Lieberman: Time Short in D.C., Not Iraq

Sen. Joe Lieberman said time is running out in Washington, not Iraq.

ByABC News
February 10, 2009, 11:14 PM

July 1, 2007 — -- Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., says time for an Iraq solution may be running out in Washington, but not in Iraq.

The senator supports a U.S. presence as long as there is "a reasonable chance of success."

Lieberman urged Congress not to draw conclusions on the success of the troop surge in Iraq until after Gen. David Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, delivers a scheduled report in September.

"Time may be running out politically in Washington, but it's not running out in Iraq, and that's the tragedy here," Lieberman said in an exclusive "This Week" interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

Although Lieberman said his response to Petraeus' report will depend on its recommendations, he made clear that he is unlikely to back a withdrawal.

"As long as we have a reasonable chance of success in Iraq, then I'm going to say it's worth it for us to stay," he said.

Lieberman attacked proposals earlier this week from congressional Democrats for a July debate on withdrawal.

"To order a retreat now, which is what some of my colleagues will ask us to do in July, is just outrageously wrong," he said.

"The surge is working," Lieberman asserted. "So you might say that, in Iraq, we've got the enemy on the run. But for some reason, in Washington, a lot of politicians are on the run to order a retreat by our troops even as they are beginning to succeed."

On the 2008 race for the White House, Lieberman said he is "approaching this election as an Independent." However, he noted that "Democratic candidates, in the larger questions of American security, have been disappointing."

As chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Lieberman responded to this week's terrorist attacks in Britain.

"I hope that these terrorist acts in London and England wake us up here in America to stop some of the petty, partisan fighting that's going on about matters that are directly related to our national security," he said.