Watergate journalist Bob Woodward on Wednesday slammed as “madness” President Barack Obama’s decision against deploying an aircraft carrier because of the automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin Friday.
The USS Harry S. Truman, which was supposed to leave for the Persian Gulf earlier this month, has been kept at home on Pentagon orders because of the sequester.
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“Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t do this because of some budget document?’” Woodward, associate editor at The Washington Post, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Reagan wasn’t the only former president Woodward invoked to criticize Obama. “Or George W. Bush saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to invade Iraq because I can’t get the aircraft carriers I need.’”
And then came Bill Clinton. “Or even Bill Clinton saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to attack Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters,’ as he did, because of some budget document?”
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It’s a matter of duty for Obama, according to Woodward. “Under the Constitution, the president is commander-in-chief and employs the force,” he said.
“And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement [saying], ‘I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country.’ That’s a kind of madness that I haven’t seen in a long time.”
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