Dear unidentified Republican congressman:
The same way sons and daughters can spill their blood while George Bush goes on vacation.
Think Progress reports, with video and transcript: In a sign of the growing fissure between the White House and its congressional allies over the war, NBC News reports tonight that 11 Republican members of Congress pleaded yesterday with President Bush and his senior aides to change course in Iraq.
The group of Republicans was led by Reps. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Charlie Dent (R-PA), and the meeting included Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, and Tony Snow. One member of Congress called the discussion the “most unvarnished conversation they’ve ever had with the president,” and NBC’s Tim Russert said it “may have been a defining pivotal moment” in the Iraq debate. Russert spoke with Brian Williams: Brian, the Republican congressman then went on to say, “The word about the war and its progress cannot come from the White House or even you, Mr. President. There is no longer any credibility. It has to come from Gen. Petraeus.” The meeting lasted an hour and 15 minutes and was, in the words of one, “remarkable for the bluntness and no-holds-barred honesty in the message delivered by all these Republican congressmen.”
WILLIAMS: And Tim, in the seconds remaining, how did the president react, and how then did this affect the instructions for Vice President Cheney heading off to Iraq.
RUSSERT: One congressman said, “How can our sons and daughters spill their blood while the Iraqi government goes on vacation?” The president responded, “The vice president is over there to tell them, do not go on vacation.”