Friday, Mar. 19, 2010

October 2006
"Course Correction"

"We went back and looked today and could only find eight times where he (Bush) ever used the phrase 'stay the course'."

—White House press secretary Tony Snow on Fox News

In late October, a new semantic battle in the Iraq war breaks out. While Republicans continue to insist that Democrats advocating withdrawal simply want to "cut and run," administration critics argue that the White House has no new thinking about how to proceed in Iraq beyond its tired motto of "staying the course." Before long, critics seem to get the upper hand and put the administration on the defensive. When ABC News' George Stephanopoulos questions President Bush about a strategy in Iraq that is "between 'stay the course' and 'cut and run,'" Bush denies that his strategy has ever been "stay the course." Press Secretary Tony Snow soon gets in on the act, forgetting the numerous times his boss has repeated the mantra-like phrase. Within a few months, the White House will essentially admit defeat in the "stay the course" skirmish when it announces its surge strategy.