GOP Senate rivals Crist, Rubio on Obama’s Afghanistan planby George Bennett | December 2nd, 2009
Gov. Charlie Crist, seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2010, reacted via Twitter late Tuesday and his GOP primary rival, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, weighed in early this morning.
Read their reactions after the jump……
From Gov. Charlie Crist: “Pleased need for additional troops has been recognized, but withdrawal should be based on conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timelines.”
Update: Crist also posted this reaction on his campaign Web site: “I am pleased the president has finally recognized the need to provide additional troops for the war in Afghanistan. Our success in Afghanistan is paramount in our continuing fight against extremists who seek to kill innocent people.
“September 11, 2001 proved that America must seek out and destroy terrorist networks wherever they exist. Providing General McChrystal with additional troops is critical to the overall success of the mission, however, I am deeply concerned with the president’s decision to set a deadline for withdrawing troops. Announcing a withdrawal plan before additional forces are on the ground will provide the Taliban insurgency the ability to simply wait it out. I urge the president to use conditions on the ground as benchmarks for success instead of arbitrary timelines. I salute the men and women who personally sacrifice to wear the uniform. Their resolve and commitment to our freedom and ideals is extraordinary.”
From former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio:
“While his decision is long overdue, I commend President Obama for finally laying out specifics on the way forward in Afghanistan. While I support the President’s call for additional troops, I am concerned it falls short of General McChrystal’s specific request. I am especially alarmed by the President’s insistence on announcing a withdrawal start date.
“Afghanistan is part of the greater global war against violent jihadists. Victory won’t be achieved based on how quickly American troops can leave. A secure America requires us to defeat the jihadists in Afghanistan and prevent this fragile nation from once again becoming a safe haven for al Qaeda. This will require the full commitment and support of the President and Congress.
“As our military and diplomatic teams work to fulfill their mission in Afghanistan, I urge the President to heed his commanding officers’ advice in the coming months and years.”