Exclusive: Pelosi Says Bush 'Has to Answer for This War'

ByABC News via GMA logo
January 18, 2007, 5:07 PM

Jan. 19, 2007 — -- There may be a growing battle between Congress and President Bush over the Iraq War strategy, but new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she won't block funding for additional troops.

Pelosi's position, revealed in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, comes days after a group of senators announced a bipartisan resolution condemning the Bush administration's plan to increase U.S. forces in Iraq by more than 20,000 troops.

While the Senate resolution would be nonbinding, it would send a message to the president, and at least a dozen Republican senators have already offered their support.

In the interview with Sawyer, Pelosi said Democrats in Congress would not be held responsible for putting the soldiers in the troop surge in additional harm's way by blocking funds. She also called the situation in Iraq a "tragedy" and a "stark blunder."

Pelosi also spoke to Sawyer about her breaking ground as the first female speaker of the House.

Sawyer:One hundred hours in, what's the word that you would use for yourself in those first 100 hours? Tough? Determined? What's the word?

Pelosi: Accountable. Democrats came into power. We said we were ready to lead, prepared to govern, and that we would make a difference, and we did what we promised we would do in the first 100 hours, to make our country safer, our economy fairer, and the country energy independent.

Sawyer: As we sit here right now, 3,500 troops are moving in. That's the first of the surge. It has begun. Fifty-one percent of the American people say they want Congress to stop the surge. Money is the method at hand to do that.

Are you going to move to cut off funding for troops going into Iraq as part of the surge?

Pelosi: Democrats will never cut off funding for our troops when they are in harm's way, but we will hold the president accountable. He has to answer for his war. He has dug a hole so deep he can't even see the light on this. It's a tragedy. It's a stark blunder.