MR. RUSSERT: You said some Democratic senators told you privately they felt intimidated to vote for the war. Why?
SEN. FEINGOLD: They may not have used that exact word, but they certainly indicated that they felt that there was enormous political pressure. Because the White House has done a terrible job of running the fight against terrorism. A terrible job in Iraq, but they’ve done a brilliant job of intimidating Democrats. Somehow Democrats are afraid to say, “Look, not only was this a mistake, but it continues to be a mistake and it’s being run in a mistaken way.” And I cannot understand why the structure of the Democratic Party, the consultants that are here in Washington, constantly advise Democrats not to take a strong stand. This election could turn on this Iraq issue, in fact, the 2006 election, and maybe even 2008. The party that says we have a reasonable plan to bring the troops home by, by this date and to refocus on the anti-terrorism issue is the party that will win. And I believe that my political instincts tell me...
MR. RUSSERT: But Senator, you only have 13 votes for your resolution.
SEN. FEINGOLD: Yeah, that’s not the American people. The 13 votes...
MR. RUSSERT: But that’s the Democratic Party.
SEN. FEINGOLD: No, it’s not.
MR. RUSSERT: It’s less than a third of the—in the Senate.
SEN. FEINGOLD: The Democratic Party of this country is the people of this country. And I have been all over Wisconsin, all 72 counties, to 12 different states. I can tell you, the one thing I’m sure of, Tim, is the American people have had it with this intervention. They do want a timetable for bringing home the troops. And the fact that the United States Senate doesn’t get it shouldn’t surprise you.
MR. RUSSERT: So the majority of the Democratic Senate is out of touch with the American people?
SEN. FEINGOLD: Yes, it is at this point. Those who vote against bringing the troops home don’t get it. They’re not out there enough. They’re not listening to the people. Frankly, they’re not even looking at the polls. I saw two or three polls, Tim, in the last week that showed that a majority of the American people favor a timetable. So it is to our—you know, we lost in 2000, we lost in 2002, we lost in 2004. Why don’t we try something different, like listening to the American people?
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Feingold on MTP
From the transcript: