June 26, 2007
Contact:

Leah Yoon, NPR
   

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R-IN) EXPLAINS DEPARTURE
FROM PRESIDENT’S IRAQ POLICY AND MOTIVATION BEHIND MONDAY’S SPEECH

ON NPR NEWS MORNING EDITION
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2007


TRANSCRIBED EXCERPTS BELOW;
AUDIO AVAILABLE WEDNESDAY MORNING AT NPR.ORG


June 26, 2007; Washington, D.C. – Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) explains why he doesn’t think the President’s Iraq policy is working. He outlined those views on the Senate floor Monday night. In an interview with Steve Inskeep airing tomorrow on NPR News’ Morning Edition, Senator Lugar discusses his concerns about the White House policy on Iraq, and says that time for a bipartisan discussion of what to do next is running out because of an early political campaign season. Senator Lugar says, “If we are not thoughtful and careful, the president may believe that he can simply continue on with or without the Congress, but I think he is wrong in that assumption. And my fear is that at some point we will have a withdrawal from Iraq that is very disorderly and not very well planned. That would be a tragedy for the troops, a tragedy for Iraq, a tragedy for us with regard to all of the neighborhood out there. They could become very, very volatile.”

Transcribed excerpts of the interview are below. All excerpts must be credited to NPR News’ Morning Edition. The interview airs tomorrow morning, Wednesday, June 27. Local station’s air time of the program is available at npr.org/stations. Audio of the interview will be available at npr.org.

Excerpts from the interview:

On what Congress can do to influence the President on his Iraq policy:
“Well, Congress could offer at minimum a Sense of the Senate resolution. They do not have the affect of law but they clearly indicate how the country feels through its representatives, and that we really have not come to do simply because we have not really wanted to be ambiguous as a nation with regard to our foreign policy.”

On calling for a renewed dialogue in Congress regarding the U.S. policy on Iraq:
“In other words, before we have these arbitrary resolutions, we really need to have a very serious dialogue as to what is doable and would bring about safety for everybody involved.”

On whether the White House is listening to what he has to say:
“Yes, I think so. In response to other reporters, I have indicated that I have heard from the White House and that I will be having a meeting this week, at least with a representative or a representative of the White House.”

Morning Edition, the two-hour newsmagazine airing weekdays and hosted by Steve Inskeep in Washington, D.C. and Renée Montagne from NPR West in Culver City, Calif., is public radio’s most listened-to program with nearly 13 million weekly listeners.