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Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, usually a staunch ally of the Bush administration, sent a message to the White House yesterday with a warning that explanations about the slow supply of armor to Iraq has not satisfied him. He said he didn't want to point fingers, but he intends on opening hearings if better explanations are not forthcoming:
Sen. Norm Coleman said he had "serious misgivings" about the process of providing armored vehicles for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I have reservations about what the secretary and the Army have done in this regard," the Minnesota Republican said, but later added, "I'm not at the point of pointing fingers. I don't who did this. I don't know what happened."
Coleman said he anticipates an Armed Services Committee investigation, but if that doesn't happen he would consider looking into the matter as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
This came at the end of a day where a number of Republican Senators gave unprecedented GOP criticism of Rumsfeld. John McCain, Chuck Hagel, and Susan Collins all belong to a centrist-left coalition that the Bush administration could conceivably ignore on Rumsfeld's status. Trent Lott, more conservative but at odds with Bush since his fall from the Senate leadership position, might also be easily written off as a sorehead. But Norm Coleman has been a loyal voice for Bush in the Senate, so much so that the freshman Senator was given the lead in the UN investigation and is the subject of speculation for the national ticket in 2008.
If Coleman has lost confidence in Rumsfeld to the point of threatening an investigation over the armor issue, then the White House -- as I said yesterday -- has a potential meltdown with its own loyalists in the Senate. It's becoming apparent that the GOP expected Bush to replace Rumsfeld in the second term and are quite unhappy with his failure to do so. This has to be about more than up-armoring Humvees; something else is at play here. Whatever it is, the White House needs to either tamp it down quickly or start exploring its options for SecDef in 2005. The issues of Social Security reform and judicial nominations -- not to mention the successful prosecution of the war -- cannot be risked due to disunity over a Cabinet officer.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Link: Captain's Quarters. Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, usually a staunch ally of the Bush administration, sent a message to the White House yesterday with a warning that explanations about the slow supply of armor to Iraq has not satisfied him. [Read More]
Tracked on December 17, 2004 2:19 PM
» Trent Lott and Don Rumsfeld: Calling the Kettle Black from Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog
Scrappleface has a fun news parody up about the U.S. Senators who believe themselves to be more capable [Read More]
Tracked on December 18, 2004 11:47 PM
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