From Drudge Report:
REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN TAKE IT TO BUSH
Wed May 09 2007 20:42:16 ET
TIM RUSSERT, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS:
Brian, all eyes on the Republican party. How long will they support the president's position on the Iraq War? Yesterday may have been a defining, pivotal moment.
At two-thirty in the afternoon, in the private quarters of the White House, the Solarium Room, eleven Republican congressmen had a private meeting with the president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, the chief political advisor Karl Rove, and the White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, and others. This delegation was headed by Mark Kirk of Illinois and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania.
It was, in the words of one of the participants, the most unvarnished conversation they've ever had with the president. Another member has said he has met with three presidents and never been so candid.
They told the president, and one said, quote, "My district is prepared for defeat. We need candor, we need honesty, Mr. President."
The president responded, "I don't want to pass this off to another president. I don't want to pass this off, particularly, to a democratic president," underscoring he understood how serious the situation was.
Brian, the Republican congressmen went on to say, "The word about the war and its progress cannot come from the White House or even you, Mr. President. There's no longer any credibility. It has to come from General Petraeus.
The meeting lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, and was, in the words of one, " remarkable for the bluntness, and no holds barred honesty and the message delivered by all these Republican congressmen.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: And Tim...how did the president react and how did this then affect the instructions for VP Cheney heading off to Iraq?
RUSSERT: One congressman said, "How can our daughters and sons spill their blood while the Iraqi parliament goes on vacation?
The president responded, "The Vice President is over there to tell them, 'Do not go on vacation.'"