His ass is in the frying pan.
The stilted quality of these “endorsements” is telling. I smell a sense of desperation and flop sweat in the air….GOP Senators Spring to Defend Rumsfeld. (AP):
“I am confident that Secretary Rumsfeld is fully capable of leading the Department of Defense and our military forces to victory in Iraq and the war on terror,” Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said in a written statement. “Most importantly he has the confidence of his commanders in the field and our commander in chief.”
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP whip, said Rumsfeld “is an excellent secretary of defense and we are fortunate to have a man of his courage and vision serving the president at this critical time.”
Frist and McConnell came to Rumsfeld’s defense after several days of GOP criticism aimed at the man who has steered the Pentagon during the Iraq war and its messy aftermath. More than 1,300 American troops have died since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began in 2003.
None of Rumsfeld’s congressional GOP critics has yet called for his ouster. Still, they have grown increasingly outspoken in recent days, less than two weeks after White House disclosed that the president wanted the defense secretary to remain in his post into a second term.
…In the face of GOP criticism, White House spokesman Scott McClellan has been issuing declarations of presidential support on a regular basis.
[Pass the crack pipe around in the WH, Scott… — Pam]
“Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a great job leading our efforts at the Department of Defense to win the war on terrorism and to help bring about a free and peaceful Iraq,” he said on Friday. “And he’s instrumental in our efforts during this time of war we are in.”
Other than Frist and McConnell, David Keene of the American Conservative Union issued a statement of support during the day. He said much of the GOP criticism was “petty, coming from some who do not care for the secretary’s blunt, plain-speaking style. … It’s also true that much of the criticism is really intended for President Bush but aimed at Rumsfeld.”
…Frist’s brief written statement seemed to refer to such concerns. “I think it is important to not confuse style with substance,” he said.
The Sunday shows are probably going to be chattering about this. This, I am sure, Rummy is scared of. He knows that when the pressure reaches a fever pitch, this president has no problem tossing problem children to the wolves.