Entries in Troop Withdrawal (3)


Poll: Most Americans Approve of Obama's Military Tactics

Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Obama is drawing strength from an unexpected area as he girds for his re-election campaign, benefiting from military and anti-terrorism policies that have been controversial in some quarters, but are broadly popular with the public overall.

Eighty-three percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Obama’s use of unmanned drones against terrorist suspects, 78 percent back the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and 70 percent favor keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention center open -- the latter, a reversal by Obama from his 2008 campaign position in which he assailed the prison and vowed to close it.

Strength of sentiment also is very much on the positive side.  Strong approval far outpaces strong disapproval, by 55 points on drones (59-4 percent), 47 points on troop withdrawal (56-9 percent) and 29 points on keeping Gitmo running (42-13 percent).

Two-thirds in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, also favor the use of unmanned drones specifically against American citizens in other countries who are terrorist suspects.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain: When People Get on the Cain Train, They Don’t Get Off

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(AMES, Iowa) -- Herman Cain, who mingled with the crowd before the Iowa State Cyclones’ football game in Ames on Saturday, dismissed skeptics who said he hasn’t spent enough time campaigning in the state, claiming that he’s already built support in Iowa, and adding that “when people get on the Cain Train, they don’t get off.”

Supporters rushed to the bus to greet the Republican presidential hopeful with words of encouragement and support. This is Cain’s first trip to the state in more than a month. Some Iowa staffers have left the campaign, fearing that Cain was not giving the state enough attention, instead opting to go on a whirlwind book tour for his newly released autobiography.

“Well, what some people are missing is that I just didn’t start coming to Iowa. I started coming to Iowa last fall and I’ve been here on a regular basis, talking to a lot of groups,” Cain said. “I think that the fact that we are leading in the polls in Iowa shows that when people get on the Cain Train, they don’t get off. They don’t get off because of the flavor of the week. And so that’s what’s so exciting and that’s why I’m happy to be here in Cyclone country.”

Cain, like some of his opponents in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, was critical of President Obama for announcing that U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year.

“I don’t agree with that decision. Because number one I think it’s going to leave a big vacuum in Iraq,” he said. “The question is, what’s next? And unfortunately it’s going to leave a great big vacuum. And I happen to think Iran is just sitting back and waiting for us to leave and then they’re going to go back in and try to take over the country.”

“Secondly, I can’t for the life of me understand why you tell the enemy what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. That’s just not common sense. I’m sorry,” Cain said.

Though the 2011 troop withdrawal was set in motion by the Bush administration, Cain said Obama has the power to set the timetable.

“The previous administration may have put it in place, probably based upon hitting certain milestones, but the president has the authority to change that if it’s not in the best interests of the mission in Iraq,” he said.

“What I would do differently is I would ask the commanders on the ground. This is what this president is not doing relative to that and that’s why a lot of people are critical of this decision,” Cain said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Questions Obama Troop Withdrawal

Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- At a campaign stop in the Granite State on Saturday, former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney questioned whether President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq entirely by the end of the year was “due to politics or ineptitude.”

“The president indicated and his administration indicated over the summer and fall that they were working to have a status of forces agreement that would keep troops in place either 20,000 down to maybe 3,000 over some extended period to make sure there was an effective transition to the Iraqi military,” said Romney. “They indicated they were working on that effort and they either failed to do it by virtue of ineptitude or they decided it wasn’t that important politically or otherwise.”

Romney said that the commanders on the ground would be the only ones who would be able to explain what he dubbed a “sudden change of policy” and wondered out loud whether “the president’s administration was out negotiated by the Iraqi leaders.”

But when asked what he would have done differently, Romney avoided specifics, saying only that he believes in “asking the commanders on the ground and understand from them what the timetable is from them.”

Romney also leaped to defend Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who was recently accused of embellishing the details of his family’s history.

“I have the highest respect for Marco Rubio I think his family’s history having coming to this country speaks for itself,” said Romney.

Rubio’s name has been floated as a potential running mate for the GOP nominee, and is known to have a good relationship with Romney.

“This is a family who came with nothing and Marco Rubio and his family deserve the highest praise and recognition,” added Romney. “I think the world of Marco Rubio and support him entirely and think the effort to try to smear him was unfortunate and bogus.”

Having avoided mentioning any of his GOP rivals by name during brief remarks delivered to the volunteers making calls for his campaign, Romney was asked by a member of the press if he believes Texas Gov. Rick Perry has the “intelligence” to be president.

“I do,” quipped Romney. “I believe every single person on the stage in that last debate would do a better job than President Obama. If Rick Perry were the nominee I’d be voting for him. I, of course believe he’s qualified, as are the other people on the stage.”

Romney also took to the phones himself during the campaign stop, going as far as soliciting advice from the voters on the other end of the line, asking “How do you think I’m doing,” before adding, “Have a great Saturday!”

But the event wasn’t without a hiccup—Romney misdialed and ended up on the phone with the wrong person.

When he realized that the person he had called was not, in fact, the sheriff he thought he had reached, Romney said, “Well, have you ever heard of Mitt Romney? Well that’s me, I’m on the phone, How are you doing today?”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio