Cheney, on Wednesday, harshly criticized Democrats' attempts to thwart President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq, saying their approach would "validate the al-Qaida strategy." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fired back that Cheney was questioning critics' patriotism.
"I hope the president will repudiate and distance himself from the vice president's remarks," Pelosi said. She said she tried to complain about Cheney to President Bush but could not reach him.
"You cannot say as the president of the United States, 'I welcome disagreement in a time of war,' and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country," the speaker said.
The quarrel began in Tokyo, where Cheney used an interview to criticize Pelosi and Rep. John Murtha D-Pa., over their plan to place restrictions on Bush's request for an additional $93 billion for the Iraq war to make it difficult or impossible to send 21,500 extra troops to Iraq.
Pelosi, at a news conference in San Francisco, said Cheney's criticism of Democrats was "beneath the dignity of the debate we're engaged in and a disservice to our men and women in uniform, whom we all support."
"And you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to call the president and tell him I disapprove of what the vice president said," Pelosi said. "It has no place in our debate." Bush had previously urged her to call him when a member of his administration stepped over the line by questioning Democrats' patriotism, she said.
Later, Pelosi said she had tried to reach the president but was only able to get through to White House chief of staff Josh Bolten.
As for Cheney's assertion that the partial British pullout is a sign that things are going well in Iraq, Pelosi said: "If it's going so well, we'd like to withdraw our troops as well."
Posted by Karen at 2/22/2007 09:52:00 AM