surge Obama opposed prior to his election as president," as his office put it in a press release today.

Boehner's office noted that "at the time the surge was announced, then-Sen. Obama, along with then-Sen. Biden and top Congressional Democrats, opposed the new plan."

Even after the strategy was implemented and Iraq was beginning to show signs of progress, said Boehner's office, then-Sen. Obama said the course that the U.S. was on in Iraq "will not succeed."


Boehner on Tuesday also will discuss "the serious challenges that remain," and how Iraq is critical to our immediate and long-term national security interests, said an aide.

"While he supports our mission and our troops, he will express concerns about how Washington is implementing the new strategy there," the aide said.

Boehner will go on to also discuss the war on terrorism, the administration's handling of attempted terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, and its lack of a comprehensive strategy to confront and defeat the terrorist threat, said the aide.

Tuesday's speech will be Boehner's second major policy address in the past week; last week he called on Obama to fire his economic team.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are among others scheduled to appear this week at the American Legion convention.

Pelosi will speak to the American Legion convention at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday CST. Her office has not yet provided an early glimpse of her planned remarks, but according to an aide, she is planning to thank the American Legion "for helping to ensure the many bipartisan accomplishments of Congress on behalf of our troops, veterans, and military families."

She will assert that "more progress has been made over the last four years for our veterans and military families than has been made since the passage of the original GI Bill in 1944," the aide said.

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