Skip to comments.Tony Snow Challenges Senator (Gordon Smith) to ‘Duel’
Posted on 12/12/2006 1:04:15 PM PST by Sopater
En garde, Sen. Gordon Smith! White House press secretary Tony Snow may challenge you to a duel.
Responding to a charge by Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., that the U.S. handling of the war in Iraq has been "criminal" and "absurd," Snow told reporters that it was the killing of U.S. soldiers, not the conduct of the war itself, that was "immoral," according to Editor & Publisher.
Asked by a reporter during a White House press briefing if he was just going to "blow it off" in dealing with Smith's charge that the president's policy may be criminal and immoral, by simply saying we just disagree, Snow asked "And what would you like me to say?
"Should I do duels at 10 paces?"
Here, according to E&P is how it went:
Reporter: Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, last week, said, "Our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day, it's absurd. It may even be criminal," and that he can no longer support this. What is your reaction to a Republican senator saying that what's going on right now in Iraq is criminal?
Snow: Well, we dispute the "criminal" part, obviously, and at the same time, understand the senator's concern.
We share the concern about not doing well enough fast enough. But do not assume that people are simply being blown up. They are on missions. And as General Corelli said last week, "There's not an engagement our people have lost, but it is still important to continue the work of building greater capability and capacity on the part of the Iraqi government and helping them out."
People on both sides are going to have disagreements, much as Joe Lieberman, formerly a Democrat, apparently run out of his party for disagreeing with what was seen as orthodoxy at that time . . .
Reporter: Republican Sen. Smith is challenging the strategy. What he basically said yesterday, as well, was, when you do the same thing over and over again without a clear strategy for victory, that is dereliction, that is deeply immoral. Such is the dispute. He's saying what the president is doing is immoral.
Snow: Well, then we disagree.
Reporter: You're just going to blow it off? A Republican senator is saying the president's policy may be criminal and it's immoral, and you're just saying, we just disagree?
Snow: And what would you like me to say? Should I do duels at 10 paces?
Reporter: Don't you think you should answer for that? You're saying you've said from this podium over and over that the strategy is a victory, right? And you have a Republican senator is saying there is no clear strategy, that you don't have a strategy.
Snow: Well, let's let Sen. Smith hear what the president has to say. We understand that this is a time where politics are emotional in the wake of an election. And you know what? Sen. Smith is entitled to his opinion. But I'm not sure exactly what you would like
Reporter: Well, how about answering the central thrust about the strategy, not about, like, politics
Snow: OK, the strategy is pretty simple. If you take a look, for instance if you take a look at the Baker-Hamilton commission report, what do they talk about?
They talk about building greater capability on the part of the Iraqis so that you can have an Iraqi government that governs itself, sustains itself, defends itself, who's ally in the war on terror is a democracy.
I don't think it's immoral to be a democracy. I don't think it's immoral to have a state that is able to stand up and defend itself against acts of terror. I don't think it's immoral to defend the Iraqi people against acts of terrorism aimed at Muslims.
Reporter: The senator is not saying that's immoral. He's saying that the U.S. he's saying, of course democracy is a great goal . . .
Snow: You know what, Ed? Ed, I'll tell you what. You're engaging in an argument and you're trying to fill in the gaps . . .
Reporter: It's not an argument. It's a Republican senator saying it, not me. It's a Republican senator saying it, and he's not . . . Are you saying Republican Sen. Smith is not in favor of democracy?
Snow: Well, I don't know. You just said he said it's immoral; when I listed the elements of the policy, you said that's not what he was talking about. So please tell me what he was talking about.
Reporter: He's saying that day after day, U.S. soldiers are . . . caught up in the middle of a civil war not about the government there
Snow: OK, here's what's immoral: the killing of American soldiers. We agree.
OMG!!! This is one of Tony's more brilliant exchanges, IMO!
Snow: OK, here's what's immoral: the killing of American soldiers. We agree.Indeed.
Tony slapping down yet another idiot reporter. This didn't happen to be, by any chance, Stretch Gregory again?
surprised this wasnt whats her name,oh gregory
Bush needs to suspend habeau corpus and the first amendment. These guys need to be locked up. Take 'em right off the streets and throw them in prison.
The MSM is STILL trying to find a lever to destroy Bush and the Republic. They want socialism and they want it now.
Is is a sad fact that politics draws some of the worst opportunists who believe in little past their own interest and represent that the believe in what is expedient for the moment.
Maybe Tony has the last spine for Republicans in DC.
Wonder what reporter this was....hmmmmmmmm????
