By: E&P Staff
Vice President Dick Cheney, as he is wont to do during difficult times for the administration, appeared on Rush Limbaugh’s radio talk show today, where he declared that the current government in Iraq is “off to a good start” and “they’re doing remarkably well.” Americans are concerned, however, because the war, which began in March 2003, “wasn’t over instantaneosly,” he explained.
Asked by Limbaugh if he was surprised by an article in The Washington Post this week that stated that the mood in the administation about the upcoming elections was still upbeat, Cheney said no, because they don’t track media reports but polls. He said the GOP had great candidates and hailed election chiefs Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman, and predicted the party would do well, pending turnout. He agreed with Limbaugh that terrorists might carry out some sort of pre-election attack, as in Spain.
Here is the relevant portion of the transcript concerning Iraq. The Web site, ThinkProgress.org, has the audio.
CHENEY: Well, I think there?s some natural level of concern out there because in fact, you know, it wasn?t over instantaneously. It?s been a little over three years now since we went into Iraq, so I don?t think it?s surprising that people are concerned.
On the other hand, this government has only been in office about five months, five or six months now. They?re off to a good start. It is difficult, no question about it, but we?ve now got over 300,000 Iraqis trained and equipped as part of their security forces. They?ve had three national elections with higher turnout than we have here in the United States. If you look at the general overall situation, they?re doing remarkably well.
It?s still very, very difficult, very tough. Nobody should underestimate the extent to which we?re engaged there with this sort of, at present, the ?major front? of the war on terror. That?s what Osama bin Laden says, and he?s right.