The White House on Thursday ripped Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, for suggesting that President Obama should become more engaged in curtailing the growing violence in Iraq.
“I know that Speaker Boehner opposed candidate Obama’s promise to end the war in Iraq,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
“The president made a commitment to the end the war in Iraq. He fulfilled that commitment,” Carney added.
Earlier Thursday, Boehner accused Obama of taking his eye off violent clashes in Iraq that threaten U.S. interests throughout the Middle East.
“That progress is now threatened and, in the case of Fallujah, it’s been reversed,” Boehner said. “A status of forces agreement with Iraq should have been agreed to, and this administration failed to deliver.”
And Boehner accused the president of passing off the issue of Iraq to Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke by phone this week with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
“Starting with the president delegating his responsibilities to the vice president, the administration has chosen to spend much of its time and energy trying to explain why having terrorists holding key terrain in the Middle East is not the president’s problem,” Boehner said.
In response, Carney called Boehner’s characterization “inaccurate.”
And Obama’s top spokesman challenged Republicans who would like to put American boots on the ground in Iraq — a position not supported by most Americans — to come forward with their opinions.
Boehner did not suggest that American troops should be dispatched to Iraq.
The growing violence in Iraq is a major problem for the Obama administration, however, as it could undermine the president’s goals in the region, including a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians and a curbing of Iran’s nuclear program.