CNN’s Chris Cuomo is a liberal. His brother is New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), and Chris routinely attacks conservatives on his CNN Morning show.
He recently had Bush administration alum Paul Wolfowitz on and used the opportunity to play defense for the Obama administration while also attacking Republicans. (He even found time for more of the bush blame game, as you’ll see….)
Chris Cuomo: As I was just saying there, we’re doing it again, the pointing fingers, the left and the right, “Whose fault is this?” The Republicans are spending a lot of time blaming the current administration for the situation. Most notably Speaker Boehner says President Obama is taking a nap as Mosul falls because he pulled us out of there and it’s a mistake. Now, isn’t it fair, Mr. Wolfowitz, that if the President were taking a nap, it would be on the SOFA, the Status of Arms Agreement, you know, that’s the acronym for it, the SOFA that the Bush administration put in place there of taking troops out?
CUOMO: But, Mr. Wolfowitz, you’re right, but you have to start with allies in your own government, and it is irresponsible to allow the fingerpointing to go on because it’s frustrating dealing with the urgency. You can’t have the Republicans who were part of the decision to put us there, who were part of the decision-
CUOMO: Speaker Boehner can’t say this administration is the cause of the current problems in Iraq, is that a fair statement?
WOLFOWITZ: Chris, every time one of these things happens, if it’s the Republicans in power, the Democrats blame. If it’s Democrats in power, the Republicans blame. What we really need now from the President is a clear statement of American interests, of American action, and rallying people to move forward and then these blamers on either side will be irrelevant. That’s what’s needed right now. What, you and I are going to sit here and tell Speaker Boehner to shut up?
WOLFOWITZ: You can say whether it’s useful or not useful, but what is most needed is for the support of the United States to take a strong position – and, unfortunately he hasn’t done that.
CUOMO: It’s hard for him to be strong when he’s getting attacked by his own. How can the United States present a unified front-
CUOMO: Where is the contrition, you know, if you want to use that word, where is the Bush administration saying we got it wrong? There’s a bunch of defenders coming out saying we had to go in, Saddam Hussein was horrible, we did the right thing, this administration screwed it up? I think that’s not only misleading, but it’s counterproductive because you can’t put forward a unified front.
CUOMO: And that seems to be in the offing by the administration, all that is on the table. They’re trying to come up with a plan, but they’re also trying to defend themselves from these political attacks, and I’m trying to get you to provide some wisdom on seeing how you understand how we got here. I don’t know why you’re reluctant to do that and why you want to ignore it. The reason we can’t help the Iraqi army is because you disbanded it. The reason you have all these Sunnis available to fight with ISIS and to be discontented is because you kicked them out of the army
WOLFOWITZ: You seem insistent on this blame game. There’s a lot of mistakes and-
CUOMO: Because it’s being played, Mr. Wolfowitz. I would like to do nothing more than ignore the past and deal with the present because of its urgency. Many of us will wind up over there covering it. You know, what I’m saying is, I just wanted your wisdom and your perspective. I’m sorry to cut you off. I just, I wanted your wisdom and your perspective to correct the record. That’s why I’m pressing you on it, not because I want to point fingers.
WOLFOWITZ: Well, if you want my wisdom and perspective, such as it is, I think we could have kept a substantial, not a huge American presence, not a combat presence, but the kind of support that would have kept Maliki better under control that would have given the Iraqi army a better ability to function. I don’t think it was set up well for Obama when he came in, but I don’t think he operated off of that base very effectively.
Look, Dwight Eisenhower became President in 1953 having campaigned to end the war in Korea, which he did immediately. He did not remove American troops from Korea. If he had done so, Korea wasn’t ready to stand on its own feet for another 10 or 20 years, and even then not very well, but today it’s a miracle story.
Look, I think this situation can be recovered. The best way to end the so-called blame game is for the President to pull the chestnuts out of the fire here and say, “Go blame all you like, I have succeeded.” What people say in the end about this is not going to be about what happened five years ago or 10 years ago or 20 years ago. It’s going to be about how this situation comes out, and it is an emergency for the United States. It is al-Qaeda. It’s not just Sunni and Shiia, and we need to do everything we can within reason, and that puts some limits on what we can do.