The Republican attack dogs would call Bush a flip-flopper if he wasn't a Republican. I would just say he changed his mind -- something he hasn't done enough during his presidency.
Bush's advice for Obama: I would ask him to listen carefully to Ryan Crocker and General Petraeus. It's -- there's a temptation to let the politics at home get in the way with the considered judgment of the commanders. That's why I strongly rejected an artificial timetable of withdrawal. It's kind of like an arbitrary thing, you know -- "We will decide in the halls of Congress how to conduct our affairs in Iraq based upon polls and politics, and we're going to impose this on people" -- as opposed to listening to our commanders and our diplomats, and listening to the Iraqis, for that matter. The Iraqis have invited us to be there.
In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.
"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes..."
Asked if he supported Obama's ideas more than those of John McCain, Republican presidential hopeful, Maliki said he did not want to recommend who people should vote for.
"Whoever is thinking about the shorter term is closer to reality. Artificially extending the stay of U.S. troops would cause problems."
President Bush and Iraq's prime minister have agreed to set a "time horizon" for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq as part of a long-term security accord they are trying to negotiate by the end of the month, White House officials said Friday.
So, what about McCain?