Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense in the Bush administration, appeared this morning on CNN’s “New Day” to talk about the latest events in Iraq. Co-host Chris Cuomo introduced him as an “architect” of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Wolfowitz protested: “I’m not the architect of the war. If I were the architect, it would have been handled very differently.”
Cuomo argued that it was unfair of Republicans — including Speaker of the House John Boehner — to attack President Obama on contemporary Iraq policy, when in fact Republican policies under the George W. Bush administration started all this off.
Wolfowitz protested: “Chris, every time one of these things happens if it’s the Republicans in power, the Democrats blame. If it’s Democrats in power, the Republicans blame. What we really need now from the president is a clear statement of American interests, of American action, and rallying people to move forward and then these blamers on either side will be irrelevant. That’s what is needed right now. What, are you and I are going to sit here and tell Speaker Boehner to shut up?” (Cuomo: “Yes.”)
Cuomo wondered how the president could be strong and decisive on this issue when he’s getting attacked.
Wolfowitz protested: “Listen, you know, when Jimmy Carter encountered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, he said, you know, ‘I got it wrong.’ When George Bush realized his strategy in Iraq was failing, he said, ‘I got it wrong.’ The president has got to stop saying al-Qaeda is on the road to defeat. He’s got to say, ‘Things are worse than I thought. Here is what we’re going to do.’ The blame game would stop immediately.”
There’s so much more of this deliciousness (transcript here). Yet from the very start of this one, Cuomo appeared determined that no one — not Jon Stewart, not the Huffington Post, not the Erik Wemple Blog — was going to sew his interview with Wolfowitz into a package of veteran Iraq hawks getting a free ride from the media.