Clinton tells Bush to 'face the reality' on Iraq

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Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton denounced President Bush's plans on Iraq troop levels today as she began a campaign swing through Western Pennsylvania.

At a news conference at the Pittsburgh International Airport, Mrs. Clinton also criticized Sen. John McCain's proposals to ease the mortgage crisis and faulted Sen. Barack Obama for failing to endorse a boycott of the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games over the Chinese government's human rights record in Tibet and elsewhere.

"The president refuses to face the reality that we are confronted with in Iraq," Mrs. Clinton said reacting to the president's address to the nation on the war earlier in the day.

"Now, once again President Bush is asking Americans for time and patience -- but the American people are saying he's had enough of both. Our troops have done all that's been asked of them and more," Mrs. Clinton said.

"It's time for the president to answer the question being asked of him in the wake of the failed objectives that were laid out to be met by the surge.

"As president, I will do what this president has failed to do: recognize reality and end the war responsibly."

In his address, Mr. Bush said he would follow the advice of Gen. David Petraeus in maintaining current troop levels in Iraq.

The president also announced that he would order a cut in the length of combat tours from 15 months to 12 months.

Mrs. Clinton also dismissed Mr. McCain's housing market proposals as "warmed-over" and "half-hearted" versions of her own plans.

Turning to her Democratic rival, she faulted Mr. Obama for failing to take a clear stand in favor of a boycott of the opening ceremony in Beijing. Mr. Obama has said he would consider such a step but would not make a decision on it until a point closer to the opening of the games.

Later, Mrs. Clinton was to court her partisan base at Democratic Party dinners in Beaver County and Allegheny County. At the Pittsburgh dinner, at Heinz Field, she was to be introduced and endorsed by former Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff, who is a party superdelegate by virtue of her position as a member of the Democratic National Committee.


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