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Lieberman Rips Obama: His Lack Of Conviction Puts Nation In Peril

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Despite rumblings that his advocacy for John McCain could lead to his ouster from the Democratic Party, Joseph Lieberman continued on Tuesday to take broad swipes at Barack Obama.

In a speech before the Center for U.S. Global Engagement, Lieberman described the presumptive Democratic nominee as a politician who was consistently wrong on foreign affairs and whose policy proposals -- had they been put in place - would have put America at great risk.

"I've been following Sen. Obama's comments in this campaign and particularly in the last months since the primaries were over," said Lieberman. "And I wish he would just say that the surge has worked. He doesn't have to give credit to John McCain or anyone else. He can give credit to General Petraeus and the troops who have carried it out. I wish he would acknowledge the surge is working, rather than changing his position on how and when we should exit Iraq, without acknowledging that these are changes of positions that are understandably based on conditions on the ground. A president's credibility is based on the courage of his or her convictions, his or her acceptance of reality, and consistency of views are critical elements of national leadership. A president who squanders those does so at our nation's peril."

Lieberman's remarks came just hours after Obama had delivered a foreign policy address of his own, in which the Illinois Democrat reiterated his desire to see a responsible phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq and a greater emphasis on the conflict in Afghanistan.

Working off of Obama's address, Lieberman accused him not only of being unwilling to acknowledge the success of the troop surge, but also for being inconsistent in his foreign policy approach. The 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee then offered nearly half a dozen direct questions to the Illinois Democrat that mimicked, in large part, talking points that the McCain campaign has been using with great frequency.

"Sen. Obama said this morning that he wants a foreign policy that is tough, smart and principled," said Lieberman. "This afternoon I want to ask my colleague who I respect and like a couple of direct questions: Was it tough when Sen. Obama voted to order U.S. troops to retreat from Iraq on a fixed timeline regardless of the recommendations of our military commanders or conditions on the ground? Was it smart when Sen. Obama opposed the surge and predicted that it would fail to improve our security? ... Was it tough and principled when Sen. Obama said he would be open to changing his plan on Iraq after going there and talking to General Petraeus, which I think was the right position, only to change that position hours later after being heatedly criticized by organizations like MoveOn.org? I say respectfully the answer to all those questions is, no."