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Texas Senator John Cornyn speaks bluntly about the dangers of GOP supported resolutions against the President’s new plan in Iraq.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

HH: But we’re now talking with Senator John Cornyn from the great state of Texas. Senator Cornyn, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

JC: Great to be with you, Hugh.

HH: Now you’re on Armed Services, aren’t you, Senator?

JC: I sure am.

HH: You heard General Petraeus’ testimony. I know you voted for him. Did you understand him to say that a vote for the Biden resolution, or the Warner resolution, or any resolution that diminishes the plan’s likely success, is a vote to encourage the enemy?

JC: I think he couldn’t have been more clear. And frankly, I’m…I guess my surprise threshold had gone up a lot since I’ve been in Washington, but I’m still surprised that there are those persisting with this unwise resolution in the face of General Petraeus’ testimony.

HH: Now Senator Cornyn, yesterday, I helped start a website called More than 10,000 people have signed that in 24 hours, telling Republican Senators that they will not get a dime of support for them if they vote for either Biden or Warner’s resolution, and that they won’t support the NRSC either. Is that word getting through?

JC: Well, I think that kind of word is very important. You may be interested to know, Hugh, that I have circulated a draft resolution among my colleagues for discussion and comment that basically picks up where the Iraq Study Group left off, when they said that we have to leave Iraq in a condition where it can sustain, govern and defend itself. It goes on to describe the catastrophe, both to the region and the threat to our nation, if that does not happen, and holds the Iraqis to their commitment to deal with sectarian violence, but then says you know what? The President’s got a new Secretary of the Defense, and a new general, General Petraeus, to lead this effort, and we need to give it a chance. And my hope is we’ll have a good, solid core of Senators supporting that resolution.

HH: Now do you have enough Senators to prevent Senator Warner’s resolution from coming to a vote?

JC: That’s still unknown. You know, it’s…we’re a little bit in the sort of Never Never Land here, because of course all of the resolutions that have been offered are non-binding. They’re sense of the Senate resolutions, and to some extent, I guess the damage has already been done, because in fact, the enemy now knows that America is divided, or at least the Senate’s divided on this issue, and whether it gets sixty votes or not and technically passes, I think, is really probably not the most important point. But I think it’s important for our troops who are in harm’s way, and our commanding generals who have taken on this challenge, and our enemies to know that we are committed, and I intend to do everything I can to demonstrate our support for them.

HH: Now Senator Cornyn, I think you’re right. I think enormous damage has already been done, but that the resolutions non-binding on law as they are, nevertheless tell us everything about the Senators who vote for them. And I do believe a lot of your colleagues, some of whom I like a lot, are asking for the Republican Party to leave them behind, that they just will not be supported by people in their reelection campaign, some of them difficult, if they are soft on the war, and critical of the President, and undermining of the effort and encouraging the enemy. Do they understand that cliff on which they’re dancing?

JC: I’m not sure they do, yet, and I hope they ultimately do understand, because I think this is bigger than the next election. This is bigger than which party you’re affiliated with. I happen to think that the security of the United States is what is on the line, and this ought to be something that Republican or Democrat, that we would join cause together to try to protect our country. And I have a little bit of a hard time comprehending the motivation of some people who seem to be in favor of defeat, and be willing to give up, with all of the attendant risks that go along with it.

HH: Now Senator Cornyn, I agree with that assessment. I know that Joe Lieberman may be the only Democrat who does. Are there any other Democrats willing to be part of the victory caucus?

JC: Joe’s the only one I know of, and you know, I admire him and his independence. I know it hasn’t been easy. I know the sort of angry left that supported Ned Lamont in the last Democratic primary against Joe Lieberman, are very much against giving our troops a second chance, General Petraeus and this new plan. And Joe, I think, is showing great courage. But as far as I know, he may be the only one.

HH: What about Senator Warner? Honestly, I just still do not understand what his motivation is. Is he listening to people?

JC: You know, I don’t know what Senator Warner’s thought process is. I have read his resolution, and I think it sends an equally negative message to our troops, and the leaders of our troops, and I know him as a great patriot, he served honorably in our military. I just don’t know what he’s thinking on this one.

HH: Well, I hope you can get to him this weekend, Senator John Cornyn, from the great state of Texas. Thank you, Senator, thanks for your service on Armed Services, and for talking bluntly with your colleagues.

End of interview.

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