Friday, March 30, 2007
Bush spent much of the closed-door meeting with House Republicans pressing an issue that many conservatives have already latched on to as a unifying force -- the pork-barrel spending, unrelated to the war, in the bill. At one point, Bush asked House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) if he could rally his troops to sustain a veto on the spending issue alone, even if Democrats stripped out language on troop withdrawals. When Boehner turned to his colleagues to ask if they would stay with Bush, they gave him a standing ovation."More than a pep rally?"
But two Republican lawmakers, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be frank about a private meeting, said the session was more than a pep rally. Bush spent much of his talk stressing that he still believes in the ideals of freedom and democracy for Iraq, they said, and he exhorted lawmakers to disregard the polls and the editorial pages that have scoffed at those notions.
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