We've been bellyaching about the lack of good 2008 candidates for President.
What about Tony Snow? I, for one, could go for that.
Notice they never tell us who the idiot reporter is to save them embarassment.
According to the transcript, Tony addressed him as Ed.
I love Tony more and more everyday!
"Sen. Gordon Smith is a weasel trying to save his sorry political ass. The only good thing about him is the "R" by his name."
He's a total RINO. His voting record and Special Interest Group rankings show that.
Snow in '08 has a real nice ring to it.....
Hey, that's exactly what I was thinking!
Exactly...He's playing to the lib faction in OR who I believe are increasing in numbers.
How do we get some kind of draft Tony Snow for '08 movement going?
Probably that idiot Ed Henry, the CNN White House correspondent.
You're right. The E&P site doesn't name the reporter, nor the White House site. There is an online video at whitehouse.gov which is longer than I care to watch, and it might not be possible to tell who it was.
Maybe Helen had Ed Asner with her...
I don't get Sen. Smith saying that. I've not seen him be quacky before.
"The MSM is STILL trying to find a lever to destroy Bush and the Republic. They want socialism and they want it now."
They need to be careful what they wish for.
I think we are headed on the fast track for socialism. Sadly, I think Mr. Bush's policy of cut taxes and spend big are hastening the trip.
If the MSM is upset with the Bush administration's percieved lack of cooperation, just wait until they get a bunch of socialists in power and things go sour. (And they will, socialism doesn't work).
Bush needs to suspend habeau corpus and the first amendment.
Wait a couple of years and if the Dems get in the White House you'll get your wish, and more.
I think this is a good point. When my nephew came back from Iraq he related a story about his unit taking sniper fire from a tall building. Rather than send soldiers into the building they detroyed the entire building. The problem was solved and the best part is they took no casualties. It seems we are sacrificing far too many lives for the sake of political correctness. I for one would not lose a bit of sleep if the US military obliterated an entire town after taking casualties from an IED. Instead we send a QRF into the town to roll over another IED or fight through ambushes that cause casualties. All this for the sake of politically correct doctrine.
I forgot to mention that my nephew was in Baghdad right after it's capture by Coalition forces. We need to go back to the closest point in time when war time politicians didn't sit down to pee.
Suspend the Hab. Corp because Tony Snow can't answer a question?
He had a historic opportunity to do just that in the weeks following 9/11. If he had done that instead of mouthing platitudes about the "Religion of Peace", the defeatists in the media that are responsible for the perception of failure in Iraq would have been exactly where they belong now -- breaking rocks in Ft. Leavenworth until the war is prosecuted to victory. Instead, they've been allowed to become propaganda organs for the Islamonazis.
FWIW, the communist front group ANSWER was formed right after 9/11 to oppose any use of the US military in response. In a sane world, that would have been nipped in the bud immediately.
You gotta love Tony Snow.
I LOVE YOU TONY SNOW!!!!!!!!!
I think you just described "ugliness" squared. If those two had offspring they would create another race of humans: The ugliest people alive.
Tony called the reporter Ed.
Count me in. This reporter was looking to start a political fight between the White House and an idiot republican Senator ,and Snow was too smart for him.
Good for Snow.
I ould have nop problem voting for tony Snow for president. So far he is head and shoulders above any of the other Republican dipsticks I have seen jumping up out of wherever they have been hiding.
I think Snow IS what we HOPED Bush was back in 2000.
Tony Snow for President! To borrow a line from Kinky Friedman, Why the Hell Not?
If Bush had asked Tony to be his Press Secretary after Ari left, he wouldn't have half the problems he does.
Tony would have shown Joe Wilson to be the lying arrogant fool he is and destroyed the never ending Valerie Plame garbage.
Then, again, maybe they're too dumb to realize even that.
Smith may switch parties -- the Dems are going to throw everything they have at him in 2008 otherwise. Smith and Collins of Maine are both being heavily courted. Given that the Dems are unlikely to lose seats and will probably gain a bunch, there's got to be an incentive.
I agree that McClellan was miserable, but I don't buy that he wouldn't be having problems. Unless Snow could have defeated the Iraq insurgency, Bush would still be in the same mess he's in now.
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Isn't Smith something of a "right-winger" by OR standards, considering how totally left is that state. I do know that OR is one of a few states where the two U.S. senators once ran against each other. SD is another. What else?
Smith comes up again in 2010. By that time, no one will remember his inane outburst. Republicans will back him jut to "save the seat" as they do with Snowe and Collins in ME.