Co-hosts Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman of 630 KHOW-AM berated Democratic U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for stating that the Iraq war "is lost" but did not provide his full remarks and did not note that polls indicate most Americans share the sentiment.
During their April 24 broadcast on 630 KHOW-AM, co-hosts Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman attacked the comments of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who recently said that the Iraq war "is lost," but like numerous media outlets misleadingly omitted the full version of his remarks. Silverman charged that Reid's statement was "bad for the troops," "bad for America," and "bad for the Democrats" before adding, "I think the Democrats may be in need of a new Senate majority leader, and not Ted Kennedy either." Caplis further claimed that Reid's comments would "lead to the deaths of American boys."
However, both Caplis and Silverman failed to mention that during the same press conference at which Reid said the war "is lost," Reid clarified his statement, adding, "[T]he war, at this stage, can only be won diplomatically, politically, and economically," as Media Matters for America noted. Furthermore, during a subsequent speech on the Senate floor, Reid said, "As long as we follow the President's path" in Iraq, then the "war is lost" and reiterated his belief that there is a political solution to a stable and secure Iraq:
Mr. REID. Madam President, the White House has been telling America that Democrats are doing the wrong thing by calling for a change of course in Iraq. They say holding the Iraqi Government accountable is wrong. They say finding a political solution Iraq is wrong. They say redeploying troops out of a civil war is wrong. They have said even debating a strategy for changing course is dangerous, and many Senate Republicans have backed that up by blocking several of our attempts to debate this issue here on the Senate Floor.
Conditions in Iraq get worse by the day. Now we find ourselves policing another nation's civil war. We are less secure from the many threats to our national security than we were when the war began. As long as we follow the President's path in Iraq, the war is lost. But there is still a chance to change course and we must change course. No one wants us to succeed in the Middle East more than I do. But there must be a change of course. Our brave men and women overseas have passed every test with flying colors. They have earned our pride and our praise. More important, they deserve a strategy worthy of their sacrifice.
In attacking Reid for his comment, Caplis and Silverman also failed to note recent public opinion polls indicating a majority of the American people think the Iraq war cannot be won. For example, a CBS News poll, conducted April 9-10 and released on April 11, showed 54 percent of those surveyed responded that it was "[n]ot likely" that "the U.S. can succeed in Iraq"; 44 percent thought it was "[l]ikely." An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted April 20-23 and released on April 25, after the remarks of Caplis and Silverman, found that 55 percent of respondents indicated that they did not "think the U.S. goal of achieving victory in Iraq is still possible," compared with 36 percent who did.
Agreeing with Silverman's remark that the Democrats "may be in need of a new Senate majority leader," Caplis baselessly asserted, "Well, you'd have to replace [U.S. House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi [D-CA] too, because she's taken the same tact (sic)." He later added, "I think Nancy Pelosi has said the same thing a thousand different ways, though not with those particular four words. But the same message, I think, to the enemy."
From the April 24 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Caplis & Silverman Show:
SILVERMAN: This is disadvantageous for the Democrats. It's stupid on a number of levels. It's bad for the troops. It's bad for America. And it's bad for the Democrats. This is George W. Bush's, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld's war. They chose how to fight it, and now Harry Reid sort of lets them off the hook, and they're going to pounce on it, and I can't blame them, because there's a political contest going on. Harry Reid just lobbed a softball down the middle for Dick Cheney and the Republicans to hit out of the park, and I -- I just think that Harry Reid made a bad mistake on a number of different levels.
SILVERMAN: I think the Democrats may be in need of a new Senate majority leader, and not Ted Kennedy either.
CAPLIS: Well, you'd have to replace Pelosi too, because she's taken the same tact.
SILVERMAN: Nah, she, she hasn't said that the war is lost. Look, criticism's legitimate, and when Tom Tancredo comes on, as I recall, he was against the surge. So you can disagree with tactics and you can say a lot of things, but when you say the war is lost -- he, words matter, and those are dumb words.
CAPLIS: And, and I think Nancy Pelosi has said the same thing a thousand different ways, though not with those particular four words. But the same message, I think, to the enemy.
CALLER: Yes, I'm very glad to be on your show. I mean, first of all I'd like to say, I mean, I don't think that Harry Reid's statement necessarily means that he's anti-American or --
SILVERMAN: But isn't it dumb? You told Brad [call screener] when you called in that the blood of the soldiers is on George W. Bush, not Harry Reid. Doesn't Harry Reid let George W. Bush off the hook? And can't -- you can see at least that Harry Reid was ill-advised to say that even if he thought it?
CALLER: Perhaps he was, but I mean, ultimately if, if you look at the situation like, the situation that we're in was ultimately caused by George W. Bush.
CAPLIS: But wait. That's such simplistic thinking. The commander in chief understands when, when he sends, or she sends, somebody into harm's way, they take responsibility for those deaths. That's one of the awesome responsibilities. But the point here is, when you are in battle, when you're mounting an offensive, to have a politician, a Senate majority leader out there and go and say to the enemy, "You're gonna win. You're gonna win this thing. We've already lost" -- that, at that point, undeniably aids and encourages the enemy. And, and, and, you know, very reasonable to think it's gonna lead to the deaths of American boys who would not have died without that encouragement given to the enemies, can you -- enemy. Can you ever prove it? Can you ever quantify it? No. But common sense tells us that.