George Stephanopoulos Demands Rumsfeld Apologize for Not Supporting Troop Surge, Skips Media Hostility
Published: 2/8/2011 2:20 PM ET
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday repeatedly hectored Donald Rumsfeld, goading the former Defense Secretary to apologize for not supporting a troop surge in Iraq. At no point did the former Democratic operative admit that some in the media, including reporters at ABC, were skeptical of such a surge.
Stephanopoulos chided, "So, can you now concede what Senator McCain said last week was correct? That had you stayed in office, there would have been defeat in Iraq and the surge would not have taken place?" Stephanopoulos asserted that individuals such as then-ambassador to Iraq Paul Bremer called for a surge. The host argued, "It's documented in Bob Woodward's book." Rumsfeld retorted, "Bob Woodward wasn't there."
On January 10 2007, then-GMA host Diane Sawyer lectured White House aide Dan Bartlett about the surge: "I just want to run through a partial roll call of the number of people who have either opposed what the President is going to do, or expressed serious reservations." After reading off several names, she complained, "What don't they get? What don't they understand?"
On January 9 2007, NBC's David Gregory "As the President prepares to start a new phase of the war in Iraq, the White House is fending off charges that key figures in the administration have concluded the war is lost."
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Stephanopoulos highlighted the cost of the war, listing the dead and wounded. He added, "And, sir, I've read the book. I've read the reviews. I watched your interview with Diane. And it seems like the one question that most people want answered is the one you most don't want to address. What responsibility do you bear for those costs?"