Even as some GOPers are rallying behind the president after his Iraq speech last night, others are not quiet about their difference of opinion over the Iraq troops surge. This could mean a further unraveling of Republican unity.
Sen. Norm Coleman, the Minnesota Republican, would rather not be in the position of publicly disagreeing with President Bush.But when it comes to Iraq, Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill are breaking away, leaving Bush to lay out his new plan without the usually reliable array of GOP support.
"I don't want to embarrass the president, but my position is clear," said Coleman, who visited Iraq last month. "I do not believe that a surge in troops is going to solve the fundamental problem we have."Coleman and other Republicans are becoming increasingly public with their view that the ongoing violence in Baghdad requires a political solution, not a military one. "Iraqis have to decide they're going to stop killing themselves," he said.
Crumbling GOP support for the surge could spell trouble for the main surge proponent and GOP 2008 contender - John McCain. Now he's trying to distance himself from the plan, saying that he'd do it differently by sending In more troops for longer periods. But it's still the McCain Doctrine. He can't escape that.