Fact Check: Debate over Iraq withdrawal

“Just a few weeks ago, you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now…. You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day.” -- President Obama

 “There was an effort on the part of the president to have a status of forces agreement, and I concurred in that, and said that we should have some number of troops that stayed on. That was something I concurred with.” -- Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney has the better part of this argument.

Here’s what Romney said in his Oct. 8 VMI speech: "America's ability to influence events for the better in Iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence. The President tried -- and failed -- to secure a responsible and gradual drawdown that would have better secured our gains."

Romney’s right—Obama did try to get a status of forces agreement, but could not get an agreement with the government of Iraq. So now he stresses the fact that he has removed all troops from Iraq, while knocking Romney for supporting what he originally had hoped to achieve.

Glenn Kessler has reported on domestic and foreign policy for more than three decades. He would like your help in keeping an eye on public figures. Send him statements to fact check by emailing him, tweeting at him, or sending him a message on Facebook.
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Anne Bartlett | October 22, 2012