George Pataki: I Oppose the Troop Surge

This from ABC News:

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Jan. 26, 2007 — – The battle for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination is set for a rigorous debate about what the United States should do in Iraq.

The possible entry of former Gov. George Pataki, R-N.Y., who opposes the president’s plan to send 20,000 U.S. troops to Iraq, sets up a clear divide between the front-runners for the nomination (Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; former Gov. Mitt Romney R-Mass.; and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, R-N.Y.), and the second-tier candidates in the field.

In a speech Friday morning at Georgetown University, Pataki said the United States has gone from liberator to occupier in Iraq, and that the Iraqi government must meet certain requirements if U.S. troops are to remain in the country.

“If they want Americans to continue to die in defense of their government, if they want Americans to continue to pour tens of billions of dollars into their people’s schools, services and security, we can and must first demand action on their part,” he said.

Pataki also endorsed a timeline for the Iraqi government to meet benchmarks and said the U.S. commitment must not be open-ended.

Alternate wording: “Pataki also endorsed announcing the official end to his candidacy for the Republican nomination.”

Pataki was going nowhere from the beginning, now he has taken steps backward. He will be running to the left of even Rudy Giuliani as one of the few dove Republican candidates. But wait, could that help him? No, no it can’t.