The dog ate my transcript.
That's roughly what Susan Rice's response to a pointed question from Laura Ingraham amounted to. Give credit to Rice, Obama senior foreign policy advisor, for appearing on Ingraham's "Just In" FNC show today and taking on the host in a freewheeling conversation. But she and her candidate are really going to have to learn to do better than the feeble dodge she offered.
The subject was the recent phone conversation between Obama and Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari. ABC's Jake Tapper reports that after the call, Obama claimed that Zebari "did not express" any concern about the Dem candidate's plan to withdraw U.S. troops. But Zebari told the Washington Post "that he had some frank talk for the candidate: 'The foreign minister said ‘my message’ to Mr. Obama ‘was very clear...Really, we are making progress. I hope any actions you will take will not endanger this progress.’"
That led to this exchange between Ingraham and Rice.
View video here.
LAURA INGRAHAM: You're not saying that the foreign minister was supportive of the idea of a 16-month period of withdrawal there; you're not saying that, are you?
SUSAN RICE: The foreign minister understood Senator Obama's position about a withdr-- a responsible redeployment.
INGRAHAM: But he disagrees with it, clearly, right? I mean, he disagrees with it, he doesn't think --
RICE: I wasn't on the call. But no, frankly, Laura, it's the Iraqi government that has said they don't want permanent U.S. bases, they don't want the American --
INGRAHAM: That's a different question.
RICE: -- the U.S. military to stay in their country indefinitely.
As Laura suggested, it's one thing not to want permanent bases, entirely another to support the kind of unconditional, precipitous withdrawal Obama proposes.
Is this what we should expect from an Obama administration: a top foreign policy advisor looking into the camera and claiming she was unaware of an exchange between Obama and a key foreign minister because she wasn't "on the call"? Does Rice really expect us to believe that a transcript of the conversation wasn't prepared and that she didn't carefully review it? For that matter, how much more troubling would it be if she is telling the truth, and that Obama's top foreign policy advisor is this much out of the loop?
Will the MSM pick up on this blatant bit of fudging on Rice's part?