Friday, January 12, 2007

New Chairman of Armed Services Subcommittee Blasts Condi Rice, Aims to Block Bush Surge Plan

The gloves are off in the new Congress. Hawaii Democratic Congressman Neil Abercrombie, the outspoken new Chairman of the powerful House Air-Land Subcommittee, has gone on the record with a highly personal attack on Bush's Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Abercrombie referred to Rice as "the most overrated underperforming individual in executive authority that I have ever seen" in an interview published this week in the "Honolulu Star Bulletin."

In response to a follow-up question by Star Bulletin columnist Richard Borreca whether race or gender had anything to do with it, Abercrombie continued, "She constantly gets a pass. Who knows if the whole question of race and gender come into it? But I can't account for it except to say she isn't up to the mark."

Abercrombie's spokesperson confirmed the quotes and told ABC News today the congressman does indeed have a highly critical view of Rice's performance not only as the current Secretary of State but also in her previous role as Bush's National Security Advisor.

As to the congressman's comments on race and gender, the spokesman said Abercrombie was responding to a follow-up question. "It's an old reporter's trick to put words in a question to get the respondent to use them himself in the answer, but nonetheless the congressman was quoted accurately."

Abercrombie, who now, as the chairman of the Air-Land Subcommittee, has oversight of the Air Force and Army ground troops, further signaled his opposition to Bush's new war plans today by co-signing a bill to require new authorization for the war in Iraq.


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