July 6, 2010
Posted: 03:19 PM ET
Republicans lined up on opposite sides Sunday over comments by the chairman of the Republican National Committee that the Afghanistan war launched by former President George W. Bush was "of (President Barack) Obama's choosing" and may be unwinnable.
Speaking from Afghanistan, GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina lambasted Michael Steele for the comments, which McCain called "wildly inaccurate" and Graham characterized as "uninformed, unnecessary, unwise, untimely," while follow Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina said Steele should apologize to the military.
However, conservative GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, in a statement to CNN, supported Steele and said the RNC chairman's characterization of the war was correct.
"He is guiding the party in the right direction and we (the GOP) are on the verge of victory this fall," said Paul, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. "Chairman Steele should not back off. He is giving the country, especially young people, hope as he speaks truth about this war."
In comments at a Republican fundraiser in Connecticut Thursday, a YouTube video shows the RNC chairman declaring of the war in Afghanistan, "This was a war of Obama's choosing."
"This is not something the United States actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in," he added.
Steele has stepped back from his original comments by emphasizing his support for the war.
"The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan," Steele said in a statement intended to clarify his controversial comments.
Filed under: Politics
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