[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Ron Paul went on CNN with Don Lemon on Sunday and actually defended Michael Steele for his bizarre comments attacking Obama for the war in Afghanistan:
LEMON: And before we misconstrue everything, you are coming out in support of the comment, right?Paul wants to have his cake and eat it too: He admits that Steele was just flat wrong when he claimed that Obama got us into this war. But he then wants to claim that Steele is right that it's "Obama war".
REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: Not in the entirety. I come out in support of Chairman Steele because I think it was overkill. He made a casual comment. He wasn't setting policy and all of a sudden people jump on him like we're not allowed to have a discussion?
As a matter of fact I did like what he said so I enjoyed the fact that we're willing to have a discussion about the popularity of this war. And truly it is Obama's war, even though it was started during the last administration. Obama said this is the good war. He's expanding the war. The American people aren't with him.
The majority of the American people are tired of the ward and they'd like to see it ended; they'd like to see our troops come home.
I mean this idea that as soon as somebody has a discussion, even if it's not in the discussion, people are clamoring for him to resign? I don't think that's quite fair.
LEMON: Congressman, you have to let me get in on this because it seems like, you know -- I understand what you're saying -- you want people to talk about the war. But it seems like he wasn't factually correct. Very little of what he said, if anything, was correct factually in those comment. And he came back himself --
PAUL: What I'm saying --
LEMON: Hang on one second. He came back himself and clarified them. Why are you supporting him for a comment that he had to clarify?
PAUL: Well, he -- I didn't hear his clarification. But if he clarified his statement because -- he wasn't making a policy statement. If he came back and said, I'm not stating policy, that is not exactly my position --
LEMON: But he wasn't telling the truth.
PAUL: Pardon me?
LEMON: He wasn't telling the truth.
PAUL: Well, I think you're not telling the truth right now yourself.
LEMON: He said that this war -- he said that this war was started by -- or basically saying the war was started by the Obama administration. No one even wanted --
PAUL: No, he did not say that.
LEMON: That no one wanted to go -- let me finish -- no one wanted to go into this war. In fact, when we went into the war, most of the country supported it and it was started, again, under President Bush. So most of what he said if not all of it was not factually correct.
PAUL: That's right. But he's saying politically this is Obama's war. Even in the last campaign -- as a matter of fact, I thought Obama was more hawkish on this war than McCain was because he was calling for increasing troops in Afghanistan before the Republicans were.
So I think in many ways, at least politically, this is Obama's war. And it is a political issue. The Republicans really suffered from the fact that the Iraq war continued for so long and hurt us at the polls.
So, I think that Republicans ought to have a right to at least say that maybe this war isn't going well and not blindly support every single thing that is being done. And then all of a sudden, if an individual does -- you know, people accuse you, oh, you're un- American, you're unpatriotic. You know, they pile on and then they pressure somebody like Steele -- like Chairman Steele that he has to back off.
He didn't have a policy statement. He was merely making a casual statement. And when he said, for over 1,000 years and even longer, nobody's been successful in invading Afghanistan, he is telling the truth.
Republicans are such lovely creatures. If Obama were to play the consummate pacifist and immediately withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, the attacks would be even more savage. They're going to attack him no matter what he does.