I'm here today to discuss with you several issues that worry you and most Americans, our slumping economy, job loss, rising gas and food prices, and what we need to do to get our economy growing again, create jobs and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. But there is another urgent issue I want to address before I take your questions, which I know concerns you because brave Americans are risking their lives right now to deal with it.
Over the last year, Senator Obama and I were part of a great debate about the war in Iraq. Both of us agreed the Bush administration had pursued a failed strategy there and that we had to change course. Where Senator Obama and I disagreed, fundamentally, was what course we should take. I called for a comprehensive new strategy -- a surge of troops and counterinsurgency to win the war. Senator Obama disagreed. He opposed the surge, predicted it would increase sectarian violence, and called for our troops to retreat as quickly as possible.
Today we know Senator Obama was wrong. The surge has succeeded.