Losing argument: Criticism of the administration's Iraq policy is motivated by partisanship.
Losing argument: "At a moment when America and Americans stand strong behind our troops on the battlefield, John Kerry is attacking President Bush and the military and seeking to divide along party lines. If there was ever a time to refrain from partisan politics, this is it; but all we see from the Kerry campaign and from John Kerry is political exploitation for political gain." – Bush/Cheney Campaign Chairman Marc Raciot, 5/12/04
Why it's a loser:
1. Republican Senator Richard Lugar (IN) harshly criticized the administration's Iraq policy. Lugar said just $1 billion of the $18.4 billion Congress approved to rebuild Iraq has been spent because of "the incompetence in the administration." (Boston Herald)
2. Republican Senator Chuck Hegel (NE) harshly criticized the administration's Iraq policy. Hegel said that "we're in deep trouble in Iraq. We need more regionalization. We need more help from our allies." Hegel added "to say, `Well, we just must stay the course and any of you who are questioning are just hand-wringers,' is not very responsible." (CBS)
3. Republican Senator John McCain (AZ) harshly criticized the administration's Iraq policy. McCain said "we made serious mistakes.'' Specifically, McCain criticized the administration for "allowing those sanctuaries [for insurgents] has contributed significantly to the difficulties that we're facing, which are very, very significant. (Boston Herald)
4. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) harshly criticized the administration's Iraq policy. Graham said the administration has done "poor job of implementing and adjusting at times [in Iraq]." Graham said "we do not need to paint a rosy scenario for the American people." (Washington Post)