> WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday
> sharply questioned President Bush's competence as a leader, suggesting
> his policy in Iraq is to blame for the loss of U.S. lives. That
> assessment drew a furious response by Republicans who called on the
> Democratic leader to apologize.
> "The emperor has no clothes," Pelosi, D-California, told reporters on
> Thursday. "When are people going to face the reality? Pull this curtain
> (Thank you, Nancy, for voicing what many Americans feel...)
> Pelosi first delivered her comments to a California newspaper. She
> repeated them during an exchange with reporters Thursday -- the same day
> Bush was on Capitol Hill meeting in private with GOP lawmakers in a sort
> of pep rally for the party faithful.
> Republicans effused praise for the president as they left the meeting,
> but Democrats were having none of it.
> "The situation in Iraq and the reckless economic policies in the United
> States speak to one issue for me, and that is the competence of our
> leader," Pelosi said. "These policies are not working. But speaking
> specifically to Iraq, we have a situation where -- without adequate
> evidence -- we put our young people in harm's way."
> Asked specifically if she was calling Bush incompetent, Pelosi replied:
> "I believe that the president's leadership in the actions taken in Iraq
> demonstrate an incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and
> experience in making the decisions that would have been necessary to
> truly accomplish the mission without the deaths to our troops and the
> cost to our taxpayers."
> (What a delightful lack of mushy words...you go, girl!)
> Pelosi charged the Bush administration has proved itself wrong on a
> number of issues with Iraq, including its initial assertions that Iraqis
> would welcome U.S. troops and that Iraq itself could pay for much of the
> reconstruction effort.
> "Rocket-propelled grenades, not rose petals, greeted them," Pelosi said
> of U.S. troops. "Instead ... of Iraq being a country that would readily
> pay for its own reconstruction ... we're up to over $200 billion in cost
> to the American people."
> House Majority Leader Tom DeLay blasted Pelosi, casting her comments as
> detrimental to U.S. troops.
> (Ah, yes...Tom DeLay...the flaming *** of the GOP...Thanks,
> Tom...everytime you open your mouth, you cost Bush votes)
> "Nancy Pelosi should apologize for her irresponsible, dangerous
> rhetoric," DeLay, R-Texas, said. "She apparently is so caught up in
> partisan hatred for President Bush that her words are putting American
> lives at risk